Orji Kalu cautions governors on spending

By Timothy Choji, Abuja

Orji Kalu at the State House Abuja on Friday.

Former Governor of Abia state, Eastern Nigeria, Dr Orji Kalu has added his voice to the call for the diversification of the country’s economy.

He says the country should venture into agriculture and the mineral sectors, in order to improve the economy.

The former Governor, who was on a private visit to Nigeria’s Vice President, Professor Yemi Osinbajo said the country cannot continue to depend on oil for survival. He said government must also do more in the area of power supply, as it tries to improve the economy.

“We need power to be able to revamp the economy. It should not rely on only crude oil. We can produce a lot of things that we can also export. We can rely on farming and our mineral resources. We need to diversify because that is the key,” he said.

High Expenses

Dr Orji Kalu, who urged current Governors to desist from spending much of their time in Abuja, advised them to cut on their travelling expenses in order to channel more funds towards developing their states.

“Most of the Governors are living in Abuja now. If you look at the books very well, they take a travelling allowance of 35 million naira for every trip they make, which is unheard of. So how are we going to progress if we continue like that,” Dr Kalu queried.

Furthermore, the former Governor frowned at what Governors have as security votes.

“On the issue of crying for funds, honestly in my opinion, these Governors have enough funds that they can use to work for their people. They need to cut down on the money drawn for security votes because it is excessive. Unless they reduce that, they cannot have enough to work with besides; most of them are living in absolute luxury. We cannot continue like that,” he said.

Kalu, who is a business magnate, said the private sector can contribute a lot to the resuscitation of the economy, if given the enabling environment.