While the past week was yet to wind up, reports came in the press that the United States government is at loggerheads with Nigeria over a purported $100 million disbursement to the incumbent governor of Kebbi State, Governor Atiku Bagudu. The question that first came to the mind of many was why the Federal Government feels compelled to dole out such a gargantuan sum to the personal bank account of a sitting governor.
Apparently, US Department of Justice has lately revived helping Nigeria to recover funds stolen from the country by corrupt leaders about 25 years ago.
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Other details per the reimbursement revealed that former President Olusegun Obasanjo who originally entered into an agreement with Atiku Bagudu did not expressly agree to forfeit the outstanding sum being tied to Gen Sani Abacha and Atiku Bagudu in frozen US foreign accounts.
In the past, there have been several concerns about the opaqueness of stolen sums by Abacha and cronies which were repatriated back to the country. There were insinuations in several quarters that the recovered loots were being squandered by the Federal Government and State Governments. It was not until the countries from which these millions of dollars were repatriated demanded for accountability and transparency into how it was being spent by the Nigerian government that they sat tighter and provided insight into how it is spent.
And now that it seems that the United States has saved Nigerians again from being fleeced by a possible secrecy in the government, the Federal Government (FG) should now be too embarrassed to go ahead with the proposed remittance of the said $100 million to Bagudu of Kebbi state.
For an administration which came into power through a vigorous anti-corruption sloganeering of the All Progressives Congress (APC) to be seen as a champion of such corruption that it once campaigned against is arrant deceitfulness and hypocrisy.
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Again, in the throes of going broke, the Federal Government has just decided to suspend the National Social Investment Programme (NSIP) which included the Npower, School Feeding, TraderMoni and so on. It is a public knowledge now that the FG agreed to use a tranche of the recovered loot from Switzerland to fund NSIP initiatives across the country.
The government claimed it was a move to restructure the programme but as there is continually a revenue shortfall being witnessed by the FG, the socialist initiative may have just died a natural death. Once the sustainability of funds being remitted into the country is called into question, NSIP initiatives seems no longer be serviceable; hence the indefinite suspension.
However, at one point or another across the national value chain, Nigerians who look closely enough will discover that perceived unscrupulous elements who have populated government at all levels will try to take the whole of over 180 million rich citizenry for a ride. At any given time, the chances that we are constantly being fleeced without our knowledge have forced a number of Nigerians to go into slumber mode in patriotism.
But this is not the time to be lackadaisical and give in helplessness; we should on the other hand also be grateful to foreign countries for helping Nigerians hold some of the rogue government officials involved in malpractices accountable too by exposing their antics.
Featured Image Source: Independent Newspaper
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