Saturday, June 19, 2021

Why Nigeria is impoverished despite high oil revenue – Osinbajo

Rayyan Alhassan is a graduate of Journalism and Mass Communication at Sikkim Manipal University, Ghana. He is the acting Managing Editor at the Daily Nigerian newspaper, a position he has held for the past 3 years. He can be reached via [email protected], or, or @Rayyan88 on Twitter.
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Nigeria’s Vice-President, Yemi Osinbajo has lamented that Nigeria is perpetually reeling in poverty despite the increment in oil revenues because of corruption.

Mr Osinbajo said this on Thursday while speaking at the unveiling of FLAG’IT mobile application, an anti-corruption tool launched by the Akin Fadeyi Foundation in Abuja.

Represented by Fatima Waziri-Azi, special adviser on rule of law in the office of the vice-president, he said corruption led to the doubling of the country’s debt when the oil revenue was highest.

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Nigeria has lost huge public funds to corruption. At least N11 trillion is said to have been diverted in the power sector alone since 1999.

He lamented negative effects of corruption which he said impacts mostly on the most vulnerable in the society.

“There is a consensus that corruption and illicit financial flows out of Africa relentlessly delay the attainment of development goals, worsens practically all human development indices and traps the majority of the people, especially the most vulnerable in a circle of misery and poverty,” he said.

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“It doesn’t matter how much revenue a country generates or how transformative its plans are, corruption will ensure that the majority of the people do not benefit from whatever gains are made, which is why despite the highest oil revenues in our history, debts doubled and poverty figures rose, which is why a major pillar of this administration’s social and economic agenda is the fight against corruption.”

Mr Osinbajo commended the foundation for the mobile application and said it aligns with the government’s core mandate of fighting corruption to ensure the good of the citizens.

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According to him, the current administration recognises the important role technology and innovation plays in any society, “and that is why it is committed to supporting technology entrepreneurship ecosystem.”

He added that, “Technology has put great powers into our hands as individuals but more importantly, as co-creators and collaborators to positively and dramatically change the way we live our lives.”

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