by Dr. Mahmud Aminu (MBBS, MIPH, FRSPH)
A couple of days ago, I clicked on a link to read an article by The Punch newspaper with the headline, “N5 trillion stolen under Jonathan.” I was
a shocked to my bones to find that the article was written in 2012 and I wondered what the figures would be like today.
I searched the internet far and wide for the latest figures, but I just couldn’t get any good current estimates. So, I decided to make a quick estimate
What started like a joke has produced results that have left my head spinning. It seems a billion can no longer describe corruption in Nigeria, so we better get used to the language of corruption in TRILLIONS! But, first, let’s realise the weight of a trillion.
To be candid, I find a trillion a very intimidating number. One can easily get lost just writing the zeros… 1,000,000,000,000. Under Jonathan’s
regime, not 1, not 2, not 3, not even N10 trillion has been stolen.
This quick search has revealed that OVER 11.7 TRILLION has been stolen so far that we know! And N11.7 trillion is approximately $62 billion US dollars at current exchange rate.
This is a very conservative estimate. Only God knows what the final total will be when all stolen funds are included. These figures must be making the likes of IBB green with envy for they have turned their loot into a chicken change.
How was the N11.7 trillion calculated? Since I didn’t just pull these figures out of the blue, let’s go over the breakdown of how this
sum was lost:
1) In 2012, the Ribadu report on the oil and gas sector put daily crude oil theft at a high 250,000 barrels daily at a cost of $6.3 billion (N1.2 trillion) a year. This makes a total of about N5.4 trillion in four-and-half years, assuming the theft has not increased (which is highly unlikely).
2) According to the same Ribadu report, N2.6 trillion was missing from oil subsidy. Let’s assume that no fund was missing from oil subsidy after
that (again, highly unlikely).
3) The missing $20 billion dollars (approximately N3.7 trillion) that caused a scuffle between Jonathan and the then CBN governor, HRH S.L.
Sanusi. TOTAL: 5.4 trillion + 2.6 trillion + 3.7 trillion = 11.7 TRILLION NAIRA.
Note that this does not even include other hundreds of billions of Naira that has been reported missing, like the stolen N273 billion pension fund, Oduah’s vehicle fraud, missing 32 billion police pension fund, the depleted foreign reserve, etc, etc, etc. What difference could the N11.7 trillion have made to Nigerians?
To appreciate better the value of N11.7 trillion, let’s look out what it could have been used for.
With this amount of money, you can:
- Generate 10,000 MW of uninterrupted electricity supply 24/7 for more than 6 years (at $125 per MW per hour – using current cost estimates of electricity generation) and solve the problem once and for all, OR
- Buy over 360 Apache helicopters, which is used by the US military, to finish Boko Haram in a jiffy (at $160 million each), OR
- Build over 110 brand new, world-class universities (at N100 billion each) and absorb all qualified secondary school leavers who gallivant
our streets for lack of space in our tertiary institutions, OR
- Build at least 10,000 brand new and fully equipped comprehensive hospitals (at N1 billion each) and use the remaining N1.7 trillion to train
1.7 million healthcare professionals at an average of N1 million per person, OR
- Build at least 220,000 brand new and fully furnished houses (at 50 million each). You can even build them at a lower cost to build almost
600,000 houses (at N20 million each), enough to start five to six brand new cities from scratch and ease the housing problems in the country.
It is mind-blowing looking at the possibilities and how this stolen public funds could have changed the lives of Nigerian citizens.
Unfortunately, Nigerians are busy abusing themselves on social media to defend corrupt politicians just because of their ethnic or religious
affiliations. Ironically, when the looters are enriching themselves, they don’t remember who is from which ethnic or religious background. They
just steal with impunity like some mad dogs.
Therefore, the time to wake up is now! Let’s unite and vote out corruption!! Yes, we can do it!!!
Tweet at: @DrMaheyM