$15bn lost to security equipment fraud – Presidency

By The Citizen

Vice President Yemi Osinbajo has said Nigeria lost about $15 billion to fraudulent and corrupt practices in the security equipment spending during the last administration.

He spoke on Monday at the book presentation of the Ibadan-based elite group, House of Lords, which just published an in-depth analysis by different experts titled 'Nigeria: The Challenges of Growth and Development, ' at the University of Ibadan.

Noting that the Buhari presidency has kept on a sustained fight against corruption, Osinbajo said the country simply cannot sustain the shocking level of public sector corruption in particular.

The vice president, in a statement  issued by his Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity, Laolu Akande, said: 'When you look at the sheer amount of money that have been embezzled, the sheer amount of money lost from any of these various cases of corruption, you will find that far too much has been lost.

'It was discovered a few days ago that the total amount of money lost just to corruption in the provision of security equipments in the military is closer to $15 billion.'

While the nation's foreign reserves is now about $27billion, Osinbajo, noted that the $15 billion figure 'is more than half of the country's current foreign reserves.'

He then told the audience made up of top Nigerian elites drawn from academics and business that what the Buhari presidency is 'trying to do is to ensure that there are consequences for corruption and we try to send a message that anyone who is found to have been corrupt would not only dislodge the property they have stolen but will also pay for it in terms of the sanctions of the law.'

'I believe strongly that it is important to send a message that no public officer can steal the resources of this country and expect to escape. I hope the message would be loud and clear and it will inform behavior in the future.'

'By the grace of God in the next few days we will begin the implementation of one of the most ambitious budgets in our history. Ambitious not just in its size but more in its broad range of fiscal and other socio-economic policies,' the vice president added. The Nation