The Conference of Nigeria Political Parties (CNPP) has described as “belated and a clear sign of the level of incompetence and lack of foresight in and around the President Muhammadu Buhari administration”, calling on anti-graft agencies to identify, recover stolen revenues, arrest and prosecute all heads of agencies and ministries involved in the alleged unremitted internally generated revenue (IGR) in the country.
CNPP in a statement issued in Abuja on Tuesday by its Secretary General, Chief Willy Ezugwu while reacting to an advice by Senator Ahmad Lawan to President Muhammadu Buhari to reduce the funding of Nigeria’s annual budget through external borrowing and his denial of bribery allegation relating to the passage of the Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB).
“Senator Ahmad Lawan even went ahead to confirm that ‘so many agencies of government that are not remitting their internally generated revenues and this is something that we have to address and address as stiffly as possible and as quickly as possible because we need to find a way of reducing the borrowing that we do’ which vindicated CNPP’s long standing position that Buhari administration is full of incompetent persons.
“For the top principal officer of the National Assembly to suddenly realise that the Buhari administration is borrowing too much money after the same lawmakers consistently approved external borrowing, including permitting clauses that signed out Nigeria’s sovereignty is belated and a clear sign of the level of incompetence and lack of foresight in and around the President Muhammadu Buhari administration.
“The President of the Senate progressively held the view that any bill or request by President Buhari will be passed by the Senate. Several Senate’s approvals of requests by President Buhari or bills that cover the interest of appointees of the President or his party, including unbridled external borrowing against public outcry by Nigerians.
“It is a shame that Nigeria has the current principal officers of the National Assembly, the worse anti-people legislative leaders since the advent of the current democratic experiment.
“With the confirmation by the President of the Senate that several agencies of the federal government are not remitting their internally generated revenues to the national treasury depicts of the unprecedented level of hypocrisy in the fight against corruption by the Buhari administration.
“We call on all relevant anti-graft agencies to rise up to their duties to not only prevent the looting of the nation’s treasury but to also swing into action immediately to identify, recover stolen revenues, arrest and prosecute all heads of agencies and ministries involved in the alleged unremitted internally generated revenues to the Treasury Single Account (TSA)”, the CNPP charged.
On allegation that Senator Lawan got $2 million (about N823 million) while the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Femi Gbajabiamila was paid $1.5 million (about N617 million) as bribes to facilitate the now distasteful percentage for oil producing communities in the Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB), which Lawan denied, the CNPP said, “it is trite in law that you cannot be a judge in your own case.
“We equally call on all anti-corruption agencies in the country to investigate this bribery allegation and bring all those involved to book. Nobody expects any accused public officer to easily own up to his or her crime. The denial by the Senator makes no meaning to us.
“The alleged source of the funds, the Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Timipre Sylva, each senator who was said to had received $20, 000 (about N8.2 million) and members of the House of Representatives who allegedly got $5,000 (about N2 million) each, should publicly investigated to determine what actually transpired beyond mere denial”, the CNPP stated.