NO HOME TO GO

 

Oh what a country that we,to satisfy our ego,have to cheat or steal!

Oh where’s the old religion that,we without conscience,recklessly fiddle into our collective till?

Where’s the patriotism that we wickedly take away bread from those seeking ground to till?

For our comfort we take away their daily meals

Yet we pray the nation,in the face of storm we created,to be still

We destroy our roads because we expect to always travel by air

Invisible hands of nature,is showing us now; that our nemesis lies right in the air

Oh how our stolen wealth fails to protect us from our fears!

Just because unto our brethren,we were not fair

In the days of our fathers,at christmas,our villages we longed to visit

But now,peace we have murdered and our villages we dread to visit

Equity is against our acts,justice is blind to our cause

For we turned divine blessings for our people into a curse

Poor,you will always have in your midst we glibly mouth

But 112 million poors in Nigeria,a blessed nation,leaves sour taste in one’s mouth

Like MTN,social disorder in the form of kidnappers,armed robbers,is everywhere we go

The question is if we are not being defeated by our greedy goals?

When,consequent upon our actions; we have no home to go

Olatona Olabode works with Kingzcrown Consulting,Abuja

Follow on twitter @ amdegreat 

DEEPENED POVERTY,DEEPENING WEALTH FOR PUBLIC OFFICERS

DEEPENED POVERTY,DEEPENING WEALTH FOR PUBLIC OFFICERS

It’s fast becoming an un-interesting and boring discourse,the alarming news about how a nation so blessed by God but much more cursed with visionless,clueless and unpatriotic leaders,loot this nation high and dry.Nigerian masses are sliding further into poverty by the day whilst public officers are living in the paradise of excessive abundance.No country that truly achieve greatness ever treats her citizens the way Nigerian ruling class-politicians,civil servants and traditional institutions- treats its people.

 

Just recently,Nigeria was rated as the 7th country among the list of developing nations that lost $5.86 trillion through money laundering between 2001 and 2010.Nigeria was reported to have lost $129 billion illicitly within this period.To establish this rating,Central Bank of Nigeria(CBN) Governor,Mr Lamido Sanusi said recently that about $11 billion were laundered through Nigeria’s porous Airports as a result of difficulty encountered in fleecing this illegitimate wealth through Nigerian banks as used to be the practice before signing into Law of Money Laundering Act(2011), Anti- Money Laundering/Combating the financing of Terrorism Regulation(2009, as amended).

 

Not quite long ago,a serving Governor’s son-Aminu Lamido was caught with $50’000 having declared that he was in possession of just $10’0 00 at the Aminu Kano International Airport,Kano and another  Tijani Sheriff was caught in September 2012 with $7million at the Murtala Muhammed Airport moving funds out of Nigeria.This according to CBN Governor,has been the practice among public office-holders including their collaborators across all tiers of government and other arms of government.

 

Another report has it that Nigeria earned =N=3 trillion between 1970-1999 from oil revenue alone and whatever reservations one has about the accummulation of debts in this era,there were many developmental projects spread across the country including the burden of reconstructions after civil war,Federal Universities,seaports,Airports,Steel rolling mills,refineries,paper mills,fertilizer plants,third mainland bridge,Aso Rock,Federal Secretariats,estates in Lugbe,Wuye,Gwarinpa all  in Abuja,federal road network,three-arm zone etc were the projects funded in this period.This doesn’t mean that corruption was not existing at this period but there was still some traces of patriotism among our leaders then.We should not forget that with the level of development achieved in this era,General Ibrahim Badamosi Babangida’s (IBB) government was accused of mis-appropriating $12.5 billion Gulf war oil windfall and General Sani Abacha’s government was reported to have looted the treasury as he considered appropriate to please himself and his cronies while General Abdulsalami Abubarka was reported to also play with about $5 billion to run transition programme that ushered in, this present waste called Democracy.

