Afenifere Renewal Group (ARG) has canvassed for a very lean government at all level so as to maximise the nation’s resources. A statement issued by Publicity Secretary of the group, Mr. Kunle Famoriyo noted that government is over bloated and called for drastic reduction in the cost of governance.
“Our country is over-governed! In 2013 budget, the presidency alone has an allocation of N35.7bn while Office of Secretary to Government of the Federation got N70.4bn. We have more than 30 federal ministers, 469 federal legislators, 36 state governors, 774 local government chairmen and thousands of state legislators and councillors. All these political office holders have retinue of special assistants, advisers, and consultants. The present cost of governance is unsustainable and in fact, anti-democratic.
“We must be moving towards lean governments, which are why we believe local governments should not be a federating tier of government. We also believe that many of our 36 states are weak and unviable. Therefore political reform is needed to allow for willing federating states to merge in a way that will allow for fiscal federalism. The leaner the government, the more transparent it becomes, and the less we would have to fund anti-corruption initiatives”, the group said.
While welcoming the APC, the group said the emergence of a mega party on the Nigeria’s political turf is not just enough to end the tide of woes buffeting the nation’s drifting ship, adding that it was convinced by the public unveiling of APC’s manifesto as a party that will entrench a purposeful administration if given the chance by Nigerian electorates.
“In all its grandstanding for the past 14 years, never has the PDP being able to dare to promise half of what APC boldly declared as its electoral promises. It is ridiculous how PDP-led administrations over the years have made us believe that good governance needs, weigh more than rocket science. After 14 years, power generation fluctuates and has never exceeded 4,000MW. But APC has dared to promise Nigerians 40,000MW in eight years.
“Our conviction is that an APC-led administration will change Nigeria for the better is not based on the manifesto alone but largely on the fact that many of the party’s leaders have demonstrated an inextricable connection between them and their words. We know that if they say it; they will do it.
“Without any equivocation ARG endorses all of APC’s manifestoes except one. The one area we admonish the party on is its stance on federalism. We are happy the party will decentralise police and will “initiate action to amend our constitution with a view to devolving powers, duties and responsibilities to states and local governments in order to entrench Federalism and the Federal Spirit.
According to him, ARG believes that what this nation needs is a fundamental political reform that will overhaul the present bloated governance structure. And we believe such fundamental reform can only come about through an instrument of a Sovereign National Conference.
ARG therefore insist that APC is not only to ensure its programmes rescue the nation from the brink as it promised, but it should go a step further by saving the country completely from present and future trouble by incorporating comprehensive principles of federalism in its cardinal policies.