Vice-President, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo, has said that the economic recession currently facing the country will not persist till the year 2020 as he blamed the recession on destruction of oil pipelines which resulted in the reduction of crude oil being sold by the country and the drop in the price of crude oil in the international market.
The Vice-President gave the indication on Thursday, during an interview with Journalists in Ede, Osun State, after the eighth convocation of the Redeemer’s University, adding that the administration was focused on measures to revive the economy and make it strong.
Osinbajo who was reacting to a prediction by a Senior Advocate of Nigeria, Olisa Agbakoba, also said, “As far as we are concerned and so far as all of us who are working seriously hard are concerned, the recession must be short-lived.
“The reason is that as of February last year, we were generating 5,000 megawatts of power and that was the highest ever in the history of this country and that same month the vandalism of the pipelines started. So, we lost 60 per cent of gas and 60 per cent of revenue.
“There is nowhere in the world, there is no economy in the world that can lose 60 per cent of its revenue and will not go into some sort of recession which is actually what has happened to us in this country.
“Once we are able to resolve these issues concerning pipeline vandalism and the diversification of the economy we are working towards, things will change for the better.”
He said the Federal Government was working towards getting in more foreign investors into the oil and gas sector particularly into refineries so as to shore up production and noted that with these working out, the future of the country would be bright.
“We are working towards regaining our products locally. We are investing more in refineries and private investors are coming into refineries as well. If we are able to do this, 70 per cent of what we import will not be imported again, hence our foreign reserves will be maintained and if it is maintained, our currency will improve.
“I don’t think that life will be bleak because what our country is known for is resilience and people that are extremely hardworking, optimistic and hopeful.
“We have all it takes to be a great country. I am quite convinced that the problems we are seeing today will quickly disappear as long as we understand why we are where we are today.”
During his keynote address at the convocation, Osinbajo advised the fresh graduates and other Nigerian youths on multi-tasking, saying that was the way to go in this generation.
“You must appreciate that this is the age of multi-tasking. You cannot just say you are an economist, an engineer or a graduate of any discipline only; multi-tasking is the order of the day.
“The difference between your generation and ours is that in your generation, you have the opportunities to multi-task. You have what is takes to do more than one thing.”
The Visitor to the RUN, Pastor Enoch Adeboye, whose address was read by the Vice-President, said the university had continued to lead in many areas.
Adeboye said the university was a purpose-driven institution ordained by God, adding that this was the reason it had continue to move on despite challenges.
The occasion also witnessed the installation of Gen. Theophilus Yakubu Danjuma ( retd.) as the Chancellor of the university to replace Emeritus Prof. Tekena Tamuno, who died about a year ago.