 

But between 2000 -2006,over =N=20 trillion was accrued to the government and another $200 billion was said to have been accrued to government between 2007-2012.Where are all these monies shared between the 3 tiers of goverment?Can anyone say Nigeria is  better than she was in 1999?Except for a handful of state governors who still have fear of God,federal government has been a disaster of sort.State governments have been home front for looting among the established power brokers;aided and abetted by the traditional institutions and there is nothing good about the local governments.Our civil servants are not any better.It’s even established that no political office-holder can dip his/her hands into public till without active connivance of civil servants.If you doubt this,check your  locality and see how they live like Dangote or Jim Ovia.If you don’t have them in your locality,check the lives of their children in your schools.Do a check on the choice properties anywhere and tell me the owners.When politicians get to public office,they allocate security allowances,wardrobe allowances,inconvinience allowances etc and when they travel;they collect huge estacodes without giving anything back to the society.Attempt to do the calculation of all the security allowances and wardrobe allowances from 1999-2012 across the 3 tiers of government, you will be tempted to carry arms against the system.

 

When they leave office,they are entitled to huge severance packages and big perks as a reward for deepening poverty in the country.Even the wife of President Jonathan called for pension for the wives of public office holders as a reward for assisting their husbands in pauperizing the people while in government.What an insult?

 

Reading Pension Reform Task Team(PRTT) chairman’s(Abdulrasheed Maina) interview in The Sun newspaper of 25th December 2012; I was more than angry with the whole system.We mouth industrialization,power projects,refineries etc but all these will remain a pipe dream with the present mindsets of the people in leadership and the un-conscionable desperation to break away from poverty by the followers who are ready to launch high-tech or sophsitications into their dimension of stealing.Those without privilege of stealing engage in cheating,those who cannot cheat engage in political thuggery or become political hired assassins and those without means to become these, engage in kidnapping or terrorism to register their anger against the system that deprive them of decent living.

 

Is it not shameful how civil servants will destroy the labour of their fellow civil servants who are no more in active service?Abdulrasheed Maina of Pension Reform opened pandora box of what look like a tip of the iceberg on how pensioners’ funds had been stolen or mismanaged in the past.Government at the federal level has been spending =N=5 billion every month for more than a decade on what actually should not be more than =N=885 million.Check the calculations below to ascertain what government lost over  ten years to pension thieves –

 

Monthly: N=5billion – N=885 million = N4.145 billion

Annually: N=4.145billion * 12            = N49.740 billion

For 13 years of Democracy: N49.740 billion *13 =N646.62 billion

 

Nigeria lost =N=N646.62 billion to pension thieves at the federal level.Only God knows what is happening at the 36 states of the federation.

 

Another revelation from Head of Service(HoS) of federation according to Abdulrasheed Maina, is that of 32 officials in HoS and a cheque booklet in which between=N=200 and =N=300 million was withdrawn daily and they were cash-backed.Nigeria eventually lost =N=32.8 billion to these patriotic(?) officials.Also,there’s the report of a cartel that falsified documents to withdraw =N=24 billion instead of =N=3.5 billion and eventually siphoned cornered =N=42 billion through 2 bank accounts.

 

The story of Police Pension is not suprising at all because that institution,save the recent discipline introduced by the present IGP Mohammed Abubakar,is known for being the national symbol of corruption.Only God can protect the integrity of honest and patriotic officers of Nigerian Police.Maina reported that up to =N=45 billion had been stolen from Police Pension.Yet the same Police Pension has been requesting for =N=24 billion for what =N=3.4 billion could settle in pension arears and they have been claiming =N=1.590 billion monthly for what only cost =N=464 million.If we do arithmetics of this,it means –

 

Annually:  (=N=1.590 billion –  N=464 million)*12 = N13.512 billion.

In a decade: N13.512 billion *10  = N130.512 billion

 

Nigeria must have lost =N= N130.512 billion to the pension thieves at Police Pension office.We are not even talking about Nigerian Army,navy,and Airforce Pension office.

When Abdulrasheed Maina talked about recovering =N=221 billion and seizure of over 200 properties,we should understand that it’s just being scratched on the surface.Not even considering the huge stealing going on in the area of ghost work force.Are we a nation of thieves and rogues who only resort to religious bigotory to cover up our dirty sides?Don’t cry foul when somebody like General Muhammad Buhari,in power;begins to arrest and prosecute our fathers,mothers,uncles,aunties,brothers,sisters or nephews and nieces for official thieving.Truly,Nigeria is what she is because Nigerians are who they are.

