3rd May, 2012
As public servants loot our treasury and Boko Haram wreaks havoc and spills innocent blood, many are asking, ‘why do we pay taxes?’
Between Thursday last week and Monday this week, there have been at least five bomb blasts followed by gun shots by people suspected to be members of Boko Haram. Close to 50 people, including professors are among those killed in the latest attacks across the northern states. With insecurity everywhere, who do the government at various levels do with their security votes?
On Monday, a bomb hit a police convoy in Taraba State, killing at least 11 people. On Sunday, a bomb hit Bayero State University in Kano as Christians gathered to worship, leaving about 20 people dead. On Thursday last week, a bomb exploded at ThisDay office in Abuja, Nigeria’s capital, killing several people. The same day and at about the same time, a bomb hit an office shared by ThisDay, the Sun and The Moment newspapers in Kaduna State, killing more people. Shortly after the ThisDay bombing, on Thursday night, another blast hit a university campus in Gombe State, leaving students and staff petrified.
In all, between last year and this year, hundreds of people have been killed Boko Haram members. The sect has threatened to bomb media houses in the country and even boasted that it will ‘hit them hard’.
Bombs now explode in our country so often that President Goodluck Jonathan seems overwhelmed and powerless. He now offers feeble messages of assurance and re-assurance to Nigerians and the international community while innocent blood is freely flowing.
Nigerians no longer feel safe in their country and some prominent politicians have aptly described the situation in the country as close to what happened in Somalia, where there was anarchy and no central government for two decades.
As all these killings and bombings take place, Nigerians are awash by news reports of looting by public servants.
The former governor of Delta State, James Ibori, who was sentenced in London recently, was said to have looted at least N40 billion.
Those who looted retirees’ money, now dubbed the pension scam, were said to be pocketing billions of naira monthly. Shockingly, the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, disclosed that it seized N2 billion from the house of one of the suspects. The lootings cover almost all the areas of public service.
It is disgraceful that politicians and civil servants who do virtually nothing embezzle hard working tax payers’ money with impunity. While Nigerians wake up early every morning, go out to earn a living and do not retire until late in the evening, politicians and civil servants spend their time planning to steal and actually looting the nation’s treasury.
Money from oil and taxes is supposed to improve life in Nigeria. A big chunk of it is supposed to be invested in research, education, security, infrastructure, health and other key sectors. Sadly, those basic amenities are not available. Our roads are death traps, our electricity is epileptic, our education system is in limbo and our health sector has virtually collapsed. And now, Nigerians are not safe with bombing all over the place.
It is our opinion that taxes paid by Nigerians and foreigners doing business in country can no longer be justified as there is nothing to show that such taxes are being judiciously utilised.