Soludo: Governors discussed trimming long convoys — we must knock off waste



Charles Soludo, governor of Anambra state, says members of the nation’s political class have been looking at themselves in the mirror, in the wake of the removal of subsidy on petrol.


Soludo said it has become insensitive for state governors to be riding around town in convoys of “20-something cars” for instance.


The governor discussed this with state house correspondents, after the five-hour National Economic Council (NEC) meeting at the presidential villa in Abuja on Thursday.


“I think it’s an omnibus concept, and it’s not something you sit down in a meeting to legislate for each and every state,” he said.


“But the fact that the council recognises that this is an issue that each tier of government should now focus on as an area of concern.


“That we mustn’t live…even the cost of running the state, the way we even live, someone gave an example of a state governor going with 20-something vehicles in a convoy and all these have to be fuelled, and so on and so forth.”


Soludo added that governors and members of council spoke to themselves about how everyone needs to adhere to the austerity measures of the times and partake in the sacrifices being asked of the people.


 “And the fact that even amongst ourselves, almost like in a peer review kind of setting, we are talking to ourselves,” he said.


“Hey gentlemen, we would need to be sensitive to the times, we need to live within the average of the people that we’re governing and so on and so forth and knock off the waste and the irrelevancies so to speak.


“I mean, I would like to give you a simple example. We are not going to legislate for everybody, everybody is to go and look into his mind.


“When I assumed office, for example, it was costing about  N137 million every month to clean up public offices, and so on.


 “Today, in Anambra we’re doing N11 million a month from N137 million on a monthly basis, this is just an illustration.


“It’s a thing that we’re persuading each and every one of us to look into, that we should check our books and look ourselves in the mirror and move with the times. 


“So it is not that the council sat and began to prescribe, you have 12 number of advisors or five…we didn’t get to that but each person will do that.”


He added that the council discussed the possibility of negotiating a new minimum wage, amid spiralling inflation and high cost of living.


He said allocation to be shared among federating units for July will be around N900 billion and not N2 trillion, in order to moderate the impact on the system.


Vice-President Kashim Shettima, by the provisions of Nigeria’s constitution, chairs the NEC.


The NEC meeting, which is held monthly, deliberates on the coordination of the economy and discusses the programmes of the various levers of government.


The council is made up of the 36 state governors, the governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), the minister of finance, secretary to the government of the federation and other government officials and agencies whose tasks revolve around the economy.

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