NOTE: As a matter of personal principle, I seldom react to rejoinders to my column because it amounts to abuse of forum and one risks coming across as having a personal interest in the matter – which is public.
Furthermore, I strongly believe that the subjects of articles – Presidents, Governors, Ministers — being public servants are directly accountable. I will never stoop so low as to trade words with a servant of a servant. One Bukky Ighodaro who wrote from Abuja on behalf of his masters will receive no reply from me. His employers will – especially the one old enough to be my age group. The column today represents part 2 of the one started in 2019 for obvious reasons. Everything predicted in that article, as usual, has come true.
“A fool if offered eternity will not know what to do with it.”
Epicurus, 341-270 BC. VANGUARD BOOK OF QUOTATIONS, VBQ p 62.
Nobody is calling Buhari a fool. But he has a cluster of them working for him. Year after year, they present budgets which they don’t and cannot implement. When in October last year, Buhari ordered the release of N600bn for capital expenditure in October 2019, it was obvious to any economist that economic growth would be stifled. Below are a few comments from the article. They constitute the take-off points for today’s follow up with regard to the situation on the increasing impoverishment of Fellow Nigerians under this FG. By 2023, at least 25 million would have added, mostly Northerners, to those it met in that situation in 2015. Pervasive violence now slowly but steadily destroying the country will escalate. Even a fool knows that a hungry man is an angry man. Millions more Nigerians will certainly go hungry now and until 2023. Herdsmen, bandits and kidnappers in the North especially have guaranteed that.
“President directs release of N600bn for 2019 Capital Projects”.
News Report, October 1, 2019.
President Buhari had “stated in his 59th independence anniversary speech that he had directed the release of N600bn for capital implementation from the 2019 budget in the next three months.” If Nigerians want to know why poverty will only get worse under Buhari, the report has provided all the information we need.
“Nigeria’s oil production falls to 1.37million barrels.” PUNCH, August 13, 2020.
According to the report, “Daily Crude oil production in Nigeria dropped by 38,000 barrels in July to 1.37 million barrels, a new report by the Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries showed on Wednesday.” The FG, as usual had based the 2020 Budget on exporting of 2.3 million barrels. They were warned that the target was unrealistic because OPEC quota already agreed by all members. Government and the National Assembly were warned. Please read.
“Furthermore, the budget was based on daily crude oil exports which are now clearly unrealistic in light of the quota approved for Nigeria by OPEC. Even a rubber stamp NASS must respect itself and not waste time on a document so defective and which will not be implemented if passed”
They refused to listen. We are in a mess this year partly because it was foolish to base our budget on a vital revenue target which we knew would not be achieved.
“Nigeria’s oil exports threatened as US floods European market.” PUNCH.
The increasing threat of US oil exporters was already recognised by other OPEC members – and the wise members had taken that into account. Even African producers reduced their export expectations for 2020. The only country, whose leaders would not recognise a threat, even if it is trailer barrelling towards them on a highway, were Nigerian Budget Managers. For their collective folly we are going to feel the lashes of another recession – which they have themselves announced. The more unintelligent ones among them still blame Jonathan for their awful performance. They are unaware that Nigerians are of their excuses.
“High Cost of Governance May Hamper 2020 Revised Budget Execution.”
DAILY INDEPENDENT, August 17, 2020, p 28.
Even the revised budget was totally defective. It was based on 1.8 million barrels. This particular brand of self-delusion occurred when 2020 was well underway and loads of Nigerian crude went in search of elusive customers. “Consequently, overall fiscal revenue for 2020 is estimated at N5.84 trillion in the revised budget from N8.42 trillion in the prior budget; reflecting a drop of 31 percent.” Any objective observer can discern a pattern of delusion and deceit characterising the formulation and execution of budgets by this government since May 2015.
“Oil exploration suffers setback as Nigeria’s rigs fall 33%” PUNCH, August 19.
If you are searching for an economy heading inexorably for a major collapse, then look no further than Nigeria. Oil remains our major source of revenue because the FG is in the hands of the most incompetent managers ever. Nothing points more emphatically to the imminent crash than the situation with oil rigs.
Rigs in operation fell to six in July; they were nine in June, 21 in March and 12 in April. Most Nigerian producers cannot cope with current global crude oil prices. The problem is expected to continue for the rest of 2020. Even a slow thinker knows the meaning of that for Nigeria’s oil revenue going forward.
“FG to spend N688bn on scanners at nation’s ports, entry points.”
VANGUARD, Maritime Report, August 19, 2020.
The report informed readers that the FG is set to acquire over 300 scanners. Nothing is wrong with acquisition of modern scanners. But, the NFG must be the only government to purchase those scanners instead of adopting a build-operate- and-transfer method. Several contractors could be handed different ports under terms that will allow for negotiated user fees which will make it possible for contractors to recover their investments with reasonable returns on investment and some revenue left for Nigeria from the transactions…
To be continued..
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