6 October 2017

Nigeria: Govt Needs Nigerians' Support to Win Corruption War - Osinbajo

The Vice President, Yemi Osinbajo, has called on Nigerians to increase their support to the government's fight against corruption in the country.

Mr. Osinbajo stated this on Thursday in Abuja while speaking with reporters and members of civil society organisations, under the aegis of Situation Room.

Mr. Osinbajo said although the government faces legal challenges in its fight against corruption, the needed push by citizens "is not strong enough."

"I don't think that the people, especially the civil society have shown enough outrage that one expects in order to consistently beam searchlight on the perpetrators.

"People come and ask where are the convictions but I say where are the campaigns? We should be able to point out these persons so that they will not be able to spend these monies.

"If we are sufficiently outraged about the delays being orchestrated by defence lawyers intentionally to frustrate such corruption cases, everyone will hail the move by the Chief Justice of Nigeria," he said.

The Vice President said the Buhari administration is doing a lot to stabilise the economy and reiterated the government's commitment to ensure that the annual budget cycle runs from January to December.

Mr. Osinbajo again heaped the blame on the past administration of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP for the economic downturn being faced in the country.

He said previous administrations failed to efficiently manage proceeds from high price of oil which led the nation into serious economic difficulty afterwards.

He said upon assumption of office, the APC administration met a situation where two thirds of the states were owing civil servants monthly salaries.

"This is how bad the situation was, hence the decision to offer states bailout to see if they can offset the salary arrears. You can't point to a single major infrastructural project at a time that oil was selling at $100 per barrel," he said.

Mr. Osinbajo also spoke about the recent agitations by various groups and the threat to national unity, saying most of the agitations are not factual or backed up with cogent reasons.

He said almost every section of the country rightly or wrongly feels marginalised.

He said while many states controlled by the APC in the North-west of the country are complaining that all they have are junior ministers in the federal cabinet, he said most of the states in the South-east can boast of having senior ministers except one.

He also said while the South-eastern states have been complaining about the composition of service chiefs, the same zone enjoyed such dominance during the immediate past administration of the PDP.

He said Nigerians should be more concerned with merit when it comes to appointments.

"What I am saying is that we must drop this tendency of becoming ethnic warlords and forge a national consensus on the use of merit in deciding appointments in the country," he said.

Mr. Osinbajo also said a lot of the money recovered from public looters is being used to finance the 2017 budget. He also said the unused fund is kept in a special account at the CBN.

He promised that the government will soon inform Nigerians how much has been recovered so far.

The Vice President also spoke about power generation and said the major problem with inadequate power supply is distribution.

He said the nation currently generates about 7,000 MW adding that the government will soon allow private companies to supply pre-paid meters to consumers.


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