Osinbajo: Nigerians Haven’t Shown Enough Outrage Against Corruption

Yemi Osinbajo
Vice President Yemi Osinbajo
  • Says Nigeria to partner neighbouring countries to curb smuggling

Onyebuchi Ezigbo and Omololu Ogunmade in Abuja

The Vice President, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo, has said more support and encouragement are needed to shore up the fight against the systemic corruption in the country and to nail perpetrators of such acts.

Osinbajo who fielded questions from members of the civil society organisations under the aegis of the Civil Society Situation Room in Abuja yesterday, also highlighted the efforts of government to stabilise the economy saying that the administration has resolved to reorder the national budget cycle to run from January to December every year.
Against the background of criticism that the All Progressives Congress (APC)-led administration had not secured tangible convictions on corruption cases in the last two years, Osinbajo said prosecution of cases was suffering delays due to institutional constraints.

According to him, beyond the legal challenges, the federal government’s war against graft has not got the needed support from Nigerians, especially from members of the organised civil society groups.

Regarding the magnitude of corruption in the country and the need to check it, the VP said: “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

Speaking on the economic challenges facing the country, Osinbajo said the genesis of the problem is traceable to the inefficient management of accruing proceeds from oil by the previous administration which put the entire country into crisis.

He said situation was so bad that when the APC assumed power in 2015, two thirds of the states were owning workers salaries.

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

On the issue of agitations by various groups and the threat to national unity, the Osinbajo said that most of the clamour about marginalisation are not factual, not backed up with reason.

He said he has analysed the agitations and found out that almost every section of the country is feeling marginalised rightly or wrongly.

For instance, he said at a time when many APC states in the North-west of the country are complaining that all they have are junior ministers in this administration, most of the states in the South-east can boast of having senior ministers with the exception of one.

In the same vein, he said whereas the South-east have been complaining about the composition of the military service chiefs, the same zone enjoyed such dominance during the immediate past administration of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).

He said beyond seeking for ethnic balance, Nigerians should begin to consider the issue of merit.
“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.

On what the federal government has been doing with the recovered funds from treasury looters, the vice president said that the monies have been built into the current budget.

He also said that there is a dedicated account in central bank designated to house these recovered funds.
He further said government would soon make public how much more looted funds has been recovered in terms of amounts in local and foreign currencies as well as in real estates properties.”

As a means of dousing growing suspicions over the application of the recovered funds, Osinbajo said the government is considering deploying the money to some designated key road projects which would be made public.
He said the government was considering beaming searchlight on states regarding the allegations that some states operate an open budget was an issue worth considering.

On power he said one of the major problems is distribution and not generation, adding that presently generation capacity was about 7,000 MW.

He said the government was introducing a policy where independent persons can supply meters to electricity users and meter same which is a departure from when it used to be the exclusive preserve of the Discos.

Osinbajo also spoke on the problem of insecurity caused by herdsmen attacks, saying that there is need to deal with violent clashes between herdsmen and farmers in a more wholistic manners with the states and other stakeholders.

“I think several herdsmen have been found with arms , arrested and are facing trial. President Buhari has given orders to security agencies to apprehend any herdsman found with arms or dangerous weapons and the same goes with anyone with illegal arms,” he said.

Also, Osinbajo said the federal government would partner neighbouring countries to ensure that the country’s porous borders are better policed to tackle smuggling and the influx of counterfeit products into the country, Vice President Yemi Osinbajo disclosed yesterday

Osinbajo, according to a statement by his spokesman, Mr. Laolu Akande, last night, said the move would further promote the patronage of Made-in-Nigeria products and boost the country’s manufacturing sector.
Akande said the vice-president made the remark when he received a delegation of the Manufacturers Association of Nigeria (MAN) in the Presidential Villa, Abuja.
He said MAN, which was led by its President, Dr. Frank Udemba Jacobs, presented to the vice-president a report on its advocacy campaign for patronage of Made-in-Nigeria products.

