…Faults N3bn for verification of national register

 

From Adanna Nnamani, Abuja

The Labour Party (LP) presidential candidate, Mr. Peter Obi, has said that all foreign trips by people in government should be suspended until the issue of insecurity in the nation is addressed.

Writing on his X page, yesterday, the former Anambra State governor said the recent surge in kidnappings and banditry across the country called for great concerns.

He said: “As terror attacks, banditry, kidnappings and violence continue to rage through the country, it is more concerning now with the surge of violence spreading through the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja,.

“It is now time for we the leaders, to take all forms of serious measures to tackle the situation.

“It is unfortunate that President Muhammadu Buhari, in 2015, campaigned and won the elections on three items; Security, Economy and Corruption (SEC).

“After his Eight years in office, the situation has worsened in all three areas. The present administration, on assuming office, promised to deal decisively with the same situation — Security, Economy and Corruption.

“At the Annual General Conference of the Nigerian Bar Association held in Lagos in August 2022, the then Vice Presidential Candidate, Sen Kashim Shettima categorically stated that if APC is elected, he as Vice President would be in charge of security, while the President as an expert in economy would handle the economy.

“Nigerians therefore now implore them to fulfil their campaign promises. Even if they do not achieve 100% results, we want to see 100% effort.”

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“It is now time to stop all forms of foreign trips from people in government, until we deal with the ugly situation facing us at home,”

He warned that no foreign investor or partner would want to make an investment in Nigeria with the current security situation.

The LP standard bearer also faulted the federal government for approving the sum of N3billion for verification of national register of the poor, adding that this could only happen in Nigeria.

“It is very surprising to hear that the sum of N3 billion was approved for verification of national register of the poor. This can only happen in  Nigeria. I have maintained that we must decisively deal with the issue of cost of governance in Nigeria now as a matter of urgency.”

He expressed shock that the huge amount approved just  for verification of the national register of the poor was more than three times the amount of N908,699,435 which was budgeted for the country’s national library.

“This is happening at a time in our nation when we need all the manpower training to keep our work force productive. Our national library, a very critical infrastructure in our nation, seemingly abandoned, lacks books and educational materials.

“The same amount would have made a significant impact, if prudently and transparently managed. Moreso, with more than half of our population battling with absolute  and multidimensional poverty, one wonders why such a huge sum was approved for just verification of

“National register of the poor, when the same amount could have been directed towards actual poverty alleviation. This approval raises a fundamental question: how come the data for poverty alleviation has not been verified on a regular basis?

“The inability of we the leaders to prioritise our expenditure and focus on the critical areas of national development, and national security, are the challenges weighing down on our nation today.”

Obi further warned that unless leaders began to sacrifice personal comfort for the good of society, and cared more for the people, especially the less privileged ones, the nation would continue to grapple with all forms of societal ills caused by high levels of poverty.