President Muhammadu Buhari at the weekend assured that anybody convicted in the $2.1billion arms deal would forfeit his/her property to the Federal Government.
Speaking on BBC Hausa service on Christmas eve, he said by the time his government blocks all the leakages, there would be enough fund to run the country despite the fall in oil price.
“Remember during the campaigns, we said Nigeria is facing three things and nobody disputed that assertion. Firstly; there was widespread insecurity, war in the North- East, while the country’s oil was being stolen at random in the South. Secondly, there is massive unemployment, 62 per cent of the nation’s population are youth from the age of 35 years downward; most of them are unemployed, including those who went to school and those who did not, that is a serious problem.
“Therefore, it has become necessary to restore peace and create employment. That is why we are returning to agriculture and mineral resources. Thirdly, bribery and corruption are basically suffocating the country. If we don’t kill these monsters, this country would go down.
“That is why those who stole monies meant for arms procurement and shared the fund among themselves are being arrested and are being shown documents, so that they would be asked to refund the money or face prosecution; we would use those documents to prove what they stole, collect all the assets acquired from the proceeds and then jail them,” he said.
“It is generally believed that a fish begins to rot from the head; once the head is rotten, the whole body is also rotten. We have tried to remove all the heads of the organisations, and most of the lieutenants have been changed.
“A lot is happening in this government that people do not appear to understand; many permanent secretaries of ministries have been changed; we used to have 42 ministers, now we have 36 because the Constitution requires that each state of the federation must have a minister; we used to have 42 ministries, now we have 24.
“Everybody knows Nigeria is not a poor country, we are rich, and we have human resources, the problem had been that leadership did not take seriously, curbing corrupt tendencies,” he said.
On the N5,000 the All Progressives Congress (APC) -led government promised to pay the poor and vulnerable people, he said it is not possible for everybody to benefit from the gesture.
“At the local government level, almost everyone knows each other. It would be easy to identify those to give who would go into trading and how to get it back. It would be like a cooperative and we all know how it operates.
“Also, state governments would identify those who have capacity to employ more people and all we need to do is to empower them. Our people already know how to go about implementing these modalities to create employment for the citizens”, he said.
On the December deadline for defeating Boko Haram, President Buhari said
“I want people to understand that after I settled down and got good grasp of what the country is going through, we removed all the service chiefs and appointed new ones. We also undertook an investigation and found out how the monies meant for arms procurement were diverted and shared by officials in the last administration,” the President noted.