Babachir Lawal, a former Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), has described Nigerian Governors as parasites.
He called for the scrapping of States.
Lawal said it was better for the country to have only Federal and Local Governments.
The former SGF stated this on Wednesday when he addressed journalists in Abuja, saying that Governors ”take a major share of the country’s resources” and “abuse” it.
He was responding to the question of whether he would like to see changes as the National Assembly attempts to amend the constitution.
“I am not a constitutional expert, but i know if I had my way in the setup of this country, the governors in the middle are just parasites that are taking the major share of the resources that are supposed to the go to states, they abuse it.
If I had my way, there would be federal government and local governments, such that the resources that are due to the state would be shared equally with the local government at that level and a lot of things will be done. In the case of the federal government, we understand why it has to be federal government. There are some institutions that have to be national in itself.
“The army for example, the federal police must be there, foreign affairs must be there, but the states, we can devolve the powers back of the states to the local governments.
“At the local government, they are closer to the people, because they are closer to the people, people are able to monitor them. People are able to get in touch with them, people are able to check their excess if any,” Lawal said.
However, the Nigeria Government Forum (NGF) Head, Media and Public Affairs, Abdulrazaque Bello-Barkindo, described the statement from SGF as political statement.
He said: “The NGF will not join issues with politicians but the truth is that governors are not wasting resources and are not parasites.
“The NGF helps governors to organise better at the sub-national level. For example, we are responsible for the eradication and a lot is being done in education to take more out of school children back to school.
“With the help of the NGF, the governors are looking inward more to raise internally generated revenue (IGR) so as to depend less on federal allocation.
Only recently, we all read in the media how a state governor lost his father and he came out to say he will not bury him with state money. Some of these are professionals in their own rights and cannot be described as parasites. They have continued to rise to the occasion to ensure they deliver on dividends of democracy to their people.
“So we will not accept that wild shot that governors are parasites and wasteful. People should speak responsibly and don’t embellish assumptions without facts.
“To cast aspersions on 36 people is bad judgment regardless of how what group of people you are talking about.
“It is important to note that scrapping a tier of government will only be like cutting your nose to spite your face; it will not solve Nigeria’s problems.”