By Oladipupo Mojeed
Governor Godwin Obaseki of Edo State has lamented on what he described as outrageous number of staff of the 24-member State House of Assembly.
According to the governor, 724 staff is too much for the state’s 24 lawmakers.
He also revealed the government’s plan of privatising the State-owned Nigerian Observer Newspaper and Edo Broadcasting Service (EBS), adding that the media outfits had become a liability to the government as they were not self-sustaining.
The governor expressed the displeasure on Thursday at the annual Public lecture series organized by the Correspondents’ Chapel of Edo State Council of the Nigeria Union of Journalists, titled: “New Opportunities and New Initiatives for Development.”
Assembly staff strength
Admitting that the problem is not lack of resource, but the outrageous numbers of staff strength.
“The ratio is just too much. The problem is not the lack of resources, but inefficient system where we waste what we have. Thank God we have reached an understanding with the House leadership,” the governor said.
He, however, explained that the excess worker would not be disengage, but redeployed to other government ministries where they would be useful.
Responding to plea by the State Chairman of the NUJ, Sir Roland Osakwe, who had earlier urged him to reconsider his plan to privatise the state media outfit, the governor noted that “anything worth doing is worth doing well,” adding that government has no business in some of these businesses.
“They (media outfits) have to compete and run like some of these private media houses. If they cannot run it themselves, I have no option because I cannot take money meant for the renovation of primary schools and other infrastructure to service them.
“Bendel Brewery has about N2 billion debt, Bendel Insurance and Edo Line are no longer sustainable,” he said.