Vice President Yemi Osinbajo

The Vice President, Yemi Osinbajo, on Saturday said he believes the future of job creation is in technology and innovation.

Osinbajo made this statement while speaking at the 9th public lecture of the Sigma Club, University of Ibadan.

He noted that “funding is key” and “the bank of industry has set up a technology fund of 10 million.”

“The Development Bank of Nigeria is also working on providing funds. The country is also collaborating with different technology rooms to work on innovations. We have so many (things) going on in the country. For example, we are also collaborating with the civic hub. We are looking for best innovation coming from various universities,” he said.

While speaking on examples of technological innovation in Nigeria, he cited the role of payment systems.

“Paystack was established by two young Nigerians. They generate 40 million naira annually. Andela also trains young software developers, they are working on creating and protecting software jobs. There’s a huge vacuum. Technology is where the solution lies.

“We have the talent and originality and ambition, but however it must be tallied to job. We have also set up a special advisory board for technology and entertainment industries to advice the government on policies,” he said.

Osinbajo, the guest speaker, in his lecture stressed that there is no better way of developing the country except through provision of job opportunities. He commended the Sigma Club for the laudable platform created for intellectual discourse on how to address the issue of unemployment through youth empowerment.

He said the university remains a very important place for young minds to analyse the policies of the nation.

While speaking on the poverty level in Nigeria, he said the number of poor people in Nigeria, according to the NBS statistics, shows that in 1980, 17.1 million were living in extreme poverty according to World Bank standard. In 1985, 34.7 million were living in poverty, in 1992, 39.2 million were living in poverty. In 2004, 68.7 million naira people were living in poverty too while in 2010, it had risen 112.47 million.

However, the NBS survey on the current poverty rate is still yet to be ascertained, he said.

The vice president however pointed out that despite the high revenue made over the years, very little progress has been made stressing that government is focused on fighting grand corruption.

He said, “No nation on earth can possibly prosper when the resources are looted.”

“The nation lacks the quantity of resources to invest in infrastructure. To build a country where young people will find job, everyone must pay attention. The Buhari administration is committed to dealing with the issue of direct looting of resources.”

Osinbajo used the opportunity to intimate the audience with the activities of the administration so far.

“Kaduna-Abuja railway has been completed. The Lagos-Ibadan expressway is experiencing a major turnaround. The Warri rail and many other projects are ongoing. We need counterpart fund for them. We cannot complete these projects without borrowing. We can’t borrow to spend on recurrent but on capital projects.”

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