End bailout to state governments - Letter to my president by Kurtis Adigba (opinion)

End bailout to state governments - Letter to my president by Kurtis Adigba (opinion)

Editor's note: Lawyer, social and political analyst, Kurtis Adigba, writes President Muhammadu Buhari, the winner of the just concluded election in the country.

Adigba tells Buhari three hard decisions to make for the betterment of the country since the president has another four years to put the country on a sound footing.

Let me officially and formally congratulate President Mohammed Buhari on his well-deserved victory at the polls. Congratulations sir!

Now is the time to start thinking about some hard things you must do. Top on my list for your consideration, are as listed below:

1. Drastic reduction in the cost of governance. Nigeria, contrary to what many believe, is not a rich country considering the size of the population, and our revenue sources. And so, we cannot afford the huge cost of running the government. You should take a critical look at the cost of running the Aso Rock Villa. You are a frugal man;a fact know to your admirers and opposers, that is not the issue. The problem maybe in the administration of the Villa.

2. The cost of running the National Assembly, is not only egregious but unaffordable. Members of the country’s National Assembly, are the world’s highest earners. With an annual budget of N125B minimum, the members are also the highest earners in the country. This is outside of the corruption-ridden constituency project funds. You must take a look at this huge cost to the economy. Their salaries and allowances, must be reduced and aligned with the structure approved for them by the RMAFC. The same agency fixed your salaries and allowances, and those of others. The power of RMAFC to do this is contained in S.70 of the constitution.

The argument that as an a separate and independent arm of government, the National Assembly is entitled to fix the salaries and allowances of her members, is plastic. The executive, is also an independent arm of government, but did you fix your salaries and allowances? No, you allowed RMAFC to do it. No arm of government is completely independent of others. The doctrine of separation of powers, is not intended to create independent separate power hubs, but interdependent power units with power over their respective areas. The key responsibility of the National Assembly is law making.

3. You must end bailout to state governments. The previous bailouts to state governors, achieved nothing. Many of the governors, diverted the funds, and are still owing workers salaries for months. The bailouts was intended to assist the governors in clearing the arrears of salaries in their states. But the salaries are still largely unpaid.

Please use the funds to improve the education of our children. Our universities and tertiary institutions, are in need of funds for infrastructure, research, and improved living conditions for the students and teachers. Any state that cannot pay salaries of the workers, should merge with another state, or look inwards to harness her resources. Enough of the big boy posture by the FG!

To be continued.

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