THE state of the economy is discussed in muted tunes.
Nigerians have not been parties to the economic decisions that they bear the
brunt. Public funds are essentially seen as
the property of those who preside
the authorities to note the difference between public and private resources
have resulted in economies that are in the pockets of the elected.
dictate. From the local governments, through the states to the federal, there
is hardly any difference in the management of the economy.
crisis is from the inability of governments to pay bills, especially workers’
salaries that have been delayed in most states.
consistent price of over $100 per barrel, the country is supposed to be doing
well on the budget benchmark of $79 per barrel, with production steadily
hitting over 2.4 million barrels per day.
owed portions of their July, August and September allocations, projects are not
being funded. Things are not getting clearer as the controversies range about
what has happened to the money.
revenue. Why is government unable to stop oil theft? The Nigerian National
Petroleum Corporation, NNPC, gets generous mentions about its opaque management
of oil funds, deciding when and what it pays into the federation account.
the exact figure. The Federal Government’s connivance with NNPC ensures
accounts of the federation remain mysterious. Figures as high as N2.3 trillion,
about half of the 2013 budget, have been mentioned as unremitted NNPC
obligations to the federation account.
for them. NNPC accounts should be audited. Section 85 (4) states: “The
Auditor-General shall have power to conduct checks of all government statutory
corporations, commissions, authorities, agencies, including all persons and
bodies established by an Act of the National Assembly.”
exclude the Central Bank of Nigeria, which takes autonomy as a blank cheque for
Annually, since 1999, the National Assembly approves budgets
for the Office of the Accountant-General of the Federation. Why has the
National Assembly not held the Auditor-General responsible for not sanitising
public accounts? Sub-section (5) expects National Assembly committees on public
accounts to consider all public accounts.