Ibadan—VICE President, Professor Yemi Osinbajo (SAN), has disclosed that a mind-boggling sum of $15bn lost to corruption in security equipment procurement had adversely affected the economy of the country.
He said this in Ibadan at the 50th anniversary of the “House of Lords, Nigeria”, which held at the University of Ibadan. He vowed that this administration would not spare any corrupt official warning that “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. I hope that this message is loud and clear and it will inform right behaviour in the future”.
This came just as he allayed the fears of Nigerians over erratic power supply saying 7,000 megawatts would be generated within the next 18 months.
While lamenting the adverse effects of corruption on the socio-economic situation in the country, he added that the level of corruption in the public sector was alarming.
He said, “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 reserve stands at $27bn few days ago, but the total amount lost just to corruption in the provision of security equipment in the military is close to $15bn, which is more than half of current reserves of the country.”
“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 the 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”, Osinbajo said.
The Vice President, who spoke as the Special Guest of Honour at the Public Presentation of a book, “Nigeria: The Challenges of Growth and Development” by an elite group, “The House of Lords”, also pledged that the current administration would allocate 30 percent of the total budget to the execution of capital projects across the country.
According to him, society fails when the elites abdicate their roles to a large extent. His 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.”
Besides, he said “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.”