Jonathan’s Administration Plunged Nigeria Into Debt – Osinbajo
Vice - President Yemi Osinbajo again, on Monday , lashed out at the administration of ex - President Goodluck Jonathan, saying it was mirred in grand corruption and impunity.
Osinbajo said he was taken aback , on assumption of office , at the kind of grand corruption that took place under the previous government.
The VP said, for instance , he was shocked to find that in one day $ 292 m ( about N70bn) was moved out from the Central Bank of Nigeria , “without any contract or any real explanation ” .
According to him , that dollar haul from the CBN left the apex bank dollar broke for two weeks.
He said it was unimaginable that despite earning $ 381 bn from crude sale between 2010 and 2014 – the highest that the country had ever earned – the nation’ s external reserves fell to $ 30bn by 2014 and the Jonathan administration left behind a debt of $ 63 .806 bn .
Osinbajo said this on Monday in Lagos in a lecture titled, “Restructuring and the Nigerian federation , ” which he delivered as part activities marking the 40 anniversary of Association of Friends.
He noted that between 2010 and 2015 , Nigeria’ s debt jumped from $ 35, 093 .10 bn to $ 63 , 806 .53bn .
He said, “What do these figures show? They show that when oil prices were at the highest between 2010 and 2014 the government was borrowing heavily .
“From 2010 to 2014 , debts moved from $ 35bn to $ 63 bn. When we assumed office in 2015 , the debt that the previous government left was $ 63 bn.
“Today , three and half years later, the debt is $ 73 bn.
“There are two reasons why despite high earnings we are poorer – the first is grand corruption and mismanagement of resources . And there is a difference between grand corruption and ordinary corruption.
“Grand corruption is directly stealing from the CBN, directly taking money from the treasury without any contract , no pretences ; there ’ s no caution , you just take money. That was going on and I will give you several examples .
“When I got to the office as Vice -President, I couldn ’ t believe it . In one day , $ 292m was signed out and it disappeared . After that period , for two weeks, the Central Bank of Nigeria did not have cash dollar – $ 292 m without any real explanation ! We later discovered what became of the money .
“On another occasion , N60bn was moved out ostensibly for security purposes; but we know what happened.
“When you have a corrupt government , large sums of money which can be used for development is simply taken . If you are the President of Nigeria , you can literally say , ‘ Go and bring money ’ .
“Look at a sum of N60bn ; when someone can take N60bn; and $ 292m , that ’ s almost N70bn . Today , our TraderMoni scheme is costing us N20 bn, where we ’ re giving to petty traders a loan of N10 , 000 and when they pay back , we give them N15, 000 and when they pay back, we give them , N20 , 000 . But somebody will take $ 292m , almost N70bn. If you have N70bn, you will solve the problem of seven million of those petty traders . That’ s the kind of thing we are talking about and the kind of contrast that we ’ re trying to draw .”