 

Yet majority of our people  are sliding into poverty.National Bureau of Statistics(NBS) had it that poverty increased from 67 milliom in 1996 to 69 million in 2004 and now 112 million in 2012 with all wealth generated within this period.While so many Nigerians have endured and still enduring poverty,others couldn’t and would not want to live the repetition of their parents lives.Especially when witnessing the opulence displayed by next door politicians or public office-holders or private sector 419s.So resorting to self-help may be the only option though,when seen on a bigger picture,may not spell a good omen for the country.This is why so many young folks engage in prostitution, robbery,yahoo-yahoo,419 scams,and even kidnapping to break away from the grip of poverty created mostly by the ruling class.

Olatona Olabode works with Kingzcrown Consulting,Abuja

Follow on twitter @ amdegreat 

MANY REASONS GEJ MUST CONTEST 2015 PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION(2)

“But like I always say,you cannot fight corruption successfully without exemplary leadership.If you have leaders who refuse to declare their assets,and if you have leaders who protect corruption,definitely corruption cannot go away.”Hon Adams Jagaba,THISDAY December 10th,2012.Pg 21.

 EDUCATION:

Government in it’s efforts to restructure education sector has done a lot.Many thanks to Professor Ruquayat Rufai and the minister of state for Education-Hon Ezenwo Nyesom Wike.These duo must be commended for all their efforts at sanitising our educational sector.Many thanks for the free textbooks and library materials for some of our public schools and the unique iniative of employing the services of the State Security to prevent diversion. Our University are doing better than they were in 2010.At least,we have declining ASSU strikes and that of SSANU(except for recent threats).But what comes to mind are those new Universities promised by GEJ during 2011 electoral campaigns.Where are they Mr President?What level of funding has been channelled to achieve this promise?What about UNILAG and MAULAG?Hope Mr President would rememeber to allocate funds for the rebranding of UNILAG in 2013.(This President no go kill person with laughter)

 

AGRICULTURE:

It will interest all you critics that Mr President transformation agenda in agriculture is now yielding fruits.We now have cassava bread all around the nation.Even Mr President now feeds on cassava bread on a daily basis.Though one has to acknowledge the efforts of Bankers’ Committees on Nigerian Incentive-based Risk Sharing Agriculture Lending(NIRSAL) to provide funds for farmers and various state governments contributions to promotion of agriculture in order to diversify our economy.Mr President has character of making policy pronouncements even when he hasn’t really understood the complexity of the policies and time lag for their achievement.

I can’t remember if I have come across any news about funds granted to Agricultural Institutes in the country for research purpose on improved yields and ground breaking agriculture innovation yet it’s expedient for the FEC to allocate billions for banquet hall.Who cares if Nigerians die of hunger in the future?May be,God will feed Nigerians with manna like He did to the old testament Israelites as Mr President
sought at the Redeemed Christian Church of God(RCCG) 2012 congress.

 

FISCAL MANAGEMENT

Mr President in presenting 2012 fiscal year to the National Assembly was quoted as promising thus-“I wish to reiterate here that the principal objective  of my administration’s fiscal policy in the area of tarriff and trade is to promote industrialization and the growth of the economy and above all,to generate employment for Nigerians.”

 

But everyone is a living witness to the path taking in achieving this promise.

It is more amazing that with all the promises of reducing the allocations to recurrent expenditure,the passed 2013 budget though has insignificant 3% reduction in recurrent expenditure from 71.47%(2012) to 68.7%(2013) in order to up the capital expenditure from 28.53%(2012) to 31.3%(2013).The truth is that government refused to tread the path of development that would truly drive industrialization that Mr President spoke about, when necessary steps were not taken to reach out to National assembly to look into the various Laws that set up some of the agencies,parastatals,commissions which duplicates the roles of one another;as recommended by Orosanye committee.It will be right to point out that our Laws are responsible for the high personnel costs,hence high recurrent expenditures.Any wonder why there was serious depletions in external reserve from $43 billion in 2008 to $30 billion as at January 2012 though this has grown slightly by December 2012 to over $40billion according to Dr Bright Okogwu of Budget Office,the question remains wether it’s enough to finance 36 months import let alone take care of 5 years foreign exchange needs?

According to Mallam Nasir El Rufai, “By 2007, the Yar’Adua-Jonathan government inherited vast foreign reserves ($43bn), on-going power projects (NIPP-$5bn), new rail systems, from Lagos to Kano ($8bn) and Abuja Metro ($800 million); an Excess Crude Account, ECA, ($27bn) – in short, a basis to hit the ground running, complete on-going projects, initiate new ones and continue addressing Nigeria’s infrastructure deficits. Alas, after $200bn had been earned and spent, that did not happen. What happened?”.I guess the answer is similar to the quality of piece of advice that Mr President gave to his former boss when he was Vice-President and Chairman of National Planning Commission.It’s simply cluelessness and gutlessness.

