Buhari Can’t Achieve Anything Without Restructuring –Bakare

The presiding pastor of Latter Rain Assembly, Tunde Bakare, has urged President Muhammadu Buhari to urgently set in motion the process of facilitating the emergence of viable federating units. He stated that without restructuring, his administration may achieve little or no significant success.

Speaking yesterday at his annual state-of-the nation address in Lagos, Bakare said the president should empower the various geo-political zones to develop at their respective paces, such that they can contribute meaningfully and diversely to the common goal of building a great and prosperous nation. “We need to change our governance structure. The present system is severely wasteful. Left as is, it will continue to generate as well as perpetuate a syndicate of scams and profligacy at all levels of government.

“Indeed, the summary of our assessment of the entire framework of governance and public policy is that, without restructuring, this administration may achieve little or no significant and sustainable success,” he said. Bakare, who was Buhari’s running mate in the 2011 presidential election, also called for the probe of the Central Bank Governor, Mr. Godwin Emefiele, over his ‘role’ in the arms procurement scandal. “To the discerning, the CBN currently contributes negatively to the Nigerian state in more ways than one.

Firstly, the CBN has become a conduit for politicians to drain the nation. “Otherwise, how can a letter of barely two paragraphs addressed to the current CBN Governor, Mr. Godwin Emefiele, by the then National Security Adviser (NSA), Col. Sambo Dasuki (rtd.), become the Authority to Incur Expenditure (AIE) leading to cash flow of $47 million and several millions of euros? In decent climes, the CBN governor cannot continue in office while the NSA is accounting for his alleged misdeeds,” the cleric stated.

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While noting that the country is in its best period to diversify the economy, Bakare, however, stated that diversification could only succeed when accompanied with devolution of powers in a restructured federal system. Calling on the president not to ignore the report of the 2014 National Conference, Bakare stated that:

“The All Progressives Congress (APC) may have refused to participate in the 2014 National Conference, but the report of that conference is completely in tandem with the promise of the APC manifesto. The APC manifesto and the report of the 2014 National Conference are a tag team in waiting, not a thesis and antithesis. “Just as this government adopted the Integrated Personnel and Payroll Information System (IPPIS), the Government Integrated Financial Management Information System (GIFMIS) and the Treasury Single Account (TSA), which were conceived by the Goodluck Jonathan administration, the Buhari-led government should embrace the report of the 2014 National Conference.”

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Urging for reduction in cost of governance, he observed that, “the government’s resizing process has been hampered by structural anomalies and constitutional constraints. For instance, of what use is a bloated legislature that could potentially gulp 25 per cent of the entire national recurrent budget? Of what use is a profligate governmental structure characterised by municipal or treasure draining federating unit? Of what use is a constitutional provision for 36 ministers, even when we have no need for so many?”

On subsidy, Bakare said the scheme should not be removed, but should be replaced, adding: “Whereas the buzzword in the subsidy debate is subsidy removal, we are advocating subsidy replacement. Subsidy replacement would entail the adoption of targeted palliatives that would ensure that the benefits of intervention get to the so-called average Nigerian.”

Bakare equally warned state governments not to provoke the rage of poorly paid civil servants by reducing the minimum wage, stressing that “what they should do is devise a reasonable policy direction that will lead to a reduction in the salaries of politicians and political appointees, reduce security votes, significantly trim the size and cost of governance.”