Vice President Yemi Osinbajo regretted yesterday that even though Nigeria has recorded remarkable rise in oil prices, GDP and foreign reserves during the last three presidencies, unemployment has also remained on the rise at the same time.
This, he said, was a clear indication that such figures, including a rise in revenue by itself as were bandied by the administrations of former Presidents Olusegun Obasanjo, Umar Yar’Adua and Goodluck Jonathan does not create jobs or significantly put a dent to poverty levels in the country.
Osinbajo made this observation, while speaking at the ongoing 45th Annual Accounting Conference of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Nigeria, in Abuja on the topic: “Repositioning Nigeria for Sustainable Development: From Rhetoric to Performance”.
He said, while there are indeed seemingly good growth figures, such figures “can be deceptive where the structure and quality of growth are not considered.
“So why are most (of our people) poor despite rising revenues and GDP growth? Our main revenue earners, the extractive oil and gas economy, do not by themselves create many jobs”, the VP noted.
He added that such is the “irony of a top-down economic model, when the major revenue earner is extractive and the value chain is poorly developed.”
Identifying the way forward from the present economic challenges, Osinbajo who made a comparative analysis of the previous administrations called for social sector investment – investing in the people, education, job creation, national school feeding scheme, conditional cash transfer and reflating economies of the States as indices that would boost the economy.
He added that these ideas had already been put in place by the Buhari administration, including the bailout package for the workers in the country, and some others are currently being worked out.
The Vice President, however, reiterated that education is the basics for economic development, saying “One of the most important interventions required in the education sector is capacity building to improve teacher quality.
“This programme is intended to drive teacher capacity development; boost basic education; attract talents to the teaching profession. Better educated population increase economic potential for productivity”, he noted.