By Godwin Etakibuebu
his is the concluding part of what we started last week, under the same topic – When it comes to looting; the Executive and Legislature are partners in progress. Last week, we established the fact of this ugly reality – albeit the reality of how Nigerians are continually defrauded on daily basis, by those that are elected to make life comfortable for them, with one case of Padding that emanated from the Executive at the Ministry of Works and one of its Parastatals – FERMA.
The proof we produced last week, which is being reproduced; in abridged format, below, just for sake of emphasis, is anextension of the ugly reality that over the years Nigerians have been fraudulently manipulated into elections that produced Dealers for them [Nigerians] in places of Leaders. Below is the abridged reproduction of the evidence we showed last week, for your viewing once again, before we move to the second phase of the conspiracy between the Executive and the Legislature in putting Nigerians continuously and continually in the market place of brazen raping.
HOW WORKS, FINANCE MINISTRIES PADDED OUR BUDGET WITH N11BN – FERMA MD, RAFINDADI REVEALS
The FERMA boss, while answering the question said: “Our proposal of budget as it is today is submitted to the federal ministry of works. And the reason is that FERMA is an agency under the supervision of the federal ministry of works. We’re represented at the cabinet by the honourable minister of works.
“Our budget is in the envelope of the ministry so the ministry is asked to submit their budget within that envelope and it includes budgets of agencies under the ministry of which FERMA is one. So we get instructions to submit our budget through the ministry of works, we submitted to them. “And yes it is true, we submit our budget to the ministry, what happens after is between the ministry, then ministry of Finance, budget and National planning until subsequently it reaches the House of Representatives. We only know what was in our budget after submission. We’ve since gotten the budget of FERMA as submitted to National Assembly and we’ve been analyzing the differences between the two budgets like you said.”
Above shows how Padding strolls from the Executive Chamber into the Legislature’s Chamber for a blessed acceptability and this happens every now and then, always to the detriment of Nigerians. Let us look at the other side of the coin, and that will be how the Legislature INSERTS strange items into the so-called SCRUTINISED Budget before returning a Clean Copy of the Bill back to the Executive for signature.
STRANGE ITEMS IN FG’S 2021 BUDGET
The N13.588 trillion 2021 federal government budget, accented to by President Muhammadu Buhari on December 31, 2020, is replete with line items that are incongruous with Ministries, Departments, and Agencies under which they have been placed. The National Assembly had on December 21, 2020, passed the 2021 budget, which the legislators increased by N505 billion from the N13. 082 trillion earlier presented to them by the executive.
Some of these strange items have no details in terms of locations of projects, thereby making it impossible for budget tracking by Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) and members of the public that might be interested in holding states actors to account.
For instance, under the line item with code ERGP78712459 9, under the Federal Ministry of Transport is the project for the renovation of school blocks in Nkum, Ekajuk, Ukelle and Okpoma in Cross River State which was allocated N250 million. Training of women and youth on welding and fabrication in Zamfara State was earmarked the sum of N235 million under the ministry. [Renovation of schools under Ministry of Transport as against Ministry of Education remains a world-wonder that can only happen in Nigeria].
Like many such line items in the 2021 budget, there are no details in terms of the location. The construction of 20 numbers of block of 3 classrooms in Sabon Gari LGA, Kaduna State got an allocation of N250 million in the Ministry of Transport. The budget was silent on the particular schools to benefit from the project. Line item code ERGP55400230 2, the supply of motorcycles for empowerment of youth in Brass/Nembe Federal Constituency of Bayelsa State was allocated N300 million, under the Ministry of Transport. [Take a look at the cost and come to your conclusion please].
Special training and empowerment on transport and logistics in 12 senatorial zones and 40 Federal Constituencies have been allocated the sum of N3.262 billion under the Federal Ministry of Transport. Under the same ministry, the construction and remodeling of main gate at the Nigerian Institute of Transport Technology with line item code number ERGP55400465 2 was allocated N200 million.
The criminality of this provision is not limited to the insertion only but more provoking is inflation in the cost of “constructing and remodeling of a Main Gate”, which landed the cost at N200 million?
Similarly, under the Federal Ministry of Science and Technology, there is a provision of N500 million for the construction of township roads in Katsina South Senatorial District. That item was provided for under code number ERGP554003920. Another line item with code: ERGP30152067, was provided N115 million for youth and women empowerment at Kankara LGA, Katsina State. This item was inserted under the Science Equipment Development Institute, located in Minna, Niger State. Similarly, budget item with code ERGP554003922 for the supply and installation of integrated solar street lights with specification 60w (high efficiency mono-crystalline panel) lifepo4 battery 480wh, led max power 60w, greater than 3600lm with Specification (Europe standard) is to be provided in Kaduna Central, under the same Science and Technology Ministry. Another line item: Capacity building and skill acquisition on masonry, plumbing and pipe fitting, surveying and electricals in Anambra North Senatorial District, with code ERGP554004674 was provided N 230.7 million. Item code number ERGP554004028, the purchase of min-Suzuki every bus (used bus) for strategic empowerment in “psfan,” South-East geopolitical zone was provided the sum of N200 million.
The budget did not provide details of the number of buses to be provided and the categories of beneficiaries. For the installation of solar-powered boreholes and fetching point in “psfan”, South-East geopolitical zone, the sum of N150 million was provided. There was no specific location for the project.
Under code ERGP554001945, the sum of N150 million was budgeted for the provision of sick bay in selected primary schools in parts Mushin 1, Somolu & Agege Federal Constituencies of Lagos state. Similarly, the sum of N200 million was set aside for supply of materials for empowerment of trainees in fashion design and leather technology. The project, with code ERGP554004089, has no location. N200 million was budgeted for construction of integrated solar street lights in seven (7) LGAs, in Edo South Senatorial District, Edo State. It has ERGP554004496, as line item code. The same amount was provided for similar projects in Etsako East and West LGAs in Edo North Senatorial District. Training and empowerment for youths and women in Plateau North Senatorial District got an allocation of N150 million, under the same Federal Ministry of science and technology.
These strange insertions alone [there are more insertions at other places of the budget that The Guru is not revealing yet] went over the sum of 5 Billion Naira which the National Assembly topped the budget with, and there was no voice of disagreement from the Executive because both of them are partners; by the evidences adduced so far, in corruption.
How can Nigerians stop this brandish onslaught heavily being coordinated by the Executive and the Legislature against the Nigerian people? It is a hard task but very simple to achieve. Follow The Guru on the trajectory of solution when we continue the discussion next week, by the grace of God.
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Source: Vanguard Newspaper of January 5, 2021
Ladies and Gentlemen permit me to draw the curtain on this lucid narration on how both Your [Our] Executive and Legislature, in a total unholy conspiracy, compromised majority of Nigerians [of about 95% of the adult population] to a perpetual lifestyles of slavery. Who will then deliver us from this constitutionally-created oppression?
Godwin Etakibuebu; a veteran Journalist, wrote from Lagos.
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