Edo State Governor, Adams Oshiomhole on Tuesday maintained that he was not surprised by the ongoing travails of immediate past Minister of Petroleum Resources, Mrs. Diezani Alison-Madueke, in the United Kingdom.
He added that Nigeria has been badly managed over the years, with a further position that no average Nigerian fared better under the administration of former President Goodluck Jonathan.
According to Oshiomhole, “For me, I don’t think anybody should be surprised (about Alison-Madueke’s trial in the UK) because even the most favourable commentator on the Nigerian condition, the economy, the polity and the society, agrees that our economy was badly mismanaged over the 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 hunger?
“So, I have not seen anyone that says Nigerian people are doing better. This was never my issue. I was only a spokesman for the National Economic Council.
“But in this country, when you speak out, all the arrows would be fashioned to attack you. 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.
“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 per cent of your budget for four consecutive years to recurrent; you were borrowing and you drew the entire pensions’ fund.
“Yesterday, I saw a lot of analysis of how pensions’ fund should be invested on infrastructure.
“You challenge PenCom and the Ministry of Finance, you will discover that over N3.5tn was drawn down by the previous government from the pension fund to support recurrent expenditure, not to support infrastructure.
“I wonder why you want to hear it from me because some of the issues we parrot flow from what we have read from your electronic media and print media arising from what you have observed.
“There have been probes, there have been revelations where whistleblowerswhistle-blowers have been removed from office, and they became guilty for speaking out.
“I believe that time will tell how much was taken and who was involved. I think what you are hearing now is like appetiser. It is sickening. It used to come from America, now it’s from Britain.”