Vice President Yemi Osinbajo says unless Nigeria deal with the fundamental questions especially around corruption, the economy circumstances will keep going one step forward and two steps backward.
Prof. Osinbajo who stated this while fielding questions from a cross-section of Nigerians at a town hall meeting in Minnesota, the United States of America on Sunday, said Buhari-led Federal Government has put in place an economic structure that is able to function properly despite previous challenges, particularly corruption that led to a slowdown in the economy.
According to him, “When you talk about corruption in Nigeria, the truth is stranger than fiction. It is the kind of thing that would cripple an economy anywhere because you simply don’t have the resources for the graft and the greed of the numbers of people who want to steal the resources.
“All that we have been able to deal with is grand corruption. When we started the TSA, the whole point was to aggregate all of the funds of government that were in private banks. So we put all of the money in the central bank so that we could at least see the movement of money and by doing so, we were able to save 50% of the corruption that was going on then.”
He assured Nigerians in the US that the government of President Muhammadu Buhari could be trusted, noting that “we can say for sure that the President is not going to sign off money and just bring it out to share.”
Relying on OPEC statistics on oil revenues accruable to Nigeria under successive administrations between 1990 and 2014, the Vice President said not much had been done in terms of infrastructure development despite the huge oil revenues realized by the country.
Responding to concerns on how government is utilizing recovered funds, the Vice President disclosed that the Buhari administration is committed to a transparent use of the funds in providing infrastructure.
He said: “What we are doing with the proceeds of corruption is by making it a line in the budget so that it can be accounted for properly; it is not a special fund somewhere that is just being used in any way, but as a single line in the budget for infrastructure which is our major spend.”
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