At the advent of this government, the President said he needs to cut the cost of governance, but last week the President said he wants to expand his cabinet, what do make out of this?
To be honest, I was taken aback when I heard that pronouncement from President Muhammadu Buhari that he is going to expand the Federal Executive Council (FEC) and also make appointments into boards and parastatals. The President somewhat argued that he could not effect needed changes in his cabinet or expand the cabinet while we were in recession. For Mr. President to say that he wants to expand his cabinet, then it means he lied to the people of Nigeria when he was sworn in.
He has lied because when he came into office he said he was going to operate a lean cabinet, cut the cost of governance so that he can conserve resources. In fact, he said needed to cut cost in order other for him to plough same into meaningful projects that will affect the lives of Nigerians positively. Sadly, we have neither seen the projects nor the funds he promised to save through cutting cost of governance.
It is going to gulp a lot of money for him to expand the cabinet. For instance, if a board is to have about 20 people, and each member is to be paid the salary of say N7000,000, it means a lot of billions of naira. The Advanced Democratic Party (ADP) does not see any sense in expanding the already bloated cabinet now, so as a party we are strongly against the expansion. We are not in support of this wasteful venture from someone who supposedly cut the image of lean spender.
But the President said the government now has the resources to pay salaries?
We still don’t believe in that statement because if he said we are out of recession, has the price of the bag of rice reduce from N22,000 to N8,000 that it was when he took over in 2015?
Rather than seen positive changes in the economy we have seen increased suffering and hunger because people can’t afford basic cost of living. We want to ask the President has the bag of sugar or cement reduced so that they are affordable by the man or woman in the street?
No one believes in the government that we are out of recession, if we are out of recession Nigerians are the ones to say it themselves but not for the government to tell us. So expansion and constitution of boards and parastatals are in irrelevant.
But some have argued that some ministries are too large and so needs to broken down to manageable proportion for effectiveness and performance. Don’t you that’s exactly what the president wants to achieve?
It is lack of capacity and capability that is making some of the ministers not performing. Get a very capable hand in there he will be able to do it. We just need to have someone with ingenuity to do the job that more than ten people can do. Assignment portfolios for political rather productiveness and capability is the bane not how large the ministry is.
Sir, you as a politician don’t you thing that the President is trying to also put in some of his party men that worked for victory, a kind of payback?
If the President wants to give patronages to those that assisted him to victory, there are many ways to do that, without over bloating the cabinet and making irrelevant money-consuming board appointments. All he needs to do is to get at least 10 people to come as a consortium and made them execute major contracts, from there whatever genuine profit they make it will more than cover up whatever they must have spent to put him there, but it mustn’t be through over blotted cabinet or boards.