Presidential candidate of the Allied Congress Party of Nigeria (ACPN) in the upcoming 2019 elections, Dr. Obiageli ‘Oby’ Ezekwesili, has referred to Vice President Yemi Osinbajo’s remarks at a summit as “lazy thinking” and “big shame”.
Vice President Yemi Osinbajo who recently said that the 36 states in Nigeria occasionally received bailouts from Buhari, as they grapple with low internally generated revenues and low disposable incomes in their jurisdictions.
He said this is one achievement of the Muhammadu Buhari led federal government. According to him, the bailouts were aimed at alleviating the sufferings of workers in these states, most of whom were owed backlog in monthly salaries when Buhari assumed the reins from Dr. Goodluck Jonathan in 2015.
However, Ezekwesili during a press conference in Lagos described it as ‘shameful’. According to her, a country that hopes to compete and win in the global marketplace has to think bigger than handing out bailouts to sub-national governments to carry out basic responsibilities. She said:
“4 out of every 10 adults today are either unemployed or underemployed, and Nigeria is now the Poverty Capital of the world, with the World Bank confirming that we now have more extremely poor people than India which has a population six times our size.”
She went ahead to say Osinbajo’s remarks is a big shame.
“And in the midst of this, the vice president was celebrating last week at the Nigeria Economic Summit that handing bailouts to state governors to pay salaries is an achievement. What a big shame!”
Osinbajo had highlighted in his speech that giving money to states to pay salaries was a major focus of the federal government.
Ezekwesili, however, believes that such bailouts amount to “using a plaster to treat cancer”.
She referred to the bailout funds as:
“a short-term escapism that cannot work. With such lazy thinking, it is no wonder that we keep going around in aimless circles under the Buhari/Osinbajo government”.