22nd May, 2012
Senator Babafemi Ojudu representing Ekiti Central Senatorial District on Tuesday in Ibadan expressed pessimism about Nigeria getting out of its economic doldrums except the nation has a determined president that is ready to serve the nation with the last blood in his veins.
Ojudu expressed this while delivering a lecture on “Rekindling Patriotism in the Public Service”, at the 3rd edition of Radio Nigeria monthly lecture, suggesting that leaders found guilty of corruption should be executed just as they do in China and some Asian countries.
According to him, “I do not want to sound pessimistic but I am. The system has become so bad that even when you are good, by the time you get in there, by the time you get to office or politics, you would have been so panelbeaten that when you are coming out, you will not recognise yourself again.”
He said further, “Nigeria’s problem is about leadership. We have not had leaders in Nigeria who are prepared for the job. The leaders we have been having are accidental leaders who get to office unprepared.”
Ojudu disclosed that public hearings on the floor of the National Assembly have exposed ugly findings that at some point someone who is emotional may get furious and angry.
“I was yet to recover from the startling revelations at the public hearing conducted by the Senate on pension reforms when l got the invitation to speak here today. Just as l was getting over that, we were confronted again with the report of the fuel subsidy probe of the House of Representatives, a report that shows how determined some people are to shipwreck Nigeria. How could a single man operate over 500 accounts just to hide stolen funds? How can a sane man look into a camera and defend corruption? How could a waste management company be tasked with the importation of PMS?”
The ACN Senator disclosed that the civil service is over bloated, stressing that as at 2005, the number of civil servants in Nigeria was 2.2 million.
He further pointed out that successive governments over the years had done badly, adding that “every stratum of our public service, from law enforcement to social welfare, electricity and other sectors is deeply enmeshed in rot and non-performance.”
He blamed both the civil servants and politicians for the woes of the nation.
Among the solutions he profferred for the country’s problems include encouraging best graduates to serve in the public sector, probing of Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) in its job of regulating the financial institutions, making political offices less lucrative, and shooting anyone caught stealing public money.
By Gbenro Adesina/Ibadan