Prof. Pat Utomi, the Director, Lagos Business School, has urged public office holders in Nigeria to focus more on rendering quality service to the people, as against personal aggrandisement .
Utomi told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Abuja that it was important for office holders to de-emphasise personal gain in the discharge of their duties.
“ Whoever is in public authority should be passionate about serving the people.
“Self does not have to be destroyed, it will profit from serving others and that is really where it lies, we need people who are more focused.’’
Utomi expressed optimism that the personal discipline and focus of the President-elect, retired Maj.-Gen. Muhammadu Buhari, would lead the nation to the part of recovery.
“That view of him as a very disciplined person goes way back even to the international community.
“So, I am hoping that discipline that personal commitment to services will flow through in the way Nigeria will be run.
“Especially, given how about things are as we all know because we do need a renewal, revival in the country.’’
Utomi also suggested the setting up of special funds to bail out states government that renege on payment of workers’ salaries.
According to him, such funds will engender economic growth in the country.
“I think that one way to bring discipline, because there is a great deal of indiscipline in the states, is for the Federal Government to, perhaps, create a kind of fund that will enable the states pay off all these salary debts, the most critical ones.
“This will also reflect on the economy and people can spend money on consumption that will lead to some growth.’’
Utomi advised that the process of assisting those states with bailout funds should also involve some conditions for the states involved.
He stressed that the conditions should involve strict fiscal disciplinary measures, as was obtainable in the International Monetary Fund (IMF) conditions to countries.
“Any governor from those states that chatters an air plane to go anywhere will have to account to somebody,’’ he said.
Speaking on subsidy, Utomi said that when there was discipline and honest service to the people, the issue of subsidy would not arise.
According to him, what is being referred as subsidy is only a scam meant to enrich few people.
On the audit report conducted by Price Waterhouse Coopers (PWC) in the oil and gas sector, the professor of political economy said that auditing was necessary to ensure value for money.
He said that those saddled with the responsibility of looking at the report should look at the benefits that could be derived from the report.
The director also stressed the need to look at the Steven Oronsanya Report on government establishments.
“I think that when people sit and reflect to refine, I do think that there is going to be a lot of good look at the Orasanya report,’’ he said.
Utomi called for the introduction of “consequence management’’ for public office holders who misappropriate funds while in office.
He described “consequence management’’ as a recognition of high performance, while addressing unsatisfactory performance through disciplinary processes.
“Any public officer who misuse public resources with certain amount going on abusive recurrent expenditures, rather than creating an enabling environment for growth infrastructure, will attract certain consequences”. (NAN)
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