At Vice Presidential debate, opposition candidates slam Sambo over electricity claim

Vice president, Namadi Sambo

Vice President Namadi Sambo said on Sunday that nearly N200 billion has been saved by the Federal Government following the discovery of about 60,000 ghost workers in its employ.

He disclosed this while responding to questions on corruption during the debate organised for the vice presidential candidates of the 14 political parties ahead of the February 14 election.

The debate, which was boycotted by the vice presidential candidate of the All Progressives Congress, APC, Yemi Osinbajo, was organised in Abuja by the Broadcasting Organisation of Nigeria, BON.

Mr. Sambo, who is the vice presidential candidate of the ruling Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, was paired with Bello Umar of the United Progressives Party, UPP, and Seidu Bobboi of the Kowa Party.

Stating that corruption was not an event, the vice president said it had however become a cancer in Nigeria and to treat a cancer would involve a lot of things.

He noted that before the civil war, there was no armed robbery in the country but that despite the killing of robbers by firing squad, the menace did not abate.

Mr. Sambo said the Jonathan administration had been able to put in place measures to stem corruption particularly in the civil service, among which is the e-payment and the strengthening of government institution.

According to him, this approach had yielded result as over 60,000 ghost workers had been discovered and nearly N200 billion had been saved.

He also said the government had stemmed corruption in the agricultural sector with the reform it introduced in fertilizer distribution.

The vice president said the PDP had transformed Nigeria since 1999, particularly in the last four years that Mr. Jonathan had been in power.

“Our party has successfully changed Nigeria in the last four years under the leadership of Dr. Goodluck Ebele Jonathan. We have been able to transform this country by having a leading economy in Africa,” he added.

He stated that when the current administration assumed office in 2011, the country was generating only about 2,000 megawatts but that it had now risen to about 4,500 megawatts.

“When we came in as an administration four years ago, power generation in this country was only about 2000 megawatts but today we are generating 4,500 megawatts and this will continue,” he said.

“There is no doubt that people are already reaping the effect of this additional power generation in Nigeria. As I speak we have added 10 new power plants in Nigeria and 100 percent has already been completed.

“We have constructed 3,500 kilometers of transmission lines and also 295 injected substations completed. So by that we have added 4700 megawatts to the existing infrastructure that will come. We have taken the right direction on power. We are building hydro power plants. People are feeling the positive change of this transformation.”

He said contrary to reports, only about 100,000 barrels of crude are being stolen in Nigeria, but that government had taken various steps to ameliorate the problem by liaising with the foreign refineries that buy the stolen crude.

Mr. Sambo said the government had begun the process to reform the Land Reform Use Act. According to him, a Committee headed by Peter Adeniyi had already completed a report and presented to the National Economic Council, NEC, which he chairs.

He said the report had been reviewed while inputs from the state governments were being awaited.

On the security challenge in the North East zone of the country, Mr. Sambo said the government “will do everything to ensure that we arrest this problem; we are strengthening the security arms and we are ensuring that our military personnel are properly kitted and equipped.”

Stating that the government was taking necessary actions to ensure that those affected by the insurgent activities were taken care of, the vice president said already 12 local governments hitherto under the control of the insurgents in Adamawa State had been recovered.

Mr. Sambo pleaded with Nigerians to vote the PDP in the election because of the wealth of experience he and Mr. Jonathan had brought to governance.

Mr. Umar said if elected, the UPP government would focus on solving the security problem confronting the country. He said the party already designed policies to achieve this.

He disagreed with Mr. Sambo on the economy and insisted that “the economy of the country is in the state of collapse.”

He also faulted the vice president on the state of power generation in the country, saying the government was not doing enough.

Mr. Umar said the UPP government would “go to nuclear to generate energy in order to put an end to power problem in Nigeria.”

The UPP vice presidential candidate said his party’s government would initiate land reform, strengthen technical and vocational education, set up a committee to advise it on the industrialisation of the country and give anti-graft agencies free hand to fight corruption.

On his part, Mr. Bobboi of the Kowa Party, said the power situation in the country had not changed from what it was 13 years ago contrary to Mr. Sambo’s claim.

He said if elected Kowa Party would build additional refineries in the six geo-political zones.

“That will reduce the number of pipes and it will reduce the vandalisation of pipelines,” he said.

Apparently referring to the controversial election of the Nigeria Governors Forum, NGF, and the removal of the leadership of the Ekiti House of Assembly, Mr. Bobboi taunted the PDP government not adhering to the rule of law.

“Leadership problem is a very critical issue. Leadership should be seen as servant of the people and not a ruler of the people. We require purposeful leadership that can work with the people, not centralized leadership, not leadership that is incoherent, but one that should adhere to the rule of law, not leadership that says 16 is higher than 19 or seven higher than 19,” he said.

“Kowa believes that leadership should be focussed, responsible and allow the people to participate.”

Mr. Bobboi, whose party’s presidential candidate is a woman, Oluremi Sonaiya, said there was a need for a paradigm shift from “paternal system of leadership to maternal system of leadership.”


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  • Rommel

    Nobody has commented on this so called debate meaning that this debate is irrelevant since the PDP is now known to have governing by forging statistical figures

    • Alhassan

      I am telling you brother no body is commenting, because Namadi is just making a presentation not a debate, that is why APC boycotted the debate. Now we can see why they took that decision, the whole scenario shows that only Namadi is important in the event. Failed people

      • koyan

        Tell Buhari and APC to organise a debate in Hausa. Still, Goodluck will beat him hands down. I know English language is a problem to Buhari. Let him use Hausa which he claimed he has credit on a forge result.

