National Leader of the All Progressives Congress, and former Governor of Lagos State, Bola Tinubu on Saturday suggested that reducing the cost of governance is not a one-way street.
The former Lagos State Governor made the remark while speaking at the 11th Arewa House Annual Lecture in Kaduna state.
“Cost of governance is always a key factor in the socio-economic development of any nation,” Tinubu said.
“But it is also one side of that very important coin. We must not look at the cost alone, we must weigh the cost against the benefits derived therefrom.
“For example, one can pay a high cost on a productive enterprise but reap a higher benefit; such would be considered a good investment.
“However, one can pay a low cost but reap no benefit at all in the endeavour. We inherently say it is unproductive.
“Thus we must be careful in what we say and truly mean when we talk of cost of governance.”
Plateau State Governor and Chairman of the Northern Governors Forum, Simon Lalong criticised the cost of governance in Nigeria, blaming the propensity of elected officials to employ an excess of aides.
“This high expenditure is attributed to the large number of cabinets maintained by these tiers of government, either to pacify political, religious and other interests, with their attendant high salaries, allowances, estacodes and the like,” Lalong said.
“Currently, at the national level, there are 28 ministries, 44 ministers and about 215 government department and agencies.
“In 2011, the presidential advisory committee led by General T.Y. Danjuma expressed concerns over the high cost of governance and advised that ‘government should begin the process of merging and reducing the federal ministries and other government agencies to help cut down on government’s unnecessary spending.’”
Meanwhile, Tinubu also shared his thoughts on how Nigeria can solve its unemployment problem.
“The development of any populous nation has always been dependent on the ability of government to allocate sufficient fund to projects and programs that create and encourage enduring growth and employment,” he said.
“We must reject that mode of thinking that assumes government expenditure is inherently unproductive as well as harmful to the overall economy.”