INEC ex-commissioner decries borrowing spree, jumbo salaries for politicians, ex-govs
Warns creditors may take over Nigeria’s economy in future
A former National Commissioner of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Prof. Lai Olurode, has warned that there will be crises upon crises in the country unless Nigeria changes its attitude on some steps that inhibit development.
Olurode lamented the borrowing binge, accumulation of debt, humongous salaries for political office holders, huge allowances and perks for former governors and others.
The professor of Sociology spoke with journalists during the end of year event and fifth valedictory service of The Wings Schools in Iwo, Osun State.
Adetoye Kehinde Ibrahim, who was the guest speaker at the event, charged the students to shun social vices, while a former student of the school, who is now 500-level Chemical Engineering student at the University of Lagos, Miss Abidat Inaolaji charged them on commitment.
On the state of the nation, Olurode said: “The reason we don’t have good governance is because the parties are in shambles,” adding that a political party, either in government or in opposition, is a government-in-waiting.
According to him, the movement of politicians from one party to another was not common during Chief Obafemi Awolowo’s era. “Now, there is no respect for principles again. If there is no strong party, there can’t be strong government, because a party going into election is the party to form the government. And if the party is incoherent and factionalised, there is no way the party can perform. The party structure is the resemblance of the government you are going to form, which affects the society.
“Political offices are like an industry in Nigeria because politicians do nothing once they win election. Nigeria spends most of its money on bureaucracy, while Britain, America and Germany spend less on their elected officials. We are the worst country in the world on spending on elected officials.
Ninety-one per cent of Nigeria’s generated revenue is spent on public office holders and Nigerian senators are collecting more than what the American President is earning.
“We have to sanitise the system and look at the remuneration system so as to make political offices unattractive,” he stated.
On the nation’s debt and borrowing spree, the don said: “Nothing is wrong in borrowing once it won’t mortgage future of the upcoming generation. Most of those countries we borrowed from might come back in 60 or 100 years to come and take over our economy. There will be crisis unless we change our ways in Nigeria.”