…Describes country’s budget process as a joke
By Perez Brisibe
A chieftain of the All Progressives Congress, APC and professor of political economy and management expert, Pat Utomi, has described the government of President Muhammadu Buhari as being “crippled and absent in leadership.”
Prof Utomi who is the co-chairman of the political group, National Consultative Forum, NCF, made his position known, Sunday, during a current affairs programme on Channels TV, Politics Today.
Speaking on governance in the country, the economist said: “I think that the government is crippled; it is not connected to the solution. If there is anything absent in Nigeria, it is leadership. At every level of our society, there is a failure of leadership. Leadership is about connecting to the soul of the people and giving everything sacrificially to lift it up.
“The nation’s political class has failed to align itself to the new reality. Nigeria lacks the type of politics that would enable the government to be responsive to the needs of the people.
“We have an existential crisis. The political class has failed Nigeria including all of us. I am part of them but I have always fought to make it different but you don’t always win.”
Making a proposal for constitutional reforms which he said would reduce legislative breach in governance, while accusing the national assembly of usurping the duties of the ministers, he said: “There is a total collapse of separation of powers and the legislature has taken over running the executive and the executive is complicit in allowing that to happen.
“Anytime I have been asked to analyse the budget in this country for the last 20 years, I don’t analyse the budget because the budget process in this county is a joke.
“Today, the House Committee Chair on appropriation is more important to a national budget than the Minister of Finance because this game that is played in the National Assembly means that what comes out is really the budget of the National Assembly, not of the executive branch and the executive branch has refused to engage the matter.
“What is going on today is a hijack of the executive functions by the legislature and for most of them, it is just a game.”