Investigative journalist David Hundeyin has criticised the government of President Bola Tinubu for allegedly spending $507,000 for hotel rooms and incidental expenses during his recent trip to the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) held in the U.S.
He condemned the development in a tweet on X (formerly known as Twitter) quoting from a trending document released by Pidomedia, Hundeyin criticised the opaqueness of government transactions across the world.
He however reserved very harsh words for the Tinubu administration as he made a slew of allegations detailing how they spent the money on les than noble expenditure.
David Hundeyin said in the tweet: “One of the biggest and most obvious running scams around the world today is the fact that government spending, public contract awarding and incoming government revenues are not documented live and in real time on a public website anywhere.”
It doesn’t matter whether you’re in Norway, Nigeria, or Nicaragua – it’s the same opaque process. You typically have to send a “Freedom Of Information Request” to ask the government that you supposedly elected to give you a detailed account of the money it took in and where that money avtually went to, and then you have to hope they will grant your request.”
Even if they do, what they typically offer you is just a series of statements of what they claim they made and how they claim they spent it. There is no forensic audit that is readily available. In fact, the only time a government institution typically has to undergo a forensic audit is when it is suspected of wrongdoing and the politicians get involved.
Civil services around the world – even in supposedly “democratic” countries – are far too opaque and unavailable for public scrutiny for them to be the central institution in any kind of “open society.” This needs to change immediately, and the technology already exists. If JP Morgan, which does between $3trn and $5trn worth of transactions everyday can present Jamie Dimon with full visibility over every cent in real time on his computer screen, there is no reason why a civil service controlling a total annual budget of about $30bn somehow cannot do the same.
It shouldn’t have to take an insurgent whistleblower like @PIDOMNIGERIA for Nigerians to know that the 15% Wheat Grain Levy Pool Account – an account opened in 2012 to hold receipts of a new 15% wheat import levy imposed by the Jonathan administration to discourage wheat importation and encourage local production of cassava flour (nigerianseminarsandtrainings.com/articlespg/40-…) – is now being used to fund $507,000 worth of hotel rooms (and so on) in New York by Bola Tinubu and his entourage.
Instead of having to rely on intrepid journalists and whistleblowers to get hold of information like this – information that shows that the wheat levy you pay everytime you buy Agege bread is being used to pay for questionable government expense, there should be a publicly viewable credit and debit portal where citizens of a country should have full visibility over what their “elected” government is using their taxes to do.
“This technology already exists and is in use on much bigger scales. This is not 1970 anymore. There is no reason for a government entourage to be able to use the taxes we pay on our bread to pay for their jamborees in New York, simply because the information about where the money comes from and goes to is not available to us.”
“This must change!” David Hundeyin concluded.