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Published On: Fri, Nov 24th, 2017

Budgets and public trust (2)

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The Minister of Budget and National Planning, Senator Udoma Udo Udoma

The Minister of Budget and National Planning, Senator Udoma Udo Udoma

FRIDAY Column by Engr. Abubakar A. Fari

You can’t get rich in politics unless you are a crook -Harry S Truman, Former US President

Section 3, 19 (A) Penal Code of Northern states, I understand, is an effective law which is to align budget and public trust. The section, that is 3 (19) A, remains a code of conduct ignored by the ruling class in the Nigeria and perhaps the authors of the Nigerian Constitution. It would seem unreasonable for any Constitution to give a blanket cheque to pursue corruption. It is difficult to rule the existence of a similar provision out to deal with financial and economic crimes. This Act empowers government to detain a civil servant with questionable wealth to explain how he made it. A civil servant deemed to be living above his income level is suspect. So the question that one has to be proved guilty beyond reasonable doubt is ruled out. Here the accused is to prove himself beyond reasonable doubt as the bona fide owner. Why the government is silent on that as an engineer, I wonder.
It is instructive that former Head of State, General Murtala confiscated the properties of Supreme Council Members and others that served during Gowon administration. Leadership by example was the bold step. What he did was to calculate total remunerations of the person day one to retirement and let him go with 50%. Any assets above half of the total income were frozen or confiscated. If one had any objections and could prove legal ownership was allowed to explain in a court of law. None of the affected challenged the policy in court. The decision was taken with the major power brokers of the Murtala administration then to include Obasanjo, Danjuma, Buhari and IBB not dead yet but still alive.
When IBB came to power, for strange reasons he reversed the decision and that was the beginning of the come to become that engulfed Nigeria which the US described the Nigerian deadly schemers as masters in contriving “earthquake” corruptions. The catalyst and mother of sustainable corruption was compounded by the callous economic and financial policy of the IBB regime called Structural Adjustment Programme (SAP). The inflation that this has created is beyond comment. Till date the cancerous contamination is destroying the Nigerian society.
We had a dialogue this week Nov 19, 2017 with a concerned indivisual who withdrew N10, 000:00 from his ATM. Then he asked me in the US or UK tell me how can one withdraw US Dollar 10,000:00 and just for less than a week upkeep or chefane. I told him that when we graduated in 1975 one could by a beetle for below N1500: 00. In fact could even drive it to Lagos from Kaduna with less than N50 for fuel. Now one will fill his tank with N10, 000:00 to Lagos from Kaduna and pay more. Then Nigerian girls refused a lift in beetle cars that were considered too indigent. Today, they have to beg an achaba motor cyclist with their money. Those who imposed SAP did not match fiscal discipline with public trust. They shifted poverty to the common man while they live extravagant lives with their families. And an extravagant person is a close friend of Satan. And Satan is the cursed one by his Creator. This is stated in Quran 17:27 among others.
In the UK, imagine car costs 10.0 million pounds Sterling. An average car is more expensive than a Rolls Royce at only 0.35 million pounds sterling if the Nigerian scenario is duplicated. How many could then afford that in the UK. Yet our “patriotic” leaders as a result of SAP one could by land at 1.0 billion US Dollars in Abuja. Recall that in 1985, the Naira was stronger than the US Dollar. The only way to establish a deadly and creeping terrorist act is through financial terrorism where more than half the population of Nigerians is barely surviving. It is as bad as suicide bombing. The “earthquake” corruptions that create silent death on ignorant and innocent citizens in Nigeria is legend.
Those Nigerians with illegal US Billions of Dollars in foreign countries for themselves and their children would be shot dead in countries like China because they are at par with terrorists. The citizens in the “civilised countries and industrialized rich nations” will not accept this scenario. There will be a spontaneous revolution. But then this proves that we are a bunch of ignorant so-called “educated” Negroes with no sense of direction but to loot and contrive tribal and religious unproductive conflicts that reverse us to the Stone Age. The education we claim to have is just to serve US-Zionist and NATO axis.
Nigerians tout religions but are largely hypocrites. They say what they believe not and do not even know how to spread the looted wealth to have a comfortable life. With lots of money one cannot enjoy in Nigeria. The bad roads and the indiscipline and the crimes induced by economic and financial criminals who pad the budget and dam the wealth in unproductive locations and refuse the money to circulate. The French revolution where they chopped off the head of a Christian “Divine King” representing God or Jesus on earth was dealt with decisively by the Christian commoners who saw the futility in the arrangement and tired of the deceit.
The larger majority of the Nigerian ruling elites do not understand what trust is. Even if they do, it is more of do as I say but not as I do. Former President Obasanjo is a classical example. The moment they are sworn in as the Mr. President, Governor, Senate President, Speaker, Minister, IG, Chief of Army, Navy, Air Force, Comptrollers Generals of all sorts, Head of Service, Secretary to Government Federal or State, Chief Justice Federal or state and you name it, public trust now, is something else. Virtually they see themselves as “untouchables” with a blanket cheque to abuse public trusts and incur unauthourised budgetary expenditures. They forget themselves and forget any notion of accountability on the earth or in the Hereafter. One former Governor said the moment one assumes office is like his normal human head is replaced with that of a donkey. It is only after he leaves office that he will understand.
Satan takes the better part of them and in fact many with so-called university degree or tertiary seem to behave worst than animals when it comes to holding public trust. The preponderance of Vice Chancellors, Professors, Rectors of Polytechnics, Provosts, Executive Secretaries of Boards of Polytechnics, Universities behave like hyenas with meat. The legal practitioners who ignorantly call themselves the “learned” are worst when it comes to raking money illegally where they can sign and have signed any document especially where millions of US Dollars fat fees are concerned. In fact they willfully abuse not only public trust but any trust at all. Indeed, any who calls himself a “learned” person is the most ignorant of all professionals.
It is instructive that the Nation of Sunday, October 8, 2017 reports on corruption on page 4 captioned “Corruption 55 people Stole $ 6.2 billion-Lai Muhammed” Buhari’s adviser asks Patience Jonathan to come clean. High light of the story is as follows:-
“Information and culture Minister Lai Mohammed says 55 people may have stolen about $ 6.2 billion public funds from the country.
He gave no names of the culprits, listing only projects which government could have executed with a third of funds, if recovered.
Mohammed spoke on an Al Jazeera as part of a feature on the vast properties acquired in the UK with stolen funds by Nigerians.
According to the minister, $2.06 billion of the alleged stolen funds would have built 600 kilometers of roads, 37 hospitals, 20,000 housing units and trained 4000 kids from primary to university level.”

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