Former World Bank Vice President and Nigeria’s former cabinet minister, Dr. Obiageli Ezekwesili, has said that despite earning more than $600 billion in oil revenues in the last 13 years, the Nigerian government has been unable to improve the lot of the ordinary citizens.
Ezekwesili in a keynote address she delivered at the National Summit of the All Progressives Congress, in Abuja, on Thursday, observed that increased oil revenues have failed to translate into an improvement in the lives of ordinary Nigerians.
The two time Nigerian minister also lamented that Nigerians do not fare better than citizens of war torn nations like Afghanistan or impoverished nations like Chad when welfare indices were applied.
According to her, despite the more than “$600 billion of oil revenue earned by this country in the last 13 years,” the amount has not translated into well being and development.
She said the country has been ranked 32nd among countries with high corruption index, adding that whether we accepted it or not, Nigeria is presently engaged is systemic corruption and not much has come in terms measures halt the decline.
Ezekwesili however cautioned the APC to focus less on merely pushing PDP out of office by all means, because Nigerians whom the party intends to provide leadership for must be alive to witness the promises of good tidings.
She described the recent massacre of students in Yobe state as an assault to the country, saying anyone who may be profiting from bizarre slaughter of innocent children and women should be prepared to receive appropriate punishment from God.
According to her, members of the APC who have just unveiled the party’s roadmap should be prepared to lead party members to accept the challenges inherent in seeking to tackle the myriad of problems bedeviling the nation at all levels.
Ezekwesili explained that she accepted to deliver the lecture not as a politician with any interest except for the superior interest to help build a better Nigeria which all Nigerians will be proud of.
She described centenary celebration as unwarranted considering the unsatisfactory performance of the country, noting that “The celebration is nothing but a party for the elite where all the leaders irrespective of the divide enjoyed themselves to the bewilderment of agony- stricken Nigerians.
“It is heart rending that the present state of affairs in the country now questions our oneness as country. We cannot develop and grow until you are bound in common sense of purpose and values.”