By Olalekan Bilesanmi
Vice President, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo, SAN, yesterday, said that Nigeria is not poor because it has no resources, it is poor because a lot its resources are stolen or mismanaged.
Osinbajo, who spoke at the at the 2017 Graduation ceremony of the Nigerian Institute of Policy and Strategic Studies Kuru, Plateau State, yesterday, said for the first time in five years government was able to save $500million, and invested another $500million in the Sovereign Wealth Fund.
He went further to say that: ‘Today our external reserves stands at $35billion the highest in the past four years.
‘We have made the point, that Nigeria is not poor because it has no resources, it is poor because a lot its resources are stolen or mismanaged. We can do a lot more with far less, if we don’t allow stealing.
“We must pay attention to what we are seeing today, and some of the shameless noises of those who brought our nation to its knees, many of whom still have looted funds in their possession, trying to rewrite history and hoodwink the populace again. We say never again.”
“But with 60% less revenue, we started a series of bailouts for the States, to enable them pay salaries and pensions. With 60% less revenue, we were able to provide about N1.3trillion for capital expenditure, the largest amount for capital in our nation’s history.”
“For the first time in five years we saved $500million, and invested another $500million in the Sovereign Wealth Fund. Today our external reserves stands at $35billion the highest in the past four years.”
He congratulated the participants, “by extending warm congratulations, to the participants graduating from NIPSS today. I have no doubt that you will all be returning to your respective duty stations full of insight and understanding of our national policy space.
I urge you to deploy the knowledge gained here in support of the national development efforts in whatever positions you find yourselves. The proof that you have a role to play in evidenced by the very vibrant, committed and forward looking Alumni Association that you have joined”.