By Daud Olatunji
ABEOKUTA—Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, yesterday, attributed the current economic recession in the country to the loss of almost 60 per cent revenue due to the activities of pipelines vandals in the Niger-Delta.
The Vice-President said this while fielding questions from newsmen in Abeokuta.
Osinbajo, who disclosed that the nation has lost almost 40 per cent of the gas, however, expressed optimism that the country would soon overcome its challenges.
He said: “One of the key reasons why we are in recession is the fact that we lost about 60% of our revenue due to the vandalization of the pipelines on the Niger/Delta and we lost almost 40% of the gas.
“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 explained that part of government measure to revive the economy was to diversify into agriculture and solid mineral, stating that results towards that were gradually being achieved
Similarly, he said government has observed that there are plenty of opportunities in manufacturing and technology, adding that the administration was also concerned with the number of young people who are unemployed .
Besides, he said that in view of this, government would before the end of the month implement the 500,000 volunteer corps job opportunities, as well as implement the micro credit facilities to a minimum of a million market women and artisans.
The Vice President said “these are challenging times, it is very obvious and we know the reasons. It is 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. I have a strong belief that this country is one that God has a hand in its affairs. In fact , the reason why President Buhari is in office is because God has a plan and hand in this nation,that this nation will be governed properly,that stealing of resources will stop,that we focus on issue of development.”
On plans to get the nation back on track, Osinbajo said: “We are focused and determined to ensure this country is put on the right track. There are lot of people who will say where is the change they promise. People will condemn and shout, but we are very focused and confident that God is on our side and this country will not be the same.”
“In another couple of years,we will see the difference. All of us has role 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.