In his speech at the Nation’s Forum On The Economy held on Thursday in Lagos State, south-west Nigeria, the Vice President said that the government would focus on implementing about 33 Priority Actions under the six themes in the 2016 fiscal year.
One of the priority actions, according to him, is a plan for lasting changes in the policy environment, national security and governance. He said it would enable the government achieve an appropriate foreign exchange regime, increase low interest lending to the real sector.
“We need to move toward a single digit interest rate, maintain capital spending in the budget at a minimum of 30%, complement this with funds from the infrastructure fund for commercial projects, intensify the implementation of public financial management reforms to grow revenues and cut costs,” he said.
Professor Osinbajo, however, stressed that there was no plan to cut staff numbers.
“You cannot say you are creating jobs and then cutting jobs.
“We will maintain sustainable debt management strategy, introduce fiscal incentives to improve collections, intensify the fight against corruption by increasing transparency, accountability and compliance with law and order and intensify public procurement reforms in projects to obtain value for money and cut cost.”
He said that part of the first plan was the governments’ commitment to sustaining the fight against insurgency, kidnapping and other violent crimes, terrorism, cyber-crimes, piracy, oil theft and illegal mining activities, intensify the reorientation of the populace through integrity campaigns.
On the second thematic strategy, the Vice President said that the government had a plan to further diversify the economy by fast-tracking industrialisation, Agriculture and Agro-Allied Processing as well as attracting investment into the Solid Minerals, Tourism and Entertainment Sectors.
The government is also looking at implementing measures to achieve self-sufficiency and become net exporters of certain agricultural items – rice in 2018, tomato paste in 2016 and wheat in 2019.
“We want to increase local production of maize, soya, poultry and livestock, so as to achieve self-sufficiency. The deadlines are to be announced in due course.
“We will revitalise and expand agro-allied processing to intensify local production and processing of cassava, cocoa, cashew, fruits and sesame seed, utilize 5,000 hectares of irrigable land in the 12 River Basin Development Authorities and utilise 22 dams for commercial farming activities by prospective investors,” the Vice President told the gathering.
He further said that part of the strategy to revitalise the economy were plans to develop Dadinkowa, Gurara and Oyan dams with 82.5 megawatts capacity contribution to the national grid, adopt and implement a roadmap to stimulate investment into the solid minerals sector and plug revenue leakages in the sector.