… As NIWA plans exit from national budget by 2022:***
Patriotic zeal may have outpaced party politics for the ‘Ohamadike’, as the Managing Director, Nigerian Inland Waterways Authority NIWA, Dr. George Nnadubem Moghalu Campaign Organisation has allegedly sent a Congratulatory message to Professor Chukwuma Charles Soludo of APGA, the Anambra State Governor-elect.
The 11th November felicitation message was sent on behalf of Chief Moghalu, his family, the Moghalu Campaign Organisation and Support Groups, following Soludo’s election as Governor of Anambra State.
“Your victory is a righteous expression of democracy, it represents not only a personal victory but a triumph for all those who believe in the promise of a genuinely representative democracy built on the foundations of the rule of law and respect for the popular will.
“As you are aware, I had hoped to participate in this election as the candidate of my party, the All Progressives Congress (APC), and contribute to the robust public debates necessary for democracy to thrive and progress to happen.
“However, as a result of adverse machinations against the public good, that was not to be.
Nevertheless, l remain as committed today, as I ever was, to the progress and prosperity of our dear state and the welfare of all her people.
“The obligation to seek the progress of Anambra State transcends politics.
As such, we are called to embrace the higher calling of service to humanity so that by collective effort, we can make Anambra State the shining city on a hill.
Therefore, as you assume the Office of Governor of Anambra State, I want you to know that in every effort you make to better the lives of our people, you will have my support and utmost goodwill”, Chief Moghalu, a grassroot operator further highlighted, congratulating the Governor-elect as a ‘brother’ and wishing him well on the new assignment.
A cross-section maintained that the poll results could have been different, most likely in favour of Moghalus APC, if the NIWA Boss had personally participated.
In another development meanwhile, the National Inland Waterways Authority (NIWA), has sought the permission of the National Assembly towards exiting from the annual National Budget.
Dr George Moghalu, Managing Director, NIWA, said this when he appeared before the Joint National Assembly Committee on Marine Transport, Ports and Harbours/Inland Waterways for 2022 budget defence on Thursday.
He said that the approval would allow the authority to be self-sufficient.
Moghalu noted that as a deliberate policy drive toward attaining financial autonomy, the authority exited the Overhead Allocation in 2020.
“We are now poised to opt-out of the Recurrent Allocation (comprising both Overhead and Personnel costs) effective from the 2022 Budget, with a view to becoming fully autonomous by 2023.
“Consequently, the Authority in its 2022 budget accorded priority to the completion of all on-going projects especially those that align with the new policy objectives of government’s Medium-Term National Development Plan (MTNDP) 2021-2025 and Nigeria Agenda 2050.”
“Our exiting the national budget does not in any way remove the regulatory authority of agencies of government and even the national assembly oversight functions.
“We can’t stop the national assembly from exercising its oversight functions, we can’t stop the auditor-general’s office from coming to audit us.
We can’t, statutorily speaking, do any expenditure outside the budget as approved by the national assembly,” Moghalu said.
A member of the committee, Sen. Smart Adeyemi (APC-Kogi West) said most of the agencies that had autonomy were those where corruption thrived.
“NIWA is located in my Senatorial District. There were a lot of complaints against the agency. Agencies are federal government organisations and in all, you will do, you must reflect the federal character and you must be transparent, even in recruitment.
“I can’t understand where you present a total Overhead of an agency as zero. I have never seen a budgeting system where you have zero overhead.
“I think there is what is called Consolidated Revenue Account where agencies are supposed to remit proceeds.
“If we continue giving autonomy to agencies, you will discover they will spend everything and give you zero.
“If you want Nigeria to move forward, let us do things the way it should be done. Let there be checks and balances,” he said.
Sen. Abiodun Olujimi (PDP-Ekiti) said “we are glad you exited 2021 overhead cost. But you are now asking to exit personnel costs.
That is very dangerous for you.
“This is because there is no way the government will add a penny on an MDA that is fully autonomous.
“We cannot allow you to exit everything; you must still be part of the government because exiting means you are now on your own, and being on your own is very dangerous.”
Sen. Isa Jibrin (APC-Kogi East) said the committee was happy with NIWA’s planned exit from the national budget.
“We want to encourage as many government agencies who want to exit so that at the end of the day, the burden of funding from the government will reduce drastically.
“It is that burden of funding that has consistently made it difficult for the government to exit borrowing,” Jibrin said.
Meanwhile, after the heated debate, Chairman of the Joint Committee Sen. Danjuma Goje (APC-Gombe Central) gave the managing director another date for resubmission of the budget document.