President Goodluck Jonathan
The Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) has raised the alarm over what it described as the reckless extravagance of the President Goodluck Jonathan-led administration.
The party warned that if nothing was done to arrest the situation, it could plunge the country into bankruptcy.
In a statement issued Tuesday by its National Publicity Secretary, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, the party said it was totally unacceptable and utterly shameful that a government that has not made a positive impact on Nigerians would engage in such wastage.
The party urged all Nigerians to join hands and call the Federal Government to order before it runs the country aground.
It said the Federal Government had now beaten its own record for profligacy by its decision to build a N2.2 billion Banquet Hall in the Presidential Villa.
According to ACN, the project was justified by the Minister of the Federal Capital Territory, Bala Mohammed, based on the fact that ‘’other smaller countries have better Banquet Halls near their presidential residences.
‘’It is interesting that a minister of the Federal Republic of Nigeria is comparing the country with ‘smaller countries when it comes to justifying a project that will only benefit a few elite. Does the minister know that the citizens of the so-called smaller countries enjoy uninterrupted electricity supply? Does he know that the citizens of those countries don’t have to queue up endlessly for petrol and kerosene; that they don’t have to depend on Okada for transportation and that they have no road as terrible as Lagos-Ibadan Expressway?“ it stated.
ACN said nothing could justify the decision to spend such a huge amount of money on a Banquet Hall in a country where many go to bed hungry, where youth unemployment is at 46.5 per cent and where projects that could make Nigeria to achieve the Millenium Development Goals (MDGs), less than three years to the target date, are almost non-existent.”
The party also condemned the decision by the Petroleum Minister to spend N6.5 billion for “sensitisation” on the Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB).
In addition, ACN, the leading opposition party in the country, faulted the President’s propensity to travel to international meetings with a bloated entourage.
It also frowned at the continuous allocation of huge funds to purchase aircraft for the presidential fleet, saying they all fit into the mindless profligacy of the President Jonathan administration.
‘’One would have expected that a government headed by a man who himself has publicly acknowledged his humble beginnings will be less profligate and more inclined to allocate funds to developmental projects that will uplift the standard of living of his compatriots, including ensuring better security for them. Sadly, what we are witnessing under the discombobulated Jonathan administration is the exact opposite,’’ it said.
ACN advised the Federal Government to be prudent in spending the nation’s scarce resources only on projects that can benefit the masses, rather than a few elite.