NewsReel 23/12/14 - Peter Obi cries out over high cost of governance, says Nigeria has enough money to take care of everyone


[ Masterweb Reports ] - Immediate past Governor of Anambra State, Mr. Peter Obi, last night cried out over the high cost of governance in the country, charging civil society groups to help in reversing the trend.

Speaking while receiving an award for good governance from coalition of civil societies in Anambra State, Obi insisted that there is enough money to take care of every Nigerian, attributing the present suffering in the country to misplaced priorities by those in power.
“There is enough money to govern every state, local government and the country in a way that there will be improvement. All that is required is to cut down on the cost of governance,” the former governor stated.
“Your work as civil society is to question the waste in the society. If you change Nigera, you change Africa,” Obi further said.
Revealing how he was able to leave a healthy balance in government coffers despite fast-tracking Anambra’s development without borrowing a kobo, Obi said: “We didn’t print money; all that we did was to cut down on the cost of governance.”
Giving examples of specific cost-saving during his watch as Anambra Governor from 2006 to last March, Obi said that his administration did not maintain a Government Lodge in Abuja as is customary among Nigerian states but that he stayed in hotels anytime he visited Abuja. He also disclosed how he refused to build a Presidential Lodge which would have cost Anambra about half a billion. He said that to solve the problem of where to accommodate then President Olusegun Obasanjo during a visit to the state, he vacated the Governor’s Lodge for the august visitor, checking into a hotel with his wife for the period of the visit and spending just over N100,000. “I never travelled with more than four persons and never travelled outside this country with an uninvited person,” the former governor further said.
Speaking earlier, the Coordinator of the group and  Intersociety Board Chairman Emeka Umeagbalasi had explained that the group does not usually give awards but had to give one to Obi for setting a record in governance in the country. Umeagbalasi noted that at least in the past 40 years, no governor in Nigeria had ever finished his term without borrowing and still left a lot of money in cash and assets (over N80 billion) in the state treasury.
The award was presented to Obi by the chairman of the occasion, Comrade Uche Wisdom Durueke, National President of the Civil Liberties Organisation (CLO), who described it as well deserved.
*Photo CaptionMr. Peter Obi(middle), being presented with a Award for good governance by Comrade Uche Wisdom Durueke (left), [ right-National President of the Civil Liberties Organisation (CLO) and  Intersociety’s Board Chairman Emeka Umeagbalasi ] on behalf of the Human Rights Commission in Anambra State at Mulumba Hall, Onitsha Sunday, December 21.
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