Edo State Governor, Mr. Adams Oshiomhole, on Tuesday said he was not
surprised by the current travails of a former Minister of Petroleum
Resources, Mrs. Diezani Alison-Maduekwe, in the United Kingdom
because it was an open secret that the nation’s economy was badly
managed over the years.
He said despite the media hype by the administration of former President
Goodluck Jonathan that it rebased the economy, he did not see anybody
that said average Nigerians did better under the administration.
Oshiomhole spoke with State House correspondents after meeting with
President Muhammadu Buhari at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.
The governor said, “For me, I don’t think anybody should be surprised
(about the former minister’s travails) because the most favourable
commentator on the Nigerian condition, both the economy, the polity and
society, everybody agrees that our economy was badly managed over the
past several years. I have not seen one commentator that disagrees.
“Even when they talk about rebasing, and so what? Have you rebased the
level of poverty? Have you rebased prosperity? Have you rebased
unemployment? Have you rebased homelessness? Have you rebased
“So, I have not seen anyone that says Nigerian people are doing better.
This was never my issue. I was only a spokesman of the National
“But in this country, when you speak out, all the arrows would be
fashioned to attack. But one of the things I learnt in life at the age of 17
when I got into the leadership of labour, is that the truth does not require
supporters club. It can stand on its feet any day. You can hit it. You can
kick it. You can bomb it, but you can’t destroy it.”
Oshiomhole claimed that the truth is that a lot of money was stolen under
He said the ones currently being revealed as far as the ongoing travails of
Alison-Maduekwe is concerned could only be described as a tip of the
He said one would understand the unfortunate situation the country had
found itself when one considers the money that accrued to Nigeria
consistently over a period of time and yet the budget was being run in
deficit and the treasury emptied.
The governor added, “The truth is that a lot of money was stolen and
what you are seeing is just a tip of the iceberg because when you imagine
what accrued to Nigeria consistently from $140 (per barrel) averaging
$108 over a long period of time and yet your treasury is empty and you
were running a budget deficit.
“You were devoting 85 percent of your budget for four consecutive years
on recurrent; you were borrowing and you drew the entire pensions fund.
“Yesterday, I saw a lot of analysis of how pension funds should be
invested on infrastructure.
“You challenge Pencom and Ministry of Finance, you will discover that
over N3.5tn was drawn by the previous government from pension funds
to support recurrent expenditure, not to support infrastructure