In a statement made available to journalists by the Senior Special Assistant to the Vice President on Media and Publicity, Laolu Akande, Osinbajo said that some of the past polices did not reflect the needs and the conditions of the majority of the people in Nigeria who have become disempowered in the process.
He said this during a courtesy visit by members of the Alumni Association of the National Institute for Policy and Strategic Studies, NIPPS, at the State House, Abuja
These comments come on the heels of President Muhammadu Buhari deciding to extend his focus beyond the immediate past administration, to probe Obasanjo by ordering the investigation into the sale of Nigeria Telecommunications Company, NITEL.
Obasanjo had sold NITEL at a ridiculous price of $750million.
The 1994 Haliburton bribery scandal had indicted top Military brass including former Heads of State, and a former Vice-President of Nigeria.
It was reported that they collected billions of US dollars as bribes for the award of the Bonny Natural Gas Project in 1994.
Nigerians have called for the Halliburton case that indicted the trio of Babaginda, Obasanjo and Abubakar, should be re-visited
Osinbajo added, “Governments have not been accountable to the people; otherwise policies should have roots in the real conditions of the people.
“Policies that don’t seem to have solutions that truly reflect the understanding of the question of poverty in Nigeria.”
He challenged the notion that a country can be described as rich when about two-thirds of its people are extremely poor.
He restated that records “have shown that we have 110 million poor people, representing two third of the Nigerian population, have become disempowered based on the kind of policy formulation that has been going on in the past.”
“When you look at the economic and social policies, and you look at the level of illiteracy in parts of the country, some are extremely bad and some with cases of about 80% or 90% of children out of school, and other cases of unimaginable decayed infrastructure.”
Osinbajo added that the people are concerned about “how do I get a meal, how do I get healthcare and how to send children to school.”
The Vice President then challenged members of the Alumni Association to discuss how policy formulation ought to have root in the conditions of the people. “I want the Institute to think about this,” he said.
He welcomed the idea of a Policy Roundtable proposed to him by members of the Alumni Association, noting that what has been lacking in Government is a time to think, reflect and consider policy while still working at a fast pace day by day.