Home / Emmanuel Onwubiko / Emmanuel Onwubiko: Assets’ stripping, beyond idiocy

Emmanuel Onwubiko: Assets’ stripping, beyond idiocy

I belong to a faculty of thought that holds firmly to the concept the sovereign state must be rich, affluent and sustainable nearly ad-infinitum.

Philosophically, the connotation and denotation of a sovereign entity conveys the fast and empirical impression and proof of an enormous establishment that’s rich sufficient to collectively improve the effectively being and welfare of the citizenry.

A part of my Ideological conviction on what a nation state must be, has discovered empirical anchor on what some students see because the which means of the idea of sovereignty as encompassed within the encyclopaedia Britannica thus: “Sovereignty, in political idea means, the last word overseer, or authority, within the decision-making technique of the state and within the upkeep of order. The idea of sovereignty—some of the controversial concepts in political science and worldwide regulation—is intently associated to the troublesome ideas of state and authorities and of independence and democracy. Derived from the Latin superanus by the French souveraineté, the time period was initially understood to imply the equal of supreme energy. Nonetheless, its utility in follow typically has departed from this conventional which means”.

There’s this fortification of my understanding of a Sovereign entity in one other tremendous scholarly work which started by stating thus: “The idea of sovereignty is advanced: when it comes to Worldwide regulation, the state seems as a sovereign energy, as political group of society, undermining completely different our bodies (authorities) with particular legislative, govt, jurisdictional powers; inside the worldwide society in every nation it participates within the worldwide relations on the idea of sovereign equality, which causes one other which means of sovereignty, which enhances the one particular to the inner life.”

“For the worldwide authorized order, the sovereignty is a constituent factor of state and the worldwide persona requires that the general public energy is impartial, which grants the standard of sovereign state. Sovereignty is mostly thought of, that basic characteristic of the state, which represents the state supremacy and independence of state energy in expressing and attaining the governors’ will as basic will, obligatory for the entire society”, (Anghel, 2002, p. 107) (Acta Universitatis Danubius, Juridica, quantity No 1,2015).

However allow us to take a look at what individuals assume after they classify a Nation as very wealthy.

To subsequently attain a suitable willpower of our inquiry, we have to learn a researched article by Luca Ventura, dated August 03, 2020. Titled “Most of the World’s richest Nations are additionally the World’s smallest”.

The author guessed what individuals assume when they consider the richest nations on the earth And what involves thoughts when they consider the smallest nations on the earth.

Some individuals, the author argued can be shocked to seek out out that the wealthiest nations are additionally amongst the tiniest.

Some very small and really wealthy nations—like Luxembourg, Singapore, Switzerland and Eire—profit from having subtle monetary sectors and tax regimes that assist entice overseas investments {and professional} expertise. Others like Qatar, Brunei and Kuwait have massive reserves of hydrocarbons or different profitable pure sources.

“Shimmering casinos and hordes of vacationers are good for enterprise too: Macao, Asia’s playing haven, is the second-most prosperous state on the earth. Larger nations with a comparatively small inhabitants like Norway and the United Arab Emirates, two different oil and gas-rich powerhouses, spherical up the checklist of the highest 10 richest nations in line with the Worldwide Financial Fund (IMF).”

However what will we imply once we say a rustic is “wealthy,” particularly in an period of rising revenue inequality between the wealthy and everybody else? Whereas gross home product (GDP) measures the worth of all items and companies produced in a nation, dividing a rustic’s GDP by the variety of the full-time residents is a greater method of figuring out how wealthy or poor one nation’s inhabitants is relative to a different’s.”

The author aforementioned then acknowledged that the rationale why “wealthy” typically equals “small” then turns into clear: these nations’ economies are disproportionately massive in comparison with their comparatively small populations.

“Nonetheless, solely when considering inflation charges and the price of native items and companies can we get a extra correct image of a nation’s common lifestyle: the ensuing determine is what is named buying energy parity (PPP), which is usually expressed worldwide {dollars} with a view to permit comparisons between completely different nations.”

The author hypothetically affirmed thus: “Ought to we routinely assume that in nations the place this determine is especially excessive the general inhabitants is visibly higher off than in most different locations within the phrase? Not fairly. We’re coping with averages and in any given nation, structural inequality can tip the stability in favor of the already privileged.”

Deriving subsequently from the totality of our understanding of all of the above cited authorities, we will assert that when it comes to sources and belongings, Nigeria is taken into account to be wealthy however the Nation because the 12 months 2018 grew to become the World’s capital of poverty due largely to poor management and abysmal financial insurance policies of governments at each stage. Professor Chinua Achebe rightly wrote in his guide ‘The Bother with Nigeria” that the foundations of all of Nigeria’s developmental challenges begins from poor management.

