A former member of the House of Representatives, Honourable Femi Kehinde, on Sunday, said ways to reduce the cost of governance rather than the sale of some national assets remained the veritable solution to the current economic challenges facing the country.
He spoke against the backdrop of the raging debate over moves by the Federal authorities to sell some national assets towards raising funds to finance the current national budget, which has suffered serious setback owing to declining external revenue and economic recession.
Kehinde advocated a three-pronged remedy to tackle the economic crisis, among which is setting in motion necessary measures to return the country to parliamentary system of government; part-time legislature; drastic cut in the pecks of office of elected public officials.
He particularly frowned at what he described as the innumerable number of aides and humongous security votes of state governors.
“A part-time legislature and a return to parliamentary democracy are necessary imperatives to take us out of recession. Governance in Nigeria today has become a very viable business enterprise. How do you explain a convoy of vehicles, innumerable number of aides and security votes,” he stated..
The legal practitioner opposed any plan to sell the national assets as similar patrimony disposed of in the past amounted to a rip off of the nation.
He said: “I don’t believe the sale of our national assets is the only way out of the woods of recession, which is a self- inflicted agony. What has become of our previous national assets that had gone down through sale/privatisation in the past? The list includes: NAFCOM, NITEL, Oku Iboku, Iwopin, and Jebba mills; , Ajaokuta Steel Plant, Itakpe Iron ore plant, Nigerian Airways and electricity companies, among several others. I also remember the Nigerian National Shipping Line. (NNSL).
“The only panacea to our challenges is a sincere and committed leadership. The sage, Chief Obafemi Awolowo, as Minister of Finance, did not borrow a dime to prosecute the Biafran war between 1967 and 1970. We need a strong and focused economic team, regardless of political leanings or affiliations.”