By Haruna Salami
More reactions trail the presentation of N16.39 trillion 2022 budget to the joint session of the National Assembly by President Muhammadu Buhari on Thursday.
To Hon Mohammed Gudaji Kazaure, the budget just like previous ones over the years, is more beneficial to the elites in implementation than the masses.
He stated this in an explosive interview with journalists in his office.
To stop the ugly trend, Kazaure who represents Kazaure/Roni/Gwiwa/Yankwashi Federal Constituency of Jigawa State called for proactive war against corruption in the country, saying, the looting and “pen robbery” in public service system was responsible for the grounding of the nation’s economy.
Although many federal lawmakers from both the Senate and the House of Representatives after the budget presentation, expressed hope that budget projections, if well implemented, would be beneficial to Nigerians, Kazaure said the elites, as experienced in the past, would benefit from whatever gains or benefits packaged in the proposals.
“The N16.39 trillion 2022 budget, as far as I am concerned, and based on outcomes of previous ones over the years, is for the elites and not the masses who constitute the largest percentage of the country’s population .
“President Buhari, like his predecessors, may in their own intensions, want provisions of such budgetary proposals, beneficial to all, but implementations of such budgets over the years clearly show that the elites and not the masses are largely the beneficiaries.
“This is so, singularly because of malignant or systemic corruption in the public or civil service system used as machinery for implementation of the budgets”, he said .
According to him, in stopping the yearly financial ritual from being largely pocketed by the elites in particular, the civil or public servants, the war on corruption should be “aggressively fought proactively and not just by mouthing or media trials” .
He pointedly declared that for the war to be potent and effective, all the bodies set up for it like the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Independent Corrupt Practices and other related Offences Commission (ICPC), the Code of Conduct Bureau (CCB), The Nigeria Police, etc, should be proactive in their operations and not reactive .
Being proactive he explained, requires investigation of the wealth of those occupying public offices, either on elective or appointive templates.
“There are many directors in government offices having estates in high brow areas across the important cities in the country and living in mansions that totality of their salaries and emoluments for 35 years can not built .
“These are properties that should be investigated first as regards ownership for the required identities of those in the system cornering monies meant for the general good of Nigerians .
“If these corrupt and fraudulently minded people within the system are exposed and dealt with, there will be more than enough money for government to implement the yearly budgets without resorting to borrowings in anyway.
“The most worrisome of it all, is that even the chunk of monies being borrowed to finance our deficit budgeting, are being stolen by those saddled with budget implementation at different levels through fraudulent ways of contracts biddings, awards and splitting.
He said the country should have no business with borrowings, “if all the loopholes within the system are blocked and tightened”, he concluded.