How Nigeria spent N1.3tn on capital projects in 2016- Osinbajo

Vice-President, Yemi Osinbajo

The Vice-President, Yemi Osinbajo, has described the current administration as the highest spender in the history of the country, saying that the regime spent N1.3tn on capital projects in 2016 alone.

 Osinbajo said this on Monday during a plenary session titled, “Conversation with the Vice-President” at the 2017 Nigerian Bar Association National Conference held in Lagos.

The 2017 conference was themed, ‘African business: Penetrating through institution building.’

“In 2016, we spent N1.3tn on capital projects which is the highest spent ever in this country.  The power sector reform is also ongoing as it is one of the most important sectors in the country,” Osinbajo said.

While answering question on what was the single most important reform embarked upon by the Muhammadu Buhari-led administration, Osinbajo said the administration had set a strong foundation for economic recovery.

“The most important reform this administration has achieved is setting a foundation for the economic recovery of the country.

“We were dealing with a mono-economy and a financial industry that was essentially opaque.

“We have set a foundation of rebuilding the economy, creating the Single Treasury Account, monitoring government spending, modified the tax system to be more efficient and implemented executive orders.

 “We are currently in a situation where we have cleared the mess inherited by this administration,” Osinbanjo said.

 He listed improvement in agricultural sector as one of the impacts the Federal Government’s reform had had on the poor.

Osinbajo  said, “In most of the northern states, agriculture has become a staple. For the economy, we are going to see a tripling in the harvesting of rice, prosperity is returning to some states such as  Kebbi and Zamfara.

 “There is a lot of export of agricultural products, what we need to do is to engage in more value added exports and we have quite a few investors.

 Also speaking at the conference, the former Prime Minister of Georgia, Mr. Nika Gilauri, identified three ways the economy of Nigeria could be reformed.

These, he said, were Public Private Partnerships, tax to GDP income and fighting corruption.

Gilauri, who used Georgia as a model, revealed that his country that was previously ranked as the 112th worse place in the world, “is currently ranked as the eight best place in the world to do business well.”

 Gilauri, who stated that Nigeria’s tax to GDP income rate of one to six per cent was significantly low, called for reform in the tax policy of the country.

 “Nigeria needs to increase tax revenues to GDP by simplifying the tax process, this is something that I believe the Nigerian economy can improve because they are a lot of investments to be made in the country,” he said.

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