The Vice-President, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo, has called on political leaders to commit themselves to act collectively and individually in ways that can alter the ways things are done in Nigeria for the common good.
Osinbajo gave the advice on Thursday when he met with a delegation of the House of Representatives in his office to discuss the economy and, particularly, possible ways of taking Nigeria’s economy out of recession.
The legislators, who called on the vice-president were members of the House of Representatives Tactical Committee on Recession, led by its Chairman, Dr Bode Ayorinde.
He said leadership was a call to service.
“How many people will get this kind of opportunity we have to lead? The opportunity to serve is one that must be taken seriously and used for the common good,’’ Osinbajo said.
He said “ it is in our interest to deal with corruption.
“This is not moralising, it is an existential threat, it a survival issue; we need to address the fundamentals of that abnormality; if we do not address it, no matter what we say, things won’t work.
“I think it is very important, especially for us who are in government today either as legislature or executive.
“We have to address this issue, it is a fundamental issue; everywhere in the world, even where they do not have the problems we have, they are addressing the issue.
“Look at the arbitrage which is so large; there is bound to be corruption, it is impossible for there not to be corruption.’’
Osinbajo offered hope that the monetary and fiscal policies were being harmonised, adding: “we are constantly in discussion with the CBN on how to reduce interest rates.’’
Responding to issues of revenue allocation, the vice-president stressed that emphasis must shift from ‘sharing’ to generating more revenue internally, including in the states.
He said the Federal Government was actively exploring options on how best to liquidate the debts owed contractors across the country, including the option of using bonds.
He said the Tactical Committee was ready to interface with the Economic Management Team.
He also commended the team for its efforts to revamp the economy including the recently released Economic Recovery and Growth Plan.
Earlier, the vice-president chaired a meeting of the National Innovation and Research Council attended by ministers of Science and Technology, Budget and National Planning, Education and Justice.
Representatives of the Manufacturers Association of Nigeria also attended the meeting. (NAN)