The Vice President, Yemi Osinbajo has spoken about what he called the incredible things that happened under the previous administration, particularly in the few weeks that preceded the 2015 general elections.
Prof. Yemi Osinbajo uncovered the said happenings while speaking at the legislative economic summit titled “Legislative Framework for Economic Recovery and Sustainable Development” which held in Abuja on Monday.
According to the VP, under President Goodluck Jonathan’s administration, Nigeria witnessed wanton stealings and crass mismanagement of resources; the situation, which he alleged, is responsible for the recent economic recession faced in the country.
He said, “Of course, we all know that there was very little by the way of investment in infrastructure and capital projects. In fact in 2015, capital spend was less than 11%. So there was very little to show for where this money went.
“I don’t want to keep repeating some of the incredible things that happened, a few weeks before the last elections; how large sums of money, a 100billion in cash ostensibly for security. Another $289million in cash was paid out in the same period.
“No country can survive that kind of unbridled waste and corruption. We must never forget, that corruption is perhaps, the most outrageous cause of our economic decline.
“Aside from barefaced stealing or waste of resources, the inflation of contracts and other procurements ensures that the cost of infrastructure necessary for development will always be unaffordable.
“So if what we should spend on building a 200km road ends up being spent on a 20 km road, there is no way we are going to make any progress and there is no way we won’t end up in some kind of economic decline or the other,” Osinbajo stated.
He also recalled that; “In 2015, oil prices fell to as low as $28 at some point. But worse still, throughout 2016 we lost almost a million barrels a day in oil production due to vandalization and sabotage of oil facilities and pipelines. We lost something in the order of about 60% of our revenues. Yet we could have survived without going into a recession, I think Dr. Teriba so ably stated that, we could have survived if we had savings. But we had no savings only debt.
“As economists would say, and as Dr. Teriba had said, we did not have the fiscal buffers to enable a counter-cyclical approach. In other words, we lacked the savings to see us through the lean times. Why? Why did we lack savings, when so much money was being made? This is the elephant in the room.
‘Today, we can say that despite the 60% or even more reduction in revenues from oil, we are bailing out the States and our capital spend in 2016 was close to N1.3trillion, the highest yet in the country’s history. So with more prudent management, it is possible to do more with far less money.”