Need to cut down cost of governance

Posted by Timige, On 19 Aug, 2023 | Updated On 19 Aug, 2023 No Comments »


As governments in Nigeria take shape, it is reward season for those whose loyalty was tested and confirmed in the furnace of Nigeria’s treacherous electoral system between February and March.

With those who passed this test eager to retain the services of those who helped them pass preparatory to future elections, there has been so much lobbying for political appointments. The lobbying never really ends.

There have been conflicts and there would be conflicts as cabinets around the country take shape to set in motion the business of little governance and no little jamboree.

Unfortunately for Nigerians, a lot of what passes for governance in the country is in reality rehearsals for abuse of office, impunity, and staggering corruption.

Nigeria’s extremely complicated and convoluted experiment with governance, the extortionate cost of stringing together cabinets that end up doing very little has always come into sharp focus. Now that cabinets are being constituted around the country, the focus is at its sharpest point yet.

When Rabiu Musa Kwankwaso floated the New Nigeria’s People’s Party (NNPP) sometime last year, two things immediately became certain; that the NNPP would not produce the country’s president; and that it would produce the governor of Kano State. The later prediction came to pass when Abba Yusuf Kabir emerged winner of the March 18 election in the state.

If he demolished the candidates of other parties in the polls, it was nothing compared to the demolition job with which he announced his assumption of power and laid down a marker in the state.

As one structure after another approved by the previous administration crumbled under the pressure of heavy-duty vehicles, losses were put at over a hundred billion Naira.

Former Governor Abdullahi Ganduje may have been the target of the demolitions, but it is the good people of the state that have suffered the fate of the grass as two elephants collided.

However, beyond the indiscriminate and costly demolitions, the people of Kano State have always yearned for good governance and there is nothing in Governor Kabir’s first days that indicates he can provide it.

It appears he is trying very hard to do so, but at what cost? The question of cost has become far more important because his decision to appoint dozens of aides, advisers and assistants hints more at job creation in the wrong place rather than service to the people.

Until date, the governor has appointed about 92 persons to serve as his aides, special advisers and assistants. This is besides his 19 commissioners.

While Kano is a large state which requires a proper team to manage, at what point does political appointments jettison the territory of competence and beer into that of convenience and even connivance?

Kabir is apparently under pressure to reward many of those who contributed to his victory during the elections with political appointments. But unless supreme caution is exercised, he risks reducing governance in his state to one elaborate jamboree.

The demolition job he carried shortly after assuming office smacked more of vendetta and vitriol than discretion. The earliest signs are that he lacks the critical thinking and discretion to give the good people of Kano State the quality leadership they deserve.

He may argue that the previous government favoured impunity as an unofficial policy of government but who is to say that impunity would be eschewed under Kabir who is showing a predilection for impunity and worse still, cronyism.

For all the expensive and expansive teams they always assemble, Nigerian public office holders hardly ever justify the trust reposed in them by the people.

Situations where even lowly public office holders can pick numberless aides who are paid from meagre public resources is as unacceptable as it is chaotic.

While he must do his best to ensure that he justifies the trust reposed in him by the good people of Kano State, Kabir must ensure that he leaves the people more than the dust his demolition job raised.

Leaving his footprints in the sand of time will be far more important than the dust that will be raised when his numberless assistants begin to stomp public buildings in the state.

Kene Obiezu wrote from Abuja

Source: State Lagos - Daily Trust

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