Cost of governance

In his familiar candour, the Central Bank of Nigeria Governor, Mallam Sanusi Lamido Sanusi, recently raised concerns over the cost of governance in the country. He stirred the hornet’s nest at the 2nd Annual Capital Market Committee retreat held in Warri, Delta State. At the occasion, Sanusi said it had become impossible for the country to develop under the current constitution unless certain sections are amended. He cited a situation where the constitution provides for more ministers than necessary, saying this raises the cost of governance. According to him, over 70 per cent of the nation’s revenue is spent on government, leaving 30 per cent for the people, adding that the current political structure is a drain on the national resources. Sanusi went ahead to proffer a solution. Ironically, his solution soon caused an outrage in the polity. He recommended that the workforce in the civil service should be halved to free up capital for infrastructure development and by extension, boost the economy. But Edo State Governor, Comrade Adams Oshiomole, has a different view of the situation. He said that instead government should reduce the overhead cost of all its functionaries by 50 per cent as against reducing the workforce in the civil service. He held the view that Nigerian workers are the drivers of the economy and as such should not bear such a brunt. Interesting, this debate came at a time that the Nigerian public had been fed with the story that public sector officials expended N300 billion in 2011 on aircraft charter alone and that the presidency is expected to spend even much more in 2013, about N1.2 billion on travels alone.


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