Lawrence Nwimo, Awka
Former chairman of the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC), Dr Sam Amadi, has criticised politicians for poor handling of Nigeria’s economy and commonwealth.
He expressed his displeasure at the unpatriotic attitude of politicians who he said have no interest in the growth and development of the country.
Amadi was reacting to the UK court ruling in Nigeria’s case against Process & Industrial Developments (P&ID) Ltd on the Africa Independent Television (AIT) breakfast programme, Kakaaki, Tuesday.
Nigeria had been in court with P&ID for several years since the company accused the Nigerian government of botching the deal by failing to provide gas to them.
On Monday, the Business and Property Court in London agreed that the process through which P&ID secured a 2010 contract to build a gas processing plant in Calabar, Cross River State, was fraudulent.
Speaking on the court ruling, Amadi said it is a big relief for Nigeria, noting that it would have left the country in serious debt and economic crisis had the judgment gone the other way.
“There would have been a huge impact if the judgment went the other way. How much is our national budget? We are struggling to pay teachers. $ 11 billion would have been a wreck for Nigeria. If that didn’t happen there would have been a built-up case of fraud and Nigeria would have been made to borrow money to fill the hole,” he said.
The legal luminary accused government officials of the penchant to connive with crooked private sector people in the country and abroad to loot the economy, thereby subjecting the citizens to perpetual suffering and hardship.
He said the problem with Nigeria is its leadership and those in the corridors of power. According to him, Nigerian leaders are not focused on the development of the country but focus only on self-enrichment at the slightest opportunity.
“Nigerian leaders themselves are part of the corruption because they are in business with the private sector. You cannot have people who are supposed to be watching over public goods entering into business to wreck the public.
“Over 400 million barrels of oil are stolen every day because the people who steal it are the same people who have the authority to stop it. If you look at the profile of illegal miners in this country, the highest office holders both past and present are the most implicated.”
“Recently, INEC spent more than 200 billion to develop a technology it didn’t want to use. We need to audit for money and public value so that public officials can sit up and be accountable.
“Government needs to be staffed by brilliant, knowledgeable, and honest public officials who care for the public good, not for recycled businessmen whose interest is to fleece the country.
“This is a time that from head to down, everybody should be taking a haircut. The country needs to save money to invest in human development that will help us get out of economic stagnation and recession quickly. You can’t be wasting resources for human development and spend such on frivolities.”
Dr Amadi, the coordinator of Abuja School of Social & Political thoughts, also had some harsh words for lawyers especially in the public service who connive with corrupt business people to dupe the country through dubious legal advice they provide. According to him, there has never been any procurement process that has ended in looting the country’s resources that did not benefit from some kind of wrong legal opinion provided by lawyers in the public service whose duties were to guide the government transparently in the protection of public good. He recommended debarment of such corrupt lawyers who willfully provide wrong advice to mislead the government for their own self-enrichment.