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The presidential candidate of the Social Democratic Party (SDP), Prince Adewole Adebayo has alleged that it is the same vessels that take legitimate crude oil from Nigeria that are used to steal Nigeria’s oil, insisting that by now, Nigeria would have raised captain of industries in the oil and gas sector but the country opted to raise criminals in the country’s oil industry.
The SDP presidential candidate who spoke in Enugu at the 4th quarterly meeting of the Nigerian Association of Chambers of Commerce, Industry, Mines, and Agriculture (NACCIMA), recalling that nobody believed him when he raised the alarm that 80 percent of Nigeria’s crude oil were being stolen.
He said, “the vessels that lift legitimate crude are the vessel that lift illegitimate crude to the same terminal where we’re supposed to be selling legitimate ones.
“At the end of the day, how can money flow into our industries?
“And that is why I said, the objectives we have in the 70s to take some Chambers within NACCIMA and started giving them marginal fields the hope was that when these marginal fields were used for practice, some of them will merger and go to the the deep and sometimes to the ultra deep.
“We’re supposed by now, to have created captains of industry in oil and gas but we have decided to create criminals in oil and gas”, Prince Adebayo revealed.
He maintained that those who have money in Nigeria are persons who steal government money and bury the money in their farm, saying that “We must learn to go back to commerce, to industry, to mines and agriculture.”
According to him, to return commerce, industry, mines and agriculture, five elements most be needed, including the rule of law, where if there is a default in a contract, the victim can get executable orders of the court to get his or her money back.
Recalling his experiences as an international lawyer, Prince Adebayo noted that he has done so many cases in area of recovery of money, but the rich in the society “are being rescued by AMCON as small and medium enterprises are being harassed by banks.
“So, we cannot cannibalise the economy and discourage those who are in industries”, he said.
Giving insights into a government under his leadership, he vowed that to address the five issues, the first is that his administration will restore law and order.
“The second the thing we’re going to restore is that we’re going to take government hands away.
“I will be talking to the bankers committee. When you banks are closer to the government than the industries, you too will soon collapse because to continue to have banks that are doing well while the industry is doing badly, the gap there is criminality. Everywhere in the world, the growth of a bank proportionate to the growth of industries.
“The third thing that were are going to do is that we are going to create sectors that need 25-year government support. And those sectors are agriculture and agro-allied. I have done the calculations in Southern Kaduna for ginger, and central Adamawa. Those two sectors can replace the NNPC if government gave them one percent of the support given to NNPC.”
He explained that “if you want to grow ginger, and I have done a bit of ginger growing, approximately, in Southern Kaduna, you can grow ginger and aggregate the money to about $60 million to $80 million dollars, with so many people working.
“But if you add one chain to it, create pressers and you extract the ginger oil here, you will leapfront from $60 million dollars to $1.2 billion dollars. And if you grow it in a mechanised way, you can get $1.2 billion dollars times 1, 000 from Southern Kaduna to some lower part of Plateau and Northern part of Nasarawa State.
“When I was growing my oil plantation, in one year, Nigeria was celebrating that crude oil came to $104 dollars per barrel and everybody in the Ministry of Petroleum were jumping all over the place. But that year, I was selling my palm oil $600 per barrel. So, any time I drove pass NNPC, I said look at this poor people here”, he disclosed.
He insisted that Nigeria should return to palm oil production, adding that “shared prosperity is the guarantee to escape poverty.
“A country where we’re all forming conspiracies to grab power and loot the country, and another set will come and form conspiracies to grab power, is not sustainable.
“Let us calm down and look for honest leaders who have: one, patriotism, those who have passed self who want to come there to create wealth for tomorrow.
“Let us have leaders who have competence. We must have leaders who show competences.
“Next to that, we must have leaders who have vision. You must be able to imagine a Nigeria that is better than the one you see now and have a way to get there.
“We must have leaders who can harness resources. You don’t become a chief executive unless there are other executives below you.
“Lastly, we must have leaders who have compassion, who know that eating and burying money in the ground is not enough.
“I did a survey recently when they said that they want to change the colour of the naira. I sent people out and they started asking Nigerians whether they were going to be worried.
“I found out that majority of Nigerians don’t have money to change anyway; those who are worried are the politicians who stashed money.
“There is nothing there I’m looking for other than to create a country where you can create employment through infrastructure, through housing, through social investments according to Chapter Two of our constitution, investing in food and agro-allied industries to get nutritional balance for our people, invest in health care.
“You know I have a pharmaceutical company; I have two pharmaceutical research companies, so, I am in all the sectors where you can get value for the country.
“We’ll also invest in education to see that we train our people, both in academic and vocational education”, he said, among other areas his administration would focus on if elected in 2023 presidential election.