Chairman of Northern Governors Forum and Governor of Plateau State, Simon Bako Lalong says all tiers of Government in Nigeria must as a matter of urgency cut down on the high cost of Governance in order to fund critical areas of development that will address challenges of Nigerians.
Lalong said this while delivering the 11th Annual Memorial Lecture in honour of late Sir Ahmadu Bello at the Arewa House, Kaduna.
Lalong, whose lecture was entitled “Reducing the Cost of Governance for Inclusive Growth and Youth Development in Post COVID-19 Northern Nigeria”, said the high cost of governance has further increased the inability of the governments at all levels to meet the basic needs of the people.
He said factors such as corruption, insecurity, large number of government appointees, high salaries, corruption, among others are among some of the factors that drive the high cost of governance in the country.
He insisted that this must be addressed immediately to change the trajectory of growth in Nigeria and the North in particular.
Lalong said the high cost of governance has worsened the standard of living in the Northern part of the country which continues to battle with infrastructure deficit, poverty, illiteracy, culture of patronage laziness, diseases and insecurity.
He said 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.
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 measure that will reduce huge spending and wastages so that funds will be available for development.
Chairman of the occassion, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, said the discourse is timely as the nation needs to prioritise its spending and get more resources towards addressing the problems of the common man.
The lecture was attended by many dignitaries from across the country as well as Governors from the northern region.
Awards were bestowed on six former Governors of the Northern region who served meritoriouly and founded the Arewa House. Among them is former Governor of Benue Plateau State, late Joseph Gomwalk.