Wednesday, March 21, 2018 4:50 am
Vice President Yemi Osinbajo seemed determined not to allow himself to be browbeaten when it comes to talking about corruption that characterised the former President Goodluck Jonathan administration.
The Vice President had on Monday said the Jonathan administration removed N150 billion from the Nigeria treasury two weeks to the 2015 election.
The Vice President said the money was shared.
However, a former aide of the ex-president Reno Omokiri had dismissed the allegation, calling Osinbajo a ‘liar’ while other supporters of Jonathan have also taken to the social media to lampoon the Vice President.
But rather than draw back, Osinbajo, use the occasion of the 2018 Ogun State Investors’ Forum on Tuesday to further reiterate the damage allegedly done to Nigeria by the monumental corruption under the Jonathan administration.
The Vice President cited the strategic alliance contracts entered into NDPC, a subsidiary of the NNPC which, according to him, resulted in theft of over 3 billion US dollars, almost a tenth of Nigeria’s foreign reserves at a point, by the promoters of the company.
The Vice President said the stolen fund could have helped Nigeria built seven major roads which he listed to include Abuja-Kaduna-Kano road, 2nd Niger Bridge, Enugu-PH road, East-West road, Sagamu-Ore-Benin road, Kano-Maiduguri road, Abuja-Lafia-Akwanga-Keffi road and Lagos-Abeokuta.
Osinbajo added, “That is what 3 billion US dollars that some people made away with could have done, and that is why it is important for us to understand that our country’s problems must be analysed from the perspective of what the real issues are. We talk of the Nigerian economy without talking about the blight that was caused years ago by people simply stealing the resources of this country.
“In one single transaction, the sum of N100 billion and 289 million dollars in cash were released a few weeks to the 2015 elections, it was not released as such, it was the money embezzled.
“When you consider that, in 2014, when oil prices were an average of 110 dollars a barrel, only N99 billion was spent on Power, Works and Housing. Agriculture and Transportation got N14 Billion and N15 billion respectively.
“So, the total spends on capital in these critical areas I have mentioned was only N153 billion, and over N150 billion was released and shared within three days. This is enormity of what we are talking about; there is no country in the world that can survive on grand corruption on the scale that we are talking about. And that is why it is important for the Federal Government of Nigeria under President Muhammadu Buhari to reverse that grand corruption.”
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