‘Rebasing of economy did not benefit Nigerians’

Yemi Osinbajo

Yemi Osinbajo

Vice President Yemi Osibanjo at the weekend said that the rating of Nigeria as having Africa’s largest economy following a rebasing exercise did not in any way profit the citizens.

Speaking in Abuja on the need to take care of most vulnerable people in the country at the Social Protection Cross Learning Summit (SPECS), the vice president said that poverty level had remained high despite impressive Gross Domestic Product (GDP) numbers. He wondered why inequality between the rich and the poor had widened, while majority of Nigerians were unable to access the benefits of the rebased economic worth, saying the disconnect was regrettable.

Osibanjo, who was represented at the two-day summit by Special Adviser to the Presidency on Social Protection, Mariam Uwais, restated the determination of the current administration to ensure poverty reduction in the country, in addition to emphasizing equality of opportunities for both the rich and poor.

“We are at the point where we have to take care of our most vulnerable people. In recent times, we have seen our economy grow to become the largest in Africa. This growth, however, has not translated into significant social and human development outcomes for our people.

“Our growth has not been inclusive, poverty rate has remained high while inequality between the rich and poor has widened. Despite Nigeria’s enormous human and natural resources, a vast majority of our population has remained excluded from benefiting from the commonwealth of this great nation. Around 120 million Nigerians, over 60% of our population, live on less that $2 per day,” the vice president lamented.

According to him, Nigeria is in dire need of a robust unified infrastructure management system, and government is determined to ensure that social protection scheme works in the country.

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