In line with the declaration of the visiting British Prime Minister, Mrs. Theresa May, that Nigerians are poorest in the world, questions of the whereabouts of the Nigerian oil revenues during past administrations have come to the fore.
It is noteworthy that Nigeria as the sixth largest oil producing nation presumably would stand the test of time in terms of living above poverty level.
But it is instructive to note that Vice President Yemi Osinbajo (SAN) recently stated that former Nigerian leaders between 1990 and 2014, has in each tenure misused the accrued OPEC Nigerian income revenues, to the detriment of poor Nigerians.
It is pertinent to note that with recent Osinbajo’s revelation of financial misconduct under successive leadership between 1999 and 2014, it has contributed immensely in the economy downturn and unarguably the devastating and pulsating economic recession in 2015 and 2016 to say the least.
The Vice President’s exposure of the inhuman looting is in line with several World leaders’ submission on Nigeria that it has no reason to be poor, with the record of huge amount of stolen monies tucked away in foreign banks.
Osinbajo, while relying on OPEC statistics on oil revenues accruable to Nigeria under successive administrations in the past 25 years, also stated that such huge revenues were not channeled into infrastructural development in spite of huge amount earned.
According to the revelation by the Vice-President, most of the past leaders, have in the past years, exhibited seemingly lack of patriotism and unwillingness to stamp poverty out of the nation. The gesture for 25 years has indeed enshrined poverty in Nigeria thereby making it a subject of mockery before the international community.
Needless to say that any society that has lost the whopping amount of $982.8 billion in 25 years has no reason to be poor.
Osinbajo’s revelations, based on OPEC records, showed that under the Ibrahim Babangida and the late Sani Abacha administrations, Nigeria realised $199.8 billion.
Under the Olusegun Obasanjo and Umaru Yar’Adua governments, the country got $401.1 billion; and during the Goodluck Jonathan administration, Nigeria got $381.9 billion from oil.
Under the present government and despite earning $94 billion, up until 2017, Osinbajo stated that the federal government spent more on infrastructure and capital than any previous government.
We believe that what we need as a nation is a prudent management of national resources and providing for the people properly for better ideas. This development, we believe, we address Nigeria’s developmental challenges and principally stamp out poverty in the country.
We are of the opinion that the time has come for Nigerians to demand accountability from past and present leaders on how they spent revenues from our oil sales.
It is shameful that there is nothing substantial on ground in terms of infrastructural development to show for the humongous dollars realised from oil sales.
That is the best way to go if we are really serious in ensuring good governance devoid of absolute stealing of our hard earned resources and commonwealth.