Another area of interest  is how personnel costs increased from about N600 billion (including the National Assembly) in 2007 to over N800 billion in 2010, and then N1.6 trillion in 2012.It is partly attributable to some of the retired-but-smuggled-back-public servants as posited by Mallam Nasir El Rufai!

 

The administration, in the past one year has been especially visible in its large travelling contingents, indiscriminate setting up of committees, huge budgetary allocations to Aso Rock Presidential Villa, stealthily conducted media campaigns and depletion of funds in various specialised accounts of the federal government.

Recall that Mr President at heat of Fuel Subsidy Removal protest promised to eliminate wastes and especially instructed that political office holders’ take-home pay be reduced,nothing of such as happened and instead the President appointed a new Special Assistant on Youth Affairs, and Dr. Doyin Okupe as his new Senior Special Assistant on Public Affairs. The President already had a Special Adviser on Media and Strategy and another Special Adviser on News Media.

While querying the number of aides appointed by President Jonathan and their designations, Obong Effanga, Governance Coordinator, ActionAid Nigeria, noted that there are too many duplications in the jobs assigned to the appointees. On the appointment of Dr. Tunji Olagunju as Special Adviser to the President on NEPAD and Dr. Pius Olakunle Osunyikanmi as Special Adviser to the President on International Relations, Effanga noted: “Apparently, these two offices could have been handled by a single person. Besides, why do we have to appoint a special adviser to the president on these when there is a ministry of foreign affairs with more than one minister, permanent secretary, directors and possibly a department in charge of NEPAD?”

Obong Effanga Continued  by saying that some of the appointees and their portfolios,  are even downright ridiculous. “Mrs. Sarah Akuben Pane, Special Adviser to the President on Social Development. One is too stumped to even comment on this. Mrs. Sarah Jibril, Special Adviser to the President on Ethics and Values. What a joke! Who even monitors what (if any) work, some of these appointees have been carrying out?” wondered Effanga, who added that the special advisers “would ordinarily have their own personal assistants and other aides”.

The President had also come under fierce criticism late last year after he submitted the 2012 Appropriation bill to the National Assembly following what many saw as huge, unnecessary and frivolous allocations for the National Assembly.GEJ had in the bill proposed to spend N477 million for “foodstuffs and catering materials supplies” for the President’s office, and another N293 million for refreshment and meals for his office and home.

Also in the same budget, N45.4 million was set aside to be used for purchasing kitchen equipment for the President’s house. Vice-President Namadi Sambo’s refreshment and meals, as contained in the proposal, were to cost N20.8 million; N104 million was allocated for the VP’s foodstuffs, catering and material supplies, while he will spend another N6.2 million on cooking fuel. On vehicles, the Presidency, also in the 2012 budget proposal, allocated N280 million for two Mercedes Benz armoured S-guard vehicles, N144 million for assorted utility vehicles, N18 million on Toyota Hiace bus, and N77 million on other cars to be added to the presidential fleet. The President suspended the procurement of the vehicles following controversy generated in the media over the issue. But the feeding budget of N947 million, the most controversial of the allocations, was only reduced to N857 million, which many Nigerians say did not go far enough

 

The Senate Committee on Public Accounts has also been investigating the withdrawal of billions of naira from the Natural Resources Account of the Federal Government. The account is funded through allocation of 3 per cent of funds accruing to the Federation The fund is expected to aid the three tiers of government to develop the natural resources in their areas as a means of diversifying the nation’s revenue. But the Senate Committee’s investigation of the management of the account revealed that it has virtually been turned into a slush fund by the Jonathan administration.Please come 2015,Mr President you must contest.

Yet, another recent report revealed how the sum of N36 billion in the Stabilisation Account was depleted to N11 billion in five months spanning January to May 2011. The account, which is funded by 0.5 per cent of funds accruing to the Federation Account, had a balance of about N120 billion in August 2010 but was depleted to N37 billion by October 14 of the same year.

