From Magnus Eze, Abuja
Acting President Yemi Osinbajo yesterday stated emphatically that militants in the Niger Delta will not be allowed to hold Nigeria to ransom, just as he said the administration is committed to its change agenda.
Osinbajo said the dwindling oil prices and disruption in supply occasioned by the insecurity in the Niger Delta region had made Nigerians to realise the urgent need to diversify the nation’s economy.
The acting president, who spoke at the 16th National Productivity Day and conferment of the National Productivity Order of Merit Award on 15 individuals and five organisations in Abuja, said though, delivery may be a bit slow, but the promised change will come in no distant time.
“Boko Haram has been defeated and is only resorting to cowardly attacks on soft targets, killing innocent men, women and children. Despite this, the residents of Borno, Yobe and Adamawa states, including several neighbouring states are now going about their daily business in relative safety.
“Besides Boko Haram, a new insurgency has risen in the form of blowing up gas and oil pipelines by groups of Niger Delta militants. This administration will not allow them to hold the country to ransom. While security is being beefed up in the area, we shall intensify our ongoing dialogue with the various stakeholders in the region,” he said.
Aware of the onerous task ahead, especially in pulling the country out of the recession, the acting president asserted that with more productivity, the nation will, once more, be on the path of sustainable growth and development that will guarantee the people a higher and improved standard of living.
According to him, without visible level of productivity in any nation, employment generation and wealth creation could not be guaranteed.
He disclosed that government will facilitate the growth of micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) by putting in place friendly policies to motivate entrepreneurs because of its ability to grow the economy and provide jobs.
In addition, he said economic stabilisation measures, including import restriction will be sustained to increase dependency on local manufacturing enterprises.
This year’s theme: “Productivity for Sustainable Entrepreneurship and Employment,”, Osinbajo, said was timely and apt assuring that government will ensure actualisation of the social security programmes.
Minister of Labour and Employment, Senator Chris Ngige, while explaining the essence of the award, said it was organised to celebrate and reward excellence in service.
This he added was through recognition of individuals and organisations that had made significant contributions to the growth and development of the nation.
He said it was based purely on merit with emphasis on creativity, innovation, high performance, efficiency, discipline and patriotism.