We Can Do Without Oil to Build a Solid Economy – Osinbajo

Prof Yemi Osinbajo


Despite the drop in oil prices, Nigeria has everything it needs to build and sustain a vibrant economy, Vice President, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo has said.

“This country has practically what it takes to run a solid economy that is not dependent on oil, but on business and commerce,” the Vice President said today during a meeting with a group of international investors looking to invest in the country in the light of the new administration.

According to Prof. Osinbajo, the President has already given the mandate to ensure that a conducive environment is created for business investments in the country, and he added that work has already started with government looking at the different aspects involved.

In fact the Vice President, alongside the Minister for Industry, Trade and Investment, Dr. Okey Enelamah, also held a meeting today with the World Bank Ease of Doing Business Ranking Team, where issues were laid out and specific lines of action identified on how to improve the business climate in the country.

In an interactive session with the visiting global investors drawn from companies including Renaissance Capital, Russia-China Investment Fund, China Africa Development Fund, Invest Abu Dhabi, Actis, Emerging Capital Partners, ECP, KKR & Co. LP, Old Mutual of South Africa among others, Vice President Osinbajo explained that working with the State governments, the Buhari presidency will ensure that issues such as pre-investment approvals, and land titles would be reformed to attain the ease of doing business aspirations of the administration.

He said where necessary government will rationalize agencies involved in granting approvals and thereby create space for businesses to thrive.

Regarding the critical role of electric power in creating a conducive business environment, the Vice President stated that while the federal government would be making further investments in the sector, the entire power value chain would have to be well compensated in order to produce the needed results.

Prof. Osinbajo also restated the commitment of the Buhari administration to creating jobs through businesses and direct action of the government to engage the youths.

He said the 500,000 teaching positions for unemployed graduates worked into the 2016 budget is a means of engaging the youths in paid voluntary occupations in their communities until such a time they can find a job in their different disciplines. Besides, he noted that the programme would also address a critical need for teachers in the public school system.

Equally he said the federal government will also create opportunity for about 370,000 youths who are not graduates to receive vocational training and acquire skills, while one million artisans and market women would receive soft loans through the Bank of Industry as already proposed in the proposed 2016 budget.

Former Minister of National Planning, Alhaji Shamsudeen Usman led the delegation of the international investors, while Dr. Rachid Benmessoud, the Nigeria Country Director of the World Bank led the bank’s Ease of Doing Business Ranking Team visit to the Vice President. Both meetings were attended by the Industry, Trade and Investment Minister.