Paul Osuyi, Asaba
Vice President Yemi Osinbajo on Friday in Asaba, Delta State listed key economic measures to be taken by both the federal and state government in order to pull the nation out of the poverty valley.
Prof. Osinbajo said the nation must diversify its mono economic principle on over reliance on oil wealth, which he insisted was not only unsustainable but not capable of creating jobs and building enduring infrastructure that will support rapid economic growth.
The Vice President spoke while declaring open the 18th meeting of the Joint Planning Board (JPB) and National Council on Development Planning (NCDP) with the theme: ‘State Fiscal Sustainability and Economic Diversification in Nigeria’.
He explained to the host Governor Ifeanyi Okowa, the Minister of State for Budget and National Planning, Clem Agba, and hundreds of delegates from states of the federation, including Commissioners of Finance and Economic Planning and their Permanent Secretaries, that the discovery of oil, which was supposed to be an added advantage to the natural endowment in the country was now hoodwinking its economy and impoverishing its citizens.
The Vice President contended that Nigeria had over 112 million people in extreme poverty in 2012 when the price of oil was over $100 per barrel. As such, Osinbajo advocated for a paradigm shift from the unsustainable oil wealth, and focus on the diversification of the nation’s resources by investing in agriculture and other sectors capable of transforming the economic landscape.
He stated that governments at all levels must adopt better ways of tax administration to avoid multiple levies on small scale entrepreneurs; take advantage of areas of economic strength; invest in economic clusters; among other economic steps to ensure rapid growth.