A professor of political economy and management expert, Pat Utomi, has faulted the system of governance in Nigeria.
Despite being a member of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Professor Utomi believes the present administration is finding it difficult to connect to the solutions to the problems of the country.
“I think that the government is crippled; it is not connecting to the solution,” he said during his appearance on Channels Television’s Sunday Politics.
The economist added, “If there is anything absent in Nigeria, it is leadership. At every level of our society, there is a failure of leadership.
“Leadership is about connecting to the soul of the people and giving everything sacrificially to lift it up.”
He decried that the nation’s political class has failed to align itself to the new reality, stressing that Nigeria lacked the type of politics that would enable the government to be responsive to the needs of the people.
A Failed Political Class
Professor Utomi explained that this, among several other reasons, led to the emergence of the National Consultative Forum – a political group that he co-chairs.
He stated that the present situation in the country was not about the performance of a particular government, adding that it has generated to what he described as a national crisis.
“We have an existential crisis. The political class has failed Nigeria (let’s be honest), including all of us.
“I am part of them but I have fought always to make it different but you don’t always win,” said the APC member who lost the bid to be governor of Delta State in the 2019 general elections.
He was worried that the structure of the political system has prevented those who want to make a difference from being successful.
The economist stated that there was no internal democracy with the various political parties, stressing that they have been turned into the “private properties of some people whose word is law”.
He described such individuals as people motivated by personal power, influence, and search for material resources, noting that their actions have prevented the country from running as it ought to.
Hijack Of Executive Functions?
Speaking on the roles of the executive and legislative arms of government, Professor Utomi accused the National Assembly of usurping the duties of the ministries.
He said, “There is a total collapse of separation of powers and the legislature has taken over running the executive and the executive is complicit in allowing that to happen.
“Anytime I have been asked to analyse the budget in this country for the last 20 years, I don’t analyse the budget because the budget process in this county is a joke.”
“Today, the House Committee Chair on appropriation is more important to a national budget than the Minister of Finance because this game that is played in the National Assembly means that what comes out is really the budget of the National Assembly, not of the executive branch and the executive branch has refused to engage the matter.
“What is going on today is a hijack of the executive functions by the legislature and for most of them, it is just a game,” he added
According to the professor, some ministers have complained to him that the lawmakers run their budget and their ministries are being run from the National Assembly.
He, however, proposed a constitutional reform that would essentially reduce the legislative branch to the citizen and part-time legislature.