Former governor of Anambra State, Peter Obi, has called on President Muhammadu Buhari and the 36 state governors to stop funding the Office of First Lady with billions of taxpayers’ money, describing it as wasteful and a burden on Nigeria’s finances.
Obi, a guest speaker at the Eighth Annual Foursquare Gospel Church public lecture in Lagos, said the yearly budgetary allocation for the office should be stopped because it increases the cost of governance and the country’s debt profile.
According to him, the office, though not recognised in the Nigerian Constitution, is serviced by taxpayers’ funds at federal, state, and even local government levels.
The wives of the president, governors and by extension the local government councils did not stand for any election, never campaigned, so on what basis should the office exist in the first place.
The ex-governor added that with billions of naira voted for the office:
It calls for question from which political trajectory are we hinging our dispensation to allow such to go on without question.
He further explained:
We are confronted with low revenue and borrowing to fund budgets and debt servicing, not to talk of teeming youths without jobs to contend with.
Former President, Olusegun Obasanjo, in September, condemned Buhari’s borrowing, pointing out that accumulating debt for future generations is foolish and criminal.
The World Bank listed Nigeria among the 10 countries with high debt risk exposure, and its latest report indicated that the country’s debt profile had further increased.