The Osun State Governor, Mr. Rauf Aregbesola, has called for the amendment of the Nigerian Constitution to make job creation compulsory for government.
Aregbesola, who spoke at the Good Governance Forum organised by the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission in Abuja on Thursday, decried the high level of unemployment and poverty in Nigeria. He advised that job creation should be included in the constitution to force every government in power to tackle poverty.
He said, “I would wish that the socio-economic development of the people be made a constitutional imperative. Their provision should not just be an inspirational reference in the constitution; they should be made compulsory and justifiable.
“That the government must provide job opportunities, education, health care services, public infrastructure and so on should be made compulsory in the constitution.”
This, he said, “Will not only put the leaders under the burden of good governance, it will also minimise corruption since there can never be enough money to deliver on all requirements.”
The governor also decried the spate of corruption in Nigeria which he said had made government to become meaningless to the people.
He said, “It is a widely acknowledged fact that corruption has become a national albatross that has made governments irrelevant to the existence of the people and, therefore, defeated the purpose of governance in the country.”
The governor, who also lamented that governments at all levels lacked the zeal to deliver on the dividends of democracy, tasked his colleagues to stop depending on the Federal Government for the development of their states.
He said over-dependency on federal allocation had contributed to corruption in Nigeria, stressing that his state had become an example of state that could be productive.
He stated that he was able to increase the monthly internal generated income of the state from N300m to N1.5bn through zeal and commitment.
According to him, “Many of our governments, at all levels, lack imagination and zeal. We all wait for the monthly federal allocation which in most cases is barely enough to pay salaries.
“Also, because the federation account allocation is more of an unearned rent, it is spent as freebies and this is one of the impetuses of corruption.”
Earlier the Chairman of ICPC, Mr. Ekpo Nta, described the ICPC Good Governance Forum which started in 2008 as a platform for top government officials, especially governors, to share their governance experiences that have reduced corruption-prone processes, reduced poverty and promoted accountability in managing the public resources entrusted to their care.
“The choice of good governance as a name for this forum is, therefore, a deliberate attempt to encourage governments to contribute their quota actively in the fight against corruption,” he said.