By Comrade Bishir Dauda
To promote fiscal transparency, governor of Katsina state, Dikko Umaru Radda, PhD has introduced Treasury Single Account in the state. Obviously, the governor wants to checkmate looting of the state’s scarce resources.
Nigerians, we are very good in policy formulation. Our only problem is implementation. It is a sheer waste of time, energy and resources to come up with a policy that at the end of the day will either be implemented haphazardly, or not be implemented at all.
Now the government has marked its one hundred days; which to me is good enough to measure the success of this Treasury Single Account.
It is vital for the Radda administration to tell the citizens of Katsina state how much it saved in terms of fund or materials as a result of implementing TSA.
Where is the fund and how it is planning to utilize it? What are the challenges if any, and ways of overcoming them?
Answering these questions will help the government to ascertain the workability or otherwise of its policy.
Days were gone when policies should be initiated for cosmetic or other ulterior reasons. Every government policy or initiative, should be tested, and its impact should also be assessed on continuous basis.
In addition, to introducing Treasury Single Account, I suggest that the governor should take the following measures:
1. Domesticate the Freedom of Information Act 2011 to give citizens full access to information hold by ministries, departments and agencies of government.
2. Establish State Anti-corruption and Public Complaints Commission. Kano state has this kind of commission and it has been very functional over the years. I am of the view that it is not a waste of public fund, to creat anti-corruption to compliment efforts of the governor in his fight against corruption.
3. Reinvigorate the State Bureau for Public Procurement to eliminate fraud in bidding of contracts, over invoicing and other unwholesome practices that continues to undermine development in the state.
4. The State House of Assembly should be strengthened to be able to carryout its oversight functions.
5. Leverage technology in tax collection and spending.
6. Join Katsina state into Open Government Partnership (OGP).
7. Governor Radda should monitor his political appointees. Because mega corruption is mostly perpetrated by the political office holders in connivance with high civil servants and to some extent, contractors. This category of people are responsible for most of the mega thefts in Nigeria. A police officer on the highway, for example, can collect one hundred Naira as bribe but a commissioner, Permanent Secretary or a Director in a ministry can siphon One Billion Naira in a one fell swoop. He doesn’t care whether this money is meant to educate one million children from the poor homes or vaccinate one million children against killer disease. All he cares is his personal welfare and that of his family.
Finally, Governor Dikko Umaru Radda must lead by personal example otherwise his anti-corruption will not succeed.
Comrade Bishir Dauda Sabuwar Unguwar KATSINA
Executive Director, Citizens Participation Against Corruption Initiatives.