Vice-President, Professor Yemi Osinbajo, at the weekend, blamed the loss of almost 60 per cent revenue as a result of the activities of pipeline vandals in the Niger Delta as one of the factors responsible for the economic recession in the country.
According to Osinbajo, “One of the key reasons why we are in recession is the fact that we lost about 60 percent of our revenue due to the vandalisation of the pipelines in the Niger Delta and we lost almost 40 per cent of the gas.”
Osinbajo who spoke to journalists in Abeokuta, the Ogun state capital when he visited the governor, Senator Ibikunle Amosun, however expressed optimism that the country would soon overcome its challenges.
The Vice-President stressed that once the Federal government was able to resolve the challenges facing it from the Niger-Delta, “the country will be able to earn more revenue.”
His words, “I have a strong belief that by the grace of God, we will be able to resolve that. Once we are able to resolve that, we would at least be able to earn more revenue. If revenue grows up, it is an added advantage”.
He added that part of government’s measures to revive the economy was to diversify into agriculture and solid mineral, revealing that the efforts of the government towards diversification of the economy from oil were already yielding positive results.
The Vice-President who stated that the Federal Government had observed that there were great opportunities in manufacturing and technology, added that the administration was also concern about the high rate of unemployment in the country.
Osinbajo explained that before the end of the month, the Federal Government would implement the 500,000 volunteer corps job opportunities as well as implement the micro credit facilities to a minimum of one million market women and artisans.
He said, “These are challenging times, it is very obvious and we know the reasons. It is the high level of corruption and we have dealt with that. We are controlling government expenditure. Once you can control corruption, we are out of it”.
Osinbajo affirmed that the administration was focused and determined to ensured that the country was put on right track and assured Nigerians that the All Progressives Congress (APC) led government would soon fulfill all its campaign promises.
He said, “I strongly believe God has a hand in the affairs of this country. In fact, the reason why President Muhammadu Buhari is in office is because God has a plan and a hand in this nation, that this nation will be governed properly, that stealing of resources will stop, that we focus on issue of development.”
“We are focused and determined to ensure this country is put on the right track. There are lots of people who will say where is the change they promised. People will condemn and shout but we are very focused, calm and extremely confident that God is on our side and this country will not be the same again.”
“In another couple of years we will see the difference. All of us has part to play in the change. Nigerians must be patriotic in our dealings and daily activities. We should be committed to the nation,” the Vice-President said.