Nasir el-Rufai, governor of Kaduna state, has stated that it is quite unfortunate that most people consider governors to be thieves.
Speaking on Sunrise Daily, a Channels Television programme, he said being a governor is one of the most difficult jobs in the world.
He also highlighted some of the challenges he faced when he assumed office.
“We came into office at a very bad time in terms of economic viability. We came in when oil prices were crashing into the twenties and we had inherited bureaucracies that were designed and structured around $100 per barrel oil. We had inherited wages at that level as well. And all of a sudden, there was this collapse and Nigeria went into a recession,” he said.
“Governors are the most suspected elected officials. Everyone thinks governors are just thieves and we are wasting state resources, we are not doing anything. Governors are assumed to be taking security votes. When people hear security votes, they think it is a slush fund for governors. So we have a very negative image out there.
“Meanwhile, we have one of the most difficult jobs in the world. And we are subnational; our capacity to borrow is limited. The federal government can print money. We cannot.
“Other than Lagos, very few state governments have room to do what they can do because apart from Lagos virtually every state in Nigeria relies on Federation Account transfers. And when they go down, you are in trouble.”
He spoke on the sidelines of the fifth edition of Kadinvest, the state government’s investment forum.