How Yar’Adua, Jonathan Squandered $67 billion in Four Years – Oby Ezekwesili

Published:26 Jan, 2013

objA former Minister of Education in the Olusegun Obasanjo administration, Dr. Oby Ezekwesili, has stated that the squandering of $45 billion in foreign reserves and $22 billion in the Excess Crude Account (ECA) by the Yar’Adua-Jonathan administration is “the most egregious” instance of Nigeria’s failure to make the right developmental choices.

Ezekwesili, also a former vice-president (Africa) at the World Bank, stated Thursday at the convocation lecture of the University of Nigeria, Nsukka (UNN) that Nigerians had lost dignity because of the ravaging poverty arising from poor choices of the elite, corruption and lack of investment in education.

Noting that Nigeria had enjoyed five cycles of oil boom, she decried the failure to convert oil income to renewable assets through the development of human capital, development of other sectors or investment in foreign assets as other resource-rich countries have done with their oil income.

Ezekwesili, a founding director of Transparency International (TI), asserted, “The present cycle of boom of the current decade is much more vexingthan the other four that happened in the 70s, 80s, 90s and 2000s.

“This is because we are still caught up in it and it is more egregious than the other periods in revealing that we learned absolutely nothing from the previous massive failures.”

She lamented the “squandering of the significant sum of $45 billion in foreign reserves and another $22 billion in the Excess Crude Account, being direct savings from increased earnings from oil that the Obasanjo administration handed over to the successor government in 2007”.

She stated: “Six years after the administration I served handed over such humongous national wealth to another one, most Nigerians but especially the poor continue to suffer the effects of failing public health and education systems as well as decrepit infrastructure and battered institutions.”
She queried: “One cannot but ask what exactly symbolises this level of brazen misappropriation of public resources? Where did all that money go?

“Where is the accountability for the use of both these resources and the additional several hundred of dollars realised from oil sales by the two administrations that have governed our nation in the last five years?

“How were these resources applied or more appropriately misapplied? Tragic choices.”
Ezekwesili advised the graduating students of UNN and other educated young people to become the turning point generation of young and educated Nigerians willing to make the right choices by serving or having a say in political affairs of the country.

She said that sorting out the “Nigerian political mess” is critical as there is a strong correlation between politics and economic development.

According to her, university graduates account for 4.3 per cent of Nigeria’s youthful population in 2013, a slight increase from the 3 per cent when she graduated in 1985.

“This compares unfavourably with opportunities for university education in other countries put at 37.5 per cent in Chile, 33.7 per cent in Singapore, 28.2 per cent for Malaysia and 16.5 per cent for Brazil,” she said.

Ezekwesili linked Nigeria’s poor capital formation to the low development of its people through education.

“Our lag in tertiary education enrolment is quite revealing and could be interpreted as the basis of the competitiveness gap between the same set of countries and Nigeria.

“The countries with the most highly educated citizens are also some of the wealthiest in the world, revealed a study by the OECD published by the Wall Street Journal last year,” she observed.

She posited that it was up to the younger generation to restore the dignity of Nigeria by making the right choices to lift the nation out of poverty.

She also described Nigeria as “a paradox of the kind of wealth that breeds penury,” noting “the trend of Nigeria’s population in poverty since 1980 to 2010 suggests that the more we earned from oil, the larger the population of poor citizens.”

The figures of the poor in Nigeria grew from 17.1 million in 1980, 34.5 million in 1985, 39.2 million in 1992, 67.1 million in 1996, to 68.7 million in 2004 and 112.47 million in 2010, she said.

Ezekwesili espoused a new vision for Nigeria couched simply as “we believe in dignity”.  She said the resurgence of entrepreneurial spirit based on hard work and sound education were critical factors to changing Nigeria.

“For Nigeria’s dignity to be restored, your generation must build a coalition of young entrepreneurial minds that are ready to ask and respond to the question: What does it take for nations to become rich?

“Throughout economic history, the factors that determine which nations became rich and improved the standard of living of their citizens read like a Dignity Treatise in that they all revolve around the choices that ordinary citizens made in defining the value constructs of their nation,” she said.


via ThisDay

  • Auwal I Bello

    Revolution is the only answer. The daring young men and women of tunisia have done it, and they are now enjoying the fruit of their Bravery

Related Posts

Recent Posts

I Have No Interest In Running For Political Office- Dangote

Nigerian billionaire Aliko Dangote on Tuesday said that he had no interest in actively participating in politics, saying business and politics should never be mixed. Dangote, the Chairman of Dangote Group, made this known while speaking with newsmen during a condolence visit to the Awolowo family over the death of Mrs Hannah Awolowo (HID) at the family’s residence in Ikenne-Remo, Ogun. The business mogul said that the set of skills required to become successful in...

