Plateau State Governor Simon Bako Lalong, has suggested that all tiers of government in Nigeria should cut down on the high cost of governance and channel their funds to critical areas of development.
The Chairman of the Northern Governors Forum stated this during the weekend while delivering the 11th annual memorial lecture in honour of Sir Ahmadu Bello where he related the high cost of governance as the cause of poor standard of living among citizens, particularly in the Northern region of the country.
The NGF chairman explained further that the high cost of governance has increased the inability of governments at all levels to meet the basic needs of the people, noting that cutting down on the cost of governance will address many challenges of Nigerians.
Lalong in a paper titled “Reducing the Cost of Governance for Inclusive Growth and Youth Development in Post COVID-19 Northern Nigeria,’ observed that factors such as corruption, insecurity, a large number of government appointees, high salaries, corruption, among others were among some of the factors that drive the high cost of governance in the country.
The Plateau governor insisted this must be addressed with immediate effect to change the trajectory of growth in Nigeria and the North in particular. According to him, the high cost of governance has worsened the standard of living in the Northern part of the country which continues to battle with the infrastructural deficit, poverty, illiteracy, diseases and insecurity.
Lalong disclosed that the NGF has carried out an examination of the economic situation in the region and is working in unison to address the high cost of governance and other obstacles to development.
Naija News understands that the Lecture chaired by former governor of Lagos State and presidential aspirant, Bola Ahmed Tinubu, was attended by prominent leaders across the country including Governor Abubakar Badaru of Jigawa State, Atiku Bagudu of Kebbi State and AbdulRahman Abdul Razak of Kwara State, the Chief of Staff to President Muhammadu Buhari, Prof. Ibrahim Gambari, former Governor of Kano, Senator Rabiu Musa Kwankwaso, Shehu of Borno, Alhaji Abubakar Garbai Ibn El-Kenemi, Kaduna State Deputy Governor, Dr Hadiza Balarabe and ACF Chairman, Chief Audu Ogbe, among others.
On his part, the Chief of Staff to the President, Prof. Ibrahim Gambari who represented President Muhammadu Buhari said the Federal Government has continued to implement various cut-cutting measures to reduce the cost of governance and free resources for development.
Gambari added that so far, the results are positive and the Federal Government will work with State Governments including those of the Northern region in adopting measures that will reduce huge spending and wastages so that funds will be available for development.
The CoS declared that Nigerians should not expect President Buhari to solve all of Nigeria’s problems alone.