The National Chairman of the All Progressives Congress, John Odigie-Oyegun, has said the scale of corruption in Nigeria and the near collapse of the oil price have severely restricted the party from immediate delivery of electoral promises.
He said this had also affected fixing quick wins like evacuating generated electricity to the national grid.
Mr. Odigie-Oyegun spoke in London last Thursday at the first summit of the United Kingdom chapter of the APC.
The summit, with the theme “Sustainable Development in Nigeria,” was chaired by Richard Fuller, member of the British Parliament for Bedford and Kempton, and the vice chair, All Parties Parliamentary Group (APPG) – Nigeria.
The event was attended by members of APC across the UK, the party’s representatives from the Scandinavia and the invited British guests.
Mr. Odigie-Oyegun, who spoke on developing sustainable infrastructure from the perspective of the party’s manifesto, reaffirmed the party’s commitment to invest in critical infrastructure like energy, rail and roads to drive the country’s development.
He however said that widespread corruption in the country was hindering the party’s effort.
Regardless, Mr. Odigie-Oyegun, said the party under President Muhammadu Buhari remained resolute in tackling Nigeria’s infrastructural deficits and other economic problems.
He urged the British government to continue to support the Buhari administration in ways it could in fighting corruption, which he said was the main cause of infrastructural deficit in the country.
In his opening remark, Mr. Fuller expressed happiness to host the event particularly because of his role in the APPG-Nigeria, and the UK being a democratic and economic development partner of Nigeria.
He expressed belief that the experiences, vibrancy and contributions of Nigerians in the UK made it relevant that such event should take place in the UK.
Speaking on financial corruption and infrastructure, a former senior parliamentary aide, Martin Brown, listed some of the efforts of the Buhari administration in fighting corruption.
According to him, they include the changes in the hierarchy of the security forces, efforts to recover stolen monies and a commitment to redistribute wealth through infrastructural development.
Mr. Brown, who currently studies and campaigns against corruption, said if the Nigerian government and key elements in the APC (UK) worked closely with him, it could lead to enlisting the support of the critical sector of the British and European establishments.
A Nigerian, Nicholas Okoro, who spoke on infrastructural development and the Diaspora participation, advised that Nigerian in Diaspora should develop a vehicle for investing in the critical sectors of the economy to create wealth.
One of those channels, he listed, was a Diaspora Funding Corporation.
Another Nigerian, Juliana Oladipo, who spoke on Women and Youth in Development, advised the Nigerian government to harness the economic potential of women and youth to ensure that all sections of the society become economically active and consequently increase and activate its potential.