NIGERIA’S greatest musician, Fela Anikulapo-Kuti, called it “Government Magic”; that is the practiced tradition in government circles to obfuscate basic issues of the governance process. Those who rule have long held a belief that we are too stupid to be told the truth about how we are governed.
When consciousness began to heighten, they turned to experts, such as Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, trained by imperialism to serve the interests of the global capitalist system, to use statistics to compound the process of obscurantism. This has played out in the current brouhaha over Nigerian budget implementation; it is the basis of the threat by the House of Representatives to impeach President Goodluck Jonathan.
The House is clearly unhappy about the apparently shoddy manner of implementation of the 2012 budget; the House cried out that only 12.6 percent of the budget had so far been implemented! But based on official figures from the Ministry of Finance, only 34 percent of the budgeted sum has so far been implemented.
This means that out of a total appropriation of N1.5trillion appropriated for capital expenditure, government has only implemented 56 percent of the N400billion released to MDAs and has become usual with the government of the day, only ‘favoured’ MDAs got significant sums, and these were often those implementing budget items in the Niger Delta and even they were not adequately financed!
As Shakespeare would have put it, there’s something rotten in the state of Denmark, except here we are dealing with Nigeria. It has become standard practice in recent years, to go through the rituals of budgeting when Nigerians know they will be honoured more in the breach than in implementation.
The country seems to be broke, from a layman’s perspective; so much money went into protecting the privileges of the oil-importing cabal, who in turn donated humungous sums to the April 2011 PDP’s electioneering finances. So there is a tie up between the political process and the ‘growth without development’ economy which imperialism’s agents tout as ‘working’.
The worrisome element is the ‘Supreme Military Council’ mentality of the Executive, which the House of Representatives warned about and the disdain with which unelected ‘experts’ like Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala have continued to treat the House.
No matter what, parliament is the tribune of the Nigerian people, and those in the Executive arm to represent imperialism through the implementation of unpatriotic economic policies must not be allowed to denigrate parliament.
Budgets should be made to work for the Nigerian people and a tradition of full disclosure should be an irreducible minimum. If that ends up the best achievement of the threat to impeach our bumbling president, we would have secured some advancement; and that is better than the insult they hurl at all of us, all the time!