Nigeria Needs Diversification not Restructuring – Osinbajo
Vice President Yemi Osinbajo said at the weekend that Nigeria needs diversification of the economy and not restructuring because the Federal Government controls the bulk of the resources.
Osinabjo who attended the second Foundation Lecture of the Elizade University, Ilara-Mokin in Ondo State, and delivered a lecture entitled: “The Future is Here Earlier Than We Thought,” urged Nigerians to embrace technology as a vital key to development.
During the question-and-answer session, Osinbajo said: “We are not earning enough from oil and taxes anymore, the nation is blessed, every state can feed itself and also export if we engage in agriculture.”
On restructuring, he described calling for restructuring of the country simply because the federal government controls a bigger portion of the resources, may not be helpful or make a difference.
“Even if states are given half of the resources of the federal government, the situation will not change; the only change is to diversify the economy.”
In his lecture, he said understanding the way technology works and thinking out of the box is the way to go in the world of today.
He stressed that the path to greatness and development is in critical thinking and coming up with innovative ideas.
A statement by the Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity, Laolu Akande, quoted Osinbajo as saying that “Whatever you choose to do, be technology savvy and understand its best uses in your chosen discipline.”
Osinbajo also listed major and global advancements attained through technology and innovative ideas including how some Nigerians have taken due advantage of it.
He noted that people can no longer just be, for instance, an economist, an accountant, a graduate of international relations, Mass Communication or Performing Arts, but “Create a network of peers where participants interact and share in the value creation. Multi-skilling is crucial today.
“You must learn to be a versatile operator not a mono-skilled graduate…everyone has a right to be rich, age is not a barrier.”
He pointed out that the old way of doing things are gone with the advances of technology.
Recognizing the central role innovation and technology play for national economic growth plan, he said, that the federal government provided extensively for technology and innovation in the current budget.
“This year we are establishing technology hubs across the country. Two super hubs in Abuja and Lagos and six regional hubs in the six geopolitical zones. In partnership with several technology companies the hubs will be fully resourced with infrastructure and capacity building,” he said.
He added that the federal government will also train a pool of 100,000 software developers, hardware service professionals, animators, graphic artists, building services professionals, artisans and others.
The government, he said, has further launched a special presidential initiative on technology and start-ups and that 50 of the most innovative technology start-ups would soon be invited to the Presidential Villa to meet with major technology and innovation companies as well as to collaborate with the federal government.