President Muhammadu Buhari again on Monday said the country’s stolen money was still stashed away in major European cities, the US and other havens around the globe.
He noted that the bulk of the stolen money could have been invested in the education sector to improve on quality, blaming the elite for allegedly looking the other way while the theft took place.
Buhari spoke in Paris during an interactive session with the Nigerian community in France.
The President observed that the five per cent of Nigeria’s budget currently spent on education was inadequate and far off the 26 per cent recommended by the United Nations.
However, he assured his audience that his administration would spend more on education to cover lost ground.
The President added that a similar commitment to improving roads and rail lines was already yielding positive results.
A statement by his Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Mr Femi Adesina, quoted Buhari as saying, “We are currently reviewing investments in the entire infrastructure of the country like road, rail and power, including investing more in education. We will certainly need to do more in education. My frustration is that some people still have plenty stolen money stashed away in Europe, US and other countries.’’
Buhari seized the opportunity to appeal to the elite both at home and in the Diaspora to help in rescuing the education sector by contributing to support the government.
It can be recalled that Buhari proposed N496.9bn for education in 2018, but it was later raised to N541.2bn by the National Assembly. Incidentally, the budget was later cut as part of the virement for the Independent National Electoral Commission to prepare for the 2019 polls.
In Paris, the President said the war against terrorism would be reinforced with procurement of additional weapons and hardware for the military.
He stated that kidnapping and other violent crimes would also receive more attention.
“We campaigned on three key issues – security, improving the economy, and fighting corruption – and we have not been controverted by anyone that we have not recorded some results,” the statement further quoted Buhari.
Buhari also spoke on Diaspora voting, assuring Nigerians living abroad that it could happen in the near future but certainly not in 2019.
The country’s Ambassador to France, Dr. Modupe Enitan-Irele, had earlier informed the President that Nigerians living in France were law abiding and responsible.
The ambassador said, “Nigerians here are law abiding, peaceful and resourceful.”
The Governor of Anambra State, Mr Willie Obiano; Governor of Ekiti State, Dr. Kayode Fayemi; and the Governor of Katsina State, Mr Aminu Masari, attended the session, which was facilitated by Buhari’s Senior Special Assistant on Diaspora Affairs, Mrs Abike Dabiri-Erewa.