Why People Didn’t Like The Yeezy Boost 350- Kanye West

Kanye West is currently taking part in ShowStudio's "In Camera" live interview series and is dropping a ton of gems as expected. While breaking down his aspirations and the elements of the Yeezy Season collections, the discussion shifted towards sneakers and Kanye let loose this bomb about the polarizing adidas Yeezy Boost 350 model. "They saw the 350s and acted like they didn't like them because they’re racist," he said. 

EFCC Arrests Oil Tycoon On Corruption Charges

Nigeria has arrested the chairman of a local oil firm, a security official said on Tuesday, as part of a widening graft investigation in Africa's biggest petroleum producer that has also netted former oil minister Diezani Alison-Madueke. Days after British police detained Alison-Madueke, one of Africa's most powerful women, the official said their counterparts in Nigeria's Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) had arrested Atlantic Energy chairman Olajide Omokore on corruption and money laundering charges.

Kylie Jenner Reveals Secret Behind Her Butt

Kylie Jenner has revealed the secret behind her… behind. The reality star, 18, admitted her enviable butt is not all natural – she wears padded Spanx! Kylie posted a photo of herself on Snapchat wearing the shapewear, captioned "These new spanx are bomb. From Target." After...

Senate may involve EFCC, ICPC in ministerial screening

The Senate leadership will adopt the formal procedure for the screening of ministerial nominees behind closed doors on Tuesday. It may also involve anti-graft agencies such as the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission and the Independent Corrupt Practices and other related offences Commission in the screening of those nominated by President Muhammadu Buhari to become ministers under the present administration.

Tribunal Nullifies Reps’ Election, Orders Fresh Polls

The Elections Petitions Tribunal siting in Akure, Ondo State, has nullified the election of Victor Akinjo as member representing Ilaje/Ese-Odo Federal Constituency of Ondo State. The tribunal nullified the election and ordered fresh polls on the grounds that Mr. Akinjo was not a bona fide member of the Peoples Democratic Party at the time the election was held. Credit: premiumtimesng

Independence Day Bombing: Okah Attempts Suicide In Court

There was a mild drama at the Federal High Court in Abuja as the alleged mastermind of the October 1, 2010 Independence Day bombing, Charles Okah, threatened to end his trial when he attempted to take his life. Okah, who is standing trial for terrorism, sought the permission of the trial judge, Justice Gabriel Kolawole, to air his views over what he termed “endless trial”, due to his lawyer’s absence in court.

Victor Moses pulls out of Super Eagles October friendlies for fear of injuries

West Ham United forward, Victor Moses has pulled out of the Super Eagles friendlies against DR Congo and Cameroon. The Eagles will play the Leopards of DR Congo in Vise, Liege on Thursday, October 8 before facing Cameroon’s Indomitable Lions in Dendermonde on Sunday, October 11. The on-loan...

Police Nabs Fake DSP

Anambra state police command, has arrested a 32-year old man, Abdul Makong, a native of Gari-Lamido in Taraba state for impersonating as Deputy Superintendent of Police (DSP). According to the state Police Commissioner, Hosea Karma, the arrest followed a tip off when he went to the palace of a traditional ruler in Awka-South Local Government Area of the state, urging the people to bring some money so that he could recruit interested members into the force...

Prisoners revolt: Gov El-Rufai approves N24m for renovation of Zaria Prisons

Gov. Nasir El-Rufai of Kaduna state has approved N24 milion for the renovation of portions of the Zaria prisons destroyed by inmates during a revolt three months ago. Alhaji Abubakar Gada, Controller, Kaduna State Command of the Nigerian Prisons Service, who disclosed this on Monday in Kaduna, said that the renovation had already reached 95 per cent completion.

3 Boko Haram Militants Killed Transporting Bomb

Three militants of the Boko Haram group died on Tuesday when a bomb they were transporting exploded in Niger’s Far East region of Diffa, local sources said. The bomb exploded when they were about to enter Bosso town, one of the sources told newsmen, adding that the militants were planning to carry out an attack. On Sunday, 10 people, among them one soldier, five civilians and four suicide bombers, were killed in two separate suicide...

