Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo has said that the massive looting of the nation’s resources by the immediate past administration of President Goodluck Jonathan is responsible for the economic crunch the country suffers from under the present administration.
Speaking yesterday in Lagos at a ‘Greater Nigeria Pastors Conference’ organised by Rev. Yomi Kasali’s-led Berean Ministers Group, Osinbajo said the Nigerian system is deeply infested with corruption, adding that graft should be pointedly tackled at all levels of institution.
According to him, the Muhammadu Buhari-led administration decided to borrow to fund the budget because the nation’s earning had dropped and millions of Naira are still unaccounted for in the last administration.
He said: “The theft of resources in this country is the first and primary reason for our poverty.
That is why we have to address the issue of corruption pointedly, not once in a while because the system is corrupt; it is a corrupted system that we are running. This is not a system where corruption is just an exception, corruption is generally the rule in the Nigerian system.
“It is easy to say how come we don’t have money or why are we borrowing money? If you as an individual have N1million and somebody stole N900,000 from it, you won’t ask the question how come I am poor? You will immediately tie the theft of your money to your poverty.
“When we came in, we had a foreign reserve of $32 billion, but there was $15billion used for defence contract that was unaccounted for.
Weeks before the 2015 elections, the government then, gave out N100billion in cash and $295million in cash ostensibly for security within two weeks. Those are the reasons why we don’t have money.”
Osinbajo stated that despite earning the lowest from oil in the past 15 years, the Buhari administration had spent more on infrastructure and social service than any government in the history of the country. Speaking on the Abdulrasheed Maina’s saga, the VP said the ex-pension reform task force head was an ally of the PDP, adding that the president will decide on the matter soon.
“Many of us know what happened to Maina. He was the person that was supposed to head a pension reform commission.
He was accused of several different offences.
“I am sure that many of us followed the story then because so many things were supposed to have happened; he was supposed to have been living at a time in Aso Rock, he was supposed to have been protected by the government at a time and all that.
“And at some point, he ran away, nobody could find him anymore. He surfaced and when he did that was when we now found that he is back. What the president did as soon as he heard that this has transpired was to immediately say how could this happen and he ordered his immediate disengagement.
While stating that he wont be able to preempt what step the president will take next on the matter, the VP said,
“When you look at the huge structure of the federal government of Nigeria, you may be able to hide somewhere for a day or two, they will fish you out.
Maina had not even been there for a week before he was disengaged,” Osinbajo said. On Kachikwu-Baru saga, the VP said the issue over time has been who is responsible for the approval of contract within certain levels between the Board of NNPC and NNPC Tenders Board.
He noted that there are many conflicts within Ministries, adding that the “ the only reason why this has become an issue is because it became a public document and once it became public document, people started making all forms of insinuation and twist. It is a normal conflict which can only be resolved by the SGF or the Federal Executive Council.
If you look at the NNPC law, it says only the President can approve all contracts over a certain sum. “ On the delayed of action over the suspended Secretary to the Federal Government report, Osinbajo said, “The president will decide very soon, I am sure we will get a response from him soon.
But as you know, he remains suspended and the president will certainly speak on the matter soon.” Speaking on the military action on IPOB and its proscription, Osinbajo said, “There have been an agitation before now from MASSOB and it was never proscribed. Part of the reason why IPOB took a different turn was because first, there were issues around setting up a security force by the IPOB and secondly, the attack on the police station and the killing of policemen.
These are actions that are not acceptable. “If all you are doing is advocating and saying that you want your state or country, although its unconstitutional until you amend the constitution, still nobody will go after you.”