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

AU defence chiefs meet in Mali over terrorism

African Union chiefs of defence staff and ministers of defence have agreed on the need to enhance cooperation to increase the effectiveness of member states’ action against threats of terrorism.   This is contained in a statement issued in Abuja on Friday by the Acting Director of Defence Information, Col. Rabe Abubakar. The statement stated that the Chief of Defence Staff, Gen. Gabriel Olonisakin, presented Nigeria’s counter-insurgency report at the forum holding in Bamako, Mali.   It said that the meeting would strengthen cooperation...

Ekiti proposes life imprisonment for kidnappers

In a bid to stem the tide of kidnapping in the state, the Ekiti State government has forwarded a bill seeking life imprisonment for individuals convicted of kidnapping to the state House of Assembly.   The proposed anti-kidnapping law was one of the decisions reached on Friday at the State Executive Council which was presided over by the Deputy Governor, Dr. Kolapo Olusola.   According to the Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice, Owoseni Ajayi, who briefed newsmen at the end of the meeting,...

Law School Whizkid Writes A Book On Academic Success

Jumping from the back of the pack right into the academic front line is possible, according to Uzoma Ikechukwu, the 26-year old lawyer who knows. And it’s all from experience: Uzoma hit a first class at the Nigerian Law School, Lagos, in 2014, a year recorded to have produced the worst result since the establishment of the school. The general report was that the failure rate for that year was unprecedented, but right in the centre of...

Buhari, Osinbajo Haven’t Declared Their Assets Yet- PDP

The Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, has described as “a deceptive window-dressing to hoodwink unsuspecting Nigerians” the release, by an aide of President Muhammadu Buhari of a “mere” list of some belongings of the president and his Vice, Yemi Osinbajo, in place of the pledge made to Nigerians by Mr. Buhari as candidate of the All Progressives Congress, APC, on March 18, 2015, at exactly 5 pm. The PDP recalled that the President in his own words...

Rukky Sanda Reveals Her Age

Nollywood actress, Rukky Sanda, who recently premiered her new movie, "Dark", has revealed her age on social media. The actress who also recently marked her birthday has got many wondering what the exact numbers are. Let's throw the question to you... How old do you think she is? Well, find that out on her instagram post: https://instagram.com/p/7NdhSDPJrg/?taken-by=rukkysanda

We Are In The Dark Over Ministerial Appointments- APC Leaders

Some members of the National Working Committee of the All Progressives Congress (APC) have raised alarm that the party leaders are in the ‘’dark’’ over the president’s ongoing process to appoint his ministers this month. The president had promised to appoint his ministers this month and by the nation’s constitution, he is expected to appoint a minister each from the 36 states of the federation. Although the National Chairman of the APC, Chief John Odigie...

Rita Dominic Stuns In Mauritius

Gorgeous A-list actress, Rita Dominic, has been slaying the Multi Choice Africa Content Showcase in Mauritius. Here is a sneak peek into her amazing flawless outfits. See Instagram posts below: https://instagram.com/p/7NKNt1mXGI/?taken-by=ritadominic https://instagram.com/p/7IIlo-mXEW/?taken-by=ritadominic

Jessie J Flaunts Beautiful Cornrows

Bang Bang crooner, Jessie J, who is easily identified rocking her short hair on stage now rocks cornrows. She shared her beautifully made hair on Instagram, with another group photo. See instagram posts below: https://instagram.com/p/7NVOT_w0W7/?taken-by=isthatjessiej https://instagram.com/p/7NVr4Zw0YA/?taken-by=isthatjessiej

Mourinho Bags 5 Guinness Book Of Records Certificates

Chelsea Foootball Club manager, Jose Mourinho, has had his name entered into the 2016 version of the Guinness Book of Records. He was presented with unique framed certificates marking his achievements at Cobham recently. Mourinho’s five managerial records in the latest edition of the famous and prestigious book are as follows: Longest football unbeaten home run by a manager (nine years) Most Champions League titles with different clubs (two) Youngest manager to reach 100 Champions League matches (49 years...

Groups Express Concern Over ‘Exclusion Of Women’ In Buhari’s Appointments

Some Nigerian women groups have expressed concern over what they see as the neglect of women in President Muhammadu Buhari’s recent appointment of principal officers. The women raised their concern at a news conference in Abuja on Thursday. The President of Women in Politics Forum, Ebere Ifendu, said the non-inclusion of women in the appointments so far made by the present administration would hamper the country’s democracy. “We warn that this exclusion of women, if not...

