Osinbajo blames economic crisis, graft on oil
The Federal Government has blamed the country’s over dependence on oil for the cause of the present economic downturn and high level corruption.
To reverse this negative trend, the government has said there has to be a major shift from dependence on oil to agricultural production and processes, which in turn will assist in job creation, as well as encourage development of the manufacturing sector.
The Vice President, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo, stated this on the occasion of the Niger Delta Development Commission partnership for sustainable development forum, with the theme: Re-strategising development concepts in the Niger Delta region to provide for post oil wealth socio-economic sustainability,” which held in Port Harcourt yesterday.
Represented by the Deputy Chief of Staff to the President, Mr. Adeola Ipaye, the Vice President observed that over dependence on oil has been responsible for the emergence of a redundant human resource base and high level of corruption in the country.
He described the theme of the conference as apt particularly at a time when there is a global decline in oil revenue, especially for a country like Nigeria.
Osinbajo explained that all levels of government and development agencies, must come together as exemplified by the partnership for sustainable development, to adopt polices related to the seventeen goals of the forthcoming sustainable development goals, to address the issues of diversification of the economy to achieve wealth creation.
The Vice President said focusing on agricultural production and manufacturing sector, will halt the immense rural-urban migration that leads to overcrowding of few urban centres thereby promoting insecurity and criminal activity.
He stated that the development of the Niger Delta region remains a priority of the President Muhammadu Buhari and the All Progressives Congress-led government, which has always emphasized that devastation and environmental degradation of the Niger Delta, must be attended to.
According to him, the NDDC was established by law for the rapid and sustainable development of the Niger Delta and will receive all necessary assistance from the government to achieve its mandate.
The Vice President however, noted that there could be no meaningful sustainable development without peace, adding that part of the policies and strategies in the Niger Delta region and beyond, must include curbing militancy, and eliminating terrorism.
Osinbajo emphasized that there is need to intensify activities in the rural area to improve socio-economic well being of Nigerians through agricultural and related rural enterprises, provide access to markets by improving road network, improving value chain development, and providing affordable decent housing schemes.
According to him, “the present government will continue to pursue improved electricity generation, distribution, improve transportation network as well as education and health facilities.”
The Vice President observed that realising the concept of sustainable development comes with numerous challenges, especially the Niger Delta region that represents the world’s third largest wetlands, with several years of unaddressed oil pollution issues that had hindered agricultural growth of the region and affected general health of the populace.
In a bid to address the issue of the environmental degradation of the region, Osinbajo said the Federal Government has already commenced work on the clean up of the Ogoniland.