Nigeria’s former Head of the Due Process office and ex Minister,Dr Oby Ezekwesili has decried the fact that Oil wealth has entrenched corruption and other ills.She said Nigeria has earned almost $600 billion in oil revenue since 1959, yet according to the National Bureau of Statistics, 69% of Nigerians live below the poverty ticker .
The ex minister spoke in Abuja at a CISLAC Dialogue Session on the cost of governance with the Oronsaye Report in perspective.
According to Ezekwesili ”We have a staggering size of our population to lift out of poverty. According to the National Bureau of Statistics, 69% of Nigerians live below the poverty ticker.
“Almost $600 billion USD in oil revenue since the discovery of oil in 1959, Nigeria ranks 159th out of 177 on the UN Human Development Index.
“The common wonderment of these poor citizens – whether east, west, north and south- is “why would more than half the population of a country that earned nearly one trillion dollars in oil revenue since the Oloibori discovery of crude oil; continue to wallow in poverty?”
“Well, economic evidence shows that the answer which we must all ponder deeply is that oil wealth entrenched corruption and mismanagement of resources in government and warped the incentive for value added work, creativity and innovation in our public, private sectors and wider society.”
She listed the sources of leakages in the oil sector to include poor reconciliation across agencies, exchange rate differentials ,overly poor remittance by independent revenue agencies and lack of metering at oil terminals
X-raying the Oronsaye reported ,the ex-minister noted that “The White Paper of the Steve Oronsanye Recommended .. only 321 out of 541 government agencies. Since the public disclosure on June 12, 2013, glaring steps have not been taken to actually streamline the agencies. “
On ghost workers in federal service,she said, “46,821 ghost workers have been found in 215 of its ministries, departments and agencies where IPPIS has been introduced. This has saved the government N119bn. There are 321 agencies still yet uncovered. Who knows how many faceless people still draw funds from government treasury?”