Government has been asked to reduce the cost of governance in the country not only in reduction of pecks of office but also the retinue of appointees.
Addressing journalists yesterday in Abuja, the Lead Director of Speak out Africa initiative, a Non governmental Organisation, Kenneth Eze said government needs to look beyond politics now and reduce the cost of governance.
Eze called on President Bola Ahmed Tinubu to prune the government spending including streamlining ministerial , commissioner, adviser portfolio to sizeable numbers with particular call to abolish minister for state position and cut down on their luxurious convoy.
He said: “As part of our mandate in deepening democracy and promoting good governance through accountability checks and evidence-based advocacy, Speak Out Africa Initiative (SOAI) has yet again kick-start a “Governance Tracker called CRIG.ng” project on a mission to torchlight government activities, checkmate and promote cost effective governance at federal, state and local government amongst public office holders with overall goal to reducing cost of governance in Nigeria”.
He added that: “It is notable that Nigerians are groaning under the effect of the untold hardship inflicted upon them by successive leaders ranging from subsidy removal of premium motor spirit (PMS) without fixing of the existing refineries and no proactive provisions to cushion its effect, to unimaginable school fees hike with direct impact on the poorest of the poor who are faced with option to drop out of school, to already perfected planned electricity tariff increment and, many other cacophonies of unpleasant difficulties without no solution in sight.
“Sadly, the reverse is the case as we see political office holders/our leaders enjoying barrage of benefits without recourse to the plight of the ordinary citizens, example is the self-allocation of the N70billion from the World Bank loan which should have been channeled to the poorest of the poor- a situation that is best described insensitive and unjustifiable.”
He recommended that as matter of urgency the government should povide measures to cushion the effect of the subsidy removal on the ordinary Nigerians, noting that subsidy removal has hiked the price of PMS which has in turn raises inflation to an unbearable 22.79% as at June 2023 (NBS), thereby reducing cost of living and increasing hardship.
He also advocated for the streamlining of the list of cabinet ministers (for Federal government) to sizable number with complete abolishing of minister-for-state cabinet positions; called on the current administration to stop postponing the raining day and implement the Oronsaye report to merge ministries, departments & agencies (MDAs) for those their jobs overlap with each other as we can no longer sustain it.
Eze also called on state governors to reduce/cut down list of commissioners and appointment of advisers to sizable number to reduce cost of governance, urging political/public office holders to cut down on barrage of convoy/entourage; and insist of reversal of the purported increment of public office holders’ salaries by 114% as such move is anti-people since Nigerians are in serious difficult time currently.