Anglican leader calls for part-time legislature, restructuring of Nigeria

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The Bishop of the Anglican Diocese of Calabar, Prof Nneoyi Egbe, has called on Nigeria to adopt a part-time legislature to save the country from excessive financial wastage and corruption.

He has also stressed that the country should adopt true federalism, especially as the nation considers political restructuring.

He spoke in an exclusive interview with DAILY POST on Saturday.

“I advocate for part-time legislators. I believe that it will add credibility to what they are doing.

“Part-time legislators will still afford them the opportunity to do their private work. And when it is time for sitting, they go for sitting and be paid for such sittings.

“I believe that will help us better than this current system because we have packed all the money to the politicians and left the populace empty.

“For me, a part-time legislative system will do us good; it will reduce and conserve the nation’s funds. This will reduce unnecessary flamboyance.”

Egbe, a lecturer at the University of Calabar for 31 years, said a part-time legislature would enable lawmakers to understand that they are purely into politics for service and to add value to the nation, not frolicking without vision.

He expressed pain that many lawmakers do not sponsor any bills yet draw significant financial rewards.

The clergyman called for a reduction in their payments if they cannot adopt a part-time legislature in Nigeria. “Better still,” he said, “they should all be on the minimum wage and then earn sitting allowances. We would have freed up so much money.”

He reasoned that the hefty sum saved could go into taking care of other areas of the economy, including paying other workers.

“I feel we all should look at the issues of the quality of the legislature objectively. We need to understand that it is not about me or those who are there but about the nation called Nigeria and the future of our children.

“Sometimes, these laws are made without considering the fact that these laws will catch up with us somewhere. We should make laws for the general good of the people, not with particular people or groups in mind.

“They should stop thinking of themselves. Let us divest ourselves of this self-centeredness and be objective about what we want Nigeria to be. That’s my take on it.”

He wondered why the Nigerian government should borrow money to put into people’s pockets.

On restructuring the country, Egbe advocated that states should be allowed to control the resources they produce, so that development in those areas will align with what they are producing.

“The centre can take care of foreign affairs, defense, and other such areas, rather than harassing us about who should take care of primary education, which should be the focus of the states and local governments.

“It is unfair for someone to produce something from one area and for the person who is sharing it to be from another area and then distribute it as they see fit.

“Let a percentage of the resources go to the federal government. The center will not be too attractive. People are killing themselves over too much money at the center.

“I think restructuring will do us good. If we restructure at all levels, it will work for us.”

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