OPINION: Just before we crucify Sanusi – Simeon Christian Chukwu

Published:6 Dec, 2012

OPINION: Just before we crucify Sanusi – Simeon Christian Chukwu

Barely a few hours after the Central Bank of Nigeria Governor, Lamido Sanusi, made his unpopular economic proposition at the just-concluded Annual Capital Market Retreat held in Warri, Delta State, Nigerians were befuddled and began their usual emotional dissection of issues often proposed by the leaders. Sanusi argued that having the staff strength of the federal, state and local governments reduced by half would serve as a panacea for more infrastructural development in the country. But some Nigerians rather left the real issues and substance for shadow-chasing while hurling venoms at the CBN boss.

Just before we crucify Sanusi over his proposal, have we taken time to ask ourselves the following questions?

Why on earth should our federal lawmakers, both in the Senate and House of Representatives, alone be gulping up 25.1 per cent of our annual budgetary allocations? What laws are 469 persons making and what legislative functions are they carrying out to warrant such reckless wages and salaries?

Why should a local government chairman have more than two aides? Why should a state governor harbour over 50 aides under his payroll while having commissioners for each ministry?

What’s the essence of duplicating SAs, SSAs and PAs all under the payroll of the Federal Government? What are they assisting? Is the person in charge a dummy that he can’t think at all?

Why must an economy like Nigeria’s be spending 70 per cent of her annual budget on recurrent expenditure (paying workers salaries) while having just 30 per cent for infrastructural development and other capital projects? How will such an economy raise shoulders among her political and economic peers globally?

Did Sanusi single out any region as where the majority of the workers should be relieved? Sanusi is from the North (apparently the region with the highest number of government employees). Did he shield them?

What manner of “god” is the office of Nigeria’s Senate President that the occupant should earn six times more than what President Barack Obama of the United States takes home and three times more than what the British Prime Minister earns? In a country where over 65 per cent of the citizens wallow below the $1 benchmark.

Why are we still retaining the fuel subsidy when abounding evidence have shown that it is characterised by utter bewilderment and shrouded in corruption while only a few are rapaciously binging on the “ghost funds” known as subsidy?

Why must the Presidency spend so much on feeding alone while a majority of the people continue to wallow in abject poverty?

The truth is Nigeria’s democracy is one of the most expensive democracies in the world! We need to prune down cost of running government in Nigeria lest we kill the economy and plunge ourselves into further economic chaos in the nearest future. We must learn to think and plan ahead even for generations unborn.

We can make do with the House of Representatives alone while we retrench the Senate which obviously is just a retirement ground for the elite.  Enough of the government wastage!

Sanusi’s thesis on sacking 50 per cent of the workforce might not necessarily have to be the civil servants. Something seriously needs to be done but not sacking 50 per cent of government employees. That could be disastrous.

However, it smacks of crass preposterousness for a Senate President of a developing nation and economy to be earning more than the President of a developed nation. We can save the economy from collapsing by curtailing some of this overpaid zealousness.

Politicians and political appointees need to reduce the number of SAs, PAs and other domestic staff as they are paid for by the government. The Steve Orosanye Committee report (scrapping some agencies and merging duplicating agencies) should also be implemented without further delay. This will not be up to 50 per cent agitated for by Sanusi but will go a long way to save more money for the Government which will hopefully be utilised judiciously by the Federal Government.

More so, if the government can create an enabling and conducive environment for both foreign and private investors, the burden and high expectations for them to create jobs and more jobs will be lessened; as there’s practically nowhere in the world where the government is employing up to 50 per cent of her citizens.

While trying to encourage investors, the government can adopt this formula for taxation: the higher the number of employees under a company, the lower the tax that company should pay. For instance, if Mr. A has an investment of N3bn and Mr. B also has the same, Mr. A employs 100 Nigerians while Mr. B has 200 Nigerians under his payroll; then Mr. A should pay a higher tax than Mr. B because of his capacity to employ more people. This is one of the secrets to President Obama’s projection of reducing unemployment from 8.9 per cent to 7.1 in the US.

Sanusi’s proposition could be the way out actually, but the corruption in this nation has eaten so deep into the fabric of the Nigerian system thereby making it pragmatically difficult for even the 30 per cent left to be effectively utilised.

The Central Bank governor has spoken like an economist and the Presidency has also responded with immediate alacrity at least to douse the fears that might arise; with an affirmation that they are not going to lay-off anybody. But like we all know, there’s a difference between the ideal and the reality. Sanusi is proposing the ideal with a gloomy prognostication at sight. But the reality is that our government can’t dare it as it seems perhaps helpless.

If we subscribe to Sanusi’s conceptual thesis, we could be saving the government some cool cash annually, but we wouldn’t because the “boys” don’t have alternatives at the moment. So, the charade continues!

