The Guru welcomes you to tomorrow’s program at Lagos Talks 91.3 FM as he embarks on topical review of issues, starting from 09:30 to 11:00am. It promises to be an exciting time as many excruciating national issues shall come under scintillating analysis. Instead of going through some of those teasers, let us look at this draconian challenge that is sending Nigeria faster to the land of no return.
There is no doubt over the years that there is massive looting of the Nigerian Common Wealth. And the looters of the common wealth are Nigerians, though a fraction of less than 5 percent of the adult population. Our budgets increase annually without proportionate commensuration with quality of execution – monetarily, physically and economically. The looters are continually at work while the Nigerian citizenry stands akimbo, mourning and wailing in perpetual anguish as their common wealth is being looted with reckless abundance.
The big question that needs an urgent answer is this: Why can’t the majority – of about 95 percent of the adult population of the citizenry, not stop the looters; of about 5 percent of the adult population, from this well-known articulated pattern of continuously looting the Peoples’ common wealth? Or, does it means that the victims [those that constituted 95 percent of the adult population are so jinxed by governments’ machinery of castration, to the extent that the entire citizens have become totally docile?
This need to change and the earlier the better, because if the truth must be told, corruption has killed Nigeria, in addition to the fact that an Undertaker has been appointed, by Promoters of Corruption, to arrange for a “non-befitting” funeral and burial for a viral country “that was”. The only point of delay between the death of our country; killed by corruption, and the prosecution of the burial, remains identification of a “non-befitting burial ground”, because the decease is not worthy of decent burial.
It means there can still be hope of bringing the dead country back to life. How? Before the search for a place of burial is fully accomplished, the larger adult population of about 95 percent can still discover itself, mobilise perfectly within the domain of constitutionality – using the template of the Nigerian 1999 Constitution [as amended] to launch a constitutionally coordinated “attack” on the LOOTERS [of about 5 percent of the Nigerian adult population.
The first thing therefore is identification of this small group of Looters, and this assignment is very simple, in my personal opinion. We need not going far for actualizing of this task as the 2021 budget presents us with identification of those that we are looking for. Let’s go.
The Guru is reproducing parts of the 2021 National Budget; both during the prosecuting process at the National Assembly and after the President had signed it into law, for public scrutiny as this may help us faster in arriving the faculty of identification.
The first thing being reproduced here is how budgets [we are looking at the Federal Government budgets strictly] are Padded with astronomical figures – figures that are within lucrative regions of billions of Naira, submitted for the National Assembly processing. The second one is how the National Assembly comfortably Insert strange but huge figures [within the domains of billions of Naira] into the “scrutinized budget proposals” brought to them, and return “overloaded clean final” budget to the Executive for Presidential assent.
There is one interesting line of understanding between the two Branches [of Government] for this malfeasance to be implementable – conspiracy. The Legislature must accept to accommodate the “Padded” while the Executive must agree, by the rules of Omerta, to accommodate the “Insertion” – all on agreed fee or consideration.
It is called the Game of Padding and Inserting – “Padded” from the Executive and “Inserted” from the Legislature. You can patiently [in reading] the two examples presented below – first is padding from the Executive while the second is inserting from the Legislature
N11BN PADDING UNCOVERED IN FERMA BUDGET, MD DISOWNS HIKE
Punch Newspaper of November 6, 2020
The Managing Director of the Federal Roads Maintenance Agency, Mr Nurudeen Rafindadi, on Thursday, November 5, 2020, disowned the increment of the agency’s budget by N11bn, saying what was proposed for 2021 was different from what is presently before the National Assembly. Rafindadi had appeared before the House of Representatives Committee on FERMA in Abuja to defend the proposal by the agency.
The drama started when a member of the committee, Yusuf Gagdi, asked the FERMA boss why the agency’s budget had suddenly increased by over N11bn after returning from the Federal Ministry of Finance, Budget and National Planning.
But Rafindadi denied the increment, saying, “Our proposal of budget as it is today is submitted to the Federal Ministry of Works, and the reason is that FERMA is an agency under the supervision of the Federal Ministry of Works. We are represented at the cabinet by the Honourable Minister of Works (and Housing, Babatunde Fashola).
“Our budget is subsumed in the envelope of the Federal Ministry of Works, so the ministry is asked by the Federal Ministry of Finance, Budget and National Planning to submit its budget within a specified envelope and that envelope includes budgets of agencies under the supervision of the ministry, of which FERMA is one. So, we get instructions to submit our budget through the Ministry of Works; we submit it to the Ministry of Works. “What happens after is between the Ministry of Works and the Ministry of Finance, Budget and National Planning, and subsequently until it reaches the House. We only know what was in our budget after submission of the budget to the National Assembly.”
HOW WORKS, FINANCE MINISTRIES PADDED OUR BUDGET WITH N11BN – FERMA MD, RAFINDADI REVEALS
The FERMA boss, while answering the question said: “Our proposal of budget as it is today is submitted to the federal ministry of works. And the reason is that FERMA is an agency under the supervision of the federal ministry of works. We’re represented at the cabinet by the honourable minister of works.
