Osinbajo canvasses strong institutions as panacea to economic downturn
The need for strong institutions to get the country out of its present economic quagmire was the fulcrum of Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo’s speech at the Delta State Economic and Investment Forum in Asaba yesterday.
In a veiled justification against alleged lopsided appointments into federal agencies and parastatals, Osibanjo said merit should be over the constitutional provision of federal character principle.
He said the present economic situation in the country was the most serious, adding that with a dedicated leadership, which should reflect values, the country would surmount the odds.
The Vice-President insisted that people must be held accountable for their performance, noting that in the absence of strong institutions, economic dividends will not trickle down to the people.
He said: “There is dividend for the economy when there are strong institutions. We need to strengthen and beef up our institutions so that we can have good leaders. Strong institutions will lead to producing good characters in leadership. Strong institutions will lead to strong leaders that could be trusted, because, if people can’t trust leadership, it has failed. A well-established organization is capable of delivering good services. It depends on the quality and character of people in positions of authority. We need strong institutions to drive economic development.”
He expressed concern that most Nigerians no longer believe in the promises made by their political leaders, because they have been deceived and abused over the years by successive governments.
Osibanjo lamented: “There is a huge trust deficit between the people and their leaders because of betrayal over the years. This huge trust deficit creates a problem. People believe that whenever a politician speaks, he must be lying. People no longer believe that politicians have their interest at heart.”
He said that the country earnings has fallen by 60 per cent due to the activities of the Niger Delta avengers. The host, Governor Ifeanyi Okowa stated that the goal of his administration is to vigorously develop the non-oil sectors of the economy such that they will overtake oil and gas as the growth drivers, adding that to create an investor friendly climate and healthy business environment, the government has since sponsored an executive bill for the establishment of the Delta State Investment Development Agency.