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 works executed. 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?
We need to change this narration, because if the truth must be told, corruption has killed Nigeria, and an Undertaker [for the funeral services] has been appointed; unfortunately, by Promoters of Corruption, to arrange for a “non-befitting burial” for a viral country “that was”. The only reason for the delay in announcing the death of our country; killed by corruption, and the commencement of the burial, remains identification of a “non-befitting burial ground”, because the deceased 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 Number” of those that we are looking for.
Let us go, but not without a stern warning. Identifying these Groups – they are in two Groups; one at the Executive while the other is at the Legislature, might not constitute any hazard on us; those of us that are embarking on the project of identification, but the temerity and audacity of dealing with them [those to be identified] shall likely be a lifetime challenge that might bruise us somehow if care is not taken, and this as a result of the enormous powerful influence at the disposal of the looters.
The quickest instrument of accomplishing this audacious assignment [self-assigned anyway] is to use the instrumentality of the 2021 National Budget, which was scrutinized and passed by the National Assembly, and signed into law by the President after “due diligence of overview”.
The first thing being reproduced here is how budgets [we are looking at the Federal Government budgets strictly please] are Padded with astronomical figures – figures that are within lucrative regions of billions of Naira, by the Executive before passing same to the Legislature for vetting – so to say. This should be the first leg of the Nigerian Adult Population’s voyage into the mysterious world of discovering, in identification of the Looters.
The second leg of this voyage will be a comprehensive look into how the National Assembly [the Legislature] 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, and that line is called Conspiracy. The Legislature must accept to accommodate the “Padded” from the Executive while the latter agrees to accommodate the “Insertion” from the former – all on agreed fee or consideration, and both operate by the solemn law of SILENCE called OMERTA in the Mafia World.
It is called the Game of Padding and Inserting – “Padded” from the Executive and “Inserted” from the Legislature.
We shall be considering evidence of Padding against the Executive first before moving to the evidence of Inserting against the Legislature. Let us take the first today while defiling the other one till tomorrow because of time and space constraints.
N11BN PADDING UNCOVERED IN FERMA BUDGET, MD DISOWNS HIKE
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.”
Ladies and Gentlemen, we rest our case of Padding, which has been fully established against the Nigerian Executive. This Court adjourns, ipso facto.
[Source: Punch Newspaper of November 6, 2020]
Godwin Etakibuebu; a veteran Journalist, wrote from Lagos.
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