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Adumbrating on the difficulty of whether or not Nigeria is wealthy as a nation, a researcher quoted in a United States journal mentioned Nigeria is wealthy however the individuals of Nigeria are principally poor.

This researcher by title Mr. Femi Awoyemi, in a lucid and considerate article within the April 5 Management (Abuja) highlights that greater than ninety p.c of Nigeria’s inhabitants is poor “and exists largely on the mercy of destiny.”

In his “Nigeria: Paradox of the Nation’s Financial Progress and Poverty Ranges,” he highlights the outcomes of the Harmonized Nigeria Residing Requirements Survey ready by the Nationwide Bureau of Statistics.

This survey reveals that that 69 p.c of the inhabitants suits the “Nigeria poverty profile,” and that poverty and inequality have elevated since 2003/2004. But, ostensibly the nation’s economic system is rising on the fee of seven p.c a 12 months.

If Nigeria is getting richer, how can Nigerians be getting poorer? Drawing on the statistical knowledge, Awoyemi observes that a lot of the expansion is said to grease, telecoms, finance, the inventory market and actual property. And civil servants and corrupt politicians are additionally doing effectively.

But the creator mentioned none of those industries are labor intensive and do little to cut back the nation’s very excessive unemployment fee. A consequence is that the distribution of revenue is getting worse, not higher.

Citing Central Financial institution governor Lamido Sanussi, Awoyemi observes that Nigeria’s macro-economic insurance policies have inspired import consumption quite than native manufacturing.

To deal with rising poverty, Nigeria wants a “progress inclusive” mannequin that can emphasize home manufacturing of products consumed and that can cut back unemployment, he affirmed.

What is just not unsure nonetheless, is {that a} elementary explanation for poverty in Nigeria outcomes from poor coverage formulation, implementation and timing.

“Within the remaining evaluation, the success of public administration for growth may be measured solely in relation to the implementation of insurance policies. Coverage implementation is of vital significance to the success of presidency”, argues an knowledgeable in a guide to be talked about within the subsequent paragraphs.

“Nonetheless good the political system, nonetheless noble the targets, nonetheless sound the organizational system, no insurance policies can succeed if the implementation doesn’t bear relationship to the intentions of the coverage adopters. The implementation facet is now changing into a priority and key factor in growth technique. It was in the course of the Sixties and Seventies {that a} sequence of research and stories appeared, indicating that coverage designs ought to take note of the capability to implement. These research present that the implementation facet is a very powerful and but essentially the most uncared for.”

There’s mystifying neglect of implementation points by specialists and generalists at a number of ranges, the author of the guide on Public Coverage mentioned.

He outlined it thus:
“Coverage implementation, as the method of placing coverage into impact by private and non-private people, is troublesome to outline. Implementation may be seen primarily when it comes to the character and diploma of management exercised over the operations of a coverage/programme/challenge”.

“In its most basic type, it’s the part between a call and operations. Implementation seeks to find out whether or not an organisation is ready to perform and obtain its acknowledged aims. Whether or not a company is ready to perform and obtain its acknowledged aims. It entails growing and pursuing a method of group and administration to make sure that the coverage course of is accomplished with the minimal of delays, prices and downside”, (Public Coverage: Formulation, implementation, and analysis ” by RK SAPRU).

Within the final 60 years of political independence of Nigeria, successive political administrations have tinkered with one financial coverage or the opposite.

However essentially the most tragic of all of them is the coverage that seeks to switch possession of publicly constructed belongings to non-public possession.

When the then President Olusegun Obasanjo –led authorities kick-started such belongings tripping coverage it known as monetization coverage, loads of arguments had been made opposing that call.

Eric Teniola, a retired senior Civil Servant described this coverage as a “monster” in an article printed in The Guardian of February twenty sixth 2016.

Eric Teniola a prolific author, mentioned the coverage which was conceived to unravel issues, has created extra issues.

He additionally mentioned persuasively that Nigeria cannot afford the coverage which he outlined as “the quantification in financial phrases of these fringe advantages which authorities used to supply for its staff as a part of their situations of service”.

As data reveals, on November twenty seventh 2003, Chief Ufott Ekaette who was the Secretary to the then Obasanjo’s administration reportedly advised members of the School of Social Sciences, College of Lagos beneath the headship of Professor Lai Olurode that “Monetisation as a public coverage reform have to be appreciated within the context of different reforms every of which performs complementary roles with the brand new overarching financial growth technique of the Obasanjo Administration known as NEEDS (Nationwide Financial Empowerment Growth Technique).”