Watch How Late Civil Servants Pleaded With Fayose

Recently, Ekiti state governor, Ayo Fayose, paid a surprise visit to civil servants at their office. Many of those apprehended for coming late prostrated, cried and prayed... Watch clip below: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YSH6NATpjZc Credit: YouTube

Story Behind The Drowned Syrian Boy (MUST READ)

A Syrian family that met a tragic end while attempting to flee their war-torn country has come to symbolize the larger refugee crisis. Abdullah Kurdi, 40, is now mourning the deaths of his wife, Rehan, 27, and their two sons, Aylan and Galip, whom he lost during an ill-fated trip to the Greek island of Kos. Tragic pictures of 3-year-old Aylan’s lifeless body, which washed ashore a beach in the Turkish city of...

Take A Tour Into The Most Expensive House In The U.S. (PHOTOS)

Palazzo di Amore, the most expensive house on the market in the U.S., developed by Mohamed Hadid is now priced to move at $145 million!  

American Clerk Who Denied Gay Couples Marriage Licenses Gets Jail Term

U.S. District Judge David Bunning is holding Kim Davis, the Kentucky clerk who said she has God's authority to deny gay people their constitutional right to get married — in contempt of court. ?She will remain in jail "until she complies or instructs staff to start issuing licenses," reports WSAZ's Dan Griffin.  Three U.S. Marshals? reportedly escorted Davis away Thursday afternoon. USA Today reports that Bunning, who had ordered Davis to process marriage licenses for same-sex couples in a previous hearing, said that a fine wouldn't...

A/Ibom Governorship Election Was Free And Fair, PDP Witnesses Tell Tribunal

More witnesses presented by the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the disputed Akwa Ibom governorship election have testified that the election in the state was free, fair and complied with the provisions of the Electoral Act 2010. At the resumed hearing of the Akwa Ibom Election Tribunal on Thursday, a defence witness, Samuel Iyang, told the Justice Sadiq Umar-led panel that it was false that elections did not take place, as alleged by the petitioner. The witness...

Warri Refinery To Resume Production In November- Kachikwu

Recently shut Warri Refining and Petrochemical Company, WRPC, will not be resuming operation any time soon, Group Managing Director, Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC, Mr. Emmanuel Kachikwu has disclosed. The refinery will now resume full production in the first week of November. It has the capacity to process 125, 000 barrels of crude oil per day. Kachikwu disclosed this yesterday during facility tour of the refinery and the adjoining Pipelines and Products Marketing Company,...

Army Cuts Off Boko Haram’s Food Supply

The Nigerian Army yesterday, said it has succeeded in cutting off the supply routes of Boko Haram insurgents, thereby rendering them dejected, hungry and with no capability to confront troops in the renewed offensive against the terrorists. The army, which stated that the military was gaining an upper hand, how- ever, attributed the successes so far recorded in the operations to members of the public, who it said, have been assisting with relevant information and intelligence. It...

Pastor Chris Okotie Responds To Emeka Ike’s Marriage Crisis Allegation

Pastor of the Household of God Church, Lagos, Chris Okotie, has described an allegation levelled against him by Nollywood actor, Emeka Ike, that he is responsible for the crisis rocking his marriage, as rubbish. Ike had, in a statement on Thursday, accused Okotie of stalling efforts he is making to save his marriage with Suzanne. Trouble started in Ike’s home recently, when the wife accused him of assaulting her. While the actor has repeatedly denied this,...

DSS Fires Buhari’s Ex-CSO, Marilyn Ogar, 48 Others

Indications have emerged that former spokesman of the Department of State Services (DSS), Marilyn Ogar, was sent packing from the nation’s secret police for her alleged partisan role during the last general elections while President Muhammadu Buhari’s former chief security officer (CSO), Abdulrahman Mani, was sacked for absenting himself from work. Reports gathered from sources indicates that Ogar, who has seven more years to go in the DSS, was sent on compulsory retirement along with two...

Army Reinstates 3,032 Soldiers

 Out of 5,000 convicted soldiers, 3,032 soldiers were reinstated to their jobs after being convicted by military courts for various offences. The reinstatement followed a recommendation by a military screening committee set up to review cases against the soldiers. The officers and men were handed varying terms of imprisonment or outright dismissal for offences ranging from Absence Without Official Leave (AWOL), insubordination, indiscipline and theft among others. Army Public Relations Acting Director Col. Sani...

Boko Haram Kills 5 In Borno, 30 In Cameroon

Borno State and neighbouring Cameroon have continued to be under heavy attacks from suspected members of the Boko Haram, killing at least five persons in the former and, 30 in the latter. On Wednesday, members of the sect stormed a Borno village called Mainari but were repelled by security forces. That was, however, not until at least five people had been killed. A military source said gunshots rang out in the village on Wednesday evening,...