Matters Arising

By Ajogwu Jerry Ochada

Yesterday, Nigerians welcomed another dramatic but interesting interplay of the big powers agreeing for the sake of crimes committed by a miniature of the populace which is often a repeated trend arising from the incessant negligence of the masses during the polls just because we are Nigerians.

For the bulk of the populace whose fate does not depend on the signing of our country’s budget to feed and survive, the anticipation was limited compared to the anxiety and counter opinion which gained momentum in the circle of the illogical lions devouring our collective treasury.

Signing of our country’s budget is a topic of less concern to an average Nigerian, who believes he / she is not a direct direct beneficiary of any share of the national cake by the ‘Oga at the top’ because to these class of citizens there is no hope for common man. Therefore, they tend to assume that the approval of the national budget is a national chant or rant exclusively reserved to champion the parochial interest of the ruling class and their subordinates but this is not far from the truth.

For the politically ruling class, it is a new era for some of the fraudulently motivated bandwagons to entrench the foul inclinations of personal interest ably facilitated by the romance of collective loot. This is part of the disorder baking a stereotype mindset in the thoughts of the middle class citizens because budgetary allocation is often heard or read in the news without further impact.

In the euphoria of the budget approved yesterday for the munch of the unrepentant elements who are not tired to loot, it is a season to give another gravest bite to our national cake because another election is by the corner and in effect this is the last budget before the game, so your guess is as good as mine. In my country, this is the best time for the agbada ruling class to save our financial values for the rainy day.

It is an annual ritual of allegations, to assert the least with Nigerians – even the charismatic few among the ruling class – raising concern that the budget is always padded.
It calls for concern because for a country struggling to earn international rating of prudence, this is a clog in the wheel. Padding the budget garner a weak rating of transparency for our nation, however it is a shameful interception spearheaded by the unfriendly accord of the low class citizens occupying the seat of the ruling class.

In a saner clime, any budget alleged to be padded cannot sail to see the light of the day but on this part of the globe, the approval of padded budgets can only be delayed perhaps with a bid to divert the attention of public interest but it must survive the annual test of time because it a cardinal rallying point for an unhealthy cash inflow. This is one of the continuous rape on the beds of our crippled democracy!

To understand this dubious agenda, the nuggets of approving a padded budgets seems to be a joint anticipation for many citizens especially the educated illiterates who are paralysed by the cowardice of their intentions to align thoughts by patiently waiting for the approval of the annual lame budget which they always assume would better their welfare.

To these set of citizens, it is always anticipated that an approval of the annual budget signifies the flow of cash in the economy because they are beneficiaries either serving as unqualified contractors or loyalists to politicians.

No doubts, one of the victims of a delayed budget passage are the hungry sycophants and 'errand boys'. They are often brainwashed by their principals to anticipate the signing of the budget to better their lives.

In the political corner, a delay in the approval of the national budget can be likened to a glutton compelled to observe a fast or hunger strike, at the end of it, such character normally bounce back to devour and consume the biggest portion without considering the fate of his hungry kinsmen. This is Nigeria!

Budgetary allocation in Nigeria is limited to the contents and figures recorded on the pages of newspaper for the readership of the interested few however this is a mere ceremonious engagement with little or no execution.

It is difficult to grant amnesty to a goat by taming it in the yam barn. Nobody will blame the goat for consuming the yams but the person who foolishly tamed the goat in the barn is to be blamed. This is the inherent scenario ravaging our beloved nation.

In sequence, we storm the polling station to vote in new breeds of siphoning agents yet we are quick to blame the government for our own negligence.

For our economy to grow, budget padding must be shunned because it is not just politically unhealthy, it is economically drowning and counter productive.

True leaders are not looters, they are selfless personalities elected to represent and better the affairs of the common man, unfortunately, we can rarely find true leaders in Nigeria’s political corridors.

When projects are not executed yet it feature annually in our national budgets, it compels a sincere observer to puzzle on the viability of our collective understanding as a nation. Citizens are silent in the face of many ills yet they wake up to blame the government on daily basis but the effects of public opinion is crippled.

We cannot continue to cohabit with the angels of corruption by ranting without action. We must strive to hold our leaders accountable else we are indirectly victims and accomplice by the indolent deviations of our inaction.

God bless Nigeria!