 

All the foregoing is to call our attentions to irresponsibilities going on in high places which some folks campaigned that we should all keep blind eyes to,on the premise of religious and sectional sentiments.When Mr President and Co-ordinating minister of economy talks about economic growth or transformation agenda,you should understand what they mean. But you can remind them that developed nations like India and China only spends 12% of their income to run government while USA spends only 10% of her income on same.

 

CORRUPTION

In the area of anti-corruption,this administration has seriously worked hard to ridicule whatever anti-corruption means in the estimations of sane citizens.The list is endless from Dimeji Bankole’s House loan scandal to subsidy thieves who should be languishing in  jail by now in sane societies to Farouk Lawan-Otedola drama.Lest I forget,Malabu oil scam in which the President was said to have ordered in August 2011,the payment of $155 million to Malabu account owned by former minister of petroleum resources-Dan Etete-without the knowledge of Minister of Finance, is yet to be resolved.Rogue bankers are still enjoying patronages from the high places.Who has forgotten the shameless celebration of corruption when chief Olabode George came out of prison?What about the ceaseless and brazen insults on the intelligence of Nigerians with the retention of Minister of Petroleum Resources under whose care, the un-imaginable subsidy malpractices were perpetrated.

 

When NNPC and only four other importers were responsible for the importation of fuel,the subsidy sum never climbed =N=400billion.It was just =N=261.1billion in 2006,=N=278.8billion in 2007,and =N=346.7billion in 2008 and now to over =N=1trillion even with partial removal of subsidy.Yet all government could glib about is dirty records with nothing substantial to show when Transparency International(TI) Corruption Perception Index rated Nigeria as the most corrupt in Africa or 35th in the World.

 

Ours is a government that does everything immediately or remotely to protect anyone guilty of corrupt practices as long as the person embraces this government.Though Honorable Minister of Information –Mr Labaran Maku- regaled the government’s achievements in the fight against corruption in which he stated the efforts the government was making in prosecuting fraudsters implicated in the fuel subsdiy scam,investigation into pension fund scandal,the geometric audit of ministries,departments and agencies(MDAs),and curbing of graft in the supply of fertiliser and seedlings to farmers;yet House Committee Chairman on Drugs,Narcortics and Financial Crimes,Hon Adams Jagaba gave a more damning verdicts on GEJ-led government when he stated that TI did not do their work dilligently in rating Nigeria better than last year.He further stated that political will to fight corruption is lacking from the Mr President.

 

Hear him “As far as I’m concerned,there is even some politics being played in this report because corruption has reached a climax in Nigeria.If you go by our ranking last year,Nigeria is actually getting worse not better….But like I always say,you cannot fight corruption successfully without exemplary leadership.If you have leaders who refuse to declare their assets,and if you have leaders who protect corruption,definitely corruption cannot go away.” “In every administration,people read the body language of their leaders and take a cue from there.The day the war against corruption will start is the day our leaders change their body language…” 

 

The recent sleaze un-covered by Mallam Nuhu Ribadu’s Presidential Task Force on Oil Revenue and the drama that ensued(premeditated it seemed) from two members of the committee to rubbish the report was instructive. What is disappointing about GEJ’s commitment regarding corruption is that the same President that said “Although the time is short,like a determined athlete,we need no more than a hundred metres to make our mark on the sand of good governance”(November,2010) is the one dithering on bold steps to stem the tide of corruption.

 

Critics also reminded us of the AA oil owned by one Mr Aliyu from kogi state and the CBN landed property deals that saw CBN parted with several billions running to over  =N=20billion which helped the company and the man;settled Skye Bank’s loan debts.What was scandalous about one of the deals was that the same government sold the land for less than =N=1billion few years when selling NITEL property.Information had it that about $1.2million was channelled into Mr President’s 2011 campaign through one of the serving ministers.The same minister’s company  was said to have been indicted by Farouk Lawan’s committee on Fuel Subsidy.You wonder where Neighbour-2-Neighbour campaign part of GEJ got their slush funds from?You can tell now.

