Stakeholders advocate unicameral system to reduce high cost of governance
To reduce the high cost of governance in Nigeria, stakeholders have urged that the country adopts a unicameral system for the legislative arm of government. Urging that the government should borrow a leaf from the private sector, and take necessary hard decisions to reduce cost of governance, they also emphasised drastic reduction of the enumeration of public officeholders.
At the Annual Corporate Governance Conference, organised by the Society for Corporate Governance in Nigeria, former Chairman, Nestle Nigeria Plc., Olusegun Osunkeye, said approximately half of the world’s sovereign states are currently running unicameral type of government. Osunkeye, a guest speaker, who spoke on the theme: “Purposeful Leadership and Governance as Pre-Requisites for National and Economic Development”, said sheer political will and strong leadership would be required to make it happen.
According to him, members of the National Assembly, as the representatives of the people, must show solidarity with their suffering constituents by reviewing their entitlements downward. Citing instances of countries, which adopted unicameral system of government, he said it is working for them because they are running on purposeful leadership.
Among them, he recalled that Senegal in 2012, abolished its entire Senate, which had 100 seats leaving a unicameral system consisting only of one chamber.Similarly, the President of Mauritania in August 2017, instigated a referendum, which abolished the country’s Senate in order to reduce the cost of governance.One of the principal qualities that set great leaders from the common ones, Osunkeye said, is moral conscience and moral conviction.
“Every human being is born with a moral conscience, which takes one to the realm of ethics and ethical behaviour in governance, and is expected of a purposeful leader to move the nation forward in pursuit of national and economic development and the wellbeing of the citizenry in general.”
Osunkeye, who also made observations on the state of the nation’s economic development, which he said centred on the theme of the conference, added that purposeful leadership and governance are sine qua non to the country’s quest for national development.
Some panelists also shared their experiences on what corporate governance is, and how it has affected their organisations.For instance, the Chief Executive, Financial Reporting Council of Nigeria (FRC), Daniel Asapokhai, said as a regulator, they do more of educating institutions on corporate governance.
“What we do is to look at what has worked, telling institutions on what corporate governance should look like.“We need more good role models from organisations and more education and awareness.”Asapokhai, who spoke more on the Nigerian code for corporate governance, and shared his experience in the public sector, said for the country to move forward, there is a need for institutions to make sacrifices.
Also, chief executive of Falcon Corporation, Mrs. Audrey Joe-Ezigbo, said: “For Nigeria to move out of the current situation that we find ourselves in, for us to have the kind of industries, enterprises and large corporate that we built that can accommodate our population, there is an imperative for us to focus on governance.”
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