He said Osinbajo suggested that certain sections of the laws should be amended to attract stringent monetary penalties for defaulters to serve as a deterrent to others and also protect the quality of goods in the country.
“More importantly, the whole issue is that we are able to police the borders. Last week we had discussions with all the agencies connected; including the Customs, the Minister of Internal Affairs, NPA, and we were looking at how we can work with our neighbours, especially the Benin Republic, and our neighbours also in the North, to police our borders as much as we can,” he was quoted as saying.

The statement also said Osinbajo reiterated that the major focus of the Buhari administration’s Ease of Doing Business reforms was to increase patronage for locally manufactured goods and also create an enabling environment for the private sector and businesses in the country to thrive.

“The whole point of the Executive Order on promoting “Made-in-Nigeria” products was to set the ball rolling, to create an environment for this sort of initiative, and I am extremely grateful to MAN for the work that it has done in bringing this to the fore,” he added.

The statement said earlier, MAN’s president said the association’s advocacy campaign was not only aimed at improving the patronage of locally manufactured products by Nigerians, but to also help create more jobs for Nigerians in the local manufacturing sector by reducing imports.

It said the association requested for a 35 per cent margin of preference for Made-in-Nigeria products for government procurement, a statement he said the vice-president in responded to, saying “the 35 per cent threshold is entirely reasonable. We should be able to do better than that in terms of driving government procurement.”

  • pajerow

    Nigerians not showing outrage! or you not fighting ALL corruption and bringing them to book properly.? Na waa for this village headmaster o.You should lead the outrage at your banana island church by repenting on the source of the assest you declared first naa.

    • Jaybanj

      You need to use common sense. Whether its PDP , APC etc – The government is only as strong as its people! Did Nigerians show outrage during the PDP years despite the massive looting, have we seen any massive public protests like we have seen in Brazil, all the cases that are being frustrated in courts and people are going free, where are the institutions that are protesting??? The goverment has to lead BUT the people have to play thier part – after all it is yours and your childrens future!!

  • Arabakpura

    But Nigerians have shown enough outrage for the government you represent for constantly preaching one thing and doing another!

  • Filia Eze

    In reality Mr Osinbajo, the high level of corruption is one of the reasons why Biafrans are agitating for self determination because we’ve had enough. How else do you want the outrage to be? Are you not part of the corrupt politicians who share public fund on monthly basis? We are all aware that Nigerian politicians used to carry money in Ghana must go bags but now, they steal billions and carry them in cartons. So, why pretend as if you don’tknow what is going on. This is a clear indication that Nigeria is a lawless nation. People are afraid to talk for fear of being killed. But I want you to know that never again will Biafrans remain in this mess that you heartless and vicious politicians have put the country into.
    Thank you very much.

    • Suny

      Where there is corruption, you will see blood money.

    • Jaybanj

      You are right. ‘Biafra’ is the only region that is corruption free. The roads are paved, the health care is world class, and there is excellent education for ALL. The past Biafran governors, senators are not like the others – they didnt steal, they made sure they developed their region. They also did not go to Lagos and start buying land in lekki , thats why if they decide to leave Nigeria today, they wont have any property in the rest of Nigeria to be collected from them.

