“I think that the CBN governor is being economical with the truth. He knows those who are spending Nigeria’s money.
Civil servants, RATTAWU ask Sanusi to resign
Similarly, the National President, Association of Senior Civil Servants of Nigeria, Mr. Olakunle Olaitan flayed Sanusi proposal.
“He can talk like that because he has everything at his disposal. Okonjo-Iweala did more than this, has the economy changed? So, whose interest are they serving? I want to believe he would say he was quoted out of context; however, l think he should be guided by the situation at hand, vis-a-vis the economy he is managing”.
Meanwhile, the Radio, Television and Theatre Arts Workers Union (RATTAWU) has also condemned the call. The national president of the union, Mr Oluyemisi Bamgbose said the statement was “unfortunate and unbelievable.
“I want to believe that he made the statement on the spur of the moment; it is not a statement that should come from a man of his calibre. I don’t think that such a person should make such aprovocative statement.”
Alhaji Yerima Shetima, President, Arewa Youth Consultative Forum reacts:
“I also know that beyond the issue of the workforce like he stated, the fact of the matter is that we run a government that is so expensive.
The Presidential system of Government is so expensive that if we look at the way they are looting the national treasury, the way an average politician makes so much money, one would ordinarily know that we are going to run into this mess.
If you look at the wholething, the tax payer’s money doesn’t get to the people to feel the impact of any development on the part of government.
The money is being shared in the hands of people in government. I give you an example of an average local government chairman in Nigeria on the kind of money they make, not to talk of somebody in the national assembly.
But one would say that Sanusi misunderstood the whole thing. Rather than thinking of cutting down the workforce as regards to those who are working, I would have advised him that he push and people should talk.
Everybody should talk that this national assembly that sits down and makes the job like a permanent job should be put on temporary basis.
Let them be placed on allowance on every sitting. If we can do it that way, I think, we are gonna save a lot.
I am of the view that we have a Regional system of government in place because if you continue to run this presidential system of government, I tell you we can never get it right because most of these characters, most of them never get any mandate from any body to serve anybody’s interest.
They get to Abuja in the name of godfatherism or whatever they call it. But if we run a regional government, I can assure that the people will make sure that those who go the parliament have credibility before they represent them.
The way it is going now, we have bunch of people who are not adding any value to the nation. So, as far I am concerned, to that extent, it’s waste.
“I don’t agree with the idea of Sanusi in cutting down the workforce. No, I don’t agree with that. I give you an example.
We have a situation where Ph.D holders are looking for driving work. We have a situation where those who graduated from school ten, fifteen years back have not gotten a job. So, to that extent, I see a serious threat on our way in this country. As far as I concerned, that of Sanusi is no issue.
Rather down cutting down the workforce, let those people who are sitting down in the national assembly that wear agbada (flowing gown) doing nothing be place on temporary, on allowance so that at that level, we can be able to save some money and also pay those who are working”.
Chekwas Okorie, the National Chairman of United Progressive Party, UPP reacts:
“The method adopted by the Minister of Finance is the most humane method which is gradual reduction of the over-bloated workforce and the recurrent expenditure, and then the cost of governance.
This has resulted to an improved provision of capital budget for 2013 and by her method it will continue to improve until we attain a reasonable recurrent expenditure. Of course, the devolution of power which comes with federalism will reduce the burden at the national level.
That is another aspect. So, what the CBN governor is recommending is mass sack of workers and that is sure going to bring chaos. It will bring anarchy. It is a very bad recommendation.
And on the other aspect, it is only in Parliamentary system of government that that arrangement can hold. We have copied the presidential from America and the part-time sitting is not consonance with the presidential system.
You are supposed to be on a regular check and balance on the executive arm not to come and just legislate, then go and come back maybe another three months. They are on a regular oversight function in addition to their legislative duties.
Mr. Yinka Odumakin, a public affairs analyst and Spokesman to General Mohammed Buhari reacts:
“While it may be through that a lot of our resources go into overhead, I do not want to agree with the CBN governor that it is the civil servants who are consuming most of these funds.
We should start from the political office holders; from the Presidency. The amount of money being spent to buy jets, on foreign travels, what is being spent in the Villa, budgeting billions of naira to it by the presidency, the allowances of the Ministers , the national assembly, their constituencies allowances, there are areas of wastage that we should deal with first and not sacking civil servants.
We are in a period where unemployment is very frightening; where we are not creating jobs and we can not throw 50 percent of the workers to unemployment market at this stage. So, we start with the political office holders.
We should start cutting down their wastages. Look, in Nigeria today; if you are traveling in a plane today, in all the first and business classes, you see politicians. A lot of wastages are going on. “O yes, I have always believed in that. We don’t need full time Legislators.
They should sit on part-time basis. Let them go and work. Let us see the kind of work they will and make the kind of millions and billions they are carting away monthly. In the Second Republic, Senators had their jobs. In fact, in the proposed constitutional amendments, we should reduce the number of Senators and Reps”.
Different knocks on Sanusi’s perceived exuberances
Meanwhile, much as Sanusi would be commended for championing some worthy causes such as relieving some Managing Directors of Banks of their jobs upon the discovery of startling and gargantuan frauds, the cashless policy which thrives in Lagos State amogst other thing since he came on board as the CBN governor in 2009, there also goes a line of knocks for him.
Critics say he rabble rouses so much and dabbles into areas that fall outside his primary jurisdiction.
Again, hear Odumakin: “Well, for me really, I was one of the people who opposed Lamido Sanusi when he was proposed as the Governor given his background. He had better run in another place, may be as a politician, may be he better run as a Minister than CBN governor. CBN governor is hardly heard.
But this one goes about talking on every issue. The other time he went to Kano, dressed in his Emir-like regalia, I don’t think it is fit for a CBN governor”.
Swiftly, Okorie added: “There is no doubt that the man is very mouthy and dabbles into areas that fall outside his primary functions as the governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria. He dabbles into religious matters; he dabbles into political matters and so on and so forth.
He is behaving as if he is not under the executive arms of government, as CBN is a separate arm of government. He should really be called toorder. He has more primary responsibilities to carry out”.
Obviously, Sanusi’s call was not all in the negatives. Even though the call to reduce the workforce is rebuked, at least, on the other hand, a score of Nigerians support the idea that the membership of the national assembly should be pruned down or better still, be made to sit on part-time basis in order to accommodate other concerns.
At the moment, Nigeria is practicing the Presidential System of Government copied from the United States of America, USA in 1979 with a constitution that is both written and rigid. Prior to now, the country had experimented both regional and Parliamentary systems of Government.
Also, the Military was here and experimented theirs, accordingly. This was outside other kinds and systems of government discreetly adopted which means that at various stages, Nigeria had undergone different crucibles.
Meanwhile, to tinker with the document, there is no gainsaying of the fact that two-third majority of the members of the national legislature and the states legislatures are needed for the onerous exercise. But fortunately, the country is presently collating views on how best to run Nigeria via its laws.
To this, analysts posit that the country stands a better chance to adopt a system of government that is less expensive, a system of government that will suit the peculiarities of the people and create jobs instead of adopting Sanusi proposition.
But will some “powerful interests” tow this line? This is a question that is begging for answers.