A country that has so far refused or simply been unable to plug every gaping hole in its public purse is a country fated to continue losing its resources especially when it is proven that those who open up those holes are as relentless as they are ruthless.
At a time when Nigeria is mightily struggling to keep its head above water, it appears there is no end in sight to the tall tales trickling out of many Ministries, Departments and Agencies of government who under a little scrutiny are confirming the suspicion of many Nigerians that they have shirked transparency and accountability for so long, enabling in the process the sticky fingers of those who would plunder an already plundered country.
Green snakes in green grass
On the back of staggering revelations that mysterious termites chewed up documents showing how billions of naira was spent by the Nigeria Social Insurance Trust Fund( NSITF) in 2013, at the behest of the Public Accounts Committee of Nigeria`s House of Representatives, startling revelations have again assailed Nigerians about how the Federal Ministry of Agriculture spent N18.9 billion on bush clearing during the COVID-19 lockdown.
The money was allegedly used for bush clearing, land preparation, rehabilitation of soil plant lab and others. When representatives of the Ministry appeared before the committee, the contracts were said to have been handled by some contractors. But with doubts cast on the existence of the contracts by some members of the committee, the named companies have been asked to appear before the committee.
If today Nigeria is riddled with corruption, it is because there are many people in the country` s Civil Service who continue to dip their hands in the public till with little or no consequence. Acting in sync with politicians, they it is who continue to rip up the public purse to feather their nests.
These people, many of them part of one syndicate or another, are responsible for some of the worst heists committed against Nigerians in succeeding years. They are found entrenched in the country`s civil service and the fact that they continue to operate with pretty little being done to hinder their activities tells a thing or two about the efficiency of Nigeria`s crime fighting agencies.
It is Nigeria`s perennial problem of awarding contracts to people who are only keen about laying their hands on contract sums and would do nothing to lift a finger afterwards that is again under the spotlight.
As due process has continued to stutter in Nigeria with corruption steadily growing in strength, contract inflation as well as other forms of contract manipulation have emerged as the main tactics of those who steal public funds in Nigeria.
With cronyism in full swing, contracts are awarded by public officers to their cronies who dissipate the funds without doing enough to realize the terms of the contract. Because those who do these things usually escape with no more than a slap on the wrist, what has always been an ugly situation has continued to grow uglier by the day.
Nigeria as a country is sickened by its lack of transparency which enables those who would turn public funds into private family funds to get away without paying dearly for their misdeeds.
It would appear that the Public Accounts Committee of the House of Representatives only need to dig deeper into other MDAs for Nigerians to truly understand just how voracious the swarm of locusts that has descended on their public funds is.