The Vice President of Nigeria, Yemi Osinbajo has revealed that the President led administration is though progressing, but at a slow rate.
He assured them of government’s commitment and determination to support the growth of small and medium scale enterprises in the country as efforts were ongoing to fix the challenges in the system.
The Vice President said: “We are progressing but it is slow and the reason it is slow is because there have been a lot of damages in the past.
“For instance look at what is happening in the Niger Delta; that is where we get most of the money.
“But when the boys in the Niger Delta decided in blowing up the pipelines, production dropped from the two million barrels per day that we used to do to one million per day.
“And we lost 60 per cent of what we used to earn from oil, that is partly responsible for the problem that you see today.’’
On the Buhari administration’s reinvigorated rice production programme, Osinbajo said Nigeria was now on the path of improved and sustainable production of rice for domestic consumption contrary to what obtained in the past.
“Now there are many people with jobs because we are beginning to produce rice, mill it locally and distribute.
“In the meantime it will be expensive and when it is expensive there will be suffering but that is the only way we are going to stop importing rice.’’
Prof. Osinbajo encouraged the artisans not to despair as government was focused on addressing key sectors that would improve the economy and create jobs for Nigerians.
According to him, “We are trying to deal with the problem in the Niger Delta, address farming, industry and the economy so that this problem you are talking about will be fixed permanently.”
He, however, told the artisans to brace up as there was no quick-fix to the problems confronting the economy, stressing that “there is no country that can make progress without some pain.’’
He gave the assurance that the administration was addressing the issues on all fronts with the fight against corruption.
“If you don’t fight corruption the money which we are trying to get, some persons will pocket it and that is all and there won’t be anything,’’ he noted.
He solicited the support and cooperation of the artisans and other Nigerians to help revamp the economy for the progress of the nation and assured that the current hardships would soon end.