Empowerment of Nigerians is at the heart of the social investment programmes of the Federal Government, Vice President Yemi Osinbajo has said.He spoke yesterday in Davos where he led the Nigerian delegation to the yearly World Economic Forum. He also participated in several events, including a packed international business interaction group of investors focused exclusively on Nigeria.
Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity to the Vice President, Laolu Akande, in a statement yesterday said Osinbajo also spoke at a panel of Building Africa, joined by Rwandan President Paul Kagame, and televised live by the CNBC Africa.
He said when asked to mention what kind of radical ideas can advance the African continent, Osinbajo gave the example of the Federal Government’s social investment programmes where for the first time half a trillion naira is being budgeted for.
He also referred to the planned N100,000 supporting grants to students of higher institutions in Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths (STEM).In addition, the vice president noted that the Buhari-led administration is “committed to investing more in infrastructure” than in previous times by ensuring that 30 per cent of the budget goes into capital expenditure.
Besides, he disclosed that the government is working on how to tap into Nigeria’s huge pensions fund to finance infrastructure in the country.He said: “It is about investment in people, in their skills and in youths that we have a N500 billion allocation in our budget last year and proposed for this year also.
“It is an investment in education and educating large number of people in a short time; it’s a radical thing to make that kind of serious investment in education.“It is not difficult to get out of where we are if we understand why we are where we are.”
He said that the Nigerian economy remains indisputably the biggest in terms of size of the economy.The Vice President, therefore, assured that the newly-developed economic recovery growth plan of the administration has been specifically designed to take the country out of recession and in the long-term continue to grow the economy.He said the planning of the 2017 was based on the ERGP, which he said, would be formally launched next month.