Hearings, headlines and national economics.

Background story: The CBN governor delivers a two and a half hour lecture on the challenges Nigeria faces in trying to achieve vision 2020 and he makes a statement that 25% of the federal allocation budget is spent on overheads most of which is spent  on the upkeep of the parliamentarians. The members of the house of reps are enraged of course and demand that he appear before them and explain the basis for such assertions.

The hearing (or what we could see anyway) begins with the governor, Sanusi  Lamido calmly explaining the figures that are the basis of such a statement and there sit the defenders of our law trying to explain that democracy rests on the efforts of the lawmakers and any attempt to malign lawmakers is an attempt to “truncate our nascent democracy” (that phrase is so overused). This argument is one that will be used several times during the course of the hearing either on its own or as a prelude to other arguments.

The chairman of the panel starts referring to some other report that puts the percentage at 9% and from this trend in the discussion it is obvious that the problem is the fact that the percentage has become public knowledge and the figures do not paint a good picture so in (slight) exasperation, the governor explains in brief the meat and bones of the lecture. He makes a plea for a nation with large cotton-producing farms but imports textile materials from china, that produces crude oil and still has to import petroleum products, a country with large reserves of natural gas that still cannot solve its constant electricity problem and for a society that is not making any steps to right the economic policies that make these problems continue.

All through the hearing, the questions on every (non-legislative) mind was on the solutions to the problems that were listed and this, if this were a court case between the house of reps and the CBN governor, should they be judges in their own case?




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