With the signing of the Nigerian budget for 2016, President Buhari has just received the official license to imprint his vision on the country. It was a long way coming with the mish-mash of interests that usually meets fiscal matters in the national assembly.
Intrigues and Counter Intrigues
Nigeria’s law makers have always insisted on what they call ”Constituency Projects,” even when no one alive has seen any such projects executed anywhere. By this many unscrupulous legislators scrounge off resources meant for siting development projects in their communities. The same demand has always been a source of friction with the Executive arm, which argues that it is her responsibility to site and execute projects in ‘constituencies.’
The inexperience of the President Buhari team in handling corrupt civil servants also contribted to the lateness of signing the budget. With both arms of government pointing fingers at each other, they demonstrated to the country how unscrupulous civil servants had also developed their own layer of infusing allocations into budgets that were not assigned by the supervising ministers. That embarrassment is hopefully over now so that the government can settle to the business of truly showing how it is better than the Goodluck Jonathan team.
Nigeria’s budgets have always been seen as a means of giving patronage and compensation to those who contribute to election funds or those who sponsor victorious political office holders. With a loud approval to fight corruption, the government now has a duty to prove that it is sincere with its promise to crack down on corruption.
The government also needs to prove that electricity is not rocket-science. The budget should help in completing the repair of pipelines and construction of new lines.
There is also a need to test the government’s ability to creatively get solutions to the infrastructure problems facing the country. Even though there are numerous PPP models in the various governments of the federation, it is yet to be seen how they can creatively utilize the models to shore up the infrastructure stock of the country.
With businesses like Wadmus pioneering the introduction of new and cheaper road maintenance technologies, the government will be served to harness beneficial offerings that save money, deliver on demand and expand the country’s limited infrastructure. Fortunately, the current minister of Works, Mr. Raji Fashola is well versed in the management of PPP models during his tenure as governor of Lagos State.