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

Man arrested for threatening to kill Trump at inauguration

A man in Florida has been accused of posting online that he would kill US President-elect Donald Trump at his inauguration on Friday.   “This is January 6, 2017. I was requested to type this in and post it,” Dominic Puopolo said in a video posted on Monday.   “Yes, I will be at the review stand, the inauguration and I’m going to kill President Trump, President-elect Trump today.”   Puopolo, 51, was arrested on Tuesday and allegedly admitted to making the threat.   He was ordered...

A misguided tour and the plight of Boko Haram victims – By Musa Hassan-Tom

As the battle against the book haram terrorists draws close to an end, the Muhammadu Buhari led Federal Government should not allow itself to be cornered into a situation of winning the battle and losing the war by pandering to vested interests. While the battle to defeat the insurgents has largely been successful, the task of attending to the needs of both internally displaced persons and refugees in neighbouring countries with a view to ameliorating their plight in the short...

Gambian state house website displays Adama Barrow as country’s new president

With gale of resignations hitting his cabinet in its last official days, President Yahya Jammeh’s endgame is probably near.   The latest indication of that is the display, as at press time, the picture of the man who brought Jammeh’s 22-year rule to an inglorious, Adama Barrow on the official website of Gambia’s State House. But it is unclear if the website was hacked.   Barrow is expected to be sworn in today. Where it will be done, is yet unclear as Jammeh...

Adama Barrow to be sworn in at Gambia’s embassy in Senegal

The in-coming president of the Gambia Adama Barrow is to be sworn in at Gambian embassy in Senegal today, his spokesman said on Thursday.   “It is going to take place at the Gambian embassy in Dakar, they have changed the venue, at 4:00 pm (1600 GMT),” spokesman Halifa Sallah said.   Barrow himself tweeted the information earlier the today.   https://twitter.com/adama_barrow/status/822000166454620160   Organisers had planned a large ceremony in a stadium in The Gambia but were forced to change plans due to...

Masterminds of Nigerian – Turkish school kidnap arrested – Police

Two suspected masterminds of the kidnapping of pupils and staff members of the Nigerian Turkish International Colleges have been arrested by the police Apart from the ringleaders, Philip Kakadu, aka General Kakadu, and Romeo Council, aka Raw, other suspects were also said to be undergoing screening in connection with the abduction. PUNCH Metro gathered that 29-year-old Kakadu and Council, 40, were apprehended in Warri, Delta State, by operatives of the Inspector-General of Police Intelligence Response Team, led by ACP Abba Kyari. Some...

JUST IN: President Buhari to proceed on a 10-day vacation

President Muhammadu Buhari is set to proceed on a 10-day vacation beginning from Monday January 23 to Monday February 6, 2017.   Buhari disclosed this in a letter, read by Bukola Saraki, the senate President, Thursday, during plenary.   The letter read that the 10-day period formed part of his annual vacation for 2017.   According to the letter, Vice President Yemi Osinbajo is to act as President during the period, which Buhari would be away.

A Case For The Young – By Tosin Ashafa

“Our answer is the world's hope; it is to rely on youth. The cruelties and obstacles of this swiftly changing planet will not yield to obsolete dogmas and outworn slogans. It cannot be moved by those who cling to a present which is already dying, who prefer the illusion of security to the excitement of danger. It demands the qualities of youth: not a time of life but a state of mind, a temper of the will, a quality...

JAHDA Clothing Unveils ‘JAGABAN 2017 Collection Featuring Woli Arole

Popular celebrity stylist and designer OPUSUNJU DANIEL YINKA popularly known as JAHDA clothings releases pictures of his new designs tagged the JAGABAN STYLE which features popular comedian WOLE AROLE and himself. OPUSUNJU DANIEL again raised the bar of casual native dresses in the fashion industry with these exciting and amazing new collections. According to the designer, he claims to have wanted to bring in the fusion of both the AGBADA and...

Gambians to embark on civil disobedience against Yahya Jammeh

The West African Civil Society Forum, WACSOF, has expressed concern over the intention of outgoing leader of The Gambia, Yahya Jammeh, to plunge the country into disarray over his refusal to step down from office having been defeated in the December 1, 2016 presidential election by the opposition candidate, Adama Barrow. In a statement delivered at a press conference at its secretariat in Abuja, WACSOF acting secretary general, Auwal Musa, called on the international community to make sure Mr. Jammeh...

UPDATE: Yahya Jammeh’s lawyer flees, asks him to step down.

Edu Gomez, the lawyer of outgoing leader of The Gambia, Yahya Jammeh, has fled the country to neighbouring Senegal after penning the president a letter to step down from office in the interest of peace. Mr. Gomez who represented Mr. Jammeh and his party, the Alliance for Patriotic Reorientation and Construction, APRC, in their failed attempt to have the country’s Supreme Court overturn the victory of the President-elect, Adama Barrow, and stop his inauguration as President. In his letter, Mr. Gomez...

