10 Things We Learned From Vice President Osinbajo’s Speech At The Platform

Vice President Yemi Osinbajo has said that despite Nigeria’s economic woes, there is light at the end of the tunnel for the country.

He made this known while delivering the Keynote speech at The Platform – a policy and governance forum. The theme of the event was “The Nigerian Economy”.

Osinbajo began his speech by praising Nigerians’ innovative feats in various fields, especially in recent times.

“Last year Oluyinka Olutoye, a Nigerian surgeon successfully took out a baby from her mother’s womb, operated on the womb, and put the baby back in. The baby was carried full term and was born naturally — a feat previously unheard of. Only last year, a Nigerian girl Morolake Akinosun won a gold medal at the Olympics. Last Saturday, a Nigerian boxer Anthony Oluwafemi Joshua won the WBA, becoming the boxing champion of the world,” Osinbajo said.

He also described Nigerian-cooked jollof rice as “the best in the world”.

“…And by the way, we all know that Nigerian jollof rice is the best, we beat the Ghanaians and the Senegalese hands down,” Osinbajo said.

Osinbajo spoke on the federal government’s plan to shift from a one-resource (crude oil) economy to a more diversified economy.

He spoke on the impact of corruption on the Nigerian economy.

Other key points:

1. From the point of view of the recession, there is light at the end of the tunnel. Inflation is slowing; government revenues are being boosted through fiscal discipline and tax reforms; fiscal, monetary, FX and trade policies are being aligned.

2. Through the CBN’s Anchor Borrowers Program the Federal Government has been able to provide financing for the production of about 5 million tons of rice so far. The goal is for Nigeria to produce all its rice locally by the end of 2018.

3. By improving fertilizer supply, and fertilizer application methods, farmers have seen crop yields double from 2 tons per hectare to 4.5 to 5 tons per hectare (up to 9 tons per hectare in some states).

4. Fertilizer is now N5,500 per bag, roughly half its usual price, thanks to the Presidential Fertilizer Initiative — which has also so far created 50,000 direct jobs and 120,000 indirect jobs.

5. The Federal Government has registered 60% of civil servants on the Integrated Personal Payroll Information System (IPPIS), and removed 58,350 ghost-workers from the payroll, resulting in savings of N92.47bn between January 2016 and April 2017.

6. Through the CBN’s Anchor Borrowers programme, the Federal Government is providing financing for hundreds of thousands of farmers. On the back of this, local rice production has almost tripled. In 2016, Nigeria imported only a tenth of the volume of rice it imported in 2015

7. One of the key ambitions of the Muhammadu Buhari Administration is to ensure that Nigerians grow what we eat and make what we use.

8. The Federal Government has set aside N50bn for improving existing Special Economic Zones and establishing new ones, to support industrialization.

9. Through the reform work of the Presidential Enabling Business Environment Council (PEBEC), the Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC) is implementing reforms that have made the process of business registration easier and faster.

10. To improve power supply, the Federal Government has approved N701bn as payment guarantee to Generation Companies and Gas Producers.

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