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While speaking in Port Harcourt, the Rivers State capital on Tuesday during a town hall meeting with the members of the All Progressives Congress (APC), acting President, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo, described corruption as one of the reasons Nigerians are facing hardship.
According to Punch newspaper, Osinbajo who disclosed that corruption had been in the country for many years and contributed a lot to the economic challenges affecting Nigeria, also attributed the country’s current economic woes to the continued attack on the nation’s oil facilities.
The Acting President, also explained that the Buhari-led Federal Government was investigating a $15bn defence contract, Osinbajo stated that the disappearance of such an amount would lead any country into hardship.
“It is easy for people to say that times are hard. One of the reasons things are hard in the country is the corruption that has been in the system for years.
“At the moment, we are investigating the $15bn defence contract award. If $15bn disappeared when you have a reserve of $30bn, there is no way there will not be hardship.
“The other thing is the destruction of pipelines and facilities. Oil prices fell by half, then we started losing one million barrels a day, 60 per cent of revenue. There is no way there will be no recession.”

He expressed optimism that with the prudent management of the nation’s resources, the country would move out of its current economic challenges.
“We are sure that because of the way we are approaching the business of governance, even with the little resources, things will change for the better. For the first time, we have bailed out the states of the federation.
“When we came, 22 states were not paying salaries at all. We had to bail them out twice. Despite the lean resources, we were still able to support the states.
“In the next few months, as things shape up, this country will improve and the exchange rate will improve,” the Acting President stressed.
Osinbajo noted that Nigeria would have crumbled economically but for the prudence of the Muhammadu Buhari administration, adding that the economy was recovering, noting that in a few months, things would begin to change for the nation.
He noted that projects that would benefit the people of the Niger Delta region would be given adequate attention by the Federal Government.
“We must maintain ourselves first of all; we must maintain peace. The government of President Muhammadu Buhari is committed to changing the narrative of the Niger Delta. Most of the things that have been said are the same things we have been saying all along.
“Like the issue of the clean-up of Ogoni, I explained in every detail what has been done so far. Not only has the project’s coordinator being appointed, Shell Petroleum Development Company is compelled to give $1bn for the project in five tranches of $200m a year.”

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