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Academic Don Advocates Reduction In  Cost Of Governance

...Says Nigeria Is Doomed Without Restructuring


…Makes Case For Unicameral Legislature
By Kenneth Jude
lecturer in the Department of Communication Arts, University of Uyo, Professor Nnamdi Ekeanyanwu, has said that for Nigeria to show seriousness in the ongoing agitation for reduction in the cost of governance, the country should pay attention to reducing the number of personnel in some government positions.
He said that a situation where two or more personnel are engaged for a job that one person can do is not good enough for a country he described as a failed giant of Africa. “We should cut down on personnel if we are serious about reducing the cost of governance,” he said.
Ekeanyanwu who spoke with Crystal Express during an exclusive interview in his office at the weekend, also described restructuring of the current federal structure as a viable way of solving the nation’s myriad of problems.
He described as misnomer the practice where former governors serving as Senators also collect retirement benefits, saying that such culture is killing the nation. He also called for a review of 36 ministers drawn from the federation to make up the cabinet, maintaining that the practice should be reconsidered if the cost of governance must be reduced.
While calling for one Nigeria, the outspoken Professor advocated for “one Nigeria for all Nigerians” as against the current reality where a section of the country stands head and shoulders above other components part of the country.
Prof. Ekeanyanwu frowned at the fact that the budgetary allocation for running Nigeria’s bicameral legislature is more than the budget for education, adding that a country that wishes to mould future leaders and reduce the cost of governance cannot keep running such system.
He maintained that Nigeria does not deserve to have legislators that earn humongous salaries and allowances, adding that it is unfortunate that a Nigerian Senator is richer than the President of USA.
He also pointed out that Nigeria’s recurrent expenditure is killing the country, noting that in advanced countries, only 30 percent is allocated to recurrent expenditure, while the rest goes into development and provision of other basic infrastructure.
The Professor of Strategic and International Communication who also condemned the culture where politicians who failed as  governors head to the Senate, said he lost interest in the Presidency due to the people Buhari ‘surrounds’ himself with. He noted that one cannot surround himself with persons who are facing various charges and still claims to be fighting corruption. While commending President Buhari for the initiative of fighting corruption, he described the anti-corruption war as selective and a sham.
Professor Ekeanyanwu, who majors on International communication decried the poor participation of voters during elections in Nigeria, adding that the level of violence experienced at polling units is one of the reasons many people stay away from voting centres.
He also mentioned that voter apathy is caused by the lack of belief that votes will actually count hence voters stay away from voting. While expressing optimism that votes will one day count in Nigeria, he made a case for option A4, but was quick to point out the inherent dangers.
His words: “I experienced option A4 in 1993 and there’s no way you’ll say something else happened elsewhere. We all saw the line so there’s no way you’ll tell us that line B won rather than A. But we can’t go back to option A4. How many people will comfortably queue in that line and expect to walk home and nobody comes to harass them or bullets begin to go off when one line is longer than the other? We must protect the voter so that someone’s vote is not subject to another person’s interpretation or harassment,” he said, adding, “the last 35 years, I can tell you categorically, no one life has been lost over a US presidential election, and anyone who becomes the president becomes the president of the world by implication. In local government elections in this country, both baboons and human beings die. The Police cannot tell us how many people died in the last election, they don’t have that figure. So, the option A4 is good but dangerous for a country that the only surviving business is politics.”
On the review of Nigeria’s bicameral legislature, he said there’s no need for two houses, adding that running two legislative houses is designed to increase the number of “thieves” in the country. He noted that there is no sane clime where Senators receive full pay but sitting allowances.
“Britain is running one Parliamentary system, the other one is just there with few people. Even at that, they are all on sitting allowance that is commensurate with the size of the nation. But here, the budget for running the two houses is bigger than the entire education sector. We don’t need that house. We don’t need the kind of pay they receive.”
He noted that the problem of Nigeria is the amalgamation of 1914, adding that there is no record that Nigeria ever agreed to be one, but said he does not desire for division. “For reasons the British have not told us, they brought this nation together. That aside, I’m not for the division of this nation, but until this country is restructured, we will not make any progress,” he stated.

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