Without questioning how the first tranche of disbursed money were spent, 'The Luckiest Nigerian Politician Alive' have again released another sum of $1 billion to the same group of people who did not account for their first allocations. Icheoku is afraid that Jonathan has not learnt anything from the experiences of the past and have not or failed to hold people to account for the public money entrusted to them; and yet goes ahead to give them more? Profligacy of some sort, may be? There is nothing primarily wrong in disbursing money to governors and local government chairmen for the peoples' business, fixing and investing in their respective geographical areas; but not when these recipients have converted states and local government purses into their personal piggy-banks; and could are less if workers are paid, schools remain functionally open and whether the little guy on the street eats? $3 billion can go a long way for a leadership/s that is focused, people-oriented and who have the interest of the general well-being of the majority of the states residents at heart. But no, not this crop of leadership presently bestriding Nigeria, some of who had a chequered history with rabid corruption and whose itching fingers always end up pilfering or rather looting public funds for their selfish beneficial use. To make matters worse, authoritative sources from finance ministry confirmed that former Olusegun Obasanjo's government left a total of $20 billion dollars for the Yar'Adua-Goodluck administration; which large sum of money has since been fretted away, with just a misery sum of $4 billion now left in the coffers? The question now is, if the Yar'Adua-Jonathan administration spent such a whopping sum of Nigeria's money within just two years in office, on what projects did they spend it or is $16 billion not enough to provide Nigeria with uninterrupted power supply; good roads, freeways and bridges; functioning health-care system; equip and supply the Nigeria police for Nigerians' security; as well as provide some employment for the teeming unemployed youths of Nigeria which continuously balloons out of hand everyday?
Saturday, March 13, 2010
ACTING PRESIDENT JONATHAN GOODLUCK, A DRUNKEN SAILOR?
Barely 30 days since the National Assembly formally empowered him as Nigeria's acting president, Jonathan Goodluck has disbursed a total sum of $3 billion dollars of the nation's money! Icheoku asks Acting President Jonathan Ebelechuku Goodluck to please show or tell Nigerians those projects for which this humongous amount of money was disbursed and expended? What 'returns on investments' did Nigerians get for this money handed out to their selected or 'elected' officials, the custodians? At least the late Tunde Idiagbon used to give the nation a quarterly account of the incomes and disbursements as well as undertakings and/or on-going projects where their money is being spent. So Jonathan, is anything going to change and give way or is the present death-course ordained? Just two days into his new office as acting president, Jonathan Goodluck opened the valve of the nation's treasury and out flowed $2 billion dollars; yet there is no electricity, the roads are still very bad, the police is still underfunded and ill-equipped to fight the scourge of bandits terrorising the country, millions of youths are still unemployed and without jobs ten years and in some cases more after graduation, the health-care sector is still reeling in a state of anorexia and problems of Nigerians go on ad infinitum. So to what use was this money applied, and how does Jonathan justify these expenditures without any visible or viable appreciable returns therefrom? Where is his management style, frugality or can't Nigeria save for their rainy day, which unfortunately now seems to be every day, if you get my drift? It does not make for good stewardship or a prudent management of the nation's resources to be doling money out to these thieving-governors, without asking them to "show me the projects." He must therefore as a matter of utmost immediacy, fine-tune his approach in order to enthrone efficiency and be a better manager.
Now Jonathan's $3 billion freebie within less than thirty days in office is really crazy; especially since nothing on the ground in the form of democracy dividends justifies such a colossal wastage of the nation's wealth. It is Icheoku's position that instead of the money being used by the recipient governors and chairmen to pad their extravagance life-styles, amidst the seething hunger, hopelessness and despondency in the land, may be a better policy would have been to just leave the money alone in the funds where it is, or better still invest it in a somewhat sovereign fund for the future. It is just too painful that despite all these wealth Nigeria has amassed over the years, that such basic 'primordial' infrastructures, a given in many other reasonable societies with patriotic leaderships, and which help make modern societies livable, is still lacking in Nigeria; and where they exist, in a very abject state of disrepair. So where was the money spent and what justification is there for continuously maintaining the same course to nowhere and embarking on the same failed practices of just handing out money to robbers in government houses without returns on such investments? Icheoku therefore call on Acting President Jonathan Goodluck to watch how he spends the nation's money as if it is going out of fashion; and to require the recipients of such money to properly account for the money already given and received. Provided of course, as a company man, Jonathan is not intentionally feathering the nests of these politicians in office, to financially equip them for future electioneering campaigns or as a necessary trade-off for them to give him the much needed support to transmute into a full presidency?
This is not an attempt to tele-guide Jonathan's psuedo-presidency, no; but we make bold to say that there is an urgent need to check the current profligacy and let Jonathan exercise more caution and become more prudent in managing the nation's resources. There is really no need to continue on this trajectory when it does not produce the desired result of bringing about democracy-dividend for the citizenry. And the last time we checked, Acting President Jonathan Goodluck is not a father-Christmas and never attended a naval academy, talk-less of ever setting sail anywhere including to Barbary Coast; so the question of him being a drunken sailor throwing money in the air should and does not arise. Acting President Jonathan Goodluck should therefore ensure that State governors reciprocate and justify the huge sums of money being handed out to them on behalf of their people. He should require them to turn in cost and budgetary analysis to him periodically, in order to make sure that money being released for the peoples' projects are being used for the purpose and getting to intended targets. Admitted that there is a separation and that the federal government may not dictate to the states on how to apply their states' resources; but at least such governors as did not properly account for their allocations or stewardship should not be allowed to return to their various government houses for second term. And you ask yourself, but what is wrong in a governor giving the people of the state an account of all receipts and expenses which accrued to him while in office; given every year or periodically or as may otherwise be prescribed? Thereafter, any governor beating his chest about what he accomplished or the many roads he put tar on, will be judged juxtaposed the receipts the state took in during the same period of time. This will easily determine whether what was allegedly accomplished is commensurate with or compensatory to the revenue and allocations which the state took in. So Jonathan, get off this spending bonanza!