25 January 2013

Nigeria: U.S.$67 Billion Excess Crude, Foreign Reserve Squandered'

A former Vice President of the World Bank in charge of African Region, Dr Obiageli Ezekwesili, yesterday, alleged that the sum of $67 billion in Nigeria's Foreign and Excess Crude Accounts left behind by former President Olusegun Obasanjo in 2007 had been squandered.

Delivering the 42nd Convocation Lecture of the University of Nigeria, Nsukka, (UNN), Ezekwesili expressed regret that six years after the administration she served in handed such " national wealth to another, 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."

Apart from the $67 billion, she also wanted to know what happened to proceeds from oil sale in the last five years.

"The oil revenue induced choices made by our ruling elite over the five decades of political independence cursed several of our citizens to intergenerational poverty. Endowment of oil resulted in an indulgent elite class -the generations of your great grandparents, grandparents and parents in leadership- who have made disastrous choices that have trapped the destiny of Nigeria in oil wells.

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