Nigeria’ll soon get broke – Ozekhome
*Calls for scrapping of House of Reps
By JIMITOTA ONOYUME
ABUJA—A Senior Advocate of Nigeria, Chief Mike Ozekhome, has predicted that the country may soon get broke and witness crisis going by the way a huge percentage of the national budget was spent on the National Assembly.
Chief Ozekhome, in an interview during the two-day summit on national security jointly organised by Vanguard Newspapers and the Nigeria Police Force in Abuja, noted that less than one per cent of the populace go home with the larger part of the entire wealth meant for the over 160 million Nigerians.
He said that the country does not need a bicameral legislature as it had become too expensive to the detriment of the masses, adding that there was no need to have the House of Representatives.
“Less than one percent of the populace is eating the entire wealth meant for over 156. 5 million people and that is why Nigeria is not developing. When you use 85 percent of your national budget on recurrent expenditure rather than on capital project, and most of the money is channelled to massage the egos of people in power? “What is the business of a minister moving around in a convey of12 to 15 cars? In America, they are called Secretaries, and they drive themselves.
“Here in Nigeria, when a Senator is moving, he goes with siren and no fewer than 15 vehicles. That is why I continue to recommend that Nigeria is saddled with bicameral legislature that is not necessary. We need a unicameral legislature.
“In National Assembly, we don’t have business with the House of Representatives of 360 members. We have 109 senators, what are they doing? I believe that two to three representatives from a state should be adopted because a lot of the national budget goes down the drain in maintaining the National Assembly with each legislature taking home nothing less than N10 to N15 million every month.
“Multiply that by 109 and 360, that is about 469. So you find out that we are always spending more than our budget and that is why we are getting to a stage, where we may be broke, the synopsis and the prognosis are that Nigeria may be broke and when Nigeria is broke, there will be trouble because it will affect not only Nigeria but the entire West African and African regions.”