Former Lagos State governor and National Leader of the All Progressives Congress of Nigeria, APC, has described the NNPC and SURE-P project as conduit for siphoning funds by the Jonathan led government.
Tinubu who spoke as the special guest of honor at the NG Annual Dinner in Lagos at the Muson Center on Thursday February 6, 2014, went to great length to draw a distinction between the PDP and the APC. He was unsparing when he blamed the Jonathan led PDP government as one spinning recklessly out of control in terms of spending, corruption in the oil sector and other slush funds channelled through government programs to fill the pockets of party loyalists.
The APC leader noted that Nigerians are yet to get a satisfactory explanation on the 400,000 barrels per day that is stolen. He opined that the NNPC has been converted into an ATM.
“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.
Tinubu who spoke in a very conversational tone at the Dinner used his experience as the governor of Lagos as a tool to examine what is wrong with Nigeria today both politically and economically. According to him, Nigeria punches below its weight and is trapped in a disarticulated economy occasioning poverty and frustration on people. “The AFDB, in its African Economic Outlook report of 2013 revealed that poverty has worsened since 1996 and through 11 years of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, rule. The efforts of President Jonathan’s government at combating poverty were also faulted”.
The former governor of Lagos State asserted that under the current economic environment, it is 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. 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”.
Tinubu was on call to explain the vision and mission of the new party, APC and offer an insight into the ideology of the party. “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,” he added.
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