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Ex- Minister to National Assembly: Cut down your Budget to reduce Cost of Governance

Ex- Minister to National Assembly: Cut down your Budget to reduce Cost of Governance

A former Minister of State for Defence, Musiliu Obanikoro, has called for a Review of the Budgets of the Senate and House of Representatives as a Strategy to reduce Cost of Governance.

Obanikoro made the call in commemoration of Nigeria’s Democracy Day.

Nigeria’s Democracy Day is now celebrated on June 12 to remember the acrifices of the Winner of the 1993 Presidential Election, Moshood Abiola.

It used to be celebrated on May 29 Annually, but was moved to June 12 by the Administration of Muhammadu Buhari.

Nigeria operates a Bicameral Legislature made up of the Senate and the House of Representatives.

“Democracy doesn’t have to be this expensive, that is one thing we don’t get right.

“It is expensive because we have made it so. Let me give you a good example because we borrowed this System from America.

“In America they don’t provide Accommodation for Lawmakers, they fend for themselves when it comes to that, they live basically on Salary and very small Fringe Benefits,” Obanikoro said.

He said that Nigeria could also work toward that, and make the Budget of the National Assembly more transparent.

“When the Budget is more transparent, and People can go Online and see what is allocated to every Member of the National Assembly and can also input into the Process, I do believe that will make the Process or the Institution less expensive,” he said.

Obanikoro added  that if the Budget of the two Legislative Houses would be made  transparent, the recent calls for Parliamentary System of Government would have been avoided.

”This clamour that the Bicameral System of Legislature should be jettisoned will reduce if the Budget is reduced, because the idea is that there are some Budgetary Provisions that should never be in our Books and we must be bold enough to expunge them.

“We cut the Budget size of the National Assembly to a reasonable level that an average Nigerian can live with,” Obanikoro, also a former High Commissioner to Ghana, said.

On immortalising Abiola, Obanikoro said that the Federal Government could do more.

“Let me say this, Government has really tried, because there was a time that Government did not even want to acknowledge the contributions of MKO.

“To have moved from denial to the reality that Abiola  contributed and sacrificed his Life for this Democracy is a welcome and commendable development.

”However, I believe more can be done. Democratic Institutions can be named after him, and we have declared today Democracy Day, not MKO day.

“Some people can say it is synonymous but I will want more Landmark Buildings in Nigeria named after him across the six Geo-Political Zones.

“That way, at every corner of the Country you look, you can visibly know how we got to where we are,” he said. 

 

Credit NAN: Texts excluding Headline

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