We’re ready to tackle poverty, oil price crash —Osinbajo

Posted by News Express | 27 January 2016 | 2,869 times

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Vice President Yemi Osinbajo said on Tuesday that Nigeria had braced up for the challenges of poverty and dwindling oil revenue by exploring all sources of trade and investment to boost the country’s economy. Osinbajo gave the indication at the opening of a roundtable between Nigeria and U.S. Trade Mission at the Banquet Hall of the State House.

He also said that the Muhammadu Buhari administration had taken crucial steps in addressing the problem of poverty in all parts of the country. According to him, there are immense opportunities in agriculture, solid minerals and power that government is exploring for diversifying the economy.

“The opportunities are immense; the falling oil prices have a serious effect on our economy, which largely, depend on oil.

“We must therefore do something. It talks a lot about diversifying our economy.

“We are looking at agriculture and the entire agriculture value chain; we are looking at solid minerals and of course investments in infrastructure, power, roads and education.”

The Vice President said Nigeria was working hard to get the right policies and take the right steps to achieve an inclusive growth for citizens and the country.

“A lot of our people are poor and we want to make sure that growth is inclusive and that it addresses the primary causes of poverty.”

Vice President Osinbajo solicited for support from the U.S. to offer some direction and help in the re-structuring of the Nigerian economy. The U.S. Secretary of State, Trade Mission, Ms Penny Pritzker, expressed her country’s readiness to improve on its trade relations with Nigeria as the strength of Nigeria’s economy made it very viable and difficult for anyone to ignore.

According to her, the Presidential Advisory Team on trade from the U.S. is in Nigeria to better understand the economic situation of the country and make recommendations to the U.S. President on how to tackle the problem. Ms Pritzker said improved trade relations between both nations could help address some of the issues raised by Prof. Osinbajo.

“Our private sector, in conjunction with the U.S. and the government of Nigeria and her private sector, can address some of the challenges that have been outlined.

“This will focus on growing the Nigerian economy and addressing poverty.”

She said the U.S. delegation comprised experts in agriculture, health, infrastructure and technology and many more. She described Nigeria as a strong ally of the U.S., adding that the mission would see how Nigeria could effectively engage the private sector to achieve its economic objectives.

The Secretary of State, Trade Mission, said the second U.S.-Africa business forum would hold in September in New York. She said the U.S. chose to announce the date for the forum in Nigeria to further demonstrate the good relationship between the two countries. (NAN)

•Photo shows VP Osinbajo.

Source: News Express

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