Ali Ndume, the member representing Borno South in the Nigerian Senate has condemned the current presidential system of government being practiced in Nigeria on the ground that senators are paid a disproportionately high wage while civil servants earn very little.
Ndume called for the conduct of a national referendum to enable Nigeria switch from presidential to parliamentary system of government, as a means of cutting down the high cost of governance in the country.
The senator made his position known on Sunday and wondered why a few selected public officials, including federal legislators, will be paid fantastic salaries as against the pittance being paid an average public worker.
Ndume opined that the N30, 000 minimum wage is too small pointing that it could lead workers into engaging in corrupt practices to survive.
“We have a budget of over N10 trillion and only 30 per cent is going to the majority whereas 70 per cent would be spent on a few minority. The system we presently practice is not fair in terms of moral, religious or socially.”
The Borno senator said the change from presidential democracy to parliamentary system might be difficult for the current National Assembly to undertake because the present system is also in favour of the federal parliamentarians, saying it will be difficult for the system to be changed now because the National Assembly is solely responsible for lawmaking in the country and the amendments to the constitution.
According to Ndume, “The National Assembly may not provide the necessary support needed to amend the constitution to accommodate the proposal that the cost of governance should be critically examined.
“The excess power bestowed on an individual in the presidential system of government can be abused and had even been abused by many occupants of the office. Therefore, it is high time for Nigeria to look at the original system of government that we inherited.”
On how to effect a change in the current system of government, the chairman of the Senate Committee on Army opined that legal luminaries should come together and fashion out an acceptable arrangement that can lead to a constitution amendment through referendum.
Ndume’s opposition to the high cost of governance in the country had earlier been echoed by the vice president, Yemi Osinbajo who called for a national debate last week. The former governor of the Central Bank, Lamido Sanusi Lamido also opined that the present cost of governance in the country can no longer be sustained in view of present economic realities.