I’ve just heard with one ear that Senate has rejected President Buhari's request for permission to borrow $30 billion.
Eda o l'aropin o.
So something positive and sensible can come out of Nigeria's National Assembly? Allah be praised.
In principle and in ideology, I am opposed to the philosophy of domestic and foreign loans in Africa. I am even more opposed to it in the particular case of Nigeria. I do not support President Buhari's loan request and I applaud its rejection by the Senate.
Let President Buhari keep his promise:
1) Publish the names of those who have been returning funds.
2) Let us know the kinds of deals they have been cutting with your government.
3) We need exact figures on how much you have recovered from corruption thus far.
4) We need to have a clear plan for how you propose to spend recovered funds.
5) Also, were the Presidency, Ministers, the National Assembly, State Governments and Local Governments to reduce their conspicuous consumption in public office by 50%, how much can Nigeria save in a year?
6) Add annual savings from the irresponsible lifestyle of public officials to fund recovery from corrupt individuals. Whatever the tally is, begin to spend it responsibly on what you say you need foreign loans for. Let's see the mileage you cover on that track at the end of next year before you make other proposals to Nigerians.
On another note, as is always the case with institutions in Nigeria, whenever they offer you something to be happy about, something to commend, scratch beneath the surface and you will find reasons to yawn and despair. In other words, it is one thing for the Senate to take the commendable step of rejecting the proposal, how they arrived at that conclusion is a totally different matter.
They have rejected the loan proposal within a week of receiving it. Note that during that same week, Saraki and Dino were on an irresponsible junket in Switzerland. Officially, they claimed that they were attending some world parliamentary event. However, Nigeria is only noted for large contingents comprising cerebral efulefus at such world parliamentary meetings. The Nigerian parliamentary delegation was a disgrace a few years ago in Quebec City.
The quality of their contributions at such meetings - where they even attend at all; they usually just go shopping with their concubines - is zero. So, at about the same week that these folks were all idle in Geneva, the loan request was considered and declined.
Question: when was the proposal read and vigorously debated? When did the relevant committees of the Senate study the proposal? What sort of research did they and their aides do? When were the relevant Ministers and other actors in Federal agencies who worked with the Executive to put the loan portfolio together invited for grilling by relevant Senate Committees? How were the Nigerian people and stakeholders engaged?
Nigerian, I guess you know where I am going with this. In all probability, these irresponsible folks in the Senate arrived at their conclusion without even reading the loan proposal. The decision to approve or reject was probably taken over nkwobi and beer, while they were surrounded by runs girls in their chalets in Abuja.
I am saying that in civilized democracies, it is not enough for the parliament to pass laws or make decisions that the people are happy with. The quality of time they invested in the process also matters. That is why you see Senators and Congressmen and women and their aides spending days and hours on research before taking the floor to vigorously debate issues.
You must be seen to be spending the billable hours of the tax payer qualitatively and responsibly. The Parliamentarians you go to meet in Geneva, London, and Quebec City earn annual salaries that are inferior to your wardrobe allowance as NASS members in Abuja. Yet, they work ten times harder than you. You put in the least work hours of any parliament in Africa. The few hours we see you even pretending to work through debates on the floors of the Senate and the House, the quality of your work is so abysmal that one always changes the channel.
How do you get away with being the highest paid parliamentarians in the world who get to decide on a $30 billion dossier in a week? No debates. No research. No engagement. It is called disrespect for your employers: the Nigerian people.
But, sha, I don't blame you.
If you are able to get away with making all that money for little or no work and you are hailed on by your employers, na God win. Abi, Dino, no be so?