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Particularly, the next was authorised for members of the Nationwide Meeting as a part of the monetisation coverage: (a) Housing Allowance-100 per cent of Annual Fundamental Wage (b) Transport Allowance-350 per cent of Annual Fundamental Wage (c) Utility Allowance-20 per cent of Annual Fundamental Wage (d) Home Employees Allowance-75 per cent of Annual Fundamental Wage (e) Leisure Allowance- 10 per cent of Annual Fundamental Wage (f) Constituency Allowance- 150 per cent of Annual Fundamental Wage (g) Furnishings Wage- 300 per cent of Annual Fundamental Wage (h) Allowance for Employment of Particular Assistant- Equal of 25 per cent of Annual Fundamental Wage to be paid (i) Car Upkeep and Fuelling- 30 per cent of Annual Fundamental Wage (j) Recess Allowance- 10 per cent of Annual Fundamental Wage (ok) Severance Gratuity- 300 per cent of Annual Fundamental Wage (to be paid as soon as in a life time) after profitable completion of tenure”.

In addition to, the next was authorised beneath the monetisation coverage for Federal Civil Servants (1) Lodging, Grade stage—01-06 (50 per cent of Annual Fundamental Wage), Grade stage—- 07-17(60 per cent of Annual Fundamental Wage and Grade stage—-15 & above (75 per cent of Annual Fundamental Wage. Transportation—- Grade stage 01-17 (25 per cent of Annual Fundamental Wage. Meal Subsidy—- Grade stage—-01-06 (N6, 000. 00), 07-10 (N 8,4000.00), 12-14 (N 9,600.00), 15-17 (N 10,800.00), Everlasting Secretary (N 16,200.00). Utility, Grade stage—- 01-16 (15 per cent of Annual Fundamental Wage), 17 and above (20 per cent of Annual Fundamental Wage). Home Servant—- Grade stage 15(1 GL. 3 Step 8), 16-17(2 GL 3 step 8), PS & above (3 GL 3 step 8). Go away Grant—-01 & above (10 per cent of Annual Fundamental Wage. Medical—-01 and above (10 per cent of Annual Fundamental Wage to be paid to NHIS). Furnishings Allowance—- Grade stage—01-06 (NIL), 17 and above (200 per cent in 5 years, that’s. 40 per cent of each year). Car mortgage—- Grade stage, 01-05 (100 per cent of Annual Fundamental Wage), 06-07(150 per cent of Annual Fundamental Wage,08 and above(200 per cent of Annual Fundamental Wage. Driver—-Grade stage——17 and above (1GL.3 step 8.)

The next was reportedly authorised for the Chief Justice of Nigeria and Judges of the Supreme Courtroom beneath the monetisation coverage—- (a) Lodging- to be supplied by the federal government (with an choice to be paid 100 per cent of Annual Fundamental Wage if opted to remain in private home) (b) Furnishings- to be supplied by authorities (c) Medical care- to be supplied by authorities, together with members of fast household (d) Gown- to be supplied by authorities (e) Transport- official automobiles to be assigned and maintained by authorities (f) Safety- to be supplied (g) Utility- Payments to be settled by authorities (h) Home staff- to be supplied (i) Leisure- to be catered for by Authorities (j) Particular Assistants- to be supplied from inside the Civil Service (ok) Go away Allowance – 10 per cent of Annual Fundamental Wage to be paid as soon as in every calendar 12 months (l) Hardship Allowance- 50 per cent of Annual Fundamental Wage (m) Severance Gratuity – 300 per cent of Annual Fundamental Wage (to be paid as soon as in a life time) after profitable completion of tenure (n) Retirement Advantages- Payable on the idea of Accredited Scheme of Service.”

It have to be famous that this monetization coverage resulted in large belongings stripping.

Within the present dispensation, President Muhammadu Buhari has advanced one other intelligent method of attaining belongings stripping however stopped wanting calling it by the title of “monetization coverage”.

That is so as a result of the federal government had argued that publicly owned belongings must be bought to non-public homeowners so authorities can fund the extant price range.

The Minister of Finance Mrs Zainab Ahmed had final week reportedly confirmed that the Federal Authorities would promote some-government-owned properties to fund the 2021 price range. That is along with the federal government’s rising borrowing additionally to fund the price range.

The federal government, reportedly proposed to borrow N5.6 trillion from home and overseas sources to fund the 2021 price range. This coverage is unsuitable and have to be opposed. The choice by a Lagos based mostly group to kick in opposition to it must be supported by one and all.

In a letter dated January 16, 2021 by SERAP Deputy Director, Kolawole Oluwadare, mentioned: “The Nationwide Meeting, NASS,has a constitutional and oversight accountability to guard precious public properties and to make sure a accountable price range spending. Permitting the federal government to promote public properties, and to take pleasure in nearly absolute discretion to borrow to fund the 2021 price range would quantity to a elementary breach of constitutional and fiduciary duties.”

