There has been controversy trailing the 2016 Appropriation Bill submitted by the Federal Government of Nigeria to the National Assembly, NASS. Various issues have been raised regarding the budget proposal that has questioned its viability in meeting the needs and aspirations of the Nigerian workers. Despite the so called ‘Consideration and Fine-tuning’ there seems not to be any glimpse of light at the end of the tunnel for the mass of Nigerian working people. Rather than the budget reflecting the campaign promises of the APC, it has brought about pain, agony, frustration, misery and extreme poverty.
The current administration with the ‘change’ mantra in its pre-election campaigns promised to deliver in the areas of Education, Health, Security, Agriculture and Employment. It is expected that the 2016 National Budget will reflect the will to fulfil these promises. Disappointingly, a critical look at the 2016 Budget only reflects the will to fulfil the greed of a minority; the bosses’ class. Five months into the year, the passage of the budget remains a mystery as the executive and the legislators play politics with it.
Despite the various controversies that surround the budget and its frivolities, the 2016 national budget remains lost in political tussle between the members of the ruling class with the working people being made to bear the burden of government insensitivity. Many states and even the federal government are owing workers’ salaries. This has resulted in a great level of frustration, pain and poverty to the workers who due to non-payment of salaries have failed in their family responsibilities.
Many are at the risk of being evicted from their houses for failure to pay rent; many have their children sent away from schools for lack of money to pay fees; many homes have lost their happiness as a result of extremely poor condition of living. Their misery became worsened with the further collapse of the power sector and the petroleum sector. While economic activities remained at a standstill as a result of non passage of the Budget and couple with the collapse of the major sectors that can drive economic growth, the rate of unemployment is on the increase, poverty and other social vices kept increasing.
With the historical insensitivity of the ruling claass, it is clear that solutions to the social problems cannot emanate from the bosses. There is need for the working class to collectively resist the bitter pills being forced down the throat of working people. The bosses are enjoying unlimited luxury with regard to the current crisis at the expense of the workers; this is exploitation and oppression that we all must resist.
In our hands is place a power greater than their hoarded gold. Collectively we can bring about ‘Real Change’.
by Isaac Botti