Thirty-eight federal government agencies operate a combined but undisclosed budget of about N8 trillion, an amount almost the size of the 2018 budget signed by President Muhammadu Buhari in June this year, it has been revealed.
Deputy Speaker, House of Representatives, Lasun Yusuf, revealed this yesterday on the sidelines of a capacity building workshop for House of Representatives members and support staff of financial crimes committee, an event organised by Human and Environment Developmental Agenda (HEDA) Resource Centre.
He listed the leading agencies in this category as the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Nigerian Port Authority (NPA), Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) and Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA).
“There are 38 agencies of government whose budget runs into N8 trillion every year and it’s not open to Nigerian public. Example: CBN, NPA, NNPC, NIMASA, there are plenty. What the public is aware of is only the one presented by the president,” he said, even as he recalled that the National Assembly had always raised concerns over the reoccurring issue.
Yusuf also took a swipe at the current chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC) Adams Oshiomhole, saying the way the former Edo State governor was running the party showed that he was determined to destroy it.
The deputy speaker was referring to the recent governorship primary election of the APC in his home state, Osun, that produced Gboyega Oyetola as candidate of the ruling party.
He rejected the outcome of the election, describing it as a “charade”.
“That chairman is going to destroy that party. The chairman of that party is going to destroy it. Let me be specific: Comrade Adams Oshiomhole is going to destroy APC.
“Nobody can drive me out of that party. I’m a member of the APC. I’m going to stay right inside there. If the party is going to collapse, let it collapse on all of us. If it’s going to survive, we are going to survive with it together,” Yusuf added.
Asked if he will challenge the outcome of the party primaries in court, the deputy Speaker said, “I am not challenging anything. The party either collapses or we survive. I am not challenging anything.”
Earlier, Yusuf told the stakeholders at the venue of the event that Nigeria would have to seek qualitative institutions in its anti-corruption fight.
“Anytime a government comes out with a policy, you must find out whether such policy needs legislation. It is when you are able to do that, that you gradually build institutions. You can’s build institutions by just churning out policies. It’s not possible. Your policy must be reviewed at all times to see whether they need legislative backing. When you have legislative backing, there is no way you will not be able to build institutions,” he said.
The deputy House Speaker noted that drafting or writing laws was not meant for legislators alone, but that the public must get involved, even as he urged civil society organisations and human right group to enunciate legislations that can properly provide guide to the government.
“When the public is not involved in writing laws, then you have shortfalls”, he said.
The chairman, House Committee on Financial Crimes, Kayode Oladele, agreed with Yusuf that the problem with fighting corruption in Nigeria was the lack of the right institutions.
“What we have been having is political will of whoever is the president,” he said. “Whether or not a sitting president has the determination or will, once the country is able to get the right institutions in place, ‘the war against corruption will succeed beyond an administration. We have to institutionalise the fight against corruption.”
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