Nigeria’s Vice President, Yemi Osinbajo, has said that the federal government will continue to make more arrest of suspected looters of the national treasury and put them on trial despite the difficulty in putting them behind bars.
He also said corruption was fighting back as represented in the desperation by some “corrupt politicians” to ensure that President Muhammadu Buhari was pushed out of power.
Mr Osinbajo spoke in Akure on Thursday while launching the National Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises(MSME) in the state.
“We will continue to put them on trial even if they are not thrown into jail yet,” the vice president said.
“We shall continue to arrest those who stole the nation’s money. They said we have not been able to convict anybody, we are not bothered, we shall continue to arrest and prosecute them. Let the case remain in court.
“The corruption is desperately fighting back so that they can come back to power. God will make it impossible.”
He said those clamouring for the exit of the present government were those who want to continue to perpetrate corruption in the country.
According to the vice president, the country should have no difficulty moving forward. He said the government of the All Progressive Congress would continue to do all within its powers to reposition the country.
He said the present government had many developmental projects to point to as part of its achievements, saying the APC had outperformed the previous government of the Peoples Democratic Party which spent 16 years in power.
According to him, the present federal government has earned less than 60 per cent of what the previous government earned, but his party had executed many developmental projects within the last three years.
“We have access to lesser money than the previous administration but what we have been able to do are far more than what they did,” said Mr Osinbajo.
“We are able to achieve this because we are spending what we have for the people. We have spent over N1.3 trillion on infrastructure to better the lives of Nigerians.
“They promised Lagos- Kano rail line, they did not do it. We earned lesser than they had, we are doing it. Look at Lagos Ibadan rail line, they had much money, they did not do it, we are doing it. Look at Lagos -Ibadan Expressway, we are doing it.
“We will continue to spend and invest on people, the difference between us and the previous administration is that we are not interested in stealing public funds and we hold ourselves responsible to account for every money spent in order to move the country forward because we believe this country should not experience any difficulty to move forward.”
Mr Osinbajo pointed out that the federal government had earmarked about N500 billion for the MSMEs across the country but said only N8 billion had been expended on the programme despite the paucity of funds.
He said more than 200,000 volunteers had been absorbed into the N-Power programme and additional 300,000 would soon be employed by the federal government.
In his remarks, the Ondo State Governor, Rotimi Akeredolu, said the MSMEs initiative underscored the determination of the present government in the country to drive the economy towards self reliance.
Mr Akeredolu noted that the MSME clinic had been used as a veritable platform and delivery tool for development.
“Today’s programme further underscores the determination of the Federal Government to drive the country’s economy towards self-reliance, using this platform, as a delivery tool for development,” he said.
“There can be no better demonstration of serious commitment on the part of the Government than this direct involvement at the highest level of authority.”
The governor said the platform was designed for Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises to thrive by providing opportunity for them to interact with relevant federal agencies and in the process, obtain practical and on-the-spot solutions to their business challenges.
“This programme anticipates lifting the generality of our people from the shackles of poverty and underdevelopment,” Mr Akeredolu said.
He, however, pledged that the people of the state would reciprocate the gesture of the federal government by ensuring and creating the right environment to support the programme to achieve the set objectives.