That President Mohammadu Buhari submitted the 2016 appropriation draft budget to the National Assembly is no longer news. It’s neither news that there were allegations of a swap of the original copy laid before the joint session of the National Assembly. At a point in time, we were even inundated with the tale of the missing budget and it’s ‘disappearance’ and ‘appearance’ made for a comic relieve among Nigerians. Then the story of adjustments by the President’s SA on National Assembly matters.
A lot of Nigerians have decided to dub the 2016 Budget a fraudulent one and I will add that it is also fraught with one controversy too many. I once wrote a piece titled ‘Why Buhari Can(’t) Fail’ http://dapoomojola.com/why-buhari-cant-fail/ it might be worth re-reading. The same way everything Ex-President Jonathan did was right in the eyes of Dr. Okupe seems to be the same way anything ‘PMB’ is faultless now before the ‘hailing hailers’. Show me a perfect man and I’ll show you the money!
It’s appalling that under the much touted change, a senior aide of the President was alleged to have doctored the National Budget and all he could say was that ‘it is a sensitive issue’. What! And he’s still in government? The Health Minister came to openly deny the figures of his budget as not being what they computed, how come? N10b was stealthily sneaked into the budget in a manner I describe as anticipatory stealing and nobody is awed? What about the humongous amounts appropriated for Presidential Villa feeding, computers and hospital etc.
Some even said the national Assembly wasn’t ready to work, but how more should they demonstrate their willingness to work by fixing a deadline for the passage of the appropriation bill, a date that is no longer feasible, no thanks to the executive panel-beating and ‘photo-shopping’. The proponents could colour it anyhow, but simply put, it’s a huge shameful national embarrassment borne out of the negligence and dereliction of the executive.
Some still explained it away as being mistakes, that’s laughable and ludicrous, those were huge ‘mistakes’ that should cost someone his appointment. If indeed there’ll be change, someone should be resigning by now. The errors, if any, are costly. What if your mechanic failed to screw the rod of your tyre properly in place and call it error, or the doctor forgets his surgical blade in the bowels of His patient or the mistake of a pilot nose-diving when he should be hitting the skies. We’ll continue to make light of this surreptitious attempt at thievery if we don’t see it in the light of life and death. The so called mistake is too much to be admitted as an excuse all things being equal, ceteris paribus they call it.
Some of my friends challenged me saying it’s only a budget and the job of the National Assembly is to review it, but I say their job is not mere reviewing but critically scrutinizing it. By the way, I think there’s a generally acceptable variance in budgeting, the percentage variance at hand is not quite determinable but bloated.
I don’t doubt sabotage, I don’t doubt the old system fighting back neither do I doubt the President cleaning his house. The Buhari administration should vet itself and where necessary do a self-purging in order for us to have the much desired overall change that transcends words. It’s not about wailing, neither is it about hailing it’s all about sailing. Nigeria must sail and sail through!
If you’re a wailer, wail with sense, if you’re a hailer hail with even more sense.