Sen. Ibrahim Shekarau of Kano Central has counseled President Bola Ahmed Tinubu to cut the number of federal parliamentarians in an effort to lower the expense of governance.
On Politics Today on Channels Television on Wednesday night, Shekarau revealed this and bemoaned the fact that Nigeria did not require both the Senate and the House of Representatives under his rule.
“Left to me, we don’t need the two chambers, the two houses,” he said.
“It costs the nation money. I agree that a democracy requires as much participation as possible, but the way things are going right now, there are almost 500 parliamentarians around the country; I don’t think we actually need this many right now.
Be aware that there are 109 senators and 360 members of the House of Representatives in the National Assembly.
The former governor of Kano State added that by having fewer parastatals, the central government will have less work to do in terms of overseeing them.
When there isn’t much to do at the center, “you’ll discover that the legislative arm will also have to be [downsized] because you don’t need all of this sea of hundreds of people really to do oversight assignments,” he added.
“I’ve been a supporter of the devolution of powers. The Federal Government should truly reduce its own expenses by shifting many of these duties to the states and local governments later on.
He claims that the Federal Government is creating “so many” agencies and parastatals and spending “so much” money at the center.
“Unfortunately, we have not had courageous leadership. During Jonathan’s tenure, there was the Oronsaye report, which has not yet been put into practice.
“Neither [former President Muhammadu] Buhari nor [former President Goodluck] Jonathan implemented it.
“The moment you create a parastatal, you’re already talking about board members, chief executive, directors, and departments, and the overhead cost of running all these agencies adds quite a lot to the expenses of running the government,” he bemoaned.