Former Media aide to President Goodluck Jonathan, Dr. Doyin Okupe, has pointedly told President Muhammadu Buhari to stop giving financial bailouts to state Governors because they failed to plan for the raining day.
Okupe said in a statement in Abuja on Monday that the Governors forced Jonathan to share the proceeds from the Excess Crude Account, which would have acted as a pool to draw from in times of need.
He noted that the Governors have lost that moral justification to ask for bailouts from President Buhari.
Okupe said in the statement: “In recent times, state governors in Nigeria have unanimously approached President Muhammadu Buhari for financial assistance for them to meet up with their obligations especially in the payment of workers’ salaries. They came severally with caps in hand and have received assistance sought on about two occasions.
“It will be recalled that it was state governors that forced the hand of former President Goodluck Jonathan to share and more or less deplete the savings in the Excess Crude Account.
“It is becoming clearer and more certain daily that unless a miracle happens many states will be unable to meet up with their financial obligations and may actually face imminent bankruptcy if the economic situation in the country worsens.
“What is different in our situation, especially as it concerns the state governments is that the federal government appears to be dealing with the situation from the point of compassion.
“Economic situations are better approached from point of strategic policy options and fiscal management techniques rather than a ‘father Xmas’ disposition,” he added.
He observed that virtually all state governments in the country have over bloated civil service, pointing out that at some point between 2008 and 2009, Ogun state received N2 billion monthly from the federation account and paid out N1.8 billion as staff salaries, wages and overhead costs.
Okupe put the total staff strength in the Ogun State civil service at 50,000, with a population of about five million people.
“An obvious socio economic absurdity and incongruity therefore existed where 10 per cent of the population was consuming 90 per cent of the wealth of the state.
“We do not need a soothsayer or an economic guru to foretell that this is unsustainable. In many states, the percentage of the resources of the state that is consumed by the civil service ranges between 70 per cent to 80 per cent by not more than 10 per cent of its population.
“A basic economic dictum says if expenditure cannot be controlled, then internal demands must be curtailed. Without doubt therefore, all state governments must immediately start the process of downsizing their workforce with reasonable cushions for those who will be affected,” he stated.