Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo on Friday said that the federal government did not build “a single new road” in the last 10 years.
The late President Umaru Musa Yar’Adua and former President Goodluck Jonathan presided over the country within that period.
Speaking at the pastors and leaders retreat of the Fountain of Life Church in Ilupeju, Lagos, Osinbajo said corruption in the country was not caused by a few individuals, but that the entire system was built around lack of integrity. He expressed confidence that the country would be great again but noted that the foundation for the greatness had to be laid with a lot of pains.
“Unless we tackle graft, we may not be able to achieve something,” he said. “The federal government in the past 10 years could not build a single new road, not repairing existing ones alone.
“Now we have a president who will not steal money and who will not allow anybody to steal money.” Commenting on the N6 billion that the last administration spent on a new residence for the vice-president, he said Aguda House, the current official residence, is up to standard with enough space.
He said the present administration would complete it but consider putting it to other use. “There is no need for a new vice-president’s house; it is a kind of waste; we are now in a situation where we cannot abandon it; it has to be completed and used for a different thing,” he said.
Osinbajo also spoke on the controversy surrounding the State House Medical Centre, which he said was not only for workers at the state house. He said it is a general hospital with a lot of facilities that serves all Nigerians, adding that he would prefer that it be further equipped to provide higher medical services to those in need.
Osinbajo debunked insinuation of lack of data in the country, saying that the Nigeria Bureau of Statistics had enormous which had been rated highly by the World Bank and other international agencies.
He said the intention of government was to aggregate the scattered data in INEC, CBN, National Population Census Commission into one by the National Identity Card Management Commission. Osinbajo also said the education sector lacked not only standards but adequacy of institutions, which has forced Nigerians into sponsoring their children abroad for tertiary education.
He explained that while 1.8 million Nigerians sat for university entrance examination yearly, only about 300,000 were offered admission due to a dearth of universities.
The vice-president revealed plans of the government to convert many of the existing universities into centres of excellence and support the private sector in the running of universities to enable more Nigerians to have access to tertiary education.
Before responding to questions, Osinbajo said that what the country needs is truth and integrity, which the church should spearhead. “The church is where the truth is; the church has the answer to the nation’s problems; one of the problems of our society is integrity,” he said.
.“Nigeria lacks the capacity to get things done, which is difficult to understand, but with God on our side, our country will set the pace for Africa”. “Our people are ready to do it and they can do it but they are waiting for the right kind of leadership. I know why you are praying for us, and it is because you know that this is a good opportunity to get it right and we don’t want to miss this chance.” Taiwo Odukoya, senior pastor of the church, asked Christians to continue to pray for the administration as Nigeria has a great future.