THAT 2B LG ELECTION BUDGET IN RIVERS
The Rivers State Govt has announced a budget of 2B to conduct elections into her 23 LGAs. Meaning that to produce each Chairman and their Councillors would cost about 86m per LGA.
In my LGA of Ikwerre with 13 wards, it’ll cost 86m to elect 1 Chairman, 1 Vice and 13 Councillors
Meaning further it’ll cost the Rivers taxpayers 450,000 to conduct elections into her 4,442 electoral units
And this is in a State that boasts of Nigeria’s second highest unemployment rate according to last NBS reports
Understandably, the bulk of the money probably goes into logistics and adhoc personnel payment
In a post Covid19 economy, worsened by recession, govts ought to be spending on production/manufacturing over consumption
When Nigeria recently announced Recession, critics rushed to heap the blames at the doorsteps of the FG conveniently forgetting that recession is caused by the sum of actions/inactions of the various levels of Govts. That is not to absolve the FG of guilt, however, the point must be made that there is no Nigeria that does not fall into a Local Council & that what and how resources are managed at that level affect the States and by consequence, the country
How as a State, we chose to prefer consumption-based expenditures over investment/ manufacturing in an economy that has relapsed into recession amazes me
Is there no other ways we can conduct the election that won’t cost that much? Can’t we have new thinkings in Govt, must things remain the way it had always been with zero improvement?
Hence adhoc personnel and logistics is costing much to conduct a simultaneous election across the State, how about staggering our elections such that elections are held in those LGAs that are close to each other on a particular day. Eg, if one can easily move from Ikwerre to Emohua to Phalga to Obio/Akpor to Etche to Omuma to Ahoada East in few hours, why can’t RISIEC do same, then on a later date, they shift to other areas?
What this would do is that the same personnel & resources used for one area can be deployed to others, so that the state doesn’t have to spend as much as 2B to select less than 5,000 people who would do nothing aside increasing the wage bill of the State
With two Sea Ports, 1 Int’l Airport and major manufacturing hub, Aba close by, nothing stops our State from spending that amount setting up Industrial Zones to provide direct & indirect employment as well as increase IGR of the State
There is an urgent need to refocus our State, especially the young people away from too much politicking, defections and all what not and that time is now
Welcome to December