Former Executive Secretary, National Universities Commission (NUC), Professor Peter Okebukola has urged the Federal Government to implement the Stephen Oronsaye report as doing so could save the country N860 billion in two years. He specifically suggested that the president-elect Muhammadu Buhari reduce public spending by 45 percent.
Speaking during the 2013/2014 University of Lagos (UNILAG) Convocation Lecture, held Monday, at the UNILAG Main Auditorium, Okebukola decried bloated government’s recurrent expenditure.
“Data from the Bureau of Public Procurement, BPP, put costs of inflated contracts at about N569 billion at the Federal Level, N350 billion at the state and local governments level in seven years,” said Okebukola while delivering a lecture on ‘Taking Advantage of a Depressing Nigerian Economy to Accelerate Socio-Economic Development’
Instead of focusing on key issues for national benefit, he noted that governments are busy with foreign conferences and jamborees which cost the country N98 billion annually.
A report by the Oronsaye Committee set up by the federal government in 2012, to look into the measures for streamlining the operations of its various organs for efficient service delivery, suggested that the Federal Government should reduce the size of government to a manageable level, considering that over 70 per cent of government resources are currently channelled into running a government that is unduly large and cumbersome to manage, leaving the remaining, less than 30 percent, for issues such as debt servicing and execution of capital projects.
According to the report, reducing the size of government has become imperative given that a large government has inevitably led to stunted development and a very high level of poverty in the country.