Weeping can serve dual purposes. It can be a sign of solemn feelings or an instrument of deceit. Sam Mbakwe the second republic governor of Imo State was notorious for weeping over the plight of his people but at the end of the day he added to their quandary and sorrows.
When an inquiry was done into his administration, like those of his then peers, he was found to be one of the most corrupt governors of his time.
Ayade is shedding crocodile tears over the deplorable plight of his people. This is a man that appointed about a thousand personal aides all of which are being paid from government coffers apart from his numerous commissioners.
Obviously, the poor would have to pay for his ineptitude and intransigence. To be crying is “oxymoronic” or simply a contradiction in terms. Yes, carrying along huge political liabilities and hangers-on may be politically prudent to retain his seat more so in Nigeria where our politics is “prebendal” and politicians feel that they are entitled to a large portion of state revenues as a reward and prize for helping the governor win his seat.
It is no longer strange news that the global economy has fallen on turbulent and difficult times due to the Corona virus pandemic which has had a disruptive effect on the global economy. In the same manner, the economy of Nigeria has equally fallen on difficult times with the crash of crude oil prices.
The problem in Nigeria is exacerbated and accentuated by the fact that Nigeria is a monolith economy with a huge population.
A lot of attention is now being focused into the post Covid economic deflation and structuralism. However, one of the major inhibitions to our growth and development is the huge size of our government and the cost of administration.
The government is apparently appearing to be pragmatic in its policy by revisiting the Oransanye report. This report recommended the reduction of government agencies as the functions of most of them overlap and are duplicating.
In terms of size, Nigeria is almost the same size as Texas but the administration cost of Nigeria is far higher leaving little money for capital projects and infrastructure which is needed to project growth.
Consequently, it is easy to see that part of our poverty stems from our lack of foresight and the excessive creation of states by the military governments. It should be noted that the same reasons advanced by General Yakubu Gowon to increase the number of regions from four to twelve states was also the same reasons advanced by subsequent military government to create more states until we attained thirty six states.
The result is that we now have thirty six governors, deputy governors, countless commissioners etc. with the attendant drains of resources on recurrent expenditure.
Now, what we have on our hands are structurally deficient states that rely on the federal government for financial allocation to survive.
It is too late in the day to redraw our political map by merging states because it is a controversial matter. Nevertheless, the federal government can look inwards and cut her unwieldy size with the merger of her numerous agencies.
The penchant of the members of the national assembly to create agencies without factoring the cost benefits analysis are bad.
So as we commend the president for taking this audacious and bold step in reducing the cost of governance, concurrently we recommend same to our state governments.
Our politicians and political elites should look towards entrepreneurship and not government for their income.
Ayade should take a hint by reducing his over bloated executives. It is, after all not a matter to cry over.