A former Minister of Information, Frank Nweke, has urged the Federal Government to reduce the cost of governance.
Nweke added that some expenditures included in the 2023 supplementary budget could be exempted as they are not significant at this time.
The former minister spoke on Friday when he was featured on the Channels Television’s programme, Politics Today.
He said, “First of all, I have my concerns about certain aspects of certain decisions that have been taken for instance. I mean, this decision to expand this cabinet, which was even at about 43 at a time, it is almost 50 now.
“Given the dire economic circumstances in which we are – for me, I don’t know what the consideration is – but from an outsider’s perspective, I think that if I had a chance to make an input, I would say that we must do everything that is practical to reduce the cost of government, to reduce the size of government at this time, not to expand it, not to increase the cost of government.
“Then of course, if I had a chance to make an input, I would express very deep concerns about certain thrusts of the supplementary budget, for instance, certain expenditures have been suggested for certain things that we absolutely do not need at this time.”
Nweke noted that some ministries could coexist, saying, “The other way to look at it is the proliferation of these ministries. You have to look at some of them and you’re asking ‘Why is this ministry here and you still have this one, right? Some of these ministries ought to coexist.”
Nweke further queried the patriotic instincts of the President, asking if Tinubu’s patriotism lies with his loyalists or the citizens.
He asked, “But you see, it brings me to the issue of political will. It brings me to the issue of, you know, the president’s patriotic instincts, right?
“What should take precedence? Is it this loyalty to supporters? What is loyalty to Nigeria, loyalty to the majority of the citizens whose votes you have received?”
Nweke advised, “Or is it just to vested interests? It’s a dilemma. But if I were the president at this time, I would choose the citizens over those vested political interests.”