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
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