Pat Utomi, a professor of political economy, says the Nigerian government has been crippled by the failure of the political class.
Speaking during a programme on Channels TV on Sunday, Utomi who is a member of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) faulted the political class adding that there is a failure of leadership in every aspect of the society.
He said the government has failed to proffer solutions to the country’s challenges thereby making it difficult for citizens to be committed to the system.
“I think that the government is crippled; it is not connecting to the solution. 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.”
Utomi said the failure of the political class resulted in the formation of the National Consultative Forum, a political group that he co-chairs.
The new political movement is “aimed at driving reforms” in the country. We have an existential crisis. The political class has failed Nigeria, including all of us. I am part of them but I have fought always to make it different but you don’t always win.”
On the roles of the executive and legislative arms of government, the economist said there is a collapse of separation of power between both arms.
He explained that the national assembly has hijacked executive functions and rendered the budgetary process a political game.
“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,” he said.
“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.”