The Good News is the War on Corruption is Over. The Bad News is, We Lost: Just 31 Months in Office & N5trn Stolen Under Goodluck Jonathan’s Watch.

Posted on November 26, 2012 by

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The president of Nigeria, Goodluck Jonathan, a...

The president of Nigeria, Goodluck Jonathan, at the Nuclear Security Summit, in 2010. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

In an investigative report titled ‘N5trn stolen under Jonathan – Investigation’ the Sunday Punch delivered a withering criticism of Goodluck Jonathan’s war on corruption. It reports that in just 2 years President Jonathan has presided over an orgy of corruption, fraud and embezzlement. In only his first 31 months in office an estimated N5trn has been pilfered under Mr. Jonathan’s watch.

N5trn is a lot of money. The Federal Government’s total revenue for the second quarter of 2012 (April to June) was N2.5trn. N5trn, which has gone missing under President Jonathan’s leadership, is Nigeria’s gross revenue for 6 months. The staggering scale of fraud is even more impressive considering it has been achieved in just the first 31 months of the President’s first term.

Sunday Punch estimated the magnitude of fraud perpetrated under President Jonathan by combining the findings of the Mallam Nuhu Ribadu Petroleum Task Force report, the Minister of Trade and Investment’s report on stolen crude, the House of Representatives fuel subsidy report and the investigations into the ecological fund, SIM card registration and frequency band spectrum sale.

According to the Petroleum Task Force report, 250,000 barrels of crude oil have been stolen a day at a cost of $6.3bn (N1.2trn) a year. In the two years of President Jonathan’s government, over $12.6bn (N2trn) has been lost (Minister of Finance, Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, in May, said the government lost a fifth of its oil revenues to theft in April). In October, Minister of Trade and Investment, Dr. Olusegun Aganga, in a letter to the President, said 24 million barrels of oil worth $1.6bn (N252bn) was stolen between July and September. In some cases ministers simply gave away millions of dollars of government money. According to the Ribadu report ministers of Petroleum Resources between 2008 and 2011 handed out seven discretionary oil licenses costing the government $183m (N29bn) in signature bonuses. 3 of these oil licences were awarded under Mrs. Diezani Alison-Madueke, the current Minister of Petroleum.

A further N2.6trn paid by the Federal Government for oil subsidy in 2011 could not be properly accounted for and in July, the House of Representatives Committee on Environment discovered a tree seedling fraud worth N2bn awarded by the Ecological Fund office. The House also instituted a probe into the sale of the frequency band spectrum which was valued at over $50m but was allegedly sold for less than $6m by the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC). The House also opened an investigation into a N6.1bn project by the NCC to register all GSM telephone subscribers in Nigeria which has been described Mr. Usman Bawa, Deputy Chairman, House Committee on Communication as “a duplication of effort, a waste of resources and time.” According to Mr. Bawa, the 4 major GSM companies, who already register their customers, had completed 80% of the SIM registration process before the NCC project commenced. The NCC then requested a further N1bn in funding for this wasteful and unnecessary project after it suffered delays in execution.

The war against corruption is an unqualified failure, mostly because the war against corruption doesn’t actually exist. It’s a myth perpetuated by self-serving politicians and a lie harshly exposed in the light of the damaging reports issued by various arms of the Federal Government. If there ever was a war against corruption then it ended a long time ago and it doesn’t look like we won. Don’t tell that to President Jonathan though. At a church service in September to celebrate the 52nd anniversary of Nigeria’s independence, he admitted that corruption is a major challenge confronting the nation and an obstacle to its development. However, he remarked that the fight against corruption had ‘intensified’ and was ‘yielding fruit’. N5trn sure is a lot of fruit.

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