Tuesday, December 17, 2019 8:24 am
Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, Senior Advocate of Nigeria, SAN, has noted that the conversation on managing the dynamics of Nigeria’s advancement was important to the development of Nigeria, noting that the nation is yet to be able to eradicate poverty because of lack of systematic and focused approach to deal with the menace.
Osinbajo stated this on Monday at the University of Ibadan International Conference Centre at the 70th Birthday anniversary of the former Governor of Oyo State, Senator Abiola Ajimobi.
He stated that the All Progressives Congress, APC’s Social Investment Programmes was the first phase of the federal government’s effort to tackle poverty.
The Vice President, therefore, noted that systematic approach must be undertaken to get rid of poverty in the nation, stressing that though, it may take a while with determination poverty would soon be a thing of the past in Nigeria.
According to him, “India dropped its absolute number of the extremely poor by the same programmatic approach; but the programmes took two decades. The second point is on encouraging entrepreneurship, infrastructure development, lower taxes and enabling environment”.
Extolling the virtue of the celebrant, he said, “To my dear, Egbon, I must say that your sense of humour, youthfulness, and sheer energy, make it difficult to believe that you are actually 70. We thank God for the unique and indelible landmarks He has enabled you to achieve especially in politics and governance in the past eight years in Oyo State. Importantly also, your exemplary fidelity to the party, its success, its leadership and to your associates and colleagues at all times has set a standard for us all. I am especially deeply grateful to you for giving me the benefit of your wisdom, counsel, and deep experience at various times. We pray that God satisfies you with a very long, healthy, prosperous and joyful life”.
Speaking on the theme, “Managing the dynamics of Nigeria’s advancement: The socio-economic perspectives”, The Round Table Lead Paper Presenter, Prof. Ayo Olukotun lamented the rising poverty rate in Nigeria despite government’s several interventions toward poverty eradication.
Olukotun urged the government at all levels to come up with policies that would deliberately and desperately tackle corruption as well as creating jobs. He said, “we must imagine and plan for an economy and society beyond oil. It is a pity that we are still spending huge sums of money to prospect for oil in a season where that resource is far from being a game changer in economic terms. It would be sad if current developments accelerate to a crescendo, at a time when we are still fixated on the magic of oil. At any rate, if Nigeria never had oil, or never entered into an oil-powered economy, who knows whether its economy will have expanded in more orderly and fulfilling ways than it did”.
In charting a way forward, Olukotun suggested, “Agriculture can become a mainstay especially when you consider what a country like Israel with its rugged terrain and dessert location has done with it. If properly managed, it can spin off an alternative agro-industrial economy with a value chain capable of transforming rustic communities, reduce the income gap and the quality of life between rural and urban centres. Similarly, solid minerals and digital technology, which are already being undertaken in the informal sector are possible avenue for rechanneling the productive energies of our youths and even older citizens”.
Other discussants at the roundtable lecture were former Chairperson of First Bank, Mrs. Ibukun Awosika, Chairman of Ibadan School of Government and Public Policy, Professor Tunji Olaopa, Director of BudgiT, Seun Onigbinde, a senior pastor of Covenant Christian Centre, Lagos, Poju Oyemade and Minister of Interior, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola.
At the occasion were APC Leader, Chief Bisi Akande, the nation’s Vice President’s wife, Mrs Dolapo Osinbajo, wife of the celebrant, Florence Ajimobi, Governors Rotimi Akeredolu of Ondo State, Babajide Sanwo-Olu of Lagos State, Dapo Abiodun of Ogun State, Kayode Fayemi of Ekiti State and his wife, Erelu Bisi, Atiku Bagudu of Kebbi State, former Governors of Ogun State, Senator Ibikunle Amosun, Olusegun Osoba, former Governor of Oyo State, Otunba Christopher Alao-Akala, Deputy Governor of Oyo State, Engr. Rauf Olaniyan, Speaker of Lagos State House of Assembly, Mr. Mudashiru Obasa, first female Minister of Industry, Mrs. Onikepo Akande, Feyisetan Fayose, wife of former Ekiti State Governor, Ayodele Fayose, Minister of Health, State, Adeleke Olurunnimbe Mamora, Minister of State, Professor Tunji Olaopa and General Alani Akinrinade (rtd). Alaafin of Oyo, Oba Lamidi Adeyemi and Ooni of Ife, Oba Adeyeye Enitan Ogunwusi.