Tuesday, December 28, 2010

The National Assembly's War With The Central Bank Of Nigeria: An Example Of Thirty Six Flavours Of Stupidity!

As a mark of respect for this young man, I will not mention his name. He is much older now, but the event I want to recount, happened when he was seven. This my friend, who shall remain nameless, was in the habit of talking whenever he was eating. It is what many childing do. But for this young man, he was garrulous to the point of distraction! One day, he was eating a plate of the usual Sunday rice, and he was talking as usual. At some point in his meal, he raised an alarm that someone had eaten his only piece of meat! 

For him, that was an international crisis, on the same footing as the "Bay of Pigs" fiasco! We all looked at him in alarm! It was indeed a serious allegation! That was when his father saved the day! The fellow pointed out that he saw his son scooping his meat with some rice a few minutes before, as he was engaging in his favourite past time, talking! The young man had eaten his meat, without knowing it. 

He is now a young man in his late teens, so his secret shall remain secret, cross my heart!

As far fetched as it might seem, there is a true life parallel of that story unfolding in Nigeria right now! 

In the last dispensation of the Nigerian National Assembly,the new  Central Bank Act was passed into law. That act made the bank autonomous,independent, and self-sustaining! The easiest way to describe that law, is to say the National Assembly created a Frankenstein monster of it's own! 

Because laws are made in Nigeria, not for the good of the people, but for the good of a few individuals: no one properly vetted this law!

In many instances, powerful institutions pay lawmakers to pass laws that would favour them! 

What they have created, is an entity that is a law unto it's self! The Central Bank of Nigeria, does not need the permission of the National Assembly to do anything. It can determine it's budget, it can determine which bank chief to fire, it can change the rules of banking wily nilly!

The first sign of trouble, was the injection of funds by the Central Bank Governor, the erudite Sanusi Lamido Sanusi. The legislature said he had appropriated funds, without their approval! 

I do not know what they were smoking at the national assembly that day,because it was   pretty heavy stuff ! They did not bother to read an Act, whose ink was barely dry, an Act they had passed! It gives one cause to worry, do these people take time to read the "Ayes have it" and the "Nays do not have it" that they indulge in: or is it a comedy meant to hoodwink us into believing they are working?

The second spat came with Mallam Sanusi's succinctly delivered cut that the national assembly, were alone, consuming twenty five percent of the nation's budget!

They could not take this insult, so they called him to grill him, and were instead grilled! They exposed their inadequate inadequacies! and their lack of perception of the intricacies, and nuances of how governments are run!

It was now two to Sanusi, an nil to the national assembly! Then some members grumbled that thirty eight federal government institutions had shadowy budgets! Meaning that members of the national assembly did not know how much they spent every year, and so could not go there to pursue contracts! (At least that is my myopic thinking)

Abike Dabiri Erewa, a former journalist bemoaned this on television, and lamented that if the Freedom of Information Bill had been passed into law, that the national assembly could have used that law to prise open these secretive government institutions! 

Excuse me?

Who,if I might ask in my arrogant opinion, is supposed to pass the Freedom of Information Bill into law? 

The Catholic Women Organization? 

The National Association of Butchers? 

Or perhaps the Motorcycle Riders Association of Nigeria? 

I thought passing bills into law, was the work of the national assembly! (At this point I wish to issue a travel advisory! Anyone going to the national assembly should ensure that they are equipped with a gas mask! There are very serious levels of opiates, and other hallucinogens, wafting around the corridors of that facility!)

They refused to pass a bill into law after ten years of pussyfooting, because they know the passage of the law would permanently situate them in a glass house! 

And they have the temerity, and effrontery to complain? How disingenuous can one get? 

So the national assembly, has opened a new theater of war with the Central Bank Governor, they have said they would not appropriate funds for, and approve the budget of the Bank!

Can someone tell these people to wake up from their narcotic-induced somnambulism! It is trite law, that a law is unconstitutional, to the extent to which it contradicts the constitution! 

They ought to know that! They passed the law! The CBN Act, grants the Bank full autonomy, including the power of drawing up, and approving it's budget! The CBN horse, bolted from the stable a long time ago! Those seeking to rein it in at the national assembly, would only find an empty stable! 

It is another example of our lawmakers exhibiting the thirty six flavours of stupidity!

They showed it when they passed a vote of no confidence in a minister some years ago! How can you pass a vote of no confidence in a minister who is not the prime minister, in a government that is not parliamentary?

It is one of the first things they teach you in elementary Government in the secondary school! 

Or are we to assume the unthinkable......that no one there ......read government .........in school?

Not too long ago, the house of representatives suspended members they did not elect! In law, you cannot retrieve what you have not given out!

The court has pronounced their actions null and void, but they seem to enjoy humble pie!

The new year should be quite interesting, I want to see if the national assembly, would refuse to approve a budget it has no power of approving in the first place, or are we going to see another flavour of stupidity, the thirty seventh!

Whether we do,or not,



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