Wendy Williams Suggests Terrence Howard Should Be Fired From Empire, He Responds

During her hot topics on her show on October 1st, Wendy Williams suggested that Terrence Howard should be fired from the Fox hit 'Empire' for his real-life abuse allegations and bizarre behavior. "Terrence Howard, your personal life has taken over to where if by chance they took you off the show I would be happier than mad," Williams, 51, said during her Empire recap segment. "I feel like between him allegedly being abusive to women in his...

Tennis: Djokovic, Williams top latest world rankings

Serbia's Novak Djokovic remained number one in the latest world rankings released by the Association of Tennis Professionals (ATP) on Monday while Spain's David Ferrer moved to seventh. Djokovic continues to top the pile on 15,645 points, ahead of Roger Federer on 9,420 and Andy Murray on 8,640. Ferrer, with...

Messi Tax Fraud Charges Dropped

Authorities determined that the Barcelona and Argentina star was not aware of alleged manoeuvres to avoid fiscal obligations, given his age at the time of the infractions Lionel Messi has seen charges of tax evasion against him dropped as prosecutors in Catalunya seek 18 months imprisonment for his father, Jorge Messi. The Barcelona star had been accused of avoiding €4.1 million in tax obligations from 2007 to...

APC Chairman, Sylva clash over running mate

Ahead of the Bayelsa State governorship election, a major crack has occurred between the State Chairman, All Progressives Congress, Tiwei Orunimighe, and the party’s candidate, Timipre Sylva, over running mate. Supporters of Orunimighe staged a protest on Tuesday at...

Integrity Group petitions Rotimi Amaechi’s ministerial nomination

Integrity Group, an anti-corruption group,  has filed a petition to President Muhammadu Buhari and the Senate protesting the nomination of the immediate past Governor of Rivers State, Rotimi Amaechi, as a ministerial nominee, citing allegations of fraudulent practices during his tenure as the governor of the state. The group argue that Amaechi is yet to clear his name over allegations of fraud concerning the sale of the state power plants and conversion of proceeds running into $302 million, unlawful payment...

11 Chadian Soldiers Killed In Boko Haram Attack

Boko Haram Islamists attacked Chadian soldiers on Tuesday, killing 11 and wounding 13, a Chadian security source said, in the latest deadly raid by the militants despite a regional offensive against them. The source said 17 Boko Haram fighters also died in the fighting following the pre-dawn strike near the Nigerian border and Lake Chad. “Boko Haram members attacked our positions at 4:30 am (0330 GMT) in Kaiga Ngouboua about two kilometres (about a mile)...

What Kim Kardashian Really Feels About Being Pregnant

Kim Kardashian is feeling the pregnancy woes the second time around. In a new post on her website titled "From the Desk Of: How I Really Feel About Being Pregnant," the reality star does some venting about her second pregnancy. "I'm gonna keep it real: For me, pregnancy is the worst...

Janet Jackson & Husband Make Rare Public Appearance At Paris Fashion Week

Janet Jackson may be traveling around the world in honor of her Unbreakable Tour. A busy schedule, however, wouldn't stop the "All for You" crooner from stopping by Paris Fashion Week for a special show. In a rare public appearance together, Jackson joined husband Wissam Al Mana in the front row for Hermes' 2016 Spring/Summer show. The superstar performer kept things comfortable thanks to a  black turtleneck with matching pants and sunglasses. Meanwhile, her main man...

Why Instagram Does Not Permit Display Of Women’s Nipples

If you post a photo on Instagram in which nipples are visible and those nipples belong to a woman — there's a good chance it will be taken down. Just ask Rihanna, or Miley Cyrus, or Chelsea Handler, or Naomi Campbell. After nearly a year of #FreeTheNipple backlash, Business Insider reports that Instagram CEO Kevin Systrom has finally explained their censorship: Apparently it's all about Apple. In order to keep your app available for Apple smartphones, you have...

Engagement Rings Soon To Be Worn As Nose Ring (PHOTOS)

As showcased in her spring/summer 2016 collection,? jewelry designer ?Delfina Delettrez has a new idea for those looking to pop the question: Engagement septum rings. Seeing as though septum piercings (jewelry worn on the bit of cartilage that divides your nostrils) are such a popular piercing trend right now among both bloggers and celebrities, the idea of a diamond septum ring isn't too out there. Read More: cosmopolitan