Obasanjo: Nigerians Will Benefit from Debt Relief
" We are being told to expect 60 per cent. If I get $1 billion extra from debt relief, I have pledged to Nigerians that it will reflect in education, health, agriculture and food security and water supply".
According to him, "these are what the average Nigerian, whether he lives in the village, on his farm or in town, will benefit from".
On how to stamp out corruption in order to ensure that the gains of debt cancellation are felt by Nigerians, Obasanjo made a quick reference to some of the measures put in place to make corruption a difficult venture in the country. The Due Process set up by his administration he said has saved well over $1 billion so far.
The money he said would have been lost though over-invoicing of contracts if the measure had not been in place.
The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) and the Independent Corrupt Practices Commission (ICPC) which are anti corruption units of the government, have also succeeded in taming the corruption monster which has eaten deep into the country's economic and social fabric of the nation.
When money is disbursed to any level of government, the President said "we can see where the money is going".
Speaking at a meeting of the presidential advisory council on investments (PACI) in London yesterday, the president said that the relief was also indicative of the confidence that western nations had in Nigeria.
Briefing newsmen on some of the president's activities while in London within the next two days, his senior special assistant on media, Mrs Oluremi Oyo, said that Nigerians were gradually owning up to the reforms.
She quoted the president as telling members of the council, which included Baroness Lynda Chalker that commercial banks that had protested the reforms in the banking sector, were now working with the CBN.
''Tell me what you think we are doing wrong, I will tell you where we are coming from, but together we will be able to work for the betterment of our country and indeed the world,'' the president was quoted as saying.
He said that there were ample investment opportunities in the oil and gas, agriculture, industry, tourism and solid minerals.
He, however, invited interested investors to make the country their preferred destination as government would support them.
She said the body had contributed about one million pounds (over N250 million) for investments in the country.