The Vice President, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo has claimed that former president, Goodluck Jonathan spent N153 billion on infrastructure in three years but frittered away N150 billion in a single transaction few weeks to the 2015 general elections.
While disclosing that the Muhammadu Buhari administration with less revenue has increased capital funding by 400 per cent in power, works and housing, defence, transportation, agriculture sectors, he stated that the Jonathan administration with surplus funds spent N14 billion on agriculture in 2014 and N15 billion on transportation.
The Vice President made this remarks on Monday at the seventh Presidential Quarterly Business Forum for Private Sector stakeholders at the State House Conference Centre, Presidential Villa in Abuja, admitting that corruption has not been completely stamped out by the President Muhammadu Buhari administration.
“In one single transaction, a few weeks to the 2015 elections, sums of a $100,289 million were just frittered away by a few. When you consider that in 2014, as the Minister of Finance has said, that oil price was an average of $110 a barrel and only N99 billion was spent on power, works and housing and when we talk about the economy, we talk as if these are normal by every standard.
So if your total infrastructure spending is N150 billion and you can share N153 billion, that is completely incredible. That sort of thing doesn’t happen anywhere else in the world. And when we are talking about the economy, we must simply understand that that is the problem,” he said.
On what the Buhari administration has down with little resources available to it, Osinbajo said: “Today, with less revenue, we have increased capital funding by 400 percent in power, works and housing, in defence, transportation, agriculture.
“If we want to do analysis in Nigeria, it is either fraudulent or ignorant if we do not bring money that belongs to corruption into the mass. This is what distinguishes, in my own respectful view, this administration from the other. I can say that with what I have seen, if you have a president who is not corrupt, 50 percent of your financial problems are over. This is what I have seen, I can demonstrate it with facts and figures.
“If the president is corrupt, the entire financial system is compromised and that is what we have seen with the figures we have just seen. That is something that is absolutely important that we must take into account.
Osinbajo, who admitted that the current administration was yet to completely deal with corruption in the country, said, “Where corruption has become systematic such as we have in our country today, you cannot deal with it in one full fell swoop, it is not possible. In any event you still have a lot of corruption fighting back. The system fights back and it’s both an internal and external fight back and you have to be steadfast and strategic to win the battle.
“There’s no way that you have a system such as ours that has consistently thrive on corruption and proceeds of corruption and public financing in particular, that will give up and say guys, the problem has been solved. No.
“It is a system that has fed on corruption and it affects all aspects of governance, so trying to deal with it is certainly not a walk in the park.
“But I want to say that that task has already begun and that task is being done consistently and I believe that going forward, in the next few years, no matter how we are criticised, if we stick to policy, especially controlling excesses and corruption in public finance, this country will make the kind of progress that it deserves to make with all the resources at our disposal.
“If we stick to the policy of ensuring that as far as public finance is concern, there is no impunity and that we hold people to account, I’m absolutely confident that this country has what it really takes to make the kind of progress we deserve to make as a nation.”
But in a swift reaction, Jonathan, who spoke through his former aide on new media, Reno Omokri dismissed the statement by Osibanjo as not only false but another desperate effort by those in power to tarnish his image.
Omokri argued that it would not be wrong to describe the vice president as a lying pastor, calling on the General Overseer of the Redeemed Christian Church of God, RCCG, Enoch Adeboye, to direct Osinbajo to stop attacking former President Jonathan.
According to him, “this is not the first time the vice president would make the claim. In October last year, he alleged that Jonathan doled out the sum of N100 billion and $295 million in cash two weeks to the 2015 elections.”
While stressing that Osinbajo lied to divert attention from the seeming non-performance of the administration, Omokri said, “I make bold to say that the vice president has once again taken to his characteristic habit of lying.
“It will also be recalled that in February 2016, the vice president again lied when he claimed that both the Jonathan and Yar’Adua government did not build a single road. This fact was easily disproved when even members of this administration, including Osinbajo’s boss, President Buhari, began commissioning projects, including roads built by the Jonathan administration.
“Nigerians will recall that the Jonathan administration rebuilt the Benin-Ore portions of the Benin-Lagos road, the Vom-Manchok road, the Kano-Zaria Road bridge (named after late Emir Ado Bayero) and many more.
“On this recent allegation by the vice president, not only has the vice president again lied, he is doing so to divert attention from real issues haunting the administration.”
“I would like to remind the vice president that he is a pastor and therefore conversant with the biblical admonition in Revelations 21:8 that “all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone.”
“It is not too late for the vice president to turn a new leaf and begin to apologize to Nigerians for the three million jobs a year he and his boss promised, but ended up losing 4.5 million jobs in their first two years according to the Nigerian Bureau of statistics.
“If Vice President Osinbajo is looking for whom to blame for the present sorry state of the Nigerian economy, he should buy a mirror.”