 

Morning shows the day.Late 2010,the whole of 2011and 2012 have shown what GEJ’s socio-political philosophies are.Nigeria deserves better.GEJ does not deserve to rule beyond 2015.Let every young (wo)men be prepared to mobilize friend(s),neighbour(s),brother(s),sister(s),cousin(s) etc for the task of throwing GEJ out of Aso Rock.Just like Daniel Kanu of Youth Earnestly-Ask-for-Abacha(YEAA)fame, someone will come up with Youth-Earnestly-Reject-Jonathan(YERJ). It would be a great idea.All patriotic (wo)men must begin to sing the gospel of ENOUGH-IS-ENOUGH to government by Trial and Error.Let all those whose shoes have been taken away by inhuman policies begin to take a walk of destiny now by engaging in political goodnews that TRIBALISM,SECTIONALISM and RELIGION do not deliver daily bread to anybody’s table nor shelter over anyone’s head.Only good leadership with the true fear of God does. what do you think?

Olatona Olabode works with Kingzcrown Consulting,Abuja

Follow on twitter @ amdegreat  

MANY REASONS GEJ MUST CONTEST 2015 PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION(1)

MANY REASONS GEJ MUST CONTEST 2015 PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION(1)

“…[Jonathan] has fallen so early into the error of doing business as usual.He is the ultimate pacifier. He seems determined to run a government of the Godfathers. Every man who imagines himself to be a custodian of the Nigerian legacy, even only a portion of it, seems to have a share of his government…But can President Jonathan just please, hurry up and focus on the important issues of national interest, the same issues that he himself has identified to start with?” – Dr. Reuben Abati in “Hurry Up, Jonathan,”  May 14, 2010:

Before you think this guy is one of the inconsistent Nigerians who have nothing to stand for except seeking  patronages from anyone in power to enjoy cheap but unproductive weallth,this write-up is not about seeking government patronage (which truly would not come anyway) but in my own opinion, an objective assessment of this present administration.I besiege you to read to the last paragraph and you will be convinced. 

 

It is no more news,though not a cheering one; that Nigeria has moved from the most fraudulent country in Africa to the worst place for a baby to be born. KPMG, the global audit and financial advisory firm, recently rated Nigeria as “the most fraudulent country in Africa, with the cost of fraud during the first half of 2012 estimated at N225 billion ($1.5 billion).Does this give anyone concerns about our future?PDP and GEJ must have done excellently to achieve this great ‘feat’.Let us examine this PDP-led administation and how it has fared.

 

ECONOMY:

Generally,our economy is now doing fine.Many thanks to this administration and the imported technocrats.YouWin and SURE-P have turned out 300’000 jobs for our youths as promised(Somebody should please question them on their promises).Recent report has it that the SURE-P spent =N=2.2billion on Secretarial Services and another =N=75million on travels and tour between July and October,2012.Is this not scandalous?(When they said subsidy must go for government to be more liquid,you should understand).

Private sector is now thriving.Inflation rate and interest rate are favourable enough for private sector to expand and create chains of wealth.Oh,Nigerians are now truly transformed from 2 meals per day to one or nothing per day.Subsidy removal has really helped Nigerians to live better.There’s high investments in our refineries and all those sabotaging the functioning of our refineries have been punished.Even Mr President recently assured Nigerians that only total deregulation will bring investments to our Oil and Gas sector.Investors in his opinion are not thinkers.They will just bring in their funds because the name of our President is Goodluck even with all the dirty drama displayed at the presentation of  Ribadu-led Petroleum Revenue Task Force report and the poor politics that was played out on same.

 

There’s now fuel everywhere and the subsidy provision this year alone may climb =N=2.09 trllion according to Henry Boyo in his 24th December,2012 column.(=N=888 billion + =N=162 billion suplementary provision is just a tip of the iceberg) despite partial removal of subsidy.Pray,what is happening with all the lies and propanganda that were sold and dangerous as well as un-intelligent tribal colorations that the debate eventually assumed?

Mrs Okonjo- Iweala said deregulation will open up the market, thereby creating jobs(You can see the job that FSR is creating where =N=2.2billion was spent on secretarial services and =N= 75million on travels and tours in 4 months). She said the policy will reduce smuggling of petroleum products to neighbouring countries and reduce fraud. She said between 2006-2011, the government spent N3.7 trillion on subsidy, stressing that as at October, this year alone(2011), N1.3 trillion had been spent and it is estimated that by the end of this year(2011), N1.43 trillion would have been spent.

