Who is holding onto that budgetary fund? – By Shaibu Stephen Ojate


At every election year, Nigerians are usually inordinate with all manners of promises by those seeking one elective position and the other. During this period those outside the corridor of power lament the decay in our national life and even criticize the incumbent political office holders for not doing enough for the people. Those eyeing the seat real out tales of stories on how they shall get things corrected and make things working if they are voted into power.

This was the scenario in the previous and past elections in Nigeria. Recall that when former President of Nigeria, Goodluck Jonathan was canvassing for the support of the people, he made lots of promises. He was indeed seen as biblical David of our time because of the circumstances surrounding his ascension to power. Nigerians believed that he shall make a difference because of the miraculous way surrounding his coming to office with the demise of late Yar’ Adua. After years in office, the same larger populace who voted him during his first term complained that he has not done well enough. Nigerians complain of deteriorating state of our economy. Nigerians lament how the economy got crippled down due to corruption which was taken to high heaven during his time.

The dissatisfaction people had on Jonathan  was what led many to queue behind Muhammad Buhari, one time military general in Nigeria in the two last elections in Nigeria. Buhari was equally seen and regarded as messiah of our time. Many repose confidence in him due to his past antecedent when he first piloted the affairs of the Nation as Head of State.  Buhari was seen as a no-nonsense man, one who would not tolerant corruption and any form of ineptness. He was seen as one who will look into the plight of the masses if given the opportunity to serve again.

 Since President Buhari came to power, we have been hearing all forms of alleged corruption in federal government ministries. Even of a recent time, many lament how the masses were short-changed by the civil servants on their daily tasks. It is instructive to note that all daily activities and duties of Civil servants in Nigeria are aided by budgetary provision.

In the time past, I have also heard tale of stories on how these civil servants short-changed member of the public and even extol money from them for the purpose of carrying out their normal official duties not until I become one of such victims.

Recently, I went for a change of name and have the court affidavit and publication done. I reach out to my bank to effect the new change in my account and I was made to understand that I need to have an ID card bearing my new name. Before now, I have National Passport and National ID Card. Since going to immigration centre to update the new name in my National Passport will take time I then opt for the National ID Card.

The first time I get to the National Identity Card Management Commission’s office, I saw hundreds of people on queue and was advised by the officer on duty to come another day since they cannot take more than the number on the line. Early in the morning today, I quickly dressed up and match straight to their zonal office in NYSC camp in Kubwa Abuja.

Despite my early arrival to the place, I still see tens of people before me and we put our name down before the arrival of the National Identity Card Management Commission officer.  When the officer finally arrived and resumed work for the day, we were made to understand that only one loose sheet of the National ID application form for the registration is available. For this reason, they mandated us to pay N40 each for the Photocopies of the front and back page of the registration form.

Upon hearing this, I interrogated the officer on duty on why they don’t have enough copies for the National ID applicants and she responded that the office make no provision for it. Alas, there in the same office, a table by her was a Photostat Machine which they positioned to photocopy same documents for those who see it as waste of time to go outside the premise to do the photocopying.

I then ask her, ‘’ what is the need of going to do the photocopying out the premise when the office has one in their custody to do it free of charge for all’’? She responded that the machine belongs to private individuals. My question now is, ‘’ is it appropriate to run a private business inside government office and who authorize this?’’  More also who is holding onto the budgetary fund earmark for the purchase of stationeries for the National Identity management commission if there is any iota of truth on the claim of the officer?  If we have to pay for everything in Nigeria then what is the position of government in our national life and what has changed?

Shaibu Stephen Ojate is a Journalist and public affairs commentator writes from Abuja. He on a facebook and on whatsapp platform and reachable via phone number 09075716236



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