The future project Nigeria symposium kicked off at Terra Kulture Arena by 9.am today 30th May 2017 with a welcome address by Bukonla Adebakin who is the Deputy Chief Operating Officer (DCOO) of The Future Project Africa. She talked briefly about the event tagged ‘Open Governance: Improving Transparency and Accountability in Governance.
The Symposium featured two panel sessions. The first panelists where: Peter Obi, Seun Onigbinde, Japheth Omojuwa and the topic revolved around Open budget and Government Spending while the second panelists where: Arit Okpo, Donald Duke, Demola Olanrewaju and the talked about the role of citizens in governance.
A cross-section of panelists
Former governor of Anambra State, Peter Obi has said the cost of running government in Nigeria is unacceptable and too expensive. Obi said transparency in governance is fundamental and critical to a democratic nation. “We cannot continue to have one person in government with five vehicles.” He added that, “Transparency is fundamental and critical to democracy.
Former Governor Peter Obi
Government budget should be explicitly published, the price of each item should be well articulated “People should know why the government wants to buy items for 10 times the price.” The former governor also noted that every local government in the country receive N100m monthly but there is no clear information as to how it is spent.
He said, “I don’t know what is happening in my local government. Every local government in the country receive N100m monthly but Nigerians don’t know how it is spent.” Obi also added that same items and projects keep appearing in budgets yearly because they are never executed.
“Most times they don’t complete these projects, instead the funds are diverted to other things. “Too many roadblocks encourage padding of state budgets and inflation of government spending. “When I was governor, they inflated price of rims of papers from N750 to N15000 but I rejected it