The vice president, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo has said that corruption is Nigeria’s major challenge and it is not the trademark of a particular religion in the country.
The vice president who made the remark in Lagos on at a public lecture held in Lagos with the theme: ‘The role of Muslim leaders in the south west towards achieving peaceful and successful 2019 elections’ stated that corruption must be tackled by all for the country to make progress.
Osinbajo stated the determination of the President Muhammadu-led administration in its fight against corruption, stressing that the struggle in Nigeria is that between good and evil, and not between religions.
“I want to say to you that it is a battle between good and evil. What we are fighting for in this country is a battle between good and evil; it is not a battle between religions. Corruption is our major challenge. The people that steal Nigeria’s resources are both Christians and Muslims,” said Osinbajo in a statement by his spokesman, Mr. Laolu Akande.
Osinbajo who advised religious leaders to admonish their followers to embrace peace and work for the unity of the country highlighted some of the programmes and projects of the federal government since its inception in May 2015.
He said the government’s prudent management of resources had helped it achieve far more in terms of infrastructure and development than previous administrations.
He said the government had invested heavily on social protection, the largest in the country’s history.
He added that the federal government spent over N2.7 trillion on capital expenditure in the last three years, pointing out that it is the highest amount ever spent on capital in the history of Nigeria.
He listed some of the infrastructure projects to include, among others, the Lagos-Kano Standard Gauge Railway, the Lagos-Ibadan Dual Carriageway and the Second Niger Bridge.
He said the government had been able to achieve this through prudent management of resources, despite earning 60 per cent revenue less than the previous administration when the price of crude oil was high.
“Despite earning 60 per cent less revenue, we are spending more on infrastructure in this government, from roads, rails to power,” he said.
The vice president also said that components of the administration’s Social Investment Programme (SIP) impacted the lives of millions of Nigerians.
He explained that through the N-Power Programme, 500,000 young graduates have been engaged by the Federal Government in different areas of public service.
He said similar successes were being recorded in the Government Enterprise Empowerment Programme, (GEEP) which includes the TraderMoni Scheme), the Conditional Cash Transfer (CCT) and the Home-Grown School Feeding Programme, which currently feeds over nine million public primary school pupils in 26 states.
Commenting on the impact of the TraderMoni scheme which he said is a N10, 000 interest- and collateral-free loans to petty traders nationwide, Osinbajo two million petty traders nationwide will benefit from the microcredit scheme by the end of the year.
Osinbajo said at the inception of the administration, over 23 states in Nigeria owed salaries of between three to 12 months.
That, he said, necessitated the federal government to give the states bailout funds to pay their workers.
He said the government was also confronted with the drop in Nigeria’s crude oil production of 2.2 million bpd coming down to around one million bpd as a result of the restiveness in the Niger Delta region.