Vice President Yemi Osinbajo has said restructuring is the not one-stop solution to Nigeria’s problems but diversification of the economy.
Prof. Osinbajo made the statement over the weekend while delivering the second Foundation Lecture of the Elizade University, Ilara-Mokin, Ondo State entitled “The Future is Here Earlier Than We Thought”.
He said calling for restructuring of the country simply because the federal government controls a bigger portion of the resources may not be helpful or make a difference.
“Even if states are given half of the resources of the federal government, the situation will not change, the only change is to diversify the economy,” he said.
Osinbajo also said understanding the way technology works and thinking out of the box is the way to go in the world of today.
He said the path to greatness and development is in critical thinking, and also coming up with innovative ideas.
Speaking to an audience parked largely with students, and academics, but also consisting a number of leading traditional rulers from Ondo and Oyo States, business and political elites, the Vice President said “whatever you choose to do, be technology savvy and understand its best uses in your chosen discipline.”
He gave a long list of major and global advancements attained through technology and innovative ideas including how some Nigerians have also taken due advantage and called on Nigerians to be even more creative and inventive
He said: “Create a network of peers where participants interact and share in the value creation,” adding that people can no longer just be, for instance, an economist, an accountant, a graduate of international relations, Mass Communication or Performing Arts, rather observing that “Multi-skilling is crucial today.”
Continuing, he said, “You must learn to be a versatile operator not a mono-skilled graduate…everyone has a right to be rich, age is not a barrier.” He also noted that the old way of doing things are gone with the advances of technology.
According to the Vice President, it is in recognition of the central role of innovation and technology in national economic growth plan that the federal government in the current budget provided extensively for technology and innovation .
“This year we are establishing technology hubs across the country. Two super hubs in Abuja and Lagos and 6 regional hubs in the six geopolitical zones. In partnership with several technology companies the hubs will be fully resourced with infrastructure and capacity building,” he said.
Starting in the next several weeks, according to Vice President Osinbajo, the federal government will also be training a pool of 100,000 software developers, hardware service professionals, animators, graphic artists, building services professionals, artisans and others.
He intimated further that the federal government in its quest to make the country the technology hub in Africa, had launched a special presidential initiative on technology and start-ups, adding that “50 of the most innovative technology start-ups would soon be invited to the Presidential Villa to meet with major technology and innovation companies as well as collaborating with the federal government.”
Citing examples of the marvels of technology and innovative ideas, the VP stated that the closest position to that of the confidential secretary now is an executive assistant who is expected to have strong technology skills.
During the question-and-answer session, Osinbajo also said, “we are not earning enough from oil and taxes anymore, the nation is blessed, every state can feed itself and also export if we engage in agriculture,” he stated.
While in Ilara-Mokin, the Vice President Osinbajo paid a courtesy call to His Royal Majesty, Oba A. A. Adefehinti, the Alara of Ilara-Mokin. He also commissioned a Divisional Police Station in the town.