It is disturbing that President Goodluck Jonathan is persisting with an ill-advised policy of removing so-called petroleum subsidies.
It’s time Nigerian workers, professionals, students and other groups came together to send a clear message to Mr. Jonathan. That message is that the Jonathan administration cannot – and should not – save money by deepening the already intolerable misery of the Nigerian populace. If Mr. Jonathan wishes to slash the cost of running the government, there are many other areas he should look at. He should, for one, initiate a sharp review of the huge remuneration that goes to public officials, from the president all the way to local government councilors. Nigeria is a failed nation, but the government officials who can’t seem to figure out any significant solutions to the malaise of the country are obscenely overpaid.
Mr. Jonathan should push to put an end the scandal that’s called security votes. Yes, that’s how to demonstrate seriousness about husbanding the nation’s scarce resources. It doesn’t make sense that the presidency and governors collect hundreds of millions of naira month, but never account for the ostensible “security” areas that gulp the cash.
In addition, the country’s labor unions and others should challenge the Jonathan administration to pursue seriously the fight against corruption. Officials convicted of plundering public resources should be stripped of their loot. And it should be done in a transparent way, with the recovered funds paid into an account devoted to the alleviation of crushing poverty in the country. It’s immoral to impose more burdens on long-suffering Nigerians, while government officials continue to bask in opulence.
Okey ndibe Writes