To cut cost of governance, Nigeria should scrap the Senate – Aisha Yesufu

By Innocent Raphael

Human rights activist, Aisha Yesufu has called for the abolition of the Nigerian Senate to reduce the cost of governance.

Yesufu, Co-founder of the Bring Back Our Girls Movement, made this assertion during an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Sunday.

Responding to increasing calls for Nigeria to abandon its bicameral legislature in favor of a unicameral system, Yesufu argued that the current structure of governance is too costly and ineffective.

She suggested that Nigeria should consider reintroducing the parliamentary system to better manage national funds.

“We need to critically examine our democracy and look at what fits us and serves the ordinary people.

“What we have now is too expensive. We need to cut costs and not just continue with a system that has not been working for Nigerians,” Yesufu stated.

Yesufu criticized the Senate as a “retirement home for incompetent and failed governors” who burden the nation with their hefty salaries and allowances.

She noted that many former governors in the Senate continue to draw pensions from their states while also receiving significant compensation as senators.

“The Senate is a joke ground. There is no real difference in the functions performed by the Senate and the House of Representatives. Senators are paid huge sums for doing nothing special,” Yesufu said.

Citing Senegal’s example, which abolished its Senate in 2012, Yesufu argued that a unicameral legislature would be more efficient and cost-effective for Nigeria.

She also emphasized that the House of Representatives could sufficiently handle legislative duties, including law-making and oversight.

“A unicameral legislature should be adopted in Nigeria because bicameralism is too expensive and slows down the business of lawmaking.

“Having a single legislative arm will better serve us by reducing the cost of governance,” she said.

Yesufu also proposed adopting the parliamentary system, suggesting it would drastically cut governance costs.

“In a parliamentary system, the Prime Minister is first among equals, and ministers are selected from elected parliament members, reducing the need for separate ministerial appointments,” she explained.

She concluded that both the bicameral legislature and the presidential system place undue pressure on Nigeria’s resources.

“We can reduce the cost of governance by shifting to a parliamentary system where ministers are also parliament members, thereby lessening the financial burden on the nation,” Yesufu asserted.

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