By Jefia Dede
Reducing the cost of governance in Nigeria has dominated debates across the country immediately the swearing in of elected officers.
And since May 29th, some state governments have announced in an attempt to cut down the cost of governance, a slash in the salaries and allowances of their public officers. Some of these states have also expressed their intentions to reduce the number of ministries. Pressures have also mounted on the federal government to reduce the cost of governance. Reports emanating from the presidency reveal that the president is considering reducing the number of Mnistries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs).
In delta state, however, we are yet to hear Governor Okowa position on this key issue. He has been mute in that regards.
Unfortunately, we are being told that the state government is rather planning to create more ministries and agencies. This is satisfy ‘Abuja political returnees.’ who will take refuge in Asaba. This is shameful for a state whose Local Government councils have been on strike as a result of economic crunch to harbour the thoughts of a big cabinet.
Meanwhile, it will be reasonable for the government of Okowa to take a flight from the previous practice by first, declaring what he and his appointees will earn. and secondly, he should slash his salary and that of his appointees. And more importantly, reduce the number of MDAs and political appointees to save money for development agenda rather than service the pockets of some individuals. That is what a responsible government should do at this time.
Thus, Governor Okowa should make commitments towards reducing the cost of governance in delta state. The state cannot be an exception in the face of the harsh economy reality.
In the same vain, it is unknown how much members of the Delta House of Assembly get as salaries and allowances. The previous Assembly was a ‘rubber-stamp’. Do we expect anything different from this assembly that is filled and led by returnees? Even more worrisome is that inspite of the huge financial burden on the state arising from high debts profile and depreciated federal allocation, these legislators will rather maintain their over-bloated budget at the expense of the people who they have gone there to represent. How else do one define insensivity?
To this end, I beg to ask, where is the prosperity promised all if we are descending from an already bad state to hell as the trend shows. It behoves on Okowa to show all and sundry that Delta state is not a state whose treasury is meant for oiling the political machines of the PDP at the detriment of the prosperity the people were promised.