Osinbajo worried, says poverty, economic distortions deepening daily in Nigeria

Corruption, Osinbajo
Vice President Yemi Osinbajo

Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, is worried over the rising poverty level among Nigerians, and the state of the economy, which he said is being faced with distortions and hardship, daily deepening in the country.

Consequently upon these situations blamed on COVID-19 pandemic, the VP had, however, charged relevant ministers and other key actors to expedite action on the government’s N2.3 trillion stimulus package designed to mitigate the effect of the crisis on the economy.

Disclosing this on Tuesday, in a statement, the VP’s spokesman, Laolu Akande, said Prof Osinbajo stated his position during his presentation on the Economic Sustainability Plan at the First Year Ministerial Performance Review Retreat at the Presidential Villa in Abuja, on Monday.

In his statement entitled: “VP to ministers at retreat: The N2.3trn stimulus package must be implemented quickly,” Osinbajo, was quoted as saying: “We are already in Day 67 since the plan. Nothing is going to happen by magic, we have to simply do this stuff.

“We have to ensure that we have the money and ensure that day-by-day, we are measuring our achievements and trying to ensure that we do the things that we need to do. And we simply are not favoured by time, every single day the poverty situation and the economic distortions deepen.

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“The only way out of the current problem is to fund production, enable consumer spending so that people can go and buy things, and we need to put money in people’s hands,” Osinbajo said, adding that if government’s initiatives are implemented properly, the plan is capable of turning the nation’s economic fortunes around.

Further to the nation’s economic plans, Osinbajo was quoted as saying that under the mass agriculture programme, the government had enumerated four million farmers, while under the mass housing programme, it was said, government is ready to build 300,000 homes across the country and and the price of each will not exceed N2 million.

The components of the government’s plan were designed to create jobs, the VP was quoted as saying, adding that: “Agriculture requiring N637.2 billion funding will provide 5,000,000 jobs; the solar power project funding requirement is N152.4 billion is expected to provide 250,000 jobs.”

It further stated that: “The mass housing programme with a funding requirement of N217.3 billion is expected to create 1,500,000 jobs; while public works funding is N52 billion to provide 774,000 jobs: and N100 billion is required to provide 500, 000 jobs in the SMEs.”