What Our Government Should Do To Reduce Cost of Governance__Aisha Yesufu 


What Our Government Should Do To Reduce Cost of Governance__Aisha Yesufu


By Innocent Raphael


Human rights activist Aisha Yesufu has called for the abolition of the Nigerian Senate as a measure to reduce the cost of governance.


Yesufu, co-founder of the Bring Back Our Girls Movement, made this suggestion during an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Sunday. She responded to the growing calls for Nigeria to transition from a bicameral to a unicameral legislature, arguing that the current system is excessively costly and ineffective.


“We need to critically examine our democracy and consider what best serves the ordinary people,” Yesufu said. “The current system is too expensive. We need to cut costs and move away from a structure that is not benefiting Nigerians.”


Yesufu criticized the Senate as a “retirement home for incompetent and failed governors” who burden the nation with their large salaries and allowances. She pointed out that many former governors in the Senate continue to draw pensions from their states while also receiving substantial compensation as senators.


“The Senate is redundant. There is no significant difference in the roles performed by the Senate and the House of Representatives. Senators are paid huge sums for doing nothing special,” she stated.


Citing Senegal’s example, which abolished its Senate in 2012, Yesufu argued that a unicameral legislature would be more efficient and cost-effective for Nigeria. She emphasized that the House of Representatives could adequately handle legislative duties, including law-making and oversight, without the need for a Senate.


“A single legislative arm will reduce the cost of governance,” she said.


Yesufu also proposed adopting the parliamentary system to further cut governance costs. She explained that in a parliamentary system, the Prime Minister is the first among equals, and ministers are selected from elected parliament members, reducing the need for separate ministerial appointments.


“In a parliamentary system, the Prime Minister and ministers are part of the parliament, which lessens the financial burden on the nation,” Yesufu concluded. She asserted that both the bicameral legislature and the presidential system place undue pressure on Nigeria’s resources and that transitioning to a parliamentary system could alleviate this financial strain.


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