Gov. T.A Orji and the Budget of Hopelessnes,By Odimegwu Onwumere

Odimegwu OnwumereThe 2013 Abia State bill, also called “budget of hope”, which was signed into Law by Gov. T.A Orji on Friday February 4, is not only a desecration of time and hope of our people, but also discouraging.

Though, many of us observers of the Gov. Orji government knew that the law was going to be ineffectual, and did not take the governor’s comment seriously, when he assured that the “budget of hope” will be efficiently employed and ensured that the state would see sensible utilisation of its resources, for the general growth of all that are in our state.

Conversely, such law needs commendation, but only if it were implemented in those states, where their governors think with their heads and enforce works that are people-oriented; not in Abia State, where Gov. T.A Orji thinks with his mouth and executes numerous projects, but only in the media.

Owing to the waddled nature of Abia State, due to mis-governance of Gov. Orji, it has to be deduced that all the efforts of the state legislators in reviewing and analysing of the budget, are just like water sprinkled on the shell of melon.

While the governor had commended the state legislators, for what he termed as, all the key sectors of the government are accommodated without discrimination, it is dishonourable that he is not accommodating our people without discrimination.

With the state of infrastructural ruins in Abia State, any sound mind would always question what this government has done with the total budget outlay of N134,148,037,590.00, which was initially presented and laid before the Abia Legislature, but after due and careful consideration, according to a comment credited to the Speaker, Sir Ude Oko Chukwu, it was adjusted to N137,172,537,600.00, for the 2013 fiscal year.

With the non-performance of Governor Orji government, his assurances that the implementation of the overall macro-economic policies in the bill as topmost priority of the government, have not only ridiculed his administration and himself, but have shown how this government lacks the aspiration for the provision of welfare and infrastructure to our people.

The hopelessness of this “budget of hope” started that day, as Gov. Orji said that he observed that the state needed strong internally generated revenue (IGR). Since then, our people who were suffered with high volume taxes, saw fifty folds of levies that were being imposed on them by the government, to enable Gov. Orji meet ‘the financial demands’ of the state’s developmental challenges.

The irony of it all is that while our people are being coerced to pay these voluptuous taxes with the aid of intimidation by security operatives in Abia State, Gov. Orji who promised that the government would be receiving at least N1 billion monthly IGR, has declined to perform his government’s civic duties through the paid taxes.

Instead of initiating development that would uplift the state, Gov. Orji is busy fighting dirty his perceived political foes, even when many of us have become strong advocates of reconciliation between the governor and his opponents.

Gov. Orji lacks the peculiarities of a good leader, he sees the ability to reunite with those that he offended, as a matter that belongs to the blues. Don’t tell the governor that reconciliation is the key word, for the establishment of purposeful driven government, else he bars you from entering the state, as he has barred Governor Rochas Okorocha of Imo State, who billed to celebrate his birthday at Aba, a big city in Abia State, on 12th Oct. 2013.

Rather than reconcile, Gov. T.A Orji is glimmering on reading or hearing his goons called media aides, making commodities of every of his inglorious speeches or he made. They show their loyalty with lies, which invariably, are sponsored from the much amplified “budget of hope”.

As unpromising as the administration in Abia State is, Gov. Orji does not care about who is telling him lies for the gratification of his or her pocket, as far as the person is making much desperate noises in the media, against his perceived political enemies.

From the look of things, it is presumable that the government apparatuses create unnecessary issues around the governor, understanding that he does not forgive. So, they enjoy such, because of how much money to be derived from nuisances.

The government of Gov. Orji operates a ‘budget of hopelessness’ and the outcome is the non-performance we can see everywhere in the Abia State.

But Gov. T.A Orji wouldn’t in earnest pervade the moonlight tales that he does not want to borrow money to execute projects. He ought to have known that he had limitations in governance, due to the level poor performance has exposed him to peoples’ contempt, and resign.

Governance ought to be a complete public business, not a complete business. Our people would have suggested to the governor that borrowing is part of governance, but only when it is done reasonably, if he had been doing something reasonable to improve our people’s lot.

On-the-contrary, because Gov. Orji sees governance as a business, he resolved not to borrow, according to him, thinking that he would be the one to pay back. He forgot that any government that borrowed money did that for the state, because the people are to pay. Although, it is better that the governor does not resolve his decision not to borrow, because our people who are to pay, are not seeing any dividends from the IGR.

Hence, the “budget of hope” farce would have been factual if the government did not lay its foundation with lies and negative propaganda. The civil service in the state is owed months of salary and months of arrears. Then you wonder where the ‘hope’ lies in the budget, as the workers are subjected to chronometer system. The hopelessness in the Gov. Orji government continues in the sense that he wants our people to pay their taxes, when at the end of the month, he doesn’t pay workers.

Odimegwu Onwumere is a Poet/Writer, Rivers State. Tel: +2348032552855. Email: [email protected]

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