Presidential Candidate of the Abundant Nigeria Renewal Party, ANRP, in Nigeria’s last election, Tope Fasua, is of the view that Federal Government’s move to reduce the cost of running governance is simply “Big on Tokenism,” an effort which will only yield minimum effect in cutting cost.
Fasua, who is also the Founder and Chief Executive Officer, CEO of Global Analytics Consulting Limited, said there is not much to make out of the renewed steps towards the reduction, stressing that it shouldn’t be narrowed down to travels alone.
He said this while responding to questions during the live Public Conscience on Radio Program that is produced by the Progressive Impact Organization for Community Development, PRIMORG, in Abuja this Wednesday.
Fasua who addressed the travelling habits of Government Officials in Nigeria, said most travel as high as fifty (50) times in a year, utilizing the tax payers’ money, while noting the ridiculousness in cutting down their travels to eight (8) or X-number of times, just to reduce cost.
“We’re talking about a country that is borrowing to survive with struggling tax payers and so many poor people,” yet, he said government officials embark on luxurious and wasteful trips, describing this as “Sheer Heartlessness.”
He noted that the travel issues in Nigeria has two implications, stating that aside the monetary aspect, there’s the good intentions of government which would result to nothing because of the unavailability of the persons expected to drive the nation.
Identifying other resource sapping issues leading to wastage, he pointed out some unnecessary retreats/programs that gulp huge funds on consulting foreign resource persons for recommendations, especially in areas of reforming the public sector.
He condemned the mentality of Nigerians moving the country’s resources overseas, especially via travels with international airlines, shopping and lodging in hotels abroad among other activities, advising that it is time Government Officials start patronizing Made-In-Nigeria Vehicles, which implies promotion of local contents and growth in Gross Domestic Product, GDP of the country.
The businessman further identified the unnecessary erection of presidential lodges in various states as wastage, revealing that the president has never slept in some as most have started dilapidating, plus the renovation and extension of the villa.
Speaking on Nigeria’s Budget, Fasua stated that the over N10 Trillion budgeted is not enough and that the government usually expend the money wrongly as the impact doesn’t get to ordinary people. He added that a citizen, in retrospect, is only entitled to N150 from the budget in a day.
He said Nigeria is not employing the “Performance-Based Budgeting System,” that the government still practices “Envelop Budgeting,” which affects accountability.
He also advised that idle civil servants wasting away in Government’s Ministries, Departments and Agencies, MDAs, should be deployed to sectors that require extra services, like the health and education sectors.
By Amadin Idahosa