4 May 2016
The Vice President, Professor Yemi Osinbajo, on Sunday, declared that the diverted $15bn initially planned for funding of security equipment procurement is at the moment more than half of Nigeria’s reserves. He made this known at the 50th anniversary of the ‘House of Lords Nigeria’ held at the University of Ibadan.
Osinbajo also restated the resolve of the current administration to ensure that all public looters restore stolen funds and pay for their violations.
“Those found to be corrupt will not only disgorge the property stolen but will have to pay for it in terms of sanctions according to the law. We believe that it is important to sound this warning that no public officer can steal the resources of this country and try to escape”, Osinbajo said.
He continued, “I hope that this message is loud and clear and it will inform right behaviour in the future. We need to have a sustained fight against corruption. This country simply cannot sustain the level of public sector corruption that has bedeviled us for so many years. If you look at the sheer amount of money that has been lost to the various cases of corruption, you will find out that far too much has been lost.
“Our country’s external reserves stands at $27bn few days ago, but the total amount lost just to corruption in the provision of security equipment for the military is close to $15bn, which is more than half of current reserves of the country.
Lending a voice to Nigeria’s power crisis, Osibajo explained that “power is a major factor in nation building. But the most important part of this is that the aspect of power generation that is weak at the moment will be quickly restored. The most important aspect in power generation is first, gas; and secondly, transmission. It is in our plan not only to produce more gas, but also that we are able to pipe the gas to appropriate stations.
“We are going to generate 7,000 mega watts of power in 18 months. But the problem is pipeline vandalisation. The President has however ordered a full-scale protection of the pipelines by the military.”
Speaking further, Osinbajo urged Nigerians be of good behaviour for Nigeria to reach great heights. He said, “today, ethnicity and religion, corruption and abuse of power and mediocrity are values that are unfortunately encouraged. For Nigeria’s growth and development, three principles are needed. First, is integrity, second is the discipline of implementation and third the rigorous enforcement of law and order.
“President Buhari has no agenda than to lead this country to its desired destination. Our nation is ready to grow and we will get there in your lifetime. It is the business of the Nigerian elites to promote values and integrity.”