        • samsoft

          even with forge result buhari is far better than the PHD HOLDER u ar defending

        • Latino

          Did u watch that Circus yesterday night? Be honest that if u were perhaps in Europe or UK u will be proud to boast to some folks around that …” Yes ! thats our leaders talking” Just be honest.

          • Colonel MH Mariama(rtd)

            Is the UK in Africa then?
            Mr. Know-It-All.

  • Yusuf

    to cure a cancer you must kill the patient.. it is the easiest way to cure the cancer, at least by a clueless Dr

  • FortB

    Hahahaha. I no fit laugh. To stop pipeline vandalism I will reduce the number of pipelines. So wetin you go take pump the crude oil? Your ass? Clowns was to rule us too. Na wa o

  • samson john

    Vote for GEJ

    • Bloodless

      We will surely vote for GEJ out

  • Elis Davia

    Nigeria have successfully changed in the last four years under the leadership of President GEJ, transforming this country by having a leading economy in Africa.

    • postman

      Now go and collect your pay check

    • Separate Us…

      And u forgort it was due to high rocketing crude price in the last few years

  • Elis Davia

    The principle which President GEJ is applying in fighting corruption is the best, you don’t just fight corruption by jailing people but by closing down the avenues of which they are operating on

    • Spoken word

      GEJ cannot fight corruption.unless you want him to fight himself. A goat will not take himself to the slaughterhouse.

      • Elis Davia

        What some people want to see are the number of persons President GEJ has jailed? Jailing people will not solve the problem of corruption but checkmating there avenues of corruption.

        • Soja

          Not just to jail them. But recognise a thief and a thief by exposing them and not commiting more resources into the person’s care. E.g Making Dieziani, Oduah, Fayose, Moro, etc.

  • Spoken word

    We urgently need a competent government. We currently don’t have one.The PDP government we currently have only rely on falsehood and propaganda.

  • Ette

    Thump up for APC for not wasting it’s time to attend such fruitless event. Absolutely nothing close to a debate but an arrangement for PDP to try and talk to NIGERIANS despite failing woefully to lift NIGERIANS out of poverty in16 years during which over 55 trillion Naira came into its cover. The outing proved APC correct that it was fraud by PDP to deceive Nigerians. Good decision to avoid it and it shows APC is capable of making good decision for the good of our nation. Bravo.

  • Gentle Jungle

    I don’t red really understand, is this a debate or or paper presentation by fraudulent pdp government? What did pdpd take Nigerian to be? all of us cannot be fooled, Mr Dumbo. I hail APC for it’s maturity, please don’t participate in this kindergarten, child play, called Debate.

  • UNAFFECTED

    I can’t stop shaking my head at the barefaced lies told by President Jonathan and his supporters in this election. I think somehow, they live in denial or are just insane. Have they forgotten that the people who worked on the unbundling of NEPA are still alive? Why would the VP be telling Nigerians that the generation capacity of Nigeria when they took office was 2000MW? As at 2009, a total of 16 power plants were in existence in Nigeria – 10 owned by PHCN and six belonged to independent power producers. The total grid capacity of these plants then was 8,876 MW which prompted Yar’Adua to announce the presidential target of 6,000 MW of electricity by December 2009. That target was met and by January 2010 (one month before Jonathan became acting president), generated capacity was at 6,426 MW. So why the lies?

    • Colonel MH Mariama(rtd)

      Frankly your analysis of the issue is very flawed. You come across as someone who is convinced that there was much progress under Yar’Adua and then everything came to a stand still under GEJ. Why don’t you be honest and tell us how much electricity generating capacity the country enjoyed all these years under the ruinous “leadership” of the North compred to what South Africa enjoys? It is only then that one can compare apples to apples and oranges to oranges. I think you are quite disingenuous and seriously wrong in the head . The fact that you sang the praise of Yar’Adua(Baba Go Slow himself) who accomplished absolutely nothing before his demise shows where your misplaced loyalty lies.
      PREMIUM TIMES: I WILL BE POSTING COMMENTS FOR THE NEXT FEW MINUTE WHETHER YOU LIKE IT OR NOT. I EARNED THAT BIRTHRIGHT. GO AHEAD AND CENSORED ME ALL YOU WANT BECAUSE YOU DON’T LIKE THE ERUDITION I BRING TO THIS DISCOURSE.MAKE MY DAY!!!!!!

      • Advocate

        PT CENSORED YOU BECAUSE YOU ARE FULL OF VENOM FOR YOUR FELLOW COUNTRYMEN. IF YOU HAVE A PROBLEM WITH PT, GO AND SET UP YOUR OWN ONLINE NEWS WEBSITE. HABA!

      • UNAFFECTED

        You are writing from a position of bias. I do not care for such prejudice. I wasn’t singing Yar’Adua’s praises but I only disputed claims by the vice president that they inherited 2000 MW of electricity. He told a lie.

  • ceweeco projects

    APC, be bad, but at least don’t be a liar, a deceiver! You were told to come tell you own story at the national debate organized by BON, You refused!!! Now, you want to find relevant through the back door. The liar’s punishment is, not in the least that he is not believed, but that he cannot believe anyone else. Nigerians, each day a few more lies eat into the fibroid with which we are born, little institutional/APC lies from the print of newspapers, the shock waves of television, and the sentimental cheats of the movie screen. A lie will easily get you out of a scrape, and yet, strangely and beautifully, rapture possesses you when you have taken the scrape and left out the lie.
    As one knows the poet by his fine music, so one can recognize the liar by his rich rhythmic utterance, and in neither
    case will the casual inspiration of the moment suffice. Here, as elsewhere, practice must precede perfection. Oh APC, APC, APC, how many times did l call you!!! STOP YOUR DECEIT. YOU HAVE BEEN REJECTED.