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Osinbajo How $3bn was stolen under Jonathan through NPDC - Vice President

Osinbajo said if the $3 billion was not looted, it could have built seven major roads in the country.

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Osinbajo says $3bn was embezzled under Jonathan play

Vice President of Nigeria, Yemi Osinbajo

(Twitter/@akandeoj )

Barely 24 hours after accusing former president Goodluck Jonathan and his cronies of sharing N150 billion two weeks to the 2015 elections, Vice President Yemi Osinbajo has fired another shot.

He said over $3 billion was looted under the Jonathan administration through the strategic alliance contracts, which according to him could have been used to construct seven major roads.

The Vice President disclosed this on Tuesday, March 20, 2018, while speaking at the 2018 Ogun investment forum which held in Abeokuta.

Industry experts have often described the alliance contracts as the biggest organized scam in the history of Nigerian oil industry.

The contracts were between the Nigerian Petroleum Development Company (NPDC) Ltd and Atlantic Energy Drilling Concepts (AEDC) Ltd.

NPDC is the oil development and production arm of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) while Atlantic Energy is owned by Jide Omokore and Kola Aluko, who are associates of former petroleum minister, Diezani Alison-Madueke.

Alison-Madueke, who served under the Jonathan government from April 2010 to May 2015, has also been accused of corruption on a monumental scale, both in Nigeria and in the United Kingdom.

Fraudulent deal

The controversial deals between the NPDC and Atlantic Energy were truck between 2011 and 2015.

Ex-President Goodluck Jonathan reacts to alleged attack on Gov Fayose play Former president Goodluck Jonathan (Premium Times)

 

Osinbajo said if the $3 billion was not looted, it could have built roads such as; Enugu-PH road; East-West road; Sagamu-Ore-Benin road; Kano-Maiduguri road; Abuja-Lafia-Akwanga-Keffi road; and Lagos-Abeokuta.

He said, "Yesterday at the Quarterly Presidential Business Forum, I said the main reason for Nigeria's recursive growth is not just a matter of our relying heavily on a single commodity, it is the fact that the proceeds of that single commodity were regularly hijacked consistently by a few.

"So, for example in a so called strategic alliance contracts with the NDPC, the promoters of the companies made away with over 3 billion US dollars, almost a tenth of our reserves at a point!

"Here is a list of possible roads 3 billion dollars could have built, and at the moment we are in the course of getting 3 billion dollars to build these roads.

"We talk of the Nigerian economy without talking about the blight that was caused years ago by people simply stealing the resources of this country."

Osinbajo reiterated the statement he made on Monday that Jonathan and his associates embezzled billions of Naira few weeks before the last general election.

Speaking further, he said, "In one single transaction, the sum of N100 billion and 289 million dollars in cash were released a few weeks to the 2015 elections, it was not released as such, it was the money embezzled.

"When you consider that, in 2014, when oil prices were an average of 110 dollars a barrel, only N99 billion was spent on Power, Works and Housing. Agriculture and Transportation got N14 Billion and N15 billion respectively.

"So, the total spends on capital in these critical areas I have mentioned was only N153 billion, and over N150 billion was released and shared within three days. This is enormity of what we are talking about; there is no country in the world that can survive on grand corruption on the scale that we are talking about. And that is why it is important for the federal government of Nigeria under President Muhammadu Buhari to reverse that grand corruption.

"So, we spent, in 2017, N1.3 trillion on capital, the highest spend in the history of the country, earning almost 60% less than we were earning in 2014. So, you can do far more with less if we are prudent with the resources of this country.

"Today, with less revenue but no leakage, we have increased funding capital in power, works, and housing, defence, transportation and agriculture by as much as 400%.

"Today, we are two quarters out of the recession and firmly on the path of recovery. Our external reserves are at their highest levels in five years. Inflation has dropped for 13 consecutive months, manufacturing confidence is on the rise and in 2017, Nigeria moved ahead 24 places on the World Bank's annual Doing Business Index. And the World Bank reported that Nigeria is among top ten reforming economies in the world."

ALSO READ: Don't be fooled, Jonathan was an awful President

However, a former aide to Jonathan, Reno Omokri, had dismissed Osinbajo's claim of the N150 billion embezzlement.

"The allegations that the Vice President has made are completely false. Saying that 143 billion was spent on capital expenditure in three years under Jonathan is a big lie,"  Omokri said during an interview with Channels TV on Tuesday.

He  faulted the anti-corruption fight of the Buhari administration, saying that despite its claims of winning the war, corruption has manifested itself more under the APC-led government.

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