Plateau State governor Simon Bako Lalong, has suggested that all tiers of government in Nigeria should cut down on the high cost of governance and channel their funds to critical areas of development.
The Chairman of the Northern Governors Forum stated this during the weekend, while delivering the 11th annual memorial lecture in honour of Sir Ahmadu Bello, where he related the high cost of governance as the cause of poor standard of living among citizens, particularly in the northern region of the country.
The NGF chairman explained further that the high cost of governance has increased the inability of governments at all levels to meet the basic needs of the people, noting that cutting down on the cost of governance will address many challenges of Nigerians.
Lalong, in a paper titled “Reducing the Cost of Governance for Inclusive Growth and Youth Development in Post Covid-19 Northern Nigeria,’ observed that factors such as corruption, insecurity, a 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.
The governor insisted this must be addressed with immediate effect to change the trajectory of growth in Nigeria and the North in particular. According to him, the high cost of governance has worsened the standard of living in the northern part of the country which continues to battle with the infrastructural deficit, poverty, illiteracy, diseases and insecurity.
Lalong disclosed that the NGF has carried out an examination of the economic situation in the region and is working in unison to address the high cost of governance and other obstacles to development.
The Lecture chaired by former governor of Lagos State and presidential aspirant, Bola Ahmed Tinubu, was attended by prominent leaders across the country including Gov. Abubakar Badaru, of Jigawa State, Atiku Bagudu, of Kebbi State and AbdulRahman AbdulRazak, of Kwara State.
Others include the Chief of Staff to President Buhari, Prof. Ibrahim Gambari; former Gov. of Kano, Sen. Rabiu Musa Kwankwaso; Shehu of Borno, Alh. Abubakar Garbai Ibn El-Kanemi; Kaduna State Deputy Gov., Dr. Hadiza Balarabe and ACF Chairman, Chief Audu Ogbe, among others.