Hours after the presentation of N16.39 trillion 2022 budget to the joint session of the National Assembly by President Muhammadu Buhari on Thursday, Mohammed Gudaji Kazaure declared that the budget and previous ones over the years are more beneficial to the elites in implementation than the masses.
Kazaure who represents Kazaure/Roni/Gwiwa/Yankwashi Federal Constituency of Jigawa State stated this in an explosive interview with select journalists in his office.
To stop the ugly trend, he called for a war against corruption in the country, saying, the looting and “pen robbery” in the public service system was responsible for the grounding of the nation’s economy.
While many federal lawmakers from both the Senate and the House
of Representatives after the budget presentation, expressed hope that its projections and proposals, if well implemented, would be beneficial to Nigerians and Nigeria; Kazaure said the elites, as experienced in the past, would benefit from whatever gains or benefits packaged in the proposals.
“The N16.39tr 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 intentions, 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 the 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 elective or appointive templates.
“There are a lot of 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 be 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 fraudulent minded people within the system are exposed and dealt with, there will be more than enough money for the government to implement the yearly Budgets without resorting to borrowings in any way.
“The most worrisome of it all is that even the chunk of monies being borrowed to finance our deficit budgeting is being stolen by those saddled with budget implementation at different levels through fraudulent ways of contracts biddings, awards and splitting.
“We should have no business with borrowings if all the loopholes with in the system are blocked and tightened”, Kazure added.
Only elites benefit from Nigeria’s budgets while masses suffer – Hon Kazaure