 Mrs Diezani Maduekwe said that the total projected subsidy reinvestible fund per annum is N1.134 trillion based on average crude oil price of US90 per barrel. Out of this, =N=478.49 billion, accrues to the Federal Government, N410.03billion to state governments, N203.23billion to local governments, N9.86 billion to the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) and N31.37billion as transfers to derivation and ecology, development of natural resources and stabilization funds.She said the discontinuation of subsidy will save additional resources for investment in programmes targeted at mitigating poverty and spurring economic growth. She said a robust programme structure has been developed to ensure adequate oversight, accountability and implementation of the various projects targeted to reduce the impact of subsidy removal.

The entire project will be overseen by a Board to be constituted by Mr. President. Consulting firms with international reputation will be appointed to provide technical assistance to the Board in financial and project management. Relevant MDAs will set up Project Implementation Units to drive the implementation. An independent body will be responsible for monitoring and evaluating the implementation and will report directly to the Board,” she said

Pray,if in six years(2006-2011),Nigeria spent =N=616.67 billion on the average per annum,how come we are still spending over =N=1trillion in 2012 though there is partial removal of subsidy.What problem has been solved by their heartless policy?It seems to me that the corruption acknowledged by Mr Lamido Sanusi at the Town Hall meeting organised by the Newspaper Proprietors Association of Nigeria (NPAN) in Lagos,is even worse now with all the revelations of fraud and corruption at various committees set up to look into peoples’ diapproval of the unpopular policy.Where is the development promised by the government?Where is all the allocation to state governments from the subsidy savings?GEJ deserves to come back in 2015!!!

Before you argue that but government is already applying the instruments of law against those short-changing the system through EFCC,don’t forget that the same government pretended to be blind when it’s obvious that it’s the friends of government and party men who are the rats eating our subsidy funds,and also remember an aide to Mr President(Mrs. Mariam Ali) once stood as sureity for one of the subsidy thieves and a member of family of the same aide (Mamman Ali), is also among the suspects on trial for alleged N3billion subsidy scam.Who is deceiving whom?

DEBT MANAGEMENT:

The news about our debts wether internal or external is getting disheartening.This is because the journey to heavy debt burden which was relieved not up to a decade ago,started like the present national debt accumulations.Our national debt started when Nigeria borrowed  $13.1million from Italy to finance Kainji Dam project in 1964.But by 2004,Nigeria’s external debt had climbed over US$35.9.The burden of this debt was too much to bear that Nigeria embarked on the journey of debt forgiveness campaign.Eventually,Nigeria succeeded but not without coughing out $12.4billion to enjoy $18billion forgivenenss in June 2005.The irony of this is that the same hand that encouraged Nigeria to part with such huge amount when Nigeria could have easily restructured her external debts and use the same funds then for developmental projects like light rail project,refineries,power etc;is still the same hand that’s goading Nigeria to go for more external debts now.

 

One wonders what happens to all the philosophies that were one time debt-aversed?Because the dummies sold to Nigerians then was that,with debt forgiveness,Nigeria would be able to save the huge sums paid in debt services and use same for developmental purposes(Sound familiar with that of FSR savings dummy) .Where are those developmental projects Madam?

 

By the time Umar Yar’Adua-Goodluck Jonathan came into power in 2007,Nigeria’s total debt was about $3billion but as at September 2012,external debt had climbed $6.29billion while domestic debt had reached =N=6.39 trillion.Yet,the NASS just approved another $7.9billion foreign loan for federal government and 23 state governments.Federal Government’s share of the loan is $4.846 billion to be paid back over 50 years including moratorium period.The alarming issue about this debt is that our textbook technocrats have begun peddling textbook lies of debt-to-GDP nonsense.It’s this kind of textbook lies that led us into SAP trap when our economy was simply mono-product as well as primary-activity based, same with blind partial deregulation of downstream oil sector when necessary palliatives were not put in place.Everything in Nigeria is always good on papers.The honest question is do we need more foreign debts at this time when Nigeria earns more from rise in the international oil prices?

 

Why do we have habits of creating wealth indirectly for the foreign nations while starving our brethren to death here?Excess Crude Account had once been depleted to the tune of $23billion while foreign reserve to about $25billion between 2007 and 2012 without tangible development across all tiers of government.Yet this account has grown considerably of recent.There is also external reserve as well sovereign wealth fund;all of these accounts/funds are kept,managed and invested abroad.Creating values for another economy of course; all in the name of saving for the raining days.Why can’t we draw from these funds now and seek for loan if need be in the so-called raining days(if they will ever come)?  

