Priscilla Ediare, Ado-Ekiti
A chieftain of the All Progressives Congress(APC) in Ekiti State, Otunba Olusegun Agbalajobi, has called for a reasonable slash in the cost of governance in order to fight the current problems of unemployment, poverty and infrastructure deficit bedevilling the country.
Agbalajobi said Nigeria can reduce its spending by cutting down the prodigious salaries of the governors, members of the National Assembly and political appointees.
The former governorship aspirant, in a statement titled: ‘Governors, Senators’ Humongous Salaries Killing Nigerians’, lamented that Nigeria’s politicians are being overpaid at the detriment of the masses who are wallowing in abject poverty.
He said that governors and member of the National Assembly earn more than their contemporaries in other parts of the world, including advanced nations where per capita income is much higher than that of Nigeria.
The APC chieftain stressed the need for urgent steps to be taken to reduce the cost of governance, saying that Nigeria does not have the money to sustain the kind of over-bloated government it runs.
He, however, called on the unemployed youths to wage war against politicians, demand that they cut their salaries and channel the excesses to create jobs and develop infrastructures.
Agbalajobi decried that the prodigious salaries and allowances budgeted for political office holders was taking its toll on the nation’s economy, saying it was one of the potent reasons Nigeria’s growth had remain retarded.
Agbalajobi noted that humongous fund is being spent on recurrent expenditure as against capital projects which are needed to stimulate the economies and fastrack sustainable socio-economic growth and development.
“It’s sad that Nigeria is still revolving the vicious cycle of underdevelopment despite 60 years of independence. The situation is self-inflicted because we are chewing more than what we can bite.
“Our problem is centered on leadership and systemic failure. Most of our political leaders are selfish in their approach to governance. They only care about their pockets rather than the welfare of the citizens.
“It’s an act of illogicality that the salary of our political office holders are far more than what their contemporaries in other parts of the world, even in first world nations where per capital income is much higher than that of Nigeria.
“Unless we change the ugly trend where our lawmakers budgeted more money for recurrent expenditure as against capital projects, Nigeria will continue to merry go round the vicious cycle of underdevelopment,” he said.
He called on the Federal Government to muster the political will to cut down the renumeration of politicians, saying the excess if put in proper use could give hundreds of thousands of unemployed Nigerian youths useful employment.