The Emir of Kano, Mallam Sanusi Lamido, yesterday, lent his voice to the growing calls for restructuring of the country, saying Nigeria should be restructured to reduce cost of governance.
Speaking in Lagos, in a keynote address, entitled: “Prosperity and Peace’’ at the centenary event of Union Bank, tagged: “The next 100: A call to action (2017-2117)”, Sanusi said: “We have a constitution that says we must have a governor and a deputy governor and a state government assembly in every state. We have president and vice president. We have 109 senators, over 300 members of the House of Representatives. We have over 774 local government chairmen, and in each local government we have 10 councillors and a speaker. Yet you are surprised that we spend 80 to 90 percent of our budget on public servants.
“How do you reduce cost of governance without discussing restructuring? Do we need 40, 30 legislators in every state? Do we need huge number of legislators in Abuja? Must we have them request for more?
“We don’t have education, we don’t have public health. We see the numbers, infant mortality, maternal death and child death; yet, the state and the local governments, which are supposed to provide education and health care do not care about the life of a commoner. It is not all about GDP, inflation, government revenue; it is all about bringing development to the grassroots.
“In the Central Bank, we used to look at GDP growth, rate of inflation, the reserve of the federation, and I mention prosperity in prospect. Until we begin to think of economics not in terms of GDP, inflation rate but in terms of human needs, we will not be able to have peace.”
Speaking at the event, Chief Executive Officer, Union Bank, Mr. Emeka Omuwa, said it was through the application of good funding that development in the country would experience development.
He said: “Today is about establishing our vision for the next 100 years and our vision is to be Nigerians most reliable and trusted banking partners. How can we lift more Nigerians out of poverty? How do we get women involved in formal and informal work? It is through funding.
“Empowering women, educating children are a lot of things to do that calls for action. When you apply funding well you are able to build infrastructure for development, which enables us to drive economic growth.”