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    National Assembly Takes N1trillion in eight years; Ezekwesili seeks for public policy debate!


    Posts : 86
    Join date : 2013-08-05

    National Assembly Takes N1trillion in eight years; Ezekwesili seeks for public policy debate!

    Post by nicegospel on Tue Aug 20, 2013 9:53 am

    Ezekwesili seeks debate on public policy, education sector

    • Chistopher Kolade opposes life pensions for lawmakers

    AS genuine concerns continue to mount over government’s spending, there is now even a more startling revelation that the National Assembly spent N1 trillion in the last eight years, even as N9.08 billion is spent on maintaining the Presidential Fleet yearly.

     Ezekwesili disclosed this unsettling find in her address Monday in Abuja at an event organised by the Civil Society Legislative Advocacy Centre (CISLAC) with support from the Federal Public Administration Reform (FEPAR), where she said that from 2005 to 2013, the National Assembly has received the sum of N1 trillion from the Federal Government.

     Meanwhile, a former Nigerian High Commissioner to the United Kingdom (UK), Dr. Christopher Kolade, yesterday condemned reported plan to ‘smuggle’ pensions for life for principal officers of the National Assembly into the Constitution, describing it as “ridiculous distortion… if it is true.”

     Noting that the proposal contradicts the tenets of the country’s pension system, he wondered the rationale behind paying pension to somebody who spends less than a year as a principal officer of the National Assembly.

     Kolade stated this yesterday in Lagos at a series of Guest   Speaker’s Forum of the Nigerian Leadership Initiative (NLI) where Katsina State Governor, Ibrahim Shema, was hosted.    

     Ezekwesili noted that the Federal Government has continued to vacillate with recommendations made by various groups, committees and commissions it set up to streamline governance. Therefore, she stated that a thorough debate on national public policy is desirable, just as national development could only be achieved if the education sector is restructured.

     According to her, the Federal Government has continued to make mistakes in its efforts at attaining the desired development because of the nation’s inability to take a more critical look at public policy, warning: “We must debate public policy as a nation, if not, we would make silly mistakes.”

     The former minister of solid minerals further noted that the country’s over-dependence on oil revenue has crippled initiatives and creativity and furthered inequality of opportunity through a faulty education sector, but “structural transformation is the antidote to our oil entrapment.”

     Speaking on “Cost Efficiency, Funding Governance and Delivering Development: The Oronsaye Report in Perspective,” the former minister of education said that the problem of Nigeria is not the system of government being practised but the kind of people to deliver on the system, as the best system would have been the one that gives results.

     She added: “Today’s average GDP growth rate of seven per cent, which we have recorded over a decade, compared to about 40 per cent unemployment rate among the youthful segment of the population, is the caustic glory of the economic growth joblessness dichotomy. And that dichotomy is all about inequality of opportunities, a creation of the failing education system.”    

     Meanwhile, the Executive Director of CISLAC, Ibrahim Musa, frowned at the cost of governance in Nigeria, particularly the maintenance of the 10-aircraft presidential fleet, which allegedly gulps N9.08 billion yearly.

     According to him, the country’s economic reforms, though commendable, would make no desired impact with the scandalous wage bills of the National Assembly members; the bloated size of government cabinet, including the retinue of superfluous aides and special assistants, and the usually ridiculous sizes of government contingents on foreign trips, among others.

     Kolade commended the exemplary administration the governor   has set while calling on other political leaders to emulate him. He revealed that only Katsina had sent a delegation to the Subsidy Reinvestment Programme (SURE-P) committee to learn how it could better utilise the fund to benefit the people.

     The former envoy frowned at the growing profligacy among the leadership class, noting that it behooves the entire country if people, considering how traumatic it is to live in the country already, give thought to what will happen in the future.  “We are beginning to feel that Nigeria is on irredeemable course because those in leadership show that they don’t have sense of responsibility,” he observed.  

     Still, he said the widespread condemnation of his acceptance to serve the country once again as head of SURE-P has given better opportunity to confront the challenges that come with the responsibility.

     Unfortunately, he said many leaders accept both authority and responsibility while rejecting accountability, which is a very important leg of the tripod.

     Shema, whose presentation was made by the state’s Head of Civil Service, Muhammad Lawal Aliyu, called for the institutionalisation of responsible succession programme to ensure continuity of public policies and projects. He, however, acknowledged that establishing ideal succession circle in a political setting was not as simple as in the case of corporate world, as the former follows a democratic process where factors beyond the control of those in government determine who gets power.

     The governor commended his fellow northern governors for implementing policies that are redefining the Almajiri education system in their respective states.

     According to Shema, the Almajiri remodelling exercise, which was by his administration, is now being adopted by other states.

     Chief Executive Officer, NLI, Yinka Oyinlola, said correcting the very flaws in the country’s leadership circle by showcasing excellence performance is the essence of the guest speaker’s forum.

      Current date/time is Sat Sep 22, 2018 8:50 pm