 

– Simeon Christian Chukwu is ex-editor-in-chief, Psychology Press Organisation, University of Ibadan. (xtianrooy@gmail.com)

Related Posts

Recent Posts

It’s Zlatan Time!’ – Man Utd Announce Ibrahimovic Arrival

Manchester United have effectively confirmed the signing of Zlatan Ibrahimovic after releasing a short 'it's Zlatan time' video on their official Twitter account. The striker moves to Old Trafford on a free transfer and becomes new manager Jose Mourinho's second signing of the summer, following Eric Bailly to the Premier League club. Ibrahimovic had announced he was joining the Red Devils on Thursday through Instagram and United have now confirmed the move, again through social media, with a short...

Rihanna Seen Entering Drake’s Hotel Room After He Tells Manchester Crowd ‘She’s Breaking His Heart’

Rihanna has once again fueled dating rumours after she was pictured last night entering the hotel room of off and on boyfriend Drake after their performance in Manchester last night as part of her ANTI- World tour. The duo were spotted returning to the same hotel following a visit to the Chiltern Firehouse, a day after he reportedly told a Manchester crowd at Old Trafford stadium: 'Shout out to the most beautiful, talented woman I've ever seen....

Nigeria Withdraws From Basketball Championships

The FIBA Africa Zone 3 U-18 Championship for Boys and Girls scheduled to commence from July 2 to July 9 in Cotonou, Republic of Benin, will be held without Nigeria. FIBA’s Administrative Secretary, Joe Apu, said in a statement on Friday in Lagos that the Nigeria Basketball Federation (NBBF) had withdrawn from the competition. According to the statement, the competition is the qualifiers for the FIBA Africa U-18 Championships scheduled for Kigali, Rwanda in October....

U.S. Lifts Ban On Transgender Military Service

The Pentagon on Friday announced that transgender individuals can now serve openly in U.S. armed forces. U.S. defence chief Ash Carter said this at a press conference in Washington. “Effective immediately, transgender Americans may serve openly, and they can no longer be discharged or otherwise separated from the military just for being transgender. “Americans who want to serve and can meet our standards should be afforded the opportunity to compete to do so,’’ Carter said, adding that the...

Boko Haram: Suspect Arrested At Presidential Villa

A bodyguard, Corporal Hassan Aminu, who was arrested by security agents at the Presidential Villa on Wednesday evening, over suspected links with Boko Haram  is actually a serving soldier,  Nigerian Army sources confirmed to Daily Sun yesterday . But, the sources, however, said the incident happened two months ago. Daily Sun gathered that the soldier, Corporal Hassan Aminu, who is a twin, ran into troubled waters after security agents on “internal security operation” in Kogi State arrested his twin...

Court Grants Former Adamawa Governor, Fintiri, N500 Million Bail

Former Gov. Ahmadu Fintiri of Adamawa State has been granted bail by an Abuja court. Mr. Fintiri was remanded on Thursday, following his arraignment by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) on a five-count charge of money laundering. The EFCC accuses him of defrauding the Adamawa government to the tune of N970 million and 4.8 million dollars when he was the governor of the state for three months. Mr. Fintiri pleaded not guilty...

New Video: D’banj – If No Be God (Superstar)

DB Records presents the official music video for “If No Be God (Superstar)” by the Banger Lee – D’banj, visuals directed by Matt Max.   https://youtu.be/M_ZW7FCfes8

Lagos To Jail Street Hawkers From July- Ambode

The Lagos State Government on Friday said that from July 1, 2016, it would commence a total enforcement against street trading and street hawkers, saying that the law banning their activities across the metropolis would take its full course. Speaking at a live interview session on Television Continental, the State Governor, Mr. Akinwunmi Ambode said that the renewed enforcement is in line with Section One of the Lagos State Street Trading and Illegal Market Prohibition Law...

Organizer Of Ankara Suicide Attack Killed

An organiser of a deadly suicide attack in Ankara in February that left at least 28 people dead has been killed in counter-terror operations in Kurdish-majority southeast Turkey, a Turkish official said on Friday. “Mehmet Sirin Kaya, a mastermind of the February 17 suicide attack against military personnel in Ankara has been killed in counter-terrorism operations in Lice, Diyarbakir,” the official told journalists, speaking on condition of anonymity. The Kurdistan Freedom Falcons (TAK) — a...

Sheriff’s Removal: Abuja High Court Never Gave An Order

Facts have emerged that the Abuja Federal High Court presided over by Justice Valentine Ashi last Wednesday never gave an order for the removal of the National Chairman of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP), Alhaji Ali Modu Sheriff as it only nullified the 2014 PDP Constitution Amendment. Besides, the National PDP Chairman was not joined in that suit which according to a top member of the PDP, Dr. Christopher C. Ousala who spoke with journalists in...

Oil Price Drops As Nigeria’s Output Rises

Oil prices dropped more than three per cent yesterday due to return of Nigerian and Canadian crude output from outages and as traders booked profits at the end of the best quarter in seven years. According to Reuters, the market soared more than 25 per cent in the second quarter, as part of an 85 per cent rebound since hitting 12-year lows early this year, as unplanned production cuts from Canada to Nigeria eased the glut...

