By Emeka Mamah
KADUNA—Speaker of the House of Representatives, Mr. Dimeji Bankole, said that corruption in high places will continue to mar the nation’s development.
According to him, Nigeria has been governed in the last 30 years by “very unserious characters.”
Bankole spoke yesterday in Kaduna at the 22nd Annual Education Conference organised by the National Union of Textile Garment and Tailoring Workers of Nigeria.
Bankole promised that the National Assembly would continue to explore legislative intervention as well as constantly build workers’ capacity in order to enhance their wellbeing and productivity as well as facilitate industrial peace and harmony.
According to him, “there is no record of how much the nation earns and spends. Two years ago, the Ministry of Works brought a budget of N100 billion to spend and I said ‘when are the roads going to be completed’ and I wanted to know the roads.
“Do you know what we found out? N40 billion of that money was dedicated to roads already built and completed.
“A week after I became Speaker, the late President brought a budget to the National Assembly and there was an item on it which says unspent funds. These are monies to be returned to the National Assembly at the end of the year and it was N21 billion.
“This is a budget of over N650 billion and you are returning N21 billion. What this means is that the budget must have performed over 95 per cent.
“The budget apparently performed about 30 to 40 per cent just like every other budget. I went to see the late President to tell him that I was not going to agree to this because where I come from, they will ask me about the money.
“Within six weeks, N21 billion became N450 billion that was returned to the treasury. You now ask yourself what has been happening to the balance within the last 10 years of our democracy?”