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National confab, a waste of public funds – Buhari

A former Head of State, Maj. Gen Muhammadu Buhari (retd.), on Monday described the ongoing national conference as a waste of public funds.

He said the huge amount being spent on the delegates and the entire process should have been put to better use because the National Assembly was in a better position to do what the conference was trying to do. 

Buhari said this in a short remark at the opening of the inaugural edition of the PGF Progressive Governors-Legislative-Civil Society Roundtable, held in Abuja.

The former military ruler said, “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.”

Speaking in a similar vein, Senator Bukola Saraki said the current administration needed to be more transparent in the management of public funds.

He explained that the lack of transparency was partly responsible for the impunity of the Peoples Democratic Party-led Federal Government.

According to him, 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 argued that the money being expended 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 added.

He also noted that the controversial subsidy regime posed a great 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 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.”

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