Nigeria on course to tackle poverty, unemployment, Osinbajo tells visiting World Bank officials

VP Osinbajo
Vice President Yemi Osinbajo has said that the country is on course to effectively tackle poverty and unemployment through its micro-economic planning and Social Investment Programmes.

Osinbajo said this on Thursday when a delegation of senior officials from the World Bank, led by the World Bank Group Executive Director for Italy, Mr Patrizio Pagano, visited him at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.

The group of 10 Executive Directors, on a working visit to Nigeria represents 93 countries from across Africa, Asia, Central America and Europe.

The Vice President further said the Buhari administration was determined to tackle corruption to bring economic prosperity for Nigeria.

“There is a tendency to assume that if we get just a number of things right in our micro-economic planning, for instance, to promote trade and so on, we would be able to deal with the issues of poverty through a trickle down policy.

"But unfortunately, here, this is not necessarily the case. We might get the micro issues right and still have the problems, especially of poverty.

“In terms of systematic policy, you have to keep innovating, looking for what works, tweaking it here and there.

"Also, if you don’t deal with issues around corruption, it becomes difficult. If we allow resources to be pilfered and wasted, then the whole idea of economic prosperity is difficult.

"So we have programmes and initiatives in place that promote accountability, like Treasury Single Account (TSA), and other policies,” the Vice President added.

Osinbajo said that the Buhari administration’s Social Investment Programmes were targeted at ensuring inclusion and taking millions of Nigerians out of poverty.

“So, the question for us is how to ensure inclusion or inclusivity, how to get millions of our very poor people into the economy, how to structure our budget in such a way that recognises that.

"That is why we set up the N500 billion Social Investment Programmes.

"Though we are not spending anything near that yet, it is an important statement for us to address the question of inclusivity," he stated..

On Nigeria’s role in West Africa, the Vice President noted that, “Nigeria is very involved in the region in the areas of security.

"We promote regional cooperation and we also try to address issues of dumping, and the smuggling of rice and poultry products.”

Osinbajo highlighted the importance of regional cooperation in the area of trade adding that he met with the President of Benin recently in Togo, where they discussed ways in which Nigeria and its neighbours could effectively resolve the issue of smuggling.

The World Bank Director, Mr  Patrizio Pagano, commended the Federal Government for its economic reforms, adding that the Bank would fully support the country in achieving sustainable growth.(NAN)

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