issues

THE VEXATIOUS BUDGET OF NIGERIA’S NATIONAL ASSEMBLY

Good day folks.

I have seen a few online petitions going around lately and one has caught my attention. The petition requesting the National Assembly (NASS) to open its book regarding the perennial N150 Billion (Approx. $600 Million) budget is a feel good one, but really doesn’t open up the matter. It’s okay to sign the petition, but more informative to understand the issues.

Let’s remember that the cold war between the Presidency and the NASS started in 2011, when President Jonathan refused to approve the NASS budget that was increased from N112.24 billion to N232.74 Billion (over 100% increase). The President had proposed N120 Billion, but eventually both parties agreed to settled for N150 Billion, which has remained the yearly budget till 2014 (Their budget was slashed in 2015 to N115 Billion). From that point on, the NASS practically stood in the way of the Executive over several issues, for which Nigerians paid the ultimate price. Can you imagine that if left unchecked, the NASS would have been blowing over N200 Billion on themselves????

Prior to 2011, there was some level of budget breakdown for the monies allocated to the NASS. We could tell what went to the Senate, House of Representatives, NASS Service Commission, etc. For the past 4 years however, no one has been able to breakdown this budget of N150 Billion despite the various demands by pressmen relying on the Freedom of Information Act.
Continue reading

Standard
issues

A TRIBUTE TO MY OUTGOING PRESIDENT: YOU SIR, HAVE MY RESPECT.

Goodluck PencilReally, you didn’t have much of a choice because the handwriting was clear that Nigerians needed a change. Not because you didn’t do well, but because the propaganda against you was seethed in the red hot belly of strong alliance that formed from the moment the unexpected knocked on your doors.

Despite the failures of your government, both perceived and real, your nobility breaks through the preponderance of narrow narratives of politics and persuasions that border on the preposterous. I believe you were given to our country as that lonely wall upon which our differences, vexations, animosities, and bile will be nailed to, just to unite us on the common activity of breathing out our devils.

Personally, I do not prefer your leadership style. To this, I have learnt that we are all made different and crafted for a given time, a given setting, and given people. For this, I can see through the heat and mist of my desire, beyond the trifling conveniences of my ignorant learning, to the higher calling of personal graces with which some are endowed.
Continue reading

Standard
Fiction

THE LIFE IN CALABAR – AN INCONSEQUENTIAL SHORT STORY

I drove out of the airport at about 7:15 pm local time on Sunday and was mindful not to cause any delays in the exit lane from the parking lot. The parking receipt had slipped through the space between the driver’s seat and the fancy hand rest. I struggled to squeeze my fat fingers through to where the coloured paper rested while keeping the car in motion since from the rearview mirror there was a convoy of government officials trailing. I was driving a rental car, a small mini sedan which I often drove home from the airport instead of taking the light rail into town and hissing at every stop of the 45 minutes journey. Luckily, my dear friend Esther was manning the final exit gate and she simply waved me on and reminded me “Bros Bee, I’m still waiting for the trip oh!”. “I will call you”, I shouted in response. Call her fire! Ever since I met her at a restaurant in town and told her of my weekend getaway with my wife and friends to Creek Town holiday resort, she has bugged me severally to take her family along the next time I went.

The 1km road from the airport terminates at the ‘Welcome to Calabar’ roundabout, a massive landmark which unites three major expressways leading to the major districts in the City of Calabar. Beautifully constructed and well maintained, I usually take a deep breath when I get to drive around it to remind myself why I love this town. At nights, the dancing streams of water shot from powerful nozzles are coloured by underground lights and quite spectacular to behold. The water acrobatics from the concentric pools move with the rhythm of the local Efik percussions. At Christmas, tourists are usually treated to some elaborate water displays while driving into the city.
Continue reading

Standard