Our Reporter, New York
Former Secretary-General of the Yoruba socio-cultural group, Oodua Peoples Congress (OPC), Mr. Kayode Ogundamisi, has expressed shock over what he describes as wasteful and frivolous spending under the Tinubu presidency. The UK-based political commentator made the remarks during an exclusive interview with Rudolf Okonkwo on 90MinutesAfrica.
“The amount of money that is been spent on frivolities under this government is shocking and it’s not something that any Nigerian should be proud of.
“Remember the issue of the presidential yacht where about five billion naira was expended. There is just so much waste that I hope will be nipped in the bud before the next budget cycle,” Mr. Ogundamisi said
Ikengaonline reports that the level of economic hardship among Nigerians has worsened drastically since May 29, when Bola Ahmed Tinubu took over the helm of governance of the country. This is caused by the twin policies of petrol subsidy removal and floating of the currency, which has resulted in a steep fall in the value of the naira and an erosion of the purchasing power of many Nigerians.
Inflation has sent the price of basic commodities out of reach of many ordinary Nigerians, thereby deepening the poverty and despair prevalent in the land. However, the government has continued to insist that the hardship faced by Nigerians is necessary for the country to achieve economic prosperity in the near future.
However, as ordinary Nigerians are going through this economic strangulation, political officeholders across the board are upping their obscenities and luxurious spending at the expense of the meagre resources of the nation. Describing this disconnect between the Tinubu government and the Nigerian people, the former scribe of the University of Jos Students’ Union said it “is just like biting Nigerians and being nonchalant about their feelings.”
Commenting on the ten billion naira appropriated for the refurbishment of the presidential lodge in Lagos, Mr. Ogundamisi said: “I don’t know when last any president used Dodan Barracks in Lagos. And I see no reason why President Tinubu cannot continue to go home to his sprawling mansion in Bourdillion, Ikoyi, just to save Nigeria some money. The amount of money that is been spent on frivolities under this government is shocking and it’s not something that any Nigerian should be proud of.”
The political commentator also pointed to the dysfunction in the Tinubu government, which allows even low-level political appointees to display their luxurious lifestyles on social media at the same time that the government is forcing austerity measures down the throats of Nigerians. He recalled the statement of the presidential spokesman, Ajuri Ngelale, telling Nigerians that President Tinubu has given directives that he won’t tolerate any jumbo contingent to the climate change conference (COP28) in Dubai to which Nigeria ended up with a delegation of over 1,400 people most of whom have no business with climate change and wondered if anyone is actually listening to the president within the government.
“The ticket cost from Lagos to London is two million Naira on the Economy Class, and you have sixth-level government appointees flying Business Class to Dubai,” Ogundamisi said in astonishment.
He further said that with Nigeria’s economic situation, taking a hundred people to Dubai should be considered wasteful.