The number of people who allegedly stole from the nation’s coffers and the amount that was stolen, has been revealed.
It has been claimed that up to about N1.3trillion was stolen from the nation’s treasury under the immediate past administration of former president Goodluck Jonathan.
This claim was made by the Presidential Advisory Committee Against Corruption, PACAC, on Thursday.
According to Daily Post, presenting the report of its activity from August to July to civil society organisations in Abuja, PACAC Executive Secretary, Professor Bolaji Owasanoye disclosed that the large sum of money was stolen by fifty-five persons.
Declaring that corruption brought Nigeria to her present situation, Owasanoye berated the former president for tolerating the vice.
Recall that President Muhammadu Buhari had in September declared that he will continue to blame past administrations for the current economic challenges facing the country.
Owasanoye claimed that Jonathan was not bothered that his administration fared worse than his predecessors in tackling corruption.
According to him, “His (Jonathan’s) tolerance of corruption was reflected in the sunset of activities of anti-corruption agencies under his watch and exponential increase of other vices no doubt fuel by corruption.
“For example, it is widely believed that insecurity escalated because of the massive embezzlement of $2billion through the Office of the National Security Adviser under the leadership of Col. Sambo Dasuki, who allegedly diverted the money appropriated to fight insurgency.
“The problems in the downstream sector of the petroleum industry reached zenith with multi-billion dollars subsidy scams while President Jonathan looked the other way.
“At the same time, other vices spread like cancer – kidnapping, import duty waivers, financial recklessness, a profligate legislature, corruptjudiciary, etc. There was no single high profile conviction under his watch yet there were allegations of high profile corruption within his cabinet.
“Jonathan’s legendary comment that stealing is not corruption underscored his perspective on corruption and remains a watershed in the history of anti-corruption crusade in Nigeria.
“Under his watch, corruption brought Nigeria to its knees.
“Using World Bank rates, one-third of the N1.3trillion allegedly stolen by only 55 people in seven years could have provided 635.18 kilometers of roads, built 36 ultra-modern hospitals in each state, built and furnished 183 schools, educated 3,974 people from primary to tertiary level (at N25.2million per child) and built 20,062 units of two-bedroom houses.
“While former President Olusegun Obasanjo established key anti-corruption agencies which led to high-profile convictions even though his actions were not above board, the crusade against corruption went comatose from 2007 largely due to leadership deficit.
“Corruption is Nigeria’s greatest challenge and is directly associated with the current economic decline, poverty rates, reduced life expectancy, mortality and deteriorated living standards.
“Due to corruption, a few Nigerians were richer than their states, while plea bargaining was abused as people who stole the country dry were given slaps on the wrist and asked to go home.”