 

The argument is more worrisome because for 2012 fiscal year,Nigeria spent =N=500billion to service her debts while =N=591.764 was appropriated for 2013 fiscal year.This is the more reason why those saying we still have capacity to borrow because our present debt-to-GPD ratio is not more than 18.8%,are not making any sense to me at all.They do not care about ability to utilize the loan for its intended purpose nor capacity to pay back without default.What about cheating our nation out of opportunity to borrow for more sublime purposes in the nearest future?Indeed blind (wo)men have taken over the governance of our nation.

The table summarizes the above argument

 

Table   1                                  Debt Profile of the Federal Government

Item

Year

 

2009

2010 b

2011 b

2012

Debt Stock (US$ b)

   External   Debt

   Internal   Debt

25.74

3.95

21.80

35.05

5.05

30.60

37.29

6.26

31.03

Na

 

 

Debt Stock (N b)

External Debts

Internal Debts

3,812.63

584.60

3,228.03

5,347.27

757.28

4,589.99

5,593.16

938.63

4,654.53

Na

 

Debt Service Payments (US $ m)

External Debt

Internal Debt

3,660.25

428.00

3,232.25

3,615.88

259.44

3,356.44

3,615.88

259.44

3,356.44

Na

Debt Service Payments (N b)

External Debts

Internal Debts

542.09

63.39

478.70

542.39

38.92

503.47

542.39

38.92

503.47

Na

Source: Review of the 2011 Budget Proposals

 

Table 2     Debt Ratios for the Federal   government

Item

Year

 

2009

2010

2011

2012

Total Debt   to GDP

15.4

19.4

14.6

Na

Total Debt   to Revenue

144.3

129.4

197.2

Na

Debt   Service to Revenue Ratio

20.6

11.7

19.1

Na

Source:   Review of the 2011 Budget Proposals

 

SECURITY:

It would be understatement to say that our state of insecurity has improved.In fact,we can sleep with our two eyes closed.The level of kidnapping has significantly dropped.Boko Haram is now a thing of the past starting from June 2012 as promised by Mr President. Armed robbers now don’t operate freely.Everywhere is now safe including pipelines,seas,air,banks,markets,school,offices,mosques and churches.Our intelligence gathering system has been so fortified that crimes are burst efficiently and effectively.Despite all the over =N=1trillion budgeted for Defence,security and intelligence community in 2012,we are living witnesses to the result.I understand that the former NSA(now deceased) might have been tried for about =N=3 billion fraud.That is how we get to this level of insecurity and instead of men in power to change their ways,they enmeshed theirselves in the same old practices of deepening our state of insecurity.

 

One of the ways employed to deepen our state of insecurity is the empowerment(though temporarily it now seems,but so much dough has been made)of the ex-militant’s business -Global West Vessel Specialist Nigeria Limited (GWVSL)- with an initial Investment of the sum of USD103,400,000.00 Dollars (One Hundred and Three Million, Four Hundred Thousand Dollars) only. Inclusive of all taxes on a Contractor-financed Supply,Operate and Transfer (SOT) Concession over 10 years concession period and renewable for further 2 terms of 5 years based on performance.Who says Mr President does not deserve second term except all you folks with‘bad belle’ because the spoils of office are not reaching you?

 

INFRASTRUCTURE:

In terms of infrastructural facilities,we now have steady power supply as the aide to Mr President on facebook,twitter and other social media affairs,would want all Nigerians believe.Remember that he once conducted survey on improved power supply.What struck thinking Nigerians was how a little above 4000 megawatts would perform another miracle of feeding 150 million Nigerians with steady power supply just like Jesus fed multitude with five loaves of bread.What about $10 billion or is it $16 billion invested in power generations by Mr President’s mentor-Olusegun Obasanjo?

Our roads are getting better.The best example is the Ibadan-Lagos expressway,East-West expressway,Abuja-Lokoja expressway etc.Yes,there’s so much efforts being taken to upgrade our airports which is commendable but how many Nigerians enjoy the airport facilities?Also,our sport facilities now enjoy government commitment.The best example is National stadium Lagos.What about Presidential banquet hall of =N=2.2 billion just approved by the Federal Executive Council(FEC)? Lest I forget,Vice-President’s residence must gulp billions of naira so as to make it beffiting for our political over-lords. This is part of the reasons subsidy has to go so that government would have more funds to finance ridiculous and unproductive projects.GEJ must come again abeg.