How the Nigerian Government is Defrauding the Nation; By Bemdoo Hulugh
In 2006,it was said that the elites in Nigeria have embezzled £220billion since 1960 which is more than the amount of money America used to re-build Europe after the second world war. The truth is every government agency or parastatal is just a place to embezzle our common wealth or extort the already impoverished citizens. They are not there for the masses, government have become an avenue for making few individuals rich and nothing, I mean nothing matters to those in government except to get rich by all means.
In 2009, the Heineken Lokpobiri led ad-hoc committee on transportation brought out a damning report that shows how government does business in Nigeria. The report revealed that the transportation ministry between 1999 and 2009 gave contracts for the construction and rehabilitation of 11, 591 km roads at a cost of N1.008 trillion – about N87 million per km. Wonders shall never end in Nigeria!!The report continued that during same interval, only 41 per cent of the roads were worked on, but close to 64 per cent of the contract value was paid. In the 10-year period, work was done on only 4,752 kilometres of roads for N645.8 billion, at a very high cost of N135.8 million per kilometre, defrauding the government N49 million on each kilometre. In the real sense it was government that was defrauding the people. Our roads have remained death traps while some people become millionaires.
What about the power sector where $16billion was spent by government between 1999 and 2007 but Nigerians are still in darkness or suffering epileptic power supply. Where did the money go? Ours’ is a case where contracts are awarded just to loot our common wealth. Think about the privatisation exercise during the Obasanjo tenure where 129 nationally owned companies were sold far below their value to people in government and their friends. Femi Falana told who ever cared to listen that the Delta Steel Company in Aladja, Delta State was built with $3.2 billion by the Nigerian government, but was sold to a company believed to be fronting for Obasanjo for N7.5 billion ($120 million). If we thought Obasanjo headed the most corrupt government, the present administration has taken embezzlement of our common wealth to another level. The $6.8billion fuel subsidy scam which the House of Representative report revealed how larger than life political and business figures stole our billions in the name of fuel subsidy. The N500billion that just disappeared from SURE-P. The N40billion Police Pension Fund scam. The unaccounted $20billion from NNPC and many too numerous to mention. The reason why we hear stories of fraud almost everyday in government is because the purpose of the people in the corridors of power is to steal every cash they can get access to.
When they are not stealing our money or selling our national assets to themselves, they are devising schemes to extort the already impoverished masses. That is why a university Vice Chancellor will just wake and increase tuition fee to more than 100%. The police are more concerned with collecting money on road-blocks than protecting Nigerian citizens. FRSC will wake up and decide to change the design of car number plates and driver’s license and impose it on the masses at very outrageous prices. Somebody will from nowhere begin an illegal “park and pay” policy in Abuja. Every government agency just looking for ways to extort the masses. The Nigerian government is the biggest fraud known to mankind. The federal government is a perfect example how government at all levels loot our common wealth.
There is no government in Nigeria. What we call government is more of a fraudulent organisation using the name “government” as cover to enrich themselves at the expense of the masses. We provide our own water by sinking bore hole or digging wells, we all have generators in our houses to be sure of power supply, we are our own security, government have left education in the hands of private individuals, our hospitals are nothing to write home about. So what is the government really doing? Why has government since 1999 haven’t been able to carry out its primary responsibility?
The recent Nyanya bomb blast, the killings and abduction of girls by boko haram, the fulani militia attacks in Kaduna, Plateau, Benue and Taraba state, the rampant kidnapping in South-east and South-south and all the unrest in Nigeria is as a result of long term injustice by government against the people of Nigeria. Frederick Douglass once said “Where justice is denied, where poverty is enforced, where ignorance prevails, and where any one class is made to feel that society is not an organised conspiracy to oppress, rob and degrade them, persons nor property will be safe”. Our greatest tragedy is that injustice have prevailed for a long time and those things that hold our society have finally given way. We either change from what has been or sink as a Nation.
Bemdoo Hulugh is a active citizen from Makurdi
You can interact with him on twitter @bumy04
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