Vice President Yemi Osinabjo has said there is need for Paradigm shift from focus on oil revenue to other innovative ways of generating revenue for all the states across the country.
Osibanjo said it is certain that the oil revenue might not increase and as a result, other measures must be adopted to boost the nation’s economy.
Osinbajo made this known while delivering a keynote address at the 18th meetings of the Joint Planning Board, JPB and National Council on Development Planning, NCDP with the theme: “State Fiscal Sustainability and Economic Diversification in Nigeria”.
The Vice President disclosed that regardless of the level of increase in oil price, which is almost impossible, it cannot be enough to sustain the country.
He said, “it is clear that the oil revenue might not increase, what we need is a paradigm shift, the oil at whatever price cannot deliver jobs, infrastructure or answer questions on human capital development. It is imperative for us to explore other means of revenue.”
Osinbajo illustrated how the nation has been generating revenue through food crops and tax collection before sole dependence on oil, adding that, “Before, food crops contributed 45% of our GDP provided millions of job as well as Tax revenue but why is it that tax and agriculture no longer generate revenue to sustain us?
“The problem is oil, with oil, the country earns more but loses more jobs and the country slide to poverty. The oil industry doesn’t employ more people, very few people are employed unlike agriculture which provides job opportunity for our teeming youths”, he added.
As a way to boost internally generated revenue by states, the vice that “States must engage in careful and thought out strategic planning, look at comparative advantage and focus on this area.
“There is a way the states can improve on cash crops, states should focus on specific farm produce and leverage on existing Outgrowers scheme like the Anchored Borrowers Program which has been successful in some states.
“States must take advantage of entrepreneurs by empowering vibrant economic cluster groups and assist small business. What they need is what would enable them to be productive”, the Vice President added.
Osinbajo noted that it is important for all tiers and arms of government to be open in boosting the nation’s economy, “our ultimate goal must be to create jobs and as economic managers, it has to be collaborative effort by all.
“I’m optimistic that if we all collaborate to improve the nation’s revenue, the president’s aim of lifting 100 million people out of poverty will be achieved.”