Vice President of Nigeria, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo, has declared that the continuous dependence on petroleum products alone would not yield result for development in Nigeria.
He lamented that Nigeria Gross Domestic Product, GDP, ‘is one of the lowest in the world.’
Speaking in Asaba during the 18th meeting of the Joint Planning Board (JBP) and National Council on Development Planning (NCDP), Prof. Osinbajo described the summit as an excellent opportunity to ignite conversation on how to lift Nigerians people out of poverty.
Having attributed the dwindling economy to the Dutch disease of over reliance on crude products, he stated that, ‘it is imperative for Nigeria to shift its pyramid of thought from oil.’
According to Osinbajo, “Dutch disease is when a country finds and depends on oil without providing jobs. Our GDP is one of the lowest in the world.”
However, he urged all tiers and arms of government to be open minded in addressing the problem affecting the nation, stating that, ‘it has to be a collective effort.’
Making his recommendations for fiscal sustainability of states, he charged them to make strategic planning on sectors where it has comparative advantage.
While he also urged them to create an enabling environment for small business to strive, he appealed to them to key into program of the Federal Government to ease constraint on development.
“Most states simply cannot survive without allocation from the Federal government yet the responsibility for human development lies on states and in order for states to overcome the fiscal challenges that they face,” he said.
Earlier while giving his speech, Delta State Governor, Dr. Ifeanyi Okowa, stated that, observation of fiscal rules was a first step to achieving fiscal sustainability.
While he lamented the inability to diversify the economy from oil, he enjoined fellow executive leaders to imbibe a culture of fiscal discipline by realistic budgeting and execution of projects to fit available funds.
“The recession of 2016, exposed the fragile state of most states economy who could not keep pace with the spending pattern,” he asserted.