Infrastructure is critical at the Next Level—VP Osinbajo

Cyril Okonkwo, Abuja

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Nigeria’s Vice President, Professor Yemi Osinbajo on Thursday said that infrastructural development is critical to the Next Level phase of the administration of President Muhammadu Buhari.

He also explained that government was focused on fixing the infrastructure in the Nigeria in order to make significant progress.

Professor Osinbajo stated this at the 11th Bola Tinubu Colloquium held to mark the 67th birthday anniversary of the former governor of Lagos State, Senator Bola Ahmed Tinubu, at the International Conference Centre, Abuja.

“You cannot have the situation where you have the kind of power situation we have today and expect transformative progress and that is why we are focused on power and other infrastructure. 

“We are focused on fixing the infrastructure in the country, and we believe that if we fix the infrastructure, the roads and the rail, and especially power, we will be able to make significant progress.”

The vice president, who spoke on the theme of the 2019 Bola Tinubu Colloquium: “Next Level, Work for the People,” said that the Buhari administration has executed projects in railways, power, agriculture, education and health.

“Today our rail project starts from the Apapa Port so that we are able to clear the congestion in that port because the Lagos to Kano railway starts from the Apapa Port. 

“And we can start taking out cargo from the Apapa port using rail as an alternative means of transportation.

“It is not enough to have farmers everywhere; we need the refining capacity; we need the processing capacity and that is what our partnership with the Brazilians will provide for us.

“On the reforms we are making on education and healthcare, today the emphasis is on digital literacy; the emphasis on training our teachers to be able to train the next generation of children in school.

“And we are focused on doing so using some of the methods we have described very comprehensively not just in the ERGP but in our next level document.

“So, we are focusing on STEAM not STEM; we are focusing on training young people on digital skills, critical thinking and some other skills that are necessary for the kind of jobs that the 21st century will provide.

“Our focus on healthcare is on National Health Insurance because we cannot finance healthcare by the budget alone.”

He said the administration would expand the Social Investment Programme.

Encomiums on Tinubu

Professor Osinbajo extolled the virtues of Senator Tinubu who has “spent the last thirty years of his life in creative and catalytic public service.”

He said as Governor of Lagos State Tinubu “provided clarity of thought and pioneering vision in all aspects of governance.”