But while his men were sleeping, his enemy came and sowed tares among the wheat, and went away- The Holy Bible
In this republic, a lot of things happen during the night when Katangites fall asleep. The definition of ‘things during the night’ in this context is largely dependent on different individual perceptions of what it could mean. ‘Things’ could connote heads bent in scholastic exploration or the sudden shouts of ‘’iwe ti sun mi o!’’ from individuals frustrated by academics in the Hall. It could be religious folks offering intercession to the heavenly or the rhythmical back and forth of beds as unclad figures exhibit their sensual dexterity. Better still, it could be the gathering of elected political figures of the republic determining how the money of the republic should be spent.
On Friday, 12th of February 2022, one of those ‘things’ occurred at the Junior Common Room of the Great Independence Hall, in the form of the second plenary gathering for the 2021/2022 session. This as in accordance with the constitution in Article VI (Section 1, viii). It states that the Administrator General shall present the budget, not later than the 2nd sitting of the house.
EXCESSIVE AND UNNECESSARY BUDGETING WORTHY OF NOTE
It was Chester Arthur who said, ‘’the extravagant expenditure of public money is an evil not to be measured by the value of that money to the people who are taxed for it’’. Unfortunately, the budget presented by the Indy Hall executives to the legislative council, does not portray some of them as individuals who have value for public funds; which is essentially, dues gotten from Katangites.
The Administrator General – Adejumo Uthman
There’s a thin line between spending money and wasting money. It’s therefore alarming to note that the Administrator General presented a budget of N60, 000 for call allowance/data in a session. This is quite disturbing because this makes us wonder: how frequently does the AG have to call individuals in a semester on hall related activities, and why does he needs so much of an allowance just for calls and data?
The same goes for transportation which was budgeted for N60, 000. Mr. Adejumo Uthman, how many times in a session are you travelling down to Lagos – as you claimed – to meet sponsors and members of the alumni body? Also, refreshment for EXCOS meetings was budgeted for, at N56, 250; that is, during twenty five meetings days this session, each executive member is entitled to N250.
Also this begs the question, why must executive members have refreshments at every meeting they hold? When questioned about the rate per head on the floor of the house, Mr. Adejumo explained that his members cannot take carbonated drinks during meetings. This poses a question, is the Evolution team after their stomach or the welfare of Katangites?
The PRO – Isa Praise
During the sitting, Mr. Isa Praise appeared as someone who didn’t do proper research as regards the items stated in his budget. This became more evident when he legislators asked about the number of L & D members he is preparing refreshment for in a session. He wasn’t specific with the numbers, and he had ended up calculating less for an Item that necessarily he should have more. Furthermore, Mr. Isa’s budget contained an item that has no relevance to his portfolio – a feedback box. Mr. Isa, have you used any feedback boxes within the University of Ibadan since your admission? It won’t be surprising if your answer isn’t in the affirmative. Since you may have not, there are digital and cost-effective options of getting feedback, the feedback box is a waste of resources and it has no business being on the item of budget.
The House Secretary – Olaniyan Ibrahim
Mr. Ibrahim budgeted N14, 000 for the replacement of curtains in the JCR. Assessing these curtains, it was quite evident that nothing is wrong with them; what they need is proper dry-cleaning and hanging. The purchase of new curtains technically attracts extra the cost of workmanship, which is N4, 500. It’s also quite baffling that the House secretary didn’t see the need to itemize fluorescent bulbs in his budget preparations, as the JCR is poorly lit to due to faulty bulbs. These funds are meant for katangites, and it is pertinent that they are used first for essential needs.
Defence Commissioner – Alabi Samuel
It is a tradition in Independence Hall for Defence Marshalls to spend a considerably large amount of money to make round neck T-shirts, with customized names placed at the back. This year, Mr. Alabi Samuel budgeted N37, 500 at N2, 500 each for fifteen Marshalls. Instead of buying new round necks for fifteen people every session, why can’t a permanent bib – just like football bib – be made with MARSHALLS imprinted on them? This technically cuts down on the unnecessary cost of making T-shirts every session.
A FAULTY TRANSITION CIRCLE
It is now a norm in Indy Hall, for executive members to budget for new items every session. You hardly hear of cases where executives’ of past administrations hand over material or non-material resources to their successor. Jesubiyi Damilare – the sports commissioner – confessed to this when he was questioned about purchasing new set of soccer balls and whistles for N24, 000 and N6, 000 respectively, instead of using the previous ones. His reply was ‘’I was not handed over any of these items by the former Sports Commissioner, all he handed over to me were files’’. There is a recurring trend of this sad reality in all the other executive offices. Instead of maintenance and handing over, they always have to buy new sets of items every session. If these items were properly maintained for the next administration, there will be no need to buy new ones every session.
SPOON-FED INDY EXECUTIVES’?
Literally all through the plenary sitting, it was observed that the Administrator General had to babysit his executive members. On multiple occasions, he had to give detailed explanations on behalf of the executives members that struggled defending their budget or answering questions related to it. Although, the AG claimed his executives are intellectual, the recurring need to whisper answers to their ears pointed in the contrary. This makes us wonder if some members of the executives truly prepared their budget themselves or it was through the influence of the AG. If they are truly intellectuals as the AG claimed, then, they should have individual thoughts, and the ability to defend their individual thought process
After all that has been said, the bulk of the responsibility of scrutiny lies in the hands of the Finance and Budgeting Committee. We implore them that due diligence is carried out during the scrutiny of these budget. They must also remember that any action carried out is important in influencing the image of the hallowed chambers of the Great Independence Hall. Finally they should remember that trust, honesty, transparency and accountability are the building blocks of a positive reputation.
All Correspondences should be directed to the Editor-in-Chief (07034849211)
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