The Acting President, Prof Yemi Osinbajo, yesterday, said the anti-corruption fight of the federal government is moving to the public service.
The acting president disclosed this yesterday, when he visited the Egina FPSO at the Lagos Deep Sea Offshore Logistics (LADOL), Base Free Zone in Lagos.
Osinbajo, who said that the next target of anti-corruption fight is the public service, stated that the nation could only experience progress if corruption is defeated.
“We have not even got to a point where we will be looking at public service and people doing all sorts of things, that is the next phase and that phase is important. This country can only work if we are able to deal with corruption.
“When people put their financial interest over what will benefit the entire nation, we are never going to be able to make progress. A project like this is able to be held up just because somebody is not granting approval.
“For us, it is not just about creating the right business environment but creating the right attitude. Part of it is corruption; part of it is just the graft that attends all of these kinds of activity. I was talking with someone last week and said that in the fight against corruption in Nigeria so far, what we have been able to do is to check grand corruption.
“Namely just going to the treasury and taking money out of the treasury and sharing them. We have been able to stop that because you will not find the president signing off or asking the Central Bank to move out large sums of money.
“Every Nigerian knows that President Buhari will not do such a thing. And because we have been able to stop that corruption, we are investing, despite earning 60 per cent less revenue, almost five times more than the previous government on infrastructure.”
The acting president also disclosed that the administration has laid a foundation for the Nigerian economy to be driven by the private sector.
“We have laid the foundation for the Nigerian economy and the way we want to see the Nigerian economy grow.
The first is that we very strongly believe that the Nigerian economy must be private- sector led. This project, for example, is a $16 billion project, in naira terms that is about N5 trillion, the entire Nigerian budget is about N9 trillion and our spending on infrastructure, which is the largest in the history of Nigeria, is N1.5 trillion. So, it tells you that this project alone is several times more than the federal government spending on infrastructure. This is the story of developed economies, they are private sector driven, there is no way that government’s revenue can possibly satisfy the demand.”
Speaking on monopoly, Prof Osinbajo said even though every businessman wants to enjoy monopoly, the economy would boom only when there is healthy competition.
“The second part is monopoly, it is a fact that monopoly will raise its head, every business man wants a monopoly. This has always been the struggle between government, regulators and operators. This is why the federal government’s policy has been one of trying to ensure that we do not permit monopoly, that we open up the space so that there will be competition. It is very obvious now that having no monopoly is an important part of encouraging investment and of course, making the environment much more lucrative for those who are doing business.”
“The third is with respect to Nigerian content and this is a very key area where the Egina project has excelled. Very rightly, it has proved the point that we have made all along. The president has signed so far, two executive orders on the issue of local content. Aside from the great work of the local content board, which is what brought the Egina project to fruition, the president has also signed two other executive orders, executive orders three and five, emphasising the requirement that wherever local content is available, we will use local content.
“The fourth point is about enabling business environment, ensuring that the business environment is such that it makes sense for people to invest here. All the critical issues like getting licenses, getting contracts signed are being worked on.”
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