By Dipo Olowookere
Vice President, Prof Yemi Osinbajo, says there is no way Nigeria’s economy will remain in recession till 2020 as predicted by former President of the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA), Mr Olisa Agbakoba (SAN) on Tuesday when he spoke with journalists in Lagos.
Mr Osinbajo, while addressing newsmen in Ede, Osun State on Thursday, said the President Muhammadu Buhari-led administration was putting measures in place to revamp the country’s economy.
According to the Vice President, Nigeria’s economy got worse when militants in Niger Delta resumed attacks on oil installations in Niger Delta.
He said the hoodlums reduced crude oil production in the region.
“As far as we are concerned and so far as all of us who are working seriously hard are concerned, the recession must be short-lived,” Mr Osinbajo said.
He explained that, “The reason is that as of February last year, we were generating 5,000 megawatts of power and that was the highest ever in the history of this country and that same month the vandalism of the pipelines started. So, we lost 60 per cent of gas and 60 per cent of revenue,” he said.
“There is nowhere in the world, there is no economy in the world that can lose 60 per cent of its revenue and will not go into some sort of recession which is actually what has happened to us in this country.
“Once we are able to resolve these issues concerning pipeline vandalism and the diversification of the economy we are working towards, things will change for the better.
“We are working towards regaining our products locally. We are investing more in refineries and private investors are coming into refineries as well. If we are able to do this, 70 per cent of what we import will not be imported again, hence our foreign reserves will be maintained and if it is maintained, our currency will improve.
“I don’t think that life will be bleak because what our country is known for is resilience and people that are extremely hardworking, optimistic and hopeful.
“We have all it takes to be a great country. I am quite convinced that the problems we are seeing today will quickly disappear as long as we understand why we are where we are today,” he added.