Labour Party drags Governor Amosun to court over road projects

The Labour Party, LP, in Ogun State has dragged Governor Ibikunle Amosun to court for details of the contracts for all road projects awarded by his administration since 2011.   The party in the suit filed at the State High Court, Abeokuta, joined the state Attorney-General and Commissioner for Works and Infrastructure as respondents.   The suit was instituted on behalf of the party by its state chairman, Arabambi Abayomi; secretary, Oginni Olaposi; and two members, Olufunmilayo Oginni and Sabur Aroyewun.   The applicants are...

Gambia army chief says troops will not fight intervention

Gambia’s army chief said Wednesday he would not order his men to fight other African troops if they enter Gambian territory, speaking as Senegalese and other troops massed on his nation’s borders. The Senegalese troops backed by other African forces are on standby to move into The Gambia as President Yahya Jammeh approaches a midnight deadline to stand down or face military action after refusing to leave at the end of his term. “We are not going to involve ourselves militarily....

Butcher allegedly kills colleague over cow leg

A Tug of war between two butchers over who will buy a cow leg from a customer at a slaughterhouse at the popular Abraka Market in Asaba, has resulted in the death of one of the butcher. He was stabbed by his colleague in a fit of anger. The deceased butcher, Mr. Akin Sahid, 34, from Kwara State and a father of two met his untimely death yesterday when he went to buy cow meat at the abattoir in company...

Nigerian Navy seaman’s wife allegedly commits suicide by ingesting ‘Sniper’

The wife of a naval rating has allegedly committed suicide in Igando, a Lagos suburb. The woman, whose identity was said to be unknown at the time of filing this report, allegedly drank sniper, a local insecticide, on Sunday evening after a disagreement with her husband, Seaman Band Omojoye.   It was alleged that the couple had an argument after the man discovered that the woman lied to him. She was said to have left the house and told the husband...

EFCC arrests OSOPADEC boss, three others over alleged corruption

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) yesterday arrested the Chairman of the Ondo State Oil Producing Areas and Development Commission (OSOPADEC), Pastor Johnson Ogunyemi and three other principal officers. The officers included the Secretary, Dr. Dele Durojaye, the Director of Finance, Sola Orisamoluwa and the Director of Account, Vincent Ikuomola.The Guardian learnt that the officials of the anti-graft agency stormed the headquarters of the commission yesterday afternoon and locked the main gate before heading to the chairman’s office. The main...

World’s first 3-parent baby delivered in Ukraine

A baby boy has been born in Ukraine to an infertile couple after the first ever use of a new technique using the DNA of three parents, the head of a Kiev fertility clinic said Wednesday. The boy was conceived using DNA from his mother and father but also from an egg donor in a technique called pronuclear transfer, said Valeriy Zukin, director of the Nadiya private fertility clinic in Kiev. “It is the first delivery (using) pronuclear transfer all over...

Government gives traders two weeks for Ladipo Market demolition

Barely a week after the Lagos State governor, Akinwunmi Ambode, paid an unscheduled visit to the Ladipo auto spare parts market in Mushin, the state government has given traders two weeks notice to quit some sections of the market already marked for demolition. The notice was announced to the leadership of the market under the umbrella of Ladipo Auto Central Executive Committee (LACEC) on Tuesday by the state government at the stakeholders meeting held to fine-tune arrangements for the proposed...

Federal High Court grants bail to Sambo Dasuki’s ally Edidiong Idiong

A Federal High Court, sitting in Abuja, has granted bail to a businessman, Mr. Edidiong Idiong, in the criminal charges brought against him by the Federal Government. Idiong and two others were arraigned yesterday on an 11-count charge of alleged possession of funds meant to purchase arms by the National Security Adviser (ONSA), Sambo Dasuki. The court, presided over by Justice Gabriel Kolawole, dismissed the objection by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) that it was unmeritorious to grant...

FG will NOT increase pump price of petrol, says NNPC

The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) has advised Nigerians not to engage in any panic buying of petroleum products. Ndu Ughamadu, spokesman of the corporation, issued a statement late Wednesday to dismiss the report of a likely increase in the price of the products. He said the corporation had a 1.3billion litres stock of premium motor spirit (PMS), otherwise called petrol, which is sufficient to serve the nation for more than 38 days. “This plea comes on the heels of reports that some motorists...

UPDATE: Senegal troops move in on Gambia

Senegalese troops have been seen moving towards the Gambian border in a show of force to pressure President Yahya Jammeh to stand down, according to BBC. Senegal gave Jammeh a midnight GMT deadline to quit and Nigeria has sent an air force contingent to Senegal in support of the possible intervention. Wednesday was meant to be Jammeh’s last day in office but parliament extended his tenure by three months. This stops the inauguration of President-elect Adama Barrow, who is currently...

POLL: Obama leaves office as 3rd most loved American president

Outgoing US President Barack Obama will leave office on Friday with his highest approval rating since 2009. A new CNN/ORC poll finds Obama’s approval rating stands at 60 per cent, his best mark since June of his first year in office and majority said they would miss him when “he is gone’’. Compared with other outgoing presidents, Obama lands near the top of the list, outranked only by Bill Clinton’s 66 per cent in January 2001 and Ronald Reagan’s 64 per...