The United Kingdom’s Department for International Development (DFID) has disclosed that about $32 billion was lost to corruption during former President Goodluck Jonathan’s administration.
Speaking at the expression of undergraduate debates challenge to celebrate the 2017 International Anti-Corruption Day, the agency’s Head of Office, DFID Nigeria, Debbie Palmer, said the huge amount represented 16 percent of the previous government’s resources that could have been channeled to development.
At the event which was organized by a non-governmental organization, Youngstars Foundation Initiative in Abuja, Palmer added that millions of dollars tied up in legal challenges remained in other countries. Her words:
“An independent report estimates that up to $32 billion was lost to corruption under the previous government. This is around 15 percent of state resources during the period and could well be an under-estimate.
“So the estimate is that nearly 16 percent of the previous government’s money was lost to corruption. That is a staggering amount of money. And that is money that is to all of you and to your future. That is why we all should care about corruption.
“Millions of dollars also remain in other jurisdictions tied up in legal challenges.”
Palmer explained that Nigerian youths have a critical role to play in President Muhammadu Buhari’s anti-graft fight and stressed the UK’s commitment to support Nigeria in tackling corruption in all its various forms through its anti-corruption programme in Nigeria.
In the meantime, the Minister of Transportation, Mr. Rotimi Amaechi, has also accused Goodluck Jonathan of gross mismanagement of the country’s resources during his six-year administration.
Amaechi alleged that the $65 billion in the excess crude account left by former President Olusegun Obasanjo was frittered away by Jonathan’s administration.
Speaking in Lagos on the sidelines of the Future Awards Africa held at the Federal Palace Hotel, Victoria Island, the transportation minister lamented that funding some major railway projects in the country would currently be easy if the Jonathan government saved rather than squandered the country’s resources.
“When Obasanjo was leaving, he left about $65 billion in the Excess Crude Account, but this money was frittered away and we wonder where the money is.
“As at then, the price of crude oil during the President Goodluck Jonathan’s administration hovered around $140, with this, they did not leave anything for the incoming government.
“With that kind of money, we should be thinking of connecting Nigeria through rail system. The rail between Ibadan to Kano would have been completed.
“Also the rail gauge between Port Harcourt to Maiduguri and Lagos to Calabar would have been completed, but all the excess crude money was frittered away, we need to ask questions,” Amaechi said.
According to Amaechi, he left the PDP because he was desirous of change and he saw a change agent in the presidential candidate of the All Progressives Congress, Muhammadu Buhari.
He said as the then Chairman of the PDP Governors’ Forum, he was influential and could have stayed and used his position to force the former ruling party to do the right thing, but he was simply fed up. His words:
“My attention and belief shifted to Buhari which was the viable alternative; I believe in the change mantra because it is the only way to improve on what is on the ground.
“He (Buhari) has not disappointed (the country) because the economy is now back on track and is growing. This is evident in the current prices of food items because it’s getting lower.”