This is an opinion piece by Salisu Abdulai.
With the ongoing nationwide EndSARS protests, which have gradually metamorphosed into much more bigger demands by the Nigerian youths from the President Muhammadu Buhari Federal Government, I have been thinking of great and practicable solutions to the incessant problems we have all suffered for 60 years now, especially in the democratic era, which began in 1999.
One of the biggest problems in Nigeria in my opinion, is mismanagement of financial resources. This mismanagement of funds by the government and its Officials, is why I believe Nigeria is still underdeveloped, and has a very high number of poor people.
Nigeria is not called the ‘Giant of Africa’ for no just reason; Nigeria is a rich country, blessed with oil and many natural resources, including agricultural resources.
Nigeria has and makes a lot of money, and in my opinion, should have no business borrowing money from other countries and international bodies for any reason whatsoever.
However, where does all the money go???
The above question is why I believe the youths are out there protesting, because this is the root of most of the problems bedeviling the nation, which the youths and less privileged have now become victims of.
We have all seen the 2021 Budget, and prior yearly Budgets with the government’s ridiculous and outrageous expenditures, mostly for personal benefits of a few government Officials, who are supposed to be in Office to serve the people, and not for the juicy gains which these Offices now seem to offer.
Without going into details on specifics, my solution to the mismanagement of Nigeria’s resources by these government Officials, starting from the President, the Vice President, Senate President, House of Representatives Speaker, Federal Lawmakers, Heads of Ministries, Departments, and Agencies, Governors, Deputy Governors, State Lawmakers, and down to the Local Government Area Chairmen, is simple; just like we have a ‘Minimum Wage’, I am suggesting that we introduce a ‘Maximum Wage’.
Exactly how the Federal Government recently fixed the Minimum Wage for government workers at N30,000 monthly, which I believe is ridiculous and saddening, we need to set a Maximum Wage as well, to an amount that we all as citizens agree to. For example, we can make it law that the Maximum Wage for government Officials is N10,000,000 monthly, and this must include all the ridiculous allowances that these top government Officials are paid, for reasons best known to them.
Yes, I believe that having a Maximum Wage for government Officials in Nigeria, will save us a lot of money, which must now be channeled to the development of the country (one of the best Law Enforcement Agencies in the world, very quality roads nationwide, world standard affordable or free healthcare, the best education at all levels at very cheap fees or even free, IT development, research, easily accessed funds for entrepreneurs, funds for unemployed and disabled Nigerians, other important projects that would make Nigeria indeed the Giant of Africa in reality).
We must reduce the cost of governance, if we must save and develop Nigeria. We have no business borrowing money to fund a national Budget that takes care of the personal needs of already rich and wealthy Politicians in top government positions.
Nigeria is a developing country, and we have no business wasting money paying government Officials outrageous monthly allowances.
We also must make these top government positions less financially attractive, so that only serious and passionate individuals who are willing and ready to work, can seek to occupy them. This way, we would have Leaders that know that there is little or no outrageous financial gains in the Offices they seek, but personally are willing to work and bring about great development in their contribution to the growth of the country.
Furthermore, we need to make a law that says that every top government Official that comes into Office for a particular term, would receive one or two Official cars only, for the whole of that tenure. We cannot be buying vehicles every year for top government Officials, when the minimum wage of the nation is N30,000, and Entrepreneurs have no have access to funds to build their fantastic ideas, which can create employment and reduce unemployment in the country.
Ministries, Departments, and Agencies, cannot also submit copy and paste Budget proposals to the National Assembly year in year out, with the same items and office equipment, which they never buy anyway. For example, it is not foreseeable that an office buys new laptops for their workers every single year, or changes furniture every single year, which they never do anyway, but see it as an avenue of looting funds.
If the government says that they are ready to change, these are some of the few things that I believe if are properly executed, will cause a great change, by saving us a whole lot of funds, which we can now use to develop this great nation of ours.
Also, any top government Official that opposes to this Maximum Wage proposal, is not in Office to work, and should immediately tender his or her resignation letter, so that more serious and focus-driven people can take over and deliver growth and development to Nigeria.