Human rights activists, Comrade Femi Aborishade, Femi Falana (SAN),Wahab Shittu (SAN),Dr Muiz Banire and others Monday called on Nigerians to always question their leaders on how the resources of the country are managed.
Speaking at the 6th annual Gani Fawehinmi Impact and Integrity Award, organised by Human and Environmental Development Agenda (HEDA) and sponsored by Mac Arthur Foundation, the activists said it is wrong for leaders to keep asserting that the country is poor.
Speakers at the award ceremony pointed out that the country is not poor but that leaders are poor managers of resources.
The speakers said Nigerians need to speak up and call their leaders to order by asking questions on how the resources of the country are being managed.
Chief Falana said the capitalist system of government in Nigeria is killing the system and frustrating the growth of the country.
“Some think of consolidating that kind of system that we operate. It is a dung- dig- dung affair. You are told by Abuja people that Nigeria is broke, I have said it publicly to the president, don’t punish our people. We can’t work together. But if he encourages the Ministry of Justice to work with us, in six months, I am saying it publicly, I will raise 200 billion dollars for Nigeria.”
He noted that the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation NNPC PLC do complain of shortage of fund, whereas it has 97.3 billion dollars that is yet to be accounted for.
He said the money is 18 years royalty collected from OIC companies and the money from Liquefied Natural Gas LNG.
“Let me say it publicly, some white men in the oil company, we call them OIC, refused to pay royalties for 18 years in certain areas. So we started a campaign and the federal government was represented. Bayelsa state, Rivers state and Akwa Ibom state went to court and the Supreme Court ordered in October 2018 that we should go and recover the royalties for 18 years and the federal government discovered that the money was 62 billion dollars. This amount is enough to pay Nigeria debt,” he said.