  • Mystic mallam

    Each time Mr Osinbajo speaks on crucial national matters, he reveals how facetious and quisling he truly is, perpetually fishing for excuses for the administration’s failures. Hear him still whining about the past government and misspent oil revenue after nearly 3 years of APC in office. He’s even beginning to lie like Lai Mohammed – “You can’t point to a single infrastructure project executed at the time” – easily dismissing among others, the Abuja-Kaduna Railway that President Buhari launched with so much fanfare!! He glibly trivialises the near nation-wide clamour for restructuring, including the expressed views of his Party Principal, Bola Tinubu, and the entire South West zone, as false claims of marginalisation. At the same time, he betrays his culpable sophistry over the matter of restructuring by, in the same breath, advocating reliance on Merit rather than ethnic balancing in appointments to public office – as if that is antithetical to restructuring. In fact, restructuring is also about creating a political environment in which Merit trumps ethnic preferences in the conduct of the official business of State. He could not even avoid the temptation to join his boss in the trending Igbo-bashing – I’m yet to see how ‘the SE enjoyed Dominance in the composition of military Chiefs during the immediate past administration – could it be just because Mr Jonathan had the temerity to appoint a certain Mr. Ihejirika, ”a defeated rebel General” as COAS; and that is enough justification in the pastoral mind of Mr Osinbajo to exclude an entire zone from the decision-making architecture of Nigeria’s national security. In similar spirit of policy obfuscation, the VP informs us that the federal govt. ‘would soon make public “how much more’ looted funds” has been recovered.’ I’m waiting to be corrected, but I can’t recall that there was ever a formal accounting or announcement of previously recovered loots, and/or what use they were put to. In all of his interview answers, the most annoying because it is insulting of our collective commonsense, is the VP’s dismissal of the havoc, the mayhem and wanton murders that armed herdsmen have inflicted on innocent citizens across the country in their own homes and communities, as “mere CLASHES” between herdsmen and farmers. Mr Osinbajo knows pretty well that the invasion, destruction, and in some cases forceful occupation of citizens’ homesteads, farms and other means of livelihood by people said to be mostly foreigners, is not a mere clash between herdsmen and farmers. Why is he lying about a serious matter like that? Assuming it was armed Igbo or Yoruba herdsmen, not Fulani herdsmen, ravaging the land in the manner we have seen escalate in the past couple of years, surely, Mr Osinbajo would not be talking of herdsmen-farmer clashes, he would have been defending the deployment of smiling crocodiles and dancing pythons in the offending zones? Learning to take responsibility for errors and failures is a big challenge for this administration, but that unfortunately, is a core part of good leadership.

  • Mystic mallam

    Really Mr Osinbajo? “Nigerians haven’t shown enough outrage against corrupt people.” You can’t be serious Mr Vice President! Is it when we start chasing the filthy rich down the streets with bows and arrows that you’d appreciate how outraged we are about mind-boggling corruption in the land. Why, for a change, can’t you people in the APC administration take some responsibility for your many failures? Is it our lack of outrage that is keeping you from duly prosecuting Mr Dasuki in open court after 2 years in detention, or is it your fear of what he might reveal, whom he might implicate? What of CoS to Mr President and his MTN bribe; the IGP and police security for hire, COAS and his Dubai mansions, the Grass cutter SGF, the Dollar-ware-housing DG NIA nko

    • Jaybanj

      Where is the outrage against Patience Jonathan? Is this the Nigeria we want for our children? When blatant case of corruption is out int he open, when the lady has the audacity to say she is suing the govt despite the millions of dollars found in her account – lodged by fake companies?? In any other country in the world, the beer parlour owner will be in Jail and would not be able to show her face! Where is the outrage against the judges!! If they arrest withut court case, we complain that they are flaunting the law, when the go to court and all the judges sit on the case, we say they are not fighting corruption. Nigerians – YOU ARE AT WAR! People are enslavign you and your children, until you fight , fight and fight – Put ALL OF THEM – Jonathan, Patience, SGF, NNPC boss, Corrupt governors APC, PDP – OUT THEM IN JAIL throw away the keys and collect your money. Mark my words though – the day is coming…..

  • MDG2020

    Fake Hypocrite!
    General Diya is even more Honorable and trustworthy than you are: a so-called pastor!
    Your fall will be soooo big, such that Diya’s saga will be a child’s play compared to yours.

  • Victor

    Your Government should first deal with the pending issues of alleged corruption involving your suspended SGF, NNPC GMD, as well as the police IGP.

    • Jaybanj

      Please let them deal with Patience, Diezani and Dasuki first – let the whole country see these powerful thieves locked up for the rest of their life. Then we will know change has started.