Part-Time Legislature Will Cut Cost Of Governance- Olanipekun

Part-Time Legislature Will Cut Cost Of Governance- Olanipekun

An eminent Lawyer and Senior Advocate of Nigeria, Chief Wole Olanipekun (SAN), has canvassed for part-time legislature for Nigeria, saying the country’s National Assembly seems to be the costliest globally.
Olanipekun who also called for true fiscal federalism for the country, described President Muhammadu Buhari’s anti-graft war as gradually becoming a tool to persecute political foes, saying no tremendous achievements have been made in the area owing to lopsidedness in the fight.
Branding the present unitary system, where powers are concentrated at the centre as an aberration, he said  part-time legislature will help in cutting wastage and  bail the country out of economic recession, considering the money being paid the federal legislators.
He said this in Ekiti State University, Ado Ekiti, while delivering a lecture entitled: ‘Breaking the Jinx, the Cyclical Nature of Nigeria’s problems’ , to mark the 22nd convocation ceremonies of the University.
The Lawyer scoffed at  the federal government for making a core politician like former Senate President, Senator Ken Nnamani to head the Electoral Reform Committee, describing this as mere duplicity of policies since President Umaru Musa Yar’Adua had earlier set up Justice Mohammed Uwais Committee to fashion out robust electoral reform for Nigeria in 2007.
The legal Icon said: “President Buhari ran for office on the representation that he was incorruptible and that he would yield no ground in tackling corruption headlong. However, not much has been achieved as we approach the middle of the president’s term in office.
“We seem to be fixated on the naming and shaming of people who have already been identified by successive governments for one reason or the other, whether genuinely or otherwise, rather than confronting
headlong and holistically , the toxicity of corruption in the nation.
“We have held people without charge, whilst others with similar allegations of corruption hanging on their necks , continue to walk free and even occupying sensitive positions in government”, he pointed out.
Olanipekun said the country’s skewed federalism was caused by long years of military reign in the country, saying this has further reversed the nation’s progress in all spheres.
He said the country was doing well, particularly during the defunct Southwest region under the late Chief Obafemi Awolowo as the Premier , because resources available for the zone were being harnessed to develop the region, rather than government taking absolute control.
The senior lawyer said virtually every Nigerian citizens are plunging into politics, because of huge salaries being paid elected and appointed officials.
“I see no reason why legislators must take up the mandate to serve on a full time basis. As at today, a Senator in the United States Congress collects annual salary of $174,000, while a professor at the university of Texas takes an average of $232,000 dollars annually.
“But In Nigeria, a report published in 2009 by ASUU revealed that a professor in Nigerian university gets a sum of N3 million annually. while a senator takes an average of N36 million. This is why there iselection rigging, thuggery and other vices in the system”.
Olanipekun said for  the country to surmount all these endemic crises in the system that there must be well entrenched value reorientation and reawakening of national consciousness of the citizens, in addition to fiscal federalism, he said was long overdue.


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