Useless political appointments are not uncommon in Nigeria. They are often used by the leader in power to compensate their political supporters who are often promised heaven and earth in the event of a win.
What results is an over-bloated government that is perhaps best exemplified by a look back at the 2011 appointments done by the governor of Imo State in Nigeria, Rochas Okorocha.
Governor Rochas had at the time named 70 special advisers. Included in that list of special advisers and probably the most pertinent example of such useless political appointments was a “chief comedian of the state”. A former hugely popular Nigerian actress, Nkiru Sylvanus, had also been appointed as an adviser on Lagos Affairs.
The governor of Rivers, a state in Nigeria’s oil-rich south, Nyesom Wike,seems intent on wresting the status of the most pertinent example of useless political appointments from Governor Rochas. Governor Wike has appointed a “special adviser on street and traffic lights.”
Governor Wike defends the need for the position by stating that it is necessary due to the installation of traffic and street lights on major roads across the state. A group of concerned Nigerians have, however, taken to social media to point out that a highly paid aide is not needed to do that job.
This particular social media user thinks that such a task can be undertaken by the Ministry of Works or a maintenance agency.
— Allwell-Brown E. (@allwell_brown) September 25, 2016
A number of others like this user just expressed their disbelief considering the current dire straits that the country is in:
@touchph wen d govt. Shud b lookin @ ways 2 reduce ridiculous portfolio's 2 save money n dis harsh times. Next month. Na to look 4 loan
— alexander uzoechina (@uzoechyna) September 25, 2016
Economic growth in Nigeria has slowed this year and the country is in its first recession in decades which has led to increasing calls for cuts to the cost of government. With this appointment, Governor Wike has shown that even a recession cannot completely halt the trend of useless political appointments in the country.