National Assembly Renovation, Fixing Of Cctv Cameras And The Mission To End Financial Recklessness Among Nigeria's Political Elite

By Momoh, Emmanuel Omeiza
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In all sincerity, the challenges which beset us as the giant of the African continent are such that continue to emanate on a daily basis. As such, when one challenge is being tackled, another suddenly shows forth making the whole scenario much complex.

Overtime, the common issues bordering around financial recklessness, irrelevant spendings, budget passing have continued to be the bane of our national existence. Not minding the fact that there have been several propositions to containing this menace, it has continued to spring forth yielding discordant fruits which continually threaten our national cohesion.

Barely a week ago, the nation's federal legislative chambers had made a proposal to the executive arm of government seeking for funds to renovate the national assembly.

In the wee days of the just concluded year 2020, it has also pressured the executive arm of government to resuscitate the CCTV project which were necessary to capture criminals and crimes especially in the nation's federal capital, Abuja.

I took my time to have a succinct review of the demands of these legislators and was forced to conclude that the practise of politics in Nigeria still operates from the rear when compared with what operates in other countries.

It is as though it is one of the most thriving businesses. Infact, it is the nation's new oil which can be mined effortlessly towards yielding huge returns. All these are without making unjust claims or assertions.

With the passage of time, the actions of Nigeria's political elite in matters relating to administration and governance seems to be a source of bewilderment to many. The way At which these leaders demand for funds to fuel one project or the other are sometimes questionable using the principles of democracy and rule of law.

It is sad that with the current cash crunch faced by the country which are the consequences of several factors which include but not limited to oil price fluctuation at the international market, the current crop of the Nigerian legislature could be demanding for funds to renovate the national assembly.

And what do we say of the quest to resuscitate the failed CCTV projects especially in Nigeria where poor electricity, utilisation of substandard materials for project execution seem to be the order of the day? How just is the claim that installing the CCTV will assist in nipping crime in the bud?

Or what do we say about the utilisation of public finds tofinance personal projects such as funerals, weddings and building of sky scrappers? Are these not the current actions of Nigeria's political elite?

Don't tell me you have forgotten the quest to borrow unclaimed dividends or from the pension funds which generated much heat before it was eventually forgotten?

What about the life pensions which accrue to these individuals and which have been called for abolishment severally?

Do we claim to be ignorant of the yearly allocations which are earmarked for the upkeep of the national assembly but which are not used for the projects they were awarded?

What about the budget for automobiles for these legislators which incessantly drain the national treasury?

What about the subsidy reinvestment and empowerment programme (Sure -P) which were mismanaged? Are these not signs of financial recklessness and mismanagement?

What more can we say about the statute built by a former governor but which were eventually demolished by a sitting governor?

Can we compare this to what obtains in other countries where politics is not seen as get rich quick scheme or a money making adventure but as the contribution of one's quota to national development? Can we compare it to other systems of political administration where citizens of a country can question the actions of the elected officialswithout being arrested?

And while we continue to cry, mourn and languish over poor rate of development when issues such as financial mismanagement and spendings continue to be the center of attraction in the polity.

I must sincerely commend the actions of civil society organizations such as BudgIT, NEITI who continually criticise the actions of our political leaders especially in regards to financial allocations.

Notwithstanding, there are still other grey areas. It is not enough to criticise these leaders but they should me made to face the consequences of their actions. We can borrow a leaf from the French who jailed a former President, Nicholas Sarkozy on financial allegations.

What stops us from putting such into practice of it will assist in saving our economy from being destroyed by organisms who are bent on eating to their satisfaction not minding the resultant effect?

Several reports continue to come to the firelight of how Nigeria's political leaders mismanage funds. In the most recent ones, some were accused of having choicest properties in the United Arab Emirates.

Now tell me, how we expect to make things work if issues like this are not abated or how long should Nigerians continue to sound the drumbeats for good governance and financial transparency if all these are not resolved?

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