By Nseobong Okon-Ekong
The Campaign for Integrity in Governance has described the proposition to spend 50% of the State annual budget on education by the governorship candidate of Peoples Democratic Party in Lagos, Mr. Jimi Agbaje as laughable and smacks of complete ignorance of how to run government.
In a press statement on Thursday signed by the President of CIG, Mr. Rasaq Olokooba, the group noted that Mr. Agbaje with his proposal confirmed the widespread notion that Lagos, as the commercial nerve centre of Nigeria does not need a greenhorn and an inexperienced person at the helms of affair.
“Mr. Agbaje has clearly demonstrated his poor judgment and incompetence on fiscal matter and in running a Local Government let alone a state like Lagos with over 20 million population. It is fiscally impossible for any government anywhere in the world to spend half of its annual budget on a single line item. Lagosians should ask Mr. Agbaje what will happen to other sectors of the state like health, waste management, security, environment, transportation etc if Education alone will gulp 50% of the entire budget.
As much as we recognise that government at all levels must pay attention to education through increase in budgetary allocation, we want to appeal to Lagosians not to buy empty promises that are not practicable.
We challenge Mr. Agbaje to go beyond mere rhetoric and impracticable ideas and get serious with the people. No politician will win election in Lagos on the basis of unrealistic promises. It is better people are told what is possible to avoid having expectations from government that cannot be met. Education for example is important so is health. Lagos has huge gaps in infrastructure. A governor must balance all these competing needs within available resource,” said Mr. Olokoba.
The primary objective of Campaign for Integrity in Governance according to the President is to promote accountability and transparency in governance adding that part of holding leaders and politicians accountable is to scrutinize electoral promises of politicians for civic education.
“We have a mandate as civil society organization to educate the masses and explain political parties’ manifestos and electoral promises. Politicians make promises they know they can’t implement just to deceive the people to get to power. We will continue to hold the feet of politicians to fire and safeguard the votes of the people through public education to ensure our vote for the right reasons.”