Vice President Yemi Osibanjo has challenged all tiers of government to be open-minded and collaborate for national development.
He said despite the current turbulent socio-economic conditions and tough challenges they pose, generating economic growth, eradicating poverty, developing human capital and building up Nigeria’s infrastructural backbone in a sustainable manner is certainly doable.
He urged all the tiers of government and critical partners to be focused, open-minded and collaborative in meeting shared aspirations, providing better and fuller lives as well as decent jobs for Nigerians, especially the youths.
Osinbajo expressed these views while virtually declaring open, the 20th meeting of the Joint Planning Board and the National Council on Development Planning on Thursday in Maiduguri, Borno State.
Members of the Board and Council are drawn from the Federal Government and Economic Planning Commissioners from State Governments.
The Vice President, who spoke mainly on the COVID – 19 pandemic, security, climate change, education, the fourth industrial revolution and the African Continental Free Trade Agreement, noted these issues require deliberate policy responses and deserve the attention of economic managers.
Speaking on government’s response to the pandemic, the VP said: “The COVID-19 pandemic has had a unique and devastating impact on our health, economic systems, and social life. For a vibrant and enterprising people like ours, the whole experience of lockdowns and social distancing has been quite trying while economic difficulties made existing socio-economic conditions even harder.
“The Federal Government responded by way of the Economic Sustainability Plan which focused on saving and creating businesses and jobs while boosting local production. Thus we had the very impactful MSME Survival Fund, the Agriculture for Food and Jobs, Mass Housing, the Rapid Response Register, and the SolarPowerNaija Programmes amongst other things.
“It can be said that the ESP worked in the sense that the economy recovered quite early from the recession occasioned by the pandemic, but it must also be said that we are not yet out of the woods.”
Continuing, he said: “Some people have described the current wave as a pandemic of the un-vaccinated in the sense that it is people who have not been vaccinated in developed economies that are most seriously affected.