Monday, May 30, 2011

Soludo calls for 15 Ministers

Former Central Bank Governor, Prof. Chukwuma Soludo, has called for the trimming of ministers from 45 to 15, for the achievement of the country’s transformational agenda.

Nigeria's Constitution calls for each state to have a Minister in the Federal Cabinet.

Solution made the call in Minna yesterday, at an inauguration lecture in honour of Babangida Aliyu, the Niger state governor. 

In a paper titled, "Toward Economic Transformation and Viability of Nigerian states", Soludo stressed the need for an overhaul of the federal structure.

"The Federal Government currently carries dozens of parastatal agencies, whose functions overlap and with questions as to their contributions to the nation's pie.

"Quite frankly, we should review the items on the concurrent and exclusive lists in the constitution to ensure an operational, efficient and effective federal government," he said.

"It might be difficult to justify more than 10 to 15 ministers at the federal level," he said.

Soludo also called for the devolution of powers to the states in order to exploit mineral resources that abound in those areas with the aim of paying taxes to the federal government in line with true federalism.

He said that the federating units must become truly viable for the economic transformation agenda to strive and suggested the scrapping of states and evolution of six regions, to reduce overhead cost of governanance.

"If the National Assembly is to go ahead with the planned creation of more states, it must include a provision that such new state would operate for five years without funding to determine its viability," he said.

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