Vice President Yemi Osinbajo declared Wednesday that the new economic blueprint of the Muhammadu Buhari led administration would create over one million new jobs for the teeming unemployed youth in the country. He also said the new strategy would increase food production and attract over N980 billion foreign investment. Osinbajo disclosed this at the ongoing 45th Annual Accounting Conference of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Nigeria, in Abuja, yesterday. Speaking on the topic “Repositioning Nigeria for Sustainable Development: From Rhetoric to Performance”, he said that Buhari’s administration has already identified the way forward from the present economic challenges.
Osinbajo spoke against the backdrop of recorded rising oil prices, GDP and foreign reserves during the regimes of former Presidents Olusegun Obasanjo, late Umaru Yar’Adua and Goodluck Jonathan. He remarked that unemployment has remained on the rise despite the achievements, saying that the situation had made it clear that such figures including a rise in revenues does not create jobs or significantly put a dent to poverty levels in the country. Osinbajo explained that such figures “can be deceptive where the structure and quality of growth are not considered”, asking “Why are most 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.” According to him, such was the “irony of a top-down economic model, when the major revenue earner is extractive and the value chain is poorly developed.”
Calling for social sector investment in the people, education, job creation, national school feeding scheme, conditional cash transfer, the vice president stated that some of the ideas have already been put in place by the Buhari administration, including the bailout package for the workers in the country, and some others currently being worked out. He reiterated that education was the basics for economic development. “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. He also said that the All Progressives Congress (APC) “has made a commitment to provide one-meal-a day for all primary school students that will create jobs in agriculture, including poultry, catering and delivery services”. The Vice President further identified conditional cash transfer as another avenue for alleviating poverty. He noted that the multiplier effects of the introduction of the programme would include: lifting millions out of poverty; putting millions into rural production; and boosting rural