The Vice-President, Professor Yemi Osinbajo, says the Federal Government spent about N1.3trn on capital projects in 2016, the highest in the history of the country.
Professor Osinbajo, who highlighted some of the milestones of the government, noted that President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration has set a solid foundation for the nation’s economic recovery.
He made this known on Monday at the 2017 Nigerian Bar Association’s Annual General Conference which held in Lagos with the theme: “African Business: Penetrating Through Institution Building”.
“Our focus is on agriculture, power, infrastructure, railway, roads and all that, ensuring that we spent more than ever before on capital.
“For instance, in 2016, we spent about N1.3trn on capital which is the largest ever spent on capital in this country and we intend to increase the capital spending year on year; that’s part of the economic recovery we’ve planned,” Professor Osinbajo said.
In a plenary session with the sub-theme, “Conversations With The Vice-President”, moderated by Miss Zain Asher, a CNN news anchor, the Vice President answered questions ranging from the state of the nation’s economy to the power sector and even the problem of corruption.
Professor Osinbajo said: “We were dealing with a mono-economy relying on one major export or natural resource and a financial industry that was essentially opaque.”
He, however, said the administration has set a foundation for rebuilding the economy, creating the Single Treasury Account (TSA), monitoring government’s spending and modifying the tax system to be more efficient and implementing executive orders.
On whether Nigerians in the rural areas have felt the impact of the reforms, the Vice President said most northern states have embraced diversification as a result of which they are witnessing a lot of transformation.
“For the economy, we are going to see a tripling in the harvesting of rice, prosperity is returning to some states like Kebbi and Zamfara.
“The rural areas where the highest level of poverty is experienced, there is a turnaround as the highest number of people who went for 2017 hajj were farmers.
“There is a lot of export of agricultural products, what we need to do is to engage in more value-added exports and we have quite a few investors,” he said.
On the issue of corruption, Osinbajo encouraged more private-sector participants in businesses and advocated a multi-sectoral collaboration to deal with the problem of corruption.
He noted that the projections going forward look good, stressing that Nigeria has a brighter future ahead.