Simply put, public service in Nigeria is not about the people but about self gratification. Leadership has in consequence suffered the most devastating mortification, as little or no attention is paid to the core deliverables in public service. At all levels of political leadership, Nigeria continues to suffer major hindrance in the hands of accidental leaders.
In the chaos of this misnomer, many Nigerians are coming up with explanations and world views, in an effort to explicate the situation and perhaps, help people understand just why it is difficult to get people who are motivated by service into public office.
People who are already wealthy may be driven by their greed in which instance public money will only become yet another casualty of their greed. On the other hand, people who are not wealthy may be driven by a strong passion for public service and in which instance, public funds are deployed to public service. Privileged people do not have potentials for quality leadership more than the less privileged others.
Images of the dilapidated old house and interior of the new house
Nonso Okafor like it is well known is not from a privileged background, although he has worked hard for himself as a young man and providence has been generous towards him. He is a young man with a very young family. I do not think he has completed his personal house which construction he started before he contested for House of Assembly.
The challenge is; constituency allowance has no specific project for the constituency tied to it, and so a lawmaker is therefore to take on any project at his own discretion. While this is largely no longer obtainable in the National Assembly, it is still obtainable in many state assemblies but may change with the recent approval of Legislative Financial Autonomy by President Buhari. The point is this; any lawmaker who has received his constituency allowance can use it for anything including for his or her personal purposes, without any consequence at all.
In actual fact, constituency allowances are seen as personal funds by the lawmakers it is given. Although there is a system in place to check how the fund is disbursed or used within the constituency, interestingly the rogue system is often after getting just enough cut from the lawmaker in question as reward for the job of covering up and helping him retire the money through fictitious projects or inflation of the cost of projects.
This contravenes the popular estimation that to stop embezzlement of public money, only wealthy and privileged people should be elected into public office. More remarkable is Nonso’s act of public accountability when we consider that he has one term in office because of Nnewi’s rotational agreement to the House of Assembly seat.
An undoubted fact remains that people do not expect public servants to take on their job responsibilities with their private emoluments. And no matter how generous or willing they may be to sharing their official entitlements, if only they will make concerted efforts to be accountable of public funds given to them, it’s enough.