Chairman of the Northern Governors Forum and Governor of Plateau State, Simon Bako Lalong, has said that high cost of governance was responsible for the poor standard of living among Nigerians and particularly, Northerners.
He observed that the high cost of governance has increased the inability of governments at all levels to meet the basic needs of the people.
Making his position known in Kaduna on Saturday while delivering the 11th annual memorial lecture in honour of Sir Ahmadu Bello, Lalong noted that all tiers of government in Nigeria must as a matter of urgency cut down on the high cost of governance and redirect their funds to critical areas of development that will address the challenges of Nigerians.
Governor Lalong in a paper entitled “Reducing the Cost of Governance for Inclusive Growth and Youth Development in Post COVID-19 Northern Nigeria,’ believes that the high cost of governance has further increased the inability of governments at all levels to meet the basic needs of the people.
He observed that factors such as corruption, insecurity, large number of government appointees, high salaries, corruption, among others were among some of the factors that drive the high cost of governance in the country.
He said that this must be addressed immediately to change the trajectory of growth in Nigeria and the North in particular.
Lalong noted that the high cost of governance has worsened the standard of living in the Northern part of the country which continues to battle with infrastructural deficit, poverty, illiteracy, diseases and insecurity.
He explained that the Northern Governors Forum has seriously examined the economic situation in the region and is working in unison to address the high cost of governance and other obstacles to development.
The Chief of Staff to the President, Prof. Ibrahim Gambari who represented President Muhammadu Buhari said the Federal Government has continued to implement various cut-cutting measures to reduce the cost of governance and free resources for development.
He said so far, the results are positive and the Federal Government will work with State Governments including those of the Northern region in adopting measures that will reduce huge spending and wastages so that funds will be available for development.
The Lecture chaired by Bola Ahmed Tinubu, was attended by many dignitaries from across the country including: Governor Abubakar Badaru of Jigawa State, Atiku Bagudu of Kebbi State and AbdulRahman AbdulRazak of Kwara State, the Chief of Staff to President Muhammadu Buhari, Prof. Ibrahim Gambari, former Governor of Kano, Senator Rabiu Musa Kwankwaso, Shehu of Borno, Alhaji Abubakar Garbai Ibn El-Kenemi, Kaduna State Deputy Governor, Dr. Hadiza Balarabe and ACF Chairman, Chief Audu Ogbe, among others.