Nigerian Politicians Looted N66.7tn Since 2003, Says Group


David-Chyddy Eleke in Awka
A rights group, International Society for Civil Liberties and the Rule of Law, has said the sum of $302billion or N66.7trillion has been budgeted, squandered and siphoned by Nigerian politicians since 2003.

The group said the federal government, 36 states and theFCT and the 774 local government areas had in the past 16 years budgeted and spent a total of $724billion or N140.8trillion without anything concrete to show for it.

The group in a statement signed by its Chairman, Board of Trustees, Mr. Emeka Umeagbalasi, and released to THISDAY in Awka in reply to the release of lists of looters by the federal government, said the federal government as constituted today, cannot exactly its their hands off it.

It said it was shocking that out of the whopping sum of $302billion or N66.7trillion budgeted, squandered and siphoned by said political office holders in the federal government since 2003; less than 30 per cent or $90.6billion (N19trillion) was budgeted for capital expenditures or for provision of good governance and public good for the entire population of Nigeria.

It said recurrent expenditures (running costs of government and
remunerations of 608,926 public servants of the federal government) incurred the remaining staggering balance of $211.4billion (N47trillion) or over 70 per cent of the entire budgets.
“The appropriation Act engineered lootings of the treasury are glaringly perpetrated and perpetuated through inflated or over-bloated running costs or overheads and multiplicity of allowances.

“A clear case in point was the self-allocation of jumbo allowances of
N13 million and N12 million per month as legislative running costs whereas the top public office holders amended Act of 2008 clearly fixed such at relatively over N1million per month.”

The group also accused the national leadership of the organised labour as part of the conspiracy by always pretending to be advocating for the welfare of all Nigerians; whereas evidence shows the contrary.

“Once an increase in their remunerations is negotiated, the rest is history.”

The group called on all Nigerians to refuse to be distracted by brickbat of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC), in their list of looters, referring to them as the country’s two umbrellas of corruption.

It said: “Public governance is too
important to be turned into an arena of diversion, distraction and
deceit. As the country had been held by jugulars by its political
criminals operating through the umbrellas of APC and PDP, these
political criminals must be upturned and held by jugulars by Nigerians too.

“The two umbrellas of corruption holding sway at the federal level in
the form of “federal ruling and federal opposition parties” as well as States or sub-national entities where they hold sway; must explain to Nigerians the whereabouts of whopping sum of $302billion or N66.7trillion budgeted and spent by the Federal Government of Nigeria since 2003.

“They must also tell Nigerians why the country is still acutely lagging behind its peers and juniors of the 60s and the 70s especially the likes of South Korea, Malaysia, Indonesia, Singapore, Taiwan, Bahrain, Qatar, Oman, Brunei, Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates, Iran, Brazil, Argentina, Philippines; not to talk of China and India,” the group said.