By Oludare Mayowa
Fiscal discipline has emerged as a conspicuous deficiency in President Bola Tinubu’s current administration, posing a significant threat to the overall economic well-being of the country.
Nigerians had anticipated a more prudent fiscal approach, particularly given the economic challenges inherited from the previous administration led by Mohammadu Buhari.
Hopes were high for a more productive fiscal strategy under the Tinubu administration to swiftly navigate the nation out of debt and economic stagnation.
However, these expectations were dashed with the presentation of multiple supplementary budgets before the National Assembly, seeking approval for a staggering N5 billion to acquire presidential yachts, additional luxury vehicles for the First Lady’s office, and substantial funds earmarked for the renovation of the presidential palace.
This move signaled a continuation of financial recklessness, disregarding the economic hardships faced by ordinary citizens due to reforms in the downstream oil sector and foreign exchange management.
The appointment of approximately 50 individuals to the cabinet during a period of inflation and youth migration reflected insensitivity on the government’s part to the suffering of the people.
Evidently, the administration appears reluctant to curtail government expenditure, despite the prevailing hardships.
The citizenry must rise to demand accountability and transparency, ensuring value for money in government projects.
At this developmental stage, Nigeria requires a visionary president committed to balancing resource distribution for the majority’s welfare.
It’s obvious from the fiscal recklessness of Tinubu’s administration that Nigeria does not have revenue challenges, and what we have in the real sense of it is a spending problem.
How can we justify the large delegations to the recent COP28 in Dubai by the government or the jamboree going on in most of the government ministries, departments, and agencies where a single official is allocating multiple luxury vehicles against government regulations?
How can we justify the government spending huge amounts of resources to purchase luxury vehicles for legislators who have already been paid vehicle allowances and are earning over blotted wages?
It’s unfortunate that a government that claimed to be embarking on reforms to reshape the economy, improve revenue generation, and drive growth should be reckless in the spending of the commonwealth.
Regrettably, this fiscal insensitivity extends beyond the federal government; numerous state governors indulge in opulent lifestyles, allocating substantial funds for personal comfort at the expense of the majority.
From Lagos to Edo, Delta, and across the nation, governors seem disconnected from economic realities, engaging in profligate spending to satisfy personal desires.
The fundamental duty of any government is to cater to citizens’ welfare, yet politicians and public officials prioritise personal needs over the greater good of the people who voted to power.
Tokenistic gestures and self-serving project execution characterise their actions, further highlighting a systemic failure in governance.
The ongoing impunity at all levels of government is exacerbated by electoral system degradation, allowing politicians to secure positions through dubious electoral process.
A crucial step towards national redemption should involve pressuring the National Assembly to reform electoral laws, revamp the electoral body, and ensure fairness in the electoral process.
Without making politicians accountable to the electorate, corruption, impudence, and fiscal indiscipline will persist. The people must assert their influence to reshape the electoral landscape and promote a more accountable and responsible government.
The nation must entrench a system of accountability, check and balance and create a situation where public scrutiny of public official financial deal become a common place in our system.