Rumour’s argument on Nigeria’s stolen and wasted resources


IMAGE/Vanguard News

Estimates demonstrate that, over the last 40 years, Nigeria has been loosing billions of dollars daily to corruption and wastages of the country’s resources. 

By way of definition, Rumour is a Nigerian who knows what is happening or can correctly intuit the happenings in the country but does not have any official means of informing Nigerians. So he/she simply spreads the information through the markets, football watching arenas, in the public transport vehicles, social media, churches and mosques, community and club meetings, fellow staff in the office and at political and other social rallies. One critical point here is that Rumour knows a lot about Nigeria. On the abuse of Nigerian resources, Rumour classifies it into two broad parts: stolen and wasted resources. Stolen resources are missing resources. Wasted resources are those lost due to mismanagement by the government of Nigeria.

As a young boy growing up in Nigeria in the early 1980s, Rumour told me that US $2.8 billion got missing during the military government of General Olusegun Obasanjo (OBJ-retired) which lasted between 1976-1979. But no one has challenged him in the court of law over the matter; and Rumour insists that even the government was aware of it and did nothing. In Naira terms today, this amounts to N854 billion.

Rumour also had it that during the reign of General Ibrahim Badamasi Babangida (IBB-retired), which lasted between 1985-1993, US $12 billion was discovered missing from the crude oil windfall of 1991. This was even confirmed by late Pius Okigbo’s Commission’s Report at that time. No one challenged IBB and the government did nothing to prosecute the matter to a successful conclusion. In Naira terms today, this amounts to N3.7 trillion.

Late General Sani Abacha’s loots between 1993-1998, according to Rumour, ran into billions of dollars: US $4 billion was recovered by OBJ and Umaru Musa Ya’Adua, US $500 million recovered by President Mohammadu Buhari (PMB) and now missing and another US $322 million recovered by PMB earmarked for the rehabilitation of the Northeast is not well managed. Rumour further informed Nigerians that Chief Femi Falana (SAN) is not happy about the unknown state of affairs of the US $4 billion earlier recovered. In Naira terms today, all amounts to N1.5 trillion.

Rumour further informed Nigerians that US $16 billion meant for building power plants across Nigeria went missing under OBJ as civilian president (1999-2007). Like the others, no one has successfully challenged him in court over the matter, and the government has done nothing about it. In Naira terms today, this amounts to N4.9 trillion.

Col. Dasuki, a former national security advisor under the immediate past regime of Goodluck Jonathan is being prosecuted for sharing out US $2.1 billion security funds to prominent Nigerians who were billed to help the People’s Democratic Party win the 2015 elections. Rumour said that even Reuben Abati, then a media chief to President Jonathan got N50 million. Dasuki is being prosecuted by the government; so what about Abati? In Naira terms today, this amounts to N640 billion.

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