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Buhari tasked on governance, Oronsaye report




AS the May 29 handover date approaches, the President-elect, Maj-Gen. Muhammadu Buhari, has been urged to ensure a drastic reduction in the cost of governance.

Executive Director of Lux Terra Leadership Foundation, Rev. Fr. Goerge Ehusani, who stated this also enjoined the incoming All Progressives Congress (APC)-led administration to revisit the Steve Oronsaye report on reforms in the civil service, which proffered solutions to the problem of high cost of governance.

Speaking yesterday while delivering a keynote address at a public forum which dwelt on “Nigerian democratic transition: One more opportunity for real change”, he maintained that the required growth cannot be achieved in a situation whereby 70 percent of the nation’s resources is used to service government functionaries and the bureaucracy.

He also urged the President-elect to explore ways of checkmating the conduct of government functionaries who display flamboyant and extravagant lifestyles at the expense of the citizenry.

According to him: “A country struggling with widespread poverty and decayed infrastructure cannot afford to have public officers that are among the wealthiest in the world, not from any business investment or entrepreneurship on their part, but all from legitimate and illegitimate earnings from government.

“Today, Nigerian political office holders are among the highest users of expensive bullet-proof SUVs, and they live in palatial mansions, with scores of personal aides, all at government expenses. Political office must be made less attractive.”

Ehusani said the duplication of parastatals and agencies has compounded the problem of wastages in the nation’s resources.

Saying there was need to revisit the Steve Oronsaye report, he said: “For example, if we have an effective police force where all the required departments are functional, why do we need the Federal Road Safety Commission (FRSC), civil defence, EFCC, NDLEA, or NAPTIP? Why do we need to replicate practically all the ministries in the Presidency, by having special advisers and senior special advisers on practically every area of governance domiciled within the Presidency?

“True, the existence of the numerous parastatals, agencies and directorates of the Federal Government with all their governing boards that entails monstrous overhead costs, simply amounts to a monumental waste of the country’s scarce resources which could have been better utilised in the development and maintenance of vital sectors that are crying for attention.”

Tasking Buhari to live up to expectations in the fight against corruption and gross indiscipline in the civil service, he advised the president-elect to declare a state of emergency against corrupt practices as soon as he is sworn into office this month.

The cleric who agreed with views of some participants at the forum that individuals need to make sacrifice to achieve the desired objectives believed that once corruption and gross indiscipline is tackled, the country would experience growth and monumental development.

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