Tuesday, 26 May 2015

LETTER TO THE 8TH ASSEMBLY

The case of National Assembly is too bad... It is a case of sheer greed and an absence of conscience... In a country where poverty is so abject, it equates to wretchedness. About 2000 people share the better part of N126B in a year under the guise of overhead. This is besides sharing Bacco-Bags of extorted monies from ministries and parastatals in the name of oversight! While blighted corruption plagues these ministries. But why not?

 NASS has encouraged them to steal to recover their investment in bribe monies paid for budget approval. Little wonder, oversight is more appealing than making or amending laws which would ensure youth training for workplace adaptability through internship schemes, since our education is so flawed.. 

How about making laws for Universities autonomy to work and hence, improve quality and research which is non- existent, scholarships can be crafted to accommodate the excelling less privileged.. No it'll be too much work to research and carefully consider the variables, no time would be left to squander the loot on trips abroad with girlfriends.. Couldn't laws have been made to invest the excess crude in improving education access, building new schools and subsidizing education through provision of books and transport or payment of teachers? No money the Executive would say.. true.. when N126B out of N1.3T (Entire Budget) goes to NASS for Overhead only, not yet salary and allowances which will take another N5.1B Annually and N11.2B every Four years for Accommodation,Vehicle, Furniture and Gratuity..Source: RMAFC 
There is a lot of difference a modest and efficient NASS can make, everything can't be GEJ or in a few days.. Buhari's fault. The executive shouldn't shoulder all the blame for failure of Government, Infact, the legislature we should blame more, henceforth. 

When overhead budget of NASS was N10B and more reflective of what it should be? Ghali Umar Na'abba could threaten OBJ with impeachment, Senate Presidents were impeached once a whim of incompetence was observed. But once David Mark found a way of sharing monies amongst NASS " HONOURABLES" from blotted Overhead cost budgets, common interest in "cookie jar" overtook common interest in improving the plight of Nigerian masses "ordinary nigerian" as we are often referred to in plenary sittings, as though.. they are extraordinary,NASS members in ruling and minority parties alike, applauded Senate President and Leader of NASS, David Mark for stabilizing the assembly leadership, what does the ordinary nigerian know..we won't know the cookie jar is responsible for this unity of purpose which has relegated productivity..vis a vis the quantum pay of NASS members. Little wonder, national dailies published list of Senators who had never sponsored a Bill on the floor and most of our distinguished Senators appeared.. Alas, proof that most have come for the financial benefit, not the work, to improve Nigeria.

 I stand to be corrected on all these allegations and we hope to be proved wrong, yes, "we" those of us that have these impressions about NASS, believe me, we number in hundreds of millions, home and abroad.

Benefit of doubt, all these didn't transpire in the 8th Assembly, and APC is bringing change from corruption right? though many members are returning, we are willing to forgive the sins of Mark's era. Show us you all can turn a new leaf, slash your pay by at least 50% and then do some work, to justify these new earnings which by any standard are still huge!!! 

For starters.. my personal concern is the level of unemployment for Nigerians, while so many expatriates are employed gainfully in Nigeria. 
I have lived,studied or traveled to Nigeria, South Africa, UK, USA, Canada, Ghana, Spain, France, Angola, Denmark and a few more.. but of all the mentioned, only Nigeria employs expatriates ahead of her citizens qualified for same jobs. I've heard all the complaints about Nigerians and they don't hold water, I am a Nigerian,I will be modest and not boast of how well and honestly I do my job, so are other excellent professionals in various sectors.. proof that the teeming potential Nigerian worker will deliver as well. 

8th Assembly, please make and/or amend laws to compel private sector to employ Nigerians and show proof no Nigerian is qualified before employing expatriates, raise the standard of appraisal, slash the salary and use for re-training, re-orientation etc, set stiff penalties for corruption and inefficiency, fire and replace but at least, give Nigerians a chance to reform and earn an honest living, then crime will reduce, frustration at rich people will reduce, productivity and sanity will increase in Nigeria. It is not discrimination, it is giving Nigerians an advantage or sense of belonging in their mother-land. 

Thank you and welcome, Distinguished members of NASS.

(Avaan Maartins Msughter flies with Arik Air as a pilot)





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