“Our budget is in the envelope of the ministry so the ministry is asked to submit their budget within that envelope and it includes budgets of agencies under the ministry of which FERMA is one. So we get instructions to submit our budget through the ministry of works, we submitted to them. “And yes it is true, we submit our budget to the ministry, what happens after is between the ministry, then ministry of Finance, budget and National planning until subsequently it reaches the House of Representatives. We only know what was in our budget after submission. We’ve since gotten the budget of FERMA as submitted to National Assembly and we’ve been analyzing the differences between the two budgets like you said.”
STRANGE ITEMS IN FG’S 2021 BUDGET
Vanguard Newspaper of January 5, 2021
The N13. 588 trillion 2021 federal government budget, accented to by President Muhammadu Buhari on December 31, 2020, is replete with line items that are incongruous with Ministries, Departments, and Agencies under which they have been placed. The National Assembly had on December 21, 2020, passed the 2021 budget, which the legislators increased by N505 billion from the N13. 082 trillion, earlier presented to them by the executive.
Some have no details in terms of locations of projects, thereby making it impossible for budget tracking by Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) and members of the public that might be interested in holding states actors to account.
For instance, under the line item with code ERGP78712459 9, under the Federal Ministry of Transport is the project for the renovation of school blocks in Nkum, Ekajuk, Ukelle and Okpoma in Cross River State which was allocated N250 million. Training of women and youth on welding and fabrication in Zamfara State was earmarked the sum of N235 million under the ministry.
Like many such line items in the 2021 budget, there are no details in terms of the location. The construction of 20 nos block of 3 classrooms in Sabon Gari LGA, Kaduna State got an allocation of N250 million in the Ministry of Transport. The budget was silent on the particular schools to benefit from the project. Line item code ERGP55400230 2, the supply of motorcycles for empowerment of youth in Brass/Nembe Federal Constituency of Bayelsa State was allocated N300 million, under the Ministry of Transport.
Special training and empowerment on transport and logistics in 12 senatorial zones and 40 federal constituencies, have been allocated the sum of 3. 262 billion, under the Federal Ministry of Transport. Under the same ministry, the construction and remodeling of main gate at the Nigerian Institute of Transport Technology with line item code number ERGP55400465 2 was allocated N200 million.
Similarly, under the Federal Ministry of Science and Technology, there is a provision of N500 million for the construction of township roads in Katsina South Senatorial District. That item was provided for under code number ERGP554003920. Another line item with code: ERGP30152067, was provided N115 million for youth and women empowerment at Kankara LGA, Katsina State. This item was inserted under the Science Equipment Development Institute, located in Minna, Niger State. Similarly, budget item with code ERGP554003922 for the supply and installation of integrated solar street lights with specification 60w (high efficiency mono-crystalline panel) lifepo4 battery 480wh, led max power 60w, greater than 3600lm with Specification (Europe standard) is to be provided in Kaduna Central, under the same Science and Technology Ministry. Another line item: Capacity building and skill acquisition on masonry, plumbing and pipe fitting, surveying and electricals in Anambra North Senatorial District, with code ERGP554004674 was provided N 230.7 million. Item code number ERGP554004028, the purchase of min-Suzuki every bus (used bus) for strategic empowerment in “psfan,” South-East geopolitical zone was provided the sum of N200 million.
The budget did not provides details of the number of buses to be provided and the categories of beneficiaries. For the installation of solar-powered boreholes and fetching point in “psfan”, South-East geopolitical zone, the sum of N150 million was provided. There was no specific location for the project.
Under code ERGP554001945, the sum of N150 million was budgeted for the provision of sick bay in selected primary schools in parts Mushin 1, Somolu & Agege Federal Constituencies of Lagos state. Similarly, the sum of N200 million was set aside for supply of materials for empowerment of trainees in fashion design and leather technology. The project, with code ERGP554004089, has no location. N200 million was budgeted for construction of integrated solar street lights in seven (7) LGAs, in Edo South Senatorial District, Edo State. It has ERGP554004496, as line item code. The same amount was provided for similar projects in Etsako East and West LGAs in Edo North Senatorial District. Training and empowerment for youths and women in Plateau North Senatorial District got an allocation of N150 million, under the same Federal Ministry of science and technology.
These strange insertions alone [there are more insertions at other places of the budget that The Guru is not revealing yet] went over the sum of 5 Billion Naira which the National Assembly topped the budget with, and there was voice of disagreement from the Executive because both of them are partners; by the evidences adduced so far, in corruption.
How can Nigerians stop this brandish onslaught heavily being coordinated by the Executive and the Legislature against the Nigerian people? It is a hard task but very simple to achieve. Follow The Guru on the trajectory of solution when we continue the discussion next week, by the grace of God.
Don’t forget that your Historical Perspective, the unforgettable Knowledge Dropbox and the newly introduced Periscope would be waiting for your cherished attention tomorrow.
It will be advantageous for you to visit my website: www.godwintheguru.com at all times in view of the uploading that go up there very often. And some of those uploading shall soon be linked to YouTube. The Guru is going places!
Godwin Etakibuebu [The Guru].