A former Head of State and national leader of the All Progressives Congress, APC, Maj. Gen Muhammadu Buhari (retd.), on Monday described the ongoing national conference as a waste of public funds.
He said the huge amount budgeted for the delegates and the entire process should have been put to judicious use in other pressing areas because the National Assembly was in a better position to do what the conference was trying to achieve.
This formed part of the former military ruler’s brief remarks at the opening of the maiden edition of the Progressive Governors-Legislative-Civil Society Roundtable, held in Abuja.
According to Buhari: “What I express about the conference is a personal view, that it is the duty of the National Assembly.
“The elite would have got themselves together and ask the National Assembly to sponsor a bill for some amendments to the constitution.
“I do not think that at this time when governments are finding it difficult to pay salaries of workers, it can afford about N7bn to waste on a conference”.
Giving credence to Buhari’s views, the Senator representing Kwara Central in the upper legislative chamber, Dr. Bukola Saraki said the current administration needed to be more transparent in the management of public funds.
He noted that the lack of transparency was partly responsible for the impunity of the Peoples Democratic Party-led Federal Government.
According to Saraki, it is only in Nigeria that a president can afford to commit an impeachable offence by spending huge sums of government revenue outside appropriation without consequences.
He added that the money being spent on the ongoing national conference was not contained in the 2014 budget.
“I told my colleagues that it might probably be coming from the missing $20bn”, Saraki stated.
The former Kwara governor, who first blew the lid on the fraud in the fuel subsidy regime, warned that subsidy posed a grave danger to the economy itself.
Saraki said, “Let us not allow anybody to deceive us, the problem is not the subsidy but it’s management.
“The country does not use more than 35 million liters of PMS while a look at the cost profile shows a huge difference that indicates that we consume more than 35 million liters”, he said.