Says APC was floated to restore hope to Nigerians
Perhaps alarmed by the ceaseless allegations of sleaze and corruption against the Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC, a former governor of Lagos State, Bola Tinubu, on Friday said the Corporation had been converted by the Federal Government to an Automated Teller Machine, ATM.
Mr. Tinubu, a national leader of the opposition All Progressives Congress, APC, blamed the Goodluck Jonathan-led federal administration as one spinning recklessly out of control in terms of spending and corruption in the oil sector and other slush funds channelled through government programs to fill the pockets of party loyalists.
He specifically lamented that Nigerians were yet to get a satisfactory explanation on the 400,000 barrels stolen daily.
The governor stated this at a dinner organised by a group, NG, in Lagos on Friday.
Apart from the alleged stolen barrels of crude, the NNPC had been accused by the Governor of Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, Lamido Sanusi, of not remitting $20 billion to the Federation Account.
The Corporation has since denied the allegation.
Mr. Tinubu also alleged that the Subsidy Reinvestment Programme, SURE-P, was a drain pipe used for political patronage.
According to him, N253.5 billion allegedly expended on projects by the government as at December was not reflective in the lives of ordinary Nigerians.
He said, “Like I have maintained previously, the Sure-P project is a drain pipe, a slush fund for political patronage. For instance, the N253.5 billion alleged to have being spent on projects by the Federal government as at December 2013 is not reflective in the lives of ordinary Nigerians. In 2012, about N180 Billion accrued to the Federal Government in Sure-P alone”.
“Under the heavy weight of corruption, heavy dose of insecurity, the ticking time bomb of youth unemployment and a near total absence of institutional rationalization, Nigeria under President Jonathan clutches on like a battered engine in need of a complete overhaul, in fact, a change of engine.”
The APC leader, who spoke in a very conversational tone at the dinner, used his experience as the governor of Lagos as a tool to examine what was wrong with Nigeria today both politically and economically.
“The AFDB, in its African Economic Outlook report of 2013 revealed that poverty has worsened since 1996 and through 11 years of the PDP rule. The efforts of President Jonathan’s government at combating poverty were also faulted,” he said.
He said under the current economic environment, it was almost impossible for Nigeria to meet any of the predictions about its prosperity.
“The projection that Nigeria will soon emerge, at least in the next 30 years alongside three other countries as an economic giant by the British Economist, Jim O’Neil will for long be a mirage,” Mr. Tinubu said.
“O’Neil predicted that Mexico, Indonesia, Nigeria and Turkey are to become what he refers to as “MINT’.
“We all know that this is another Vision 2020 gimmick, a very distant hope with no chance of coming to fruition. Let us not for once, delude ourselves that this is possible.
“A country that is yet to export the smallest plastic product or one that generates a miserable 12 per cent of the total energy needs of the country can never be a candidate for “MINT”, “BRICS” (Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa) and as we now know, Vision 2020. Our energy woes abide”.
Offering an insight into the vision and mission of the APC, the former governor said “We formed this party to improve the lot and the lives of those who don’t have. We formed it to bring dignity, hope, justice and the reality of prosperity to those Nigerians who seek these things. The PDP has never been a friend of the people and each year it becomes less of one. They have turned their backs on the people. Now it is time the people turn their backs against the PDP.
“The PDP claims we don’t have an ideology. We have an ideology but it is one PDP can’t understand. What the arrogant and mean don’t understand, they pretend does not exist.”