Vice President, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo has condemned the administration of former President Goodluck Jonathan for sharing the sum of N150 billion two weeks to the 2015 elections.
Osinbajo was speaking on Monday at the 7th Presidential Quarterly Business Forum for private sector stakeholders at the Conference Centre, Old Banquet Hall, Presidential Villa, Abuja.
The vice president further disclosed that Jonathan’s administration spent only N153 billion on infrastructures in the three years preceding 2014.
“In one single transaction, a few weeks to the 2015 elections, sums of N100billion and $295million were just frittered away by a few.
“Nobody should talk about the economy when you have this kind of huge leakages and huge corruption. Corruption that completely makes nonsense of even what you are allocating to capital projects.
“We saw from the presentation of the minister of finance that N14 billion was spent on agriculture in 2014, transportation N15 billion, so the total spent on infrastructure in those three years were N153 billion and in two weeks before the elections, N150 billion was essentially shared.
“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.”
Osinbajo who described corruption as a cankerworm that had become systemic in the country, agreed that the present administration has not completely curbed it.
“I do not think that any consideration about our economic development can be properly and honestly done without fully analyzing corruption, especially grand corruption, in the public finance space,” he said.
“You see that despite record high levels of oil prices, very little was invested in infrastructure and a record level of leakages was recorded in the past few years. This is the fundamental issue in our economy.
“Corruption affects everything. It affects even judgement as to what sort of infrastructure to put in place or whether infrastructure will ever be complete. It is so fundamental that we can’t even think of our economy without thinking of what to do about it.
“Sometimes when we talk about our economy, we talk about the fact that we have relied on single commodity and that is one of the reasons we are where we are. Yes, that’s quite true but the fact is that proceeds from that single commodity were regularly hijacked consistently by a few.”