Obadan hinges high cost in governance on corruption
Former Deputy Governor of Edo State, Peter Obadan yesterday said that corruption had majorly been responsible for the high cost of governance in the country which was attracting criticism and condemnation.
In an interview with The Guardian, Obadan also called on the Revenue Mobilisation and Fiscal Commission (RMAFC) to make the controversial wardrobe allowance for lawmakers once in the life of a lawmaker and not an annual affair.
“I will tell you, when we were in exile, we did x-ray these issues and the late Pa Anthony Enahoro was a frontline believer of this parliamentary system; the cost of governance, obviously looking at our country is outrageous but I tell people, what is the cost of governance? The real cost of governance is not what troubles me, what troubles me is the corruption. It is the corruption that has made the cost of governance very expensive.
“In the set up, the governor, the civil servants and others, how much do they actually take from the statutory allocation that comes from the Federation Account? Maybe one third or about 30 per cent then you have the other two third and of the other two third, you will discover that about 60 per cent of it cannot be fully and properly be justified and it cannot be so justified because the people that earn the one third, are still the persons craving for the extras so it makes it so expensive.
On the controversial N9 billion wardrobe allowance, the All Progressives Congress (APC) chieftain said: “I think the revenue mobilisation commission said that the figure was over blown and that what each lawmakers would get was about N506, 000, again, I have no problem with that especially if you are a first timer to the National Assembly, but it should not be an annual affair. A first time member of the National Assembly should look well on television which is not only shown to Nigerians alone, but beamed globally.
“I know we should make the office very comfortable for them to be able to reason and do their job but it should not be excessive. I would say these things should no longer be hidden. They should be made known to public, when a member says we are not well paid. They only give you the figures for the basic and ask you to go and find out. When you talk of entertainment, it is 200 per cent of the basic, or 500 per cent, as the case maybe.
“They are not being presented to the public so these are the pains and the drain. Those are the areas I think Mr. President should be looking at. He is not going to make the National Assembly members poorer but reasonably comfortable for them to do their job, because he knows the pain of Nigeria,” he added.
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