Friday, August 24, 2007

Patricia Etteh, party girl...

The story of House Speaker (and hairdresser) Patricia Etteh's planned birthday party (which some say is costing the tax payer US90,000) this evening in Bowie, Maryland, has been gathering dust clouds of discontent for the past week or so. Following on from the news that N628m of public money is alleged to have been contracted to renovate her official residence and that of the Deputy Speaker, the word 'impeachment' has started to float around. It has not been a flying start for the Legislature, 80% of whom are rookies. For more on the controversy, read this.


negresse adoree,  12:03 pm  

"Money spent on the projects —N628 million; Money approved for the renovation of the Speaker's residence — N232 million; Money spent on the renovation of the Deputy Speaker’s residence — N238.852 million; Money spent on the purchase of 10 Toyota Land Cruiser vehicles — N172.6 million."
Ye gods, how does one go from messing about with perms and pedicures to thinking it's OK to squander money like this?
How power corrupts...

419naija 12:31 pm  

I did a write up on this and tried to do have a gender angle to it. As long as engaging in corrupt practices remains effortless, Nigerian politicians will always be corrupt, and I don’t care who they are or where they come from.

Kpakpando 4:19 pm  

where exactly did the $90K go to, because it certainly just seemed like a low budget affair, I mean no cloth tablecloths were used...

Chude! 9:10 pm  

"tax-payes money"? First issue: who pays any taxes in Nigeria? And apart from the sound and fury, there's really nothing to suggest that public funds were used at the party. I have scoured and scoured all the stories and ... no such proof. Dont join them in the cliches abeg!

Anonymous,  12:26 am  

@chude,it is not a cliche, there are tax payers in Nigeria. Maybe YOU don't pay taxes from your salary /writing stipends ( call it whatever). My sister works with shell and taxes are deducted from source , ever heard of (Pay As You Earn)PAYE? If the right governmental quarters do not do much with or mismanages taxes she as well as millions others pay, then that is another topic. She is a tax payer, and this is not hearsay, I have seen her paycheck as well as genuine tax statements.
As for me, when I was in Naija, i paid local taxes on everything and anything, if the correct quarters did not receive the money, that is another matter. It is a bit like giving to God, isn't it, I believe I am giving to God when I tithe/give money offering, but if Bishop/Most honoured Reverend/Almighty Pastor decides to use it to buy himself a Maybach,instead of paying full time workers in the ministry a decent wage or help the disadvantaged in church, then that is another matter, not so? Does that disqualify me from being a tithe/offering contributor?
I am not one for sweeping generalisations, some people do not pay PHCN bills and some self employed people forge their tax statements, however, there are a lot more people in Nigeria who do the right thing, and should not be dismissed because some people like you focus on those who contribute to the economic decline of the country.
If our government was working as it should, then tax payers have a right to ask questions, if the allegations are unfounded then whoever is being investigated/questioned has a chance to defend themselves and prove the allegations as false.

negresse adoree,  5:15 pm  

"Who pays any taxes in Nigeria?" Lots of people, including some very low wage earners - civil servants, teachers, nurses, etc. Corporate types also have taxes deducted at source. Lagos State under Tinubu generated huge sums internally when federal govt funds were not forthcoming.
All kinds of official levies are payable to set up businesses, acquire permits for everything under the sun, etc. Many new businesses crash under the weight of multiple taxation in Nigeria.

Chude! 12:07 pm  

Well I stand to be corrected. But I have been following the FIRS recent campaigns closely for a project and I do happen to know that not only are a majority seriouly 'undertaxed', but civil servants etc as mentioned only pay taxes on basic income which is essentially fraud at least according to the law. Speaking about Shell and co, surely you do know about the big 'You've not been paying ur taxes' scandal concerning the big oil company(s)as well as Lagos State's running battles with the companies in Lagos.

