Ozekhome Slams Tinubu’s ‘Overbloated’ Government, Faults New Ministry Creation

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Human rights lawyer, Prof. Mike Ozekhome (SAN) says rather than reduce the cost of governance, President Bola Tinubu is running an overbloated government with the creation of a new Ministry of Livestock Development.

Speaking in an interview with TheScrutinyNG on Thursday, Ozekhome says the Livestock Development Ministry should have been a department under the Ministry of Agriculture.

He said the creation of the new ministry will further put a strain on Nigeria’s lean resources as the new Minister who will be appointed to oversee the ministry will in turn, appoint aides who will be paid from government’s coffers.

Speaking further, Ozekhome says the federal government should take lessons from latest development in Kenya where the people revolted against the government of President William Ruto over the controversial Finance Bill which imposes more taxes on them.

“You can see what happened in Kenya when the people went for the jugular of William Ruto. He stopped the Finance Bill which he had introduced and the parliament has passed and said he will not sign it. The Finance Bill was asking Kenyans to pay additional $ 2.7 billion in taxes. They want to tax them up to the bread they want to eat”.

“The people revolted and said ‘no more! We are tired, we can’t go on’. They went on the streets. The president thought it was business as usual and labeled them as common criminals. As at the last count, they have ended up killing about 39 of the protesters but the people will not let go”.

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That forced the president to withdraw the Finance Bill, stopped budget to the office of the First Lady and Deputy First Lady, he cuts government cost by half, cuts Ministers’ spending by half, reduced travels and so on. So, you find that all the monies he wanted to raise by force financing, he us getting the whole money by simply cutting costs”.

“But Nigeria is rather bloating government. The Federal Government has just created a new Ministry of Livestock Development. We can also call it ministry of cows. Why must you create a special ministry for cows and sheep when we already have ministry of Agriculture and Water Resources?”.

“Why don’t you just say Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock or Animal Husbandry? Then we just create a small department that will now be in charge of that Livestock?”.

“Now, with the creation of ministry of Livestock Development, we are going to have a new Minister, various departments under the Ministry such as department of cows, sheep, chicken, turkey and so on. Of course, we will have permanent secretaries, secretaries, different workers and offices and aides”.

“So, the government becomes more bloated. Instead of just creating the new ministry, it should have become a department under the ministry of Agriculture and then you can rename it Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock Development”.

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“In a country where we are spending up to 80 to 85 percent of our budget on recurrent expenditure rather than capital projects, we can’t continue to run a bloated government when there is hunger in the land”.

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