Saving Nigeria’s Economy: Sanusi In The National Assembly

by L.Chinedu Arizona-Ogwu

It is a popular joke that a carpenter of a developed country becomes an engineer when he comes to any project in a third world country. Those statements sum-up the effect of misusing our collective resources; money and wealth by those in authority.

In spite of a lack of accountability and irrelevant conditions, a section of people in the National Assembly summoned Prof. Lamido Sanusi to come and defend why he claimed 1/4 of annual budget goes into the law-makers private pockets. We need no fictitious projects for our economy to grow. However, economists think that we do not. ‘You cannot find any country which was developed with that kind of attitude, In fact, constituency project does not work. I think constituency project contribution is not very significant in the annual budget.

Economists felt that, as a section of policy makers and bureaucrats are the beneficiaries of constituency project, they always advocate for it. ‘For constituency project, LAW-MAKERS can go on foreign tours and also receive other facilities from the project funds. Some these men in the National Assembly get high salaries while some policy makers find opportunity to earn money illegally.

However, as the ‘honourables’ are the beneficiaries of constituency project money, they cannot negotiate with the Accountant -general. It is a fact that in a nearly similar project, South Africa does not need to satisfy any conditions although there are plenty for Nigeria for the same project. I feel that as we do not have proper development philosophy, our law-makers and the policy makers cannot negotiate. If we have to take any loan or allowance, law- makers and bureaucrats need to bargain really hard about any project that will be facilitated by it.

I feel that it is high time we reject constituency project allowance and loans. I paint a bleak scenario through the citation of a number of countries which were dependent on constituency project controversies. The economies of some countries of Africa were totally destroyed through such constituency project loans. However, when they realized that constituency project loans and unnecessary allowances are harmful for them around the nineties, they rejected them. Nigeria can follow in their footsteps.

One of the main purposes of any constituency project is the employment of citizens of rural communities. In the name of technical support, they selfishly employ some of their indigenes as grass-cleans, without any expertise in most of the cases, paying them high salaries and allowances. Even in some cases, by employing the think-tanks of our community in the high-paid posts, they establish their influence on them. Another important thing is that they want to create their company’s market in their communities with the constituency project guise.

I think it is high time we reject constituency project loans. LIKE OUR SISTER COUNTRIES when they realized that constituency project loans are harmful for their economy, they rejected them. Nigeria can follow in their footsteps,’ he concluded.

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