Buhari Meets Service Chiefs, N/Delta Group

President Muhammadu Buhari yesterday met with the service chiefs and heads of security agencies to review military operations in the Niger Delta region. He also at a meeting with a delegation of the Niger Delta Dialogue and Contact Group led by King Alfred Diette-Spiff, the Amanyanabo of Twon Brass in Bayelsa State, said he wanted as much intelligence report as possible on the crisis in the Niger Delta. The meeting with security chiefs which was...

Money Laundering: Court Remands Ex-Adamawa Gov, Fintiri, In Kuje Prison

 Federal High Court in Abuja, yesterday, ordered that former Adamawa State Governor, Mr Ahmadu Umaru (a.k.a Umaru Fintiri) be remanded in prison custody pending the determination of his bail application. Fintiri was docked  by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) on a five-count charge bordering on money laundering. Specifically, he was alleged to have defrauded the state government to the tune of N970 million and another $4, 830 dollars while he held sway as the chief executive of...

Confusion In Abia As Ikpeazu, Ogah Lay Claim To Governorship Seat

Abia State descended into confusion on Thursday following the insistence of Sampson Ogah that he should be sworn in as governor of the state to replace the incumbent, Okezie Ikpeazu, who was sacked by the Federal High Court on Monday. Mr. Ogah had left Abuja for Umuahia Thursday after he was issued a Certificate of Return by the Independent National Electoral Commission for his swearing in, expected to be performed by the Chief Judge of the...

Tribunal Upholds David Mark’s Election

The National Assembly Elections Petition Tribunal, sitting in Makurdi, yesterday dismissed the petition by the All Progressives Congress, APC, candidate in the Benue South senatorial election, Daniel Onjeh challenging the victory of Senator David Mark, on the grounds that it was filed out of time. Onjeh had challenged the victory of Senator Mark in the February 20, 2016 rerun election citing electoral malpractices and irregularities in the conduct of the poll. However, Senator Mark, through...

FG Declares Tuesday, Wednesday As Public Holiday

The Federal Government has declared July 5 and 6, 2016, as public holiday to mark the Eid-el-Fitri celebrations. The Minister of Interior, Lt. Gen. Abdulrahman Dambazau (retd.), who made the declaration on behalf of the Federal Government, on Thursday in Abuja, urged all Muslim faithful and Nigerians in general “to extend the spiritual benefits of Ramadan, which are love, peace and justice to their daily living and through these, contribute to the development of the nation.”

Apple Considering Tidal Music Purchase

Apple is exploring the purchase of rival music streaming service Tidal, which is run by rap star Jay-Z, the Wall Street Journal reported Thursday. The paper said Apple is interested in using the company to beef-up its own year-old steaming service Apple Music. Talks between the companies are ongoing and might not result in a tie-up, the Journal said, citing unnamed people familiar with the matter. Executives at Tidal have not spoken with Apple...

Nigerian Stock Market Gains 3.3% In First Six Months

The Nigerian stock market closed the first half of the year with a growth of 3.3 per cent compared with a decline of 3.2 per cent in the corresponding period of 2015. Although the market ended on a bearish noted yesterday, in all, it recorded a growth at the end of first six months of the year. The Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) All-Share Index (ASI) closed at 29,597.79 on the last day of June, up from 28,642.25...

Reuben Abati: The Stolen Pot of Soup

“I am depressed, my brother.” “You are always depressed. I am actually used to that. I can’t remember when last you were not choleric, depressed, obsessed, uptight, down-spirited, what’s that your word again, yes, anxious. You better watch it, buddie-bae-bff-bros, stop carrying the world on your back, man. There was Atlas before you. There was Sisyphus. But the world has never stopped moving on.” “I read this story” “What story?” “Pathetic story about how right...

Buhari Mourns Maduekwe, Niki Tobi, Elechi Amadi

President Muhammadu Buhari has commiserated with the families, government and people of Abia, Delta and Rivers States on the passing away of Ojo Maduekwe, a former Minister of Foreign Affairs, Justice Nikki Tobi, retired Supreme Court judge and Elechi Amadi, a literary icon. A statement signed by presidential spokesperson, Garba Shehu, said Mr. Buhari received the news of Mr. Maduekwe’s passing with “profound sadness”. “In all his years of service to Nigeria as a diplomat,...

Alleged N22b Fraud: Amosu ‘Returns N2.6b To Fed Govt’

The Federal High Court in Lagos yesterday heard that a former Chief of Air Staff, Air Marshal Adesola Amosu (rtd), charged with laundering N21billion, has returned N2.6billion to the Federal Government. His lawyer Chief Bolaji Ayorinde (SAN), while arguing Amosu’s bail application after he was arraigned before Justice Mohammed Idris, said his client had returned “collossal sums”. Amosu returned N2.6billion to the Federal Government, reporters learnt. The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) arraigned him...