SERAP maintained that promoting precious public properties to fund the 2021 price range can be counter-productive, as it could be weak to corruption and mismanagement, saying, “it could undermine the social contract with Nigerians, depart the federal government worse off, and harm the nation in the long term. It’s neither vital nor within the public curiosity.”

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In accordance with the organisation: “The nation’s fiscal scenario have to be modified – and adjusted shortly – by some mixture of cuts in spending on salaries and allowances, and a freeze on spending in sure areas of the price range equivalent to hardship and furnishings allowances, leisure allowances, worldwide travels, and shopping for of motor autos and utilities for members and the Presidency.”

The assertion learn partly: “The time is now for the management of the Nationwide Meeting to face up for the Nigerian individuals, cease the push to promote public properties, push for a accountable price range, and help efforts to have the federal government spend responsibly.”

“Different areas to suggest slicing embrace: constituency allowance, wardrobe allowance, recess allowance, and leisure allowance.”

“SERAP urges the Nationwide Meeting to promptly work with the Presidency to repair the present damaging budgeting course of and tackle systemic corruption in ministries, departments and businesses [MDAs]. Tackling corruption in MDAs, and slicing waste and salaries and allowances of high-ranking public officers would go an extended in addressing the price range deficit and debt issues.

“SERAP additionally urges the Nationwide Meeting to cease approving mortgage requests by the Federal Authorities if it continues to fail to display transparency and accountability within the spending of the loans up to now obtained.”

“The present stage of borrowing is unsustainable, which implies that the Nationwide Meeting beneath your management can play an necessary position to restrict how a lot the federal government can borrow within the mixture. The Nationwide Meeting ought to urgently search assurances and written dedication from President Buhari about his authorities’s plan to carry the nation’s debt downside beneath management.

“We might contemplate the choice of pursuing authorized motion to cease the Federal Authorities from promoting public properties, and we might be part of the Nationwide Meeting in any such go well with.”

“The price range deficit and debt issues threaten Nigerians’ entry to important public items and companies, and can harm future generations. If not urgently addressed, the deficit and debt issues would significantly undermine entry to public items and companies for the nation’s poorest and most weak individuals.

“The deficit and debt issues may be mounted instantly if the Nationwide Meeting can train its constitutional and fiduciary duties to push for slicing salaries and allowances of members and the president and vice-president.”

This author believes that promoting off public belongings simply so the central authorities can have Funds to implement a price range that’s disproportionately scheduled to be closely used to repay the excessive prices of governance and solely a tiny fraction to be invested in constructing capital tasks, is not going to augur effectively for a nation that must be ahead wanting.

Probably the most unlucky factor is that the present authorities has succeeded in dragging Nigeria into debt entice in such a method that it might take us one other 100 years to have the ability to repay whilst there’s nothing on floor to justify such large scale of borrowings.

On the final depend Nigeria’s complete debt profile rose to N 31.009 Trillion (&85.897 Billion) as of June 30, 2020, in line with the Debt administration workplace (DMO). The determine compressed debt inventory of the federal authorities, 36 states of the Federation and the Federal Capital Territory.

To assume that the identical authorities that has borrowed a lot is pondering of promoting off public belongings to Fund the 2021 Nationwide price range, will routinely go to point out that we’re coping with a authorities that’s bereft of any type of concepts to develop the economic system.

Furthermore, this similar authorities has frittered away the financial savings that earlier authorities arrange right into a sovereign wealth fund.

To make issues worst, a lot of the 36 states are additionally burdened with unthinking directors which can be planning to strip their states of alternative belongings to be bought to the political workplace holders.

Anambra ranks amongst the states that has already put measures in place to start this asset stripping Bonanza. The Nigerian Policing can also be planning to dump belongings if the Nigerian Police to non-public homeowners and the suspicion is that the retiring Inspector Normal of Police Mohammed Adamu wants to come back clear and inform Nigerians if that is true or not.

It’s even way more disturbing that every one of those poor insurance policies are coming at a time that a very powerful fear of the citizenry is how one can keep safer from the rampaging Covid-19 Pandemic.

Because of this Nigerians are confronted by the Pandemic monstrous class of political belongings strippers and the Pandemic of Covid-19.

Surviving these twin evils of pandemics would require resilience on the a part of residents to face up and demand for accountability.

*EMMANUEL ONWUBIKO is NATIONAL COORDINATOR of the HUMAN RIGHTS WRITERS ASSOCIATION OF NIGERIA (HURIWA) and blogs @www. huriwanigeria.com, [email protected], www.thenigerianinsidernews.com.


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