I run a small business also, and do know how foolish I look at the tax office when people just go and 'do their thing'. VAT is deducted from mywriting income too as a matter of fact, just as I have had to have taxes deducted when I worked for certain companies. So i do know quite a lot from many angles of this issue.

We need to differentiate all those Lagos State-type levies from taxes - they are not, at least in terms of nomenclature, unless you mean in terms of effect.

Point is: i would be lying to you and a lot of people would be lying to me if they say they paid as much taxes as they really should, or even a significant part of that. No one is saying Etteh didnt steal those monies, but the monies we are referring to would be 'oil monies' perhaps, definitely much more than the insignificant 'tax money'.

I am one for generalisations. You see, when Ifueko and the FIRS say Nigerians dont pay taxes, it doesnt mean there isnt the very slight majority that does things properly, it means the greater number doesnt. And in this case, she is right - a greater number doesnt pay the taxes that they should.

Abu,  6:05 am  

chude what are u blabbing about?
you said you pay tax and many people dont pay as much tax as tehy you think most of them are doing it on purpose? if the govt dont have clear tax rules how do people know how much they are meant to pay, the system is not exactly automatic is it? i paid agbero tax,paid omo onile tax when i was in nigeria for holiday different levies all those are taxes to me and loads of people in the country.
Bottom line is SHE DIDNT USE HER MONEY! so leave matter to matadors

Chude! 12:24 pm  

But THAT is the bottomline Mr./Ms. Abu, who says she didnt use her money? You are confusing the twin issues. I am talking about the woman's birthday - and for that no one has as yet proved, even indicated that she used public funds. If the accusation is extravagance then that is a different matter. But naijablog said 'tax payers money'. Moreover the point is, we might one to clean our hands first as followers before laying a complaint at the doors of equity about our leaders. p.s: I will make a point about ignoring the unkind 'blabbing' cut. regards.

Anonymous,  6:08 am  

@Chude, the first anon that adressed your "cliche" spoke ONLY about people paying taxes, and in your rush to prove how much you "know quite a lot from many angles of this issue", you went off tangent quite fast. And your point is?

Here are some sweeping generalisations for you : Nigerians do not pay taxes(your words);All Nigerians are fraudsters;All Nigerian men are cheaters and beat up their wives;All Nigerians are greedy;All Nigerians abroad do menial job;All Nigerian Law School students cheat;Chude is a Nigerian so he must do all the things mentioned above because 'You see, when people say Nigerians do these things, it doesnt mean there isnt the very slight majority that does things properly, it means the greater number doesnt. And in this case, I am right' your own words, albeit a word changed here and there.

Sometimes maturity comes with leaving your response at 'I stand corrected', instead of talking 12 ways to the wind.The best way not to let your ignorance/arrogance show you up is to know when to shut up,but then again, you know quite a lot, and must have the last word, so let me indulge you......Chude is going to say....

Anonymous,  6:35 am  

Who will help save this boy from himself?

I discovered Funmi in Tempo,I think, and later used to watch New Dawn,when I was still in Naija and a guest spoke well of Chude's humility in either booking guests or calling guests, and Funmi spoke well about him and how young he was at the time and that he had a good head on his shoulders. I remember when he had a column that focused on the children of the rich and famous.I was not big on the idea but i followed it.However i think this boy needs a reality check. i have read his blog and seen some debates between him and others on both his blog and other people's blog and some of the time i was left with a bitter taste in my mouth. Humility is not to be confused with subsevience, however he seems to be leaving more people with a bitter taste in their mouths than a warm feeling in their hearts. Nobody questions confidence, however when your confidence comes across as arrogance, then it is time to ask yourself some questions. Nobody likes a know-it-all.

C.J. Canada

Chude! 9:30 am  

O dear. This is definitely about something else. Here I am getting all excited about debating this tax issue and then all this talk of Funmi and arrogance and 'this boy' etc - from where comes it?! Best regards, to 'C.J, Canada' and 'Anonymous'.

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