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Tuesday, 15 August 2017

Constituency project is corruption – Obasanjo


                Ex-President Olusegun Obasanjo
Enyioha Opara , Minna

FORMER President Olusegun Obasanjo may
have started another war with the members of
the National Assembly when he described the
constituency projects being embarked upon by
the lawmakers as “ corruption. ”

Obasanjo said this at the opening of a two- day
investment forum organised by the Niger State
Government in Minna on Monday.

The forum had “ Impact of Investing for
Advancing Agricultural Economy and
Innovation, ” as its theme.

Obasanjo said , “ The Sultan talked about roads , I
hope our lawmakers will use their position and
act positively so that when they put in road
projects in the budget they will not turn it into
what they now term as constituency projects .

“ You and I know what constituency projects
mean . It is simply corruption . ”

The former President had been involved in
verbal wars with the members of the National
Assembly during and after his time in office .

He once, reportedly , described the federal
lawmakers as a “ bunch of corrupt elements , ”
provoking the lawmakers to , in turn , describe
him as “ the father of corruption in Nigeria . ”

Obasanjo said federal and state governments
should embark on massive rural and urban
road construction to facilitate the movement of
agricultural products from the farms to the
markets.

“ If there is anything that will take us out of
recession, it is agriculture ; that is the only
renewable business we can do to give us all the
job creation, wealth creation that we need, ” he
said .

Also speaking , a former military Head of State
General Abdulsalami Abubakar , noted that in
another 33 years, the world population would
hit the nine billion mark with Nigeria
accounting for five per cent of this global
population , stating also that by then food would
be the greatest challenge .

Abubakar , therefore , advised that everything
should be done to increase the cultivation of
food and cash crops in the country to avoid the
anticipated food shortage .

The Niger State Governor , Abubakar Bello, in
his address , said the forum was not a talk shop ,
as was feared by some of the participants .

“ The decisions and recommendations will be
implemented , ” Bello said .

The governor said over 400, 000 hectares of
land was available in the Borgu Local
Government Area of the state and another
500, 000 hectares in the Lavun Local
Government Area suitable for the cultivation of
rice and sugarcane and therefore asked
investors to take advantage of this opportunity .

Declaring the summit opened , the acting
President , Yemi Osinbajo , announced that
states willing to partner the Federal
Government to develop federal infrastructure
would be encouraged to do so.

Osibanjo said that the country’ s quest for
diversification “ does not lie in hydrocarbon; the
solution is to transform agriculture . ”

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