Bailout: It’s Shortchanging The Common Man –Obidigbo | Independent Newspapers Limited
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Cover Choice, POLITICS

Bailout: It’s Shortchanging The Common Man –Obidigbo

Posted: Jul 12, 2015 at 12:00 am   /   by   /   comments (0)

Dr. Chike Obidigbo is former Anambra State governorship aspirant and a foremost industrialist. He is also the Chairman of Hardis Group Of Companies. In this interview with IFEOMA ONONYE, he speaks on the Federal Government’s decision to grant bailout funds to states in distress. Excerpts… 



Federal government recently approved bailout funds for states to pay their workers, how pragmatic is this? Do you think it’s morally and financially justified?

It is not justified in any sense at all. Most of these states do not do proper planning with the allocation money they get from the federal government. They collect money from the center as if collecting monthly rent. As far as I am concerned, we have turned the economy to renter economic system. Most states have very bloated civil service structure. They use public funds for political patronage and therefore mismanage what they are supposed to save as capital for the state. They leave nothing for capital expenditure. Once the capital income of a state is very low, they become bankrupt. They have little or no internal control mechanism.

The governors just dip their hands in public purse and take whatever they like, whenever they like. It is only in Nigeria that a governor of a state behaves and lives as a king in his kingdom. So for the federal government to approve that huge sum to bail out these states is not fair to other citizens who are not in the civil service. How long will the federal government bail them out of problems created by mismanagement? It’s like spoon-feeding them to steal more. The fund does not guarantee that they will not come back for more like Oliver Twist.  Federal Government is not helping matters to stop corruption in this country. They should set up a system to check frivolous spending so as to stop recurrence. There should be auditors who look into how these governors spend public funds and guarantee the right disbursement of funds, if not we will keep saying the same thing all the time.

What impact do you think removal of this fund will have on the economy which has been reported to be unstable?

Giving out funds that are supposed to be channeled to improve infrastructure for the whole country is mischievous cheating to the common man on the street. These governors embezzled the money that is supposed to be used in their states, so why should other people suffer for it? It is cheating to those of us who are not in the civil service. The money the federal government is giving them was collected from the common purse and every Nigerian is supposed to benefit from it. If these bailout funds are wisely invested, we will generate a lot of income but they are being sent to them to pay for services their indigenes rendered. It is saddening. Federal Government should keep an eagle eye on these states.