By 2018, Nigeria will start refining over 70 percent of its crude oil, Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, said in Lagos on Monday.
The vice president made this known while speaking at The Platform, a programme organised by a faith-based group, Covenant Christian Centre, in Lagos.
He said the country is currently spending huge sums of money to import products due the fact that the nation’s refineries had gone bad for a long time.
He again expressed hope the country was getting out of recession.
Mr. Osinbajo said Nigeria has recorded many successes in its multi-dimensional approaches to improving the economy.
Speaking on the improvements made so far, the vice president said, “We can see the light at the end of the tunnel.”
He said there were good news about the performance of the nation’s economy and attributed the gains to the commitment of government at creating an enabling environment for investment and economic growth.
Other actions being taken by the government, according to the vice president, include agriculture and food security; ensuring energy sufficiency and improving transportation infrastructure.
He said with the Central Bank of Nigeria’s Anchor Borrowing scheme, credit facilities had been extended to farmers, while fertilizer production witnessed remarkable improvement.
“If all goes well, we shall be producing all our own rice by 2018,” Mr. Osinbajo said.
With the feat, he said the foreign exchange used in the importation of rice would be saved.
Still on the agricultural sector, the vice president said cheap fertiliser was being made available to farmers through newly established blending plants in the country.
The vice president said just as the government had been able to save money through the prevention of ghost workers, it had also successfully helped states and workers to wade through the terrible tide of recession.
Again, he said the government has created a conducive atmosphere for the growth of small and medium scale industries, while improving the situation at the nation’s ports.
Unlike when different security agencies separately carried out inspection on goods at the ports, he said joints checks would now be carried out to save time and money.
The vice president said there were remarkable improvements in the power sector, adding that some of the problems that plague the sector were being addressed.
He attributed the problem of the sector to the inability of the private sector to invest enough in the generation and distribution of electricity.
Already, he said the first level of intervention had been made and with time others would follow to ensure the required result was achieved.
The vice president appealed to all to join hands in the efforts to make the Nigerian project a success while calling on youth to prove their worth in the desire to build a great nation.
He advised that they should not allow the failures of the past to weigh them down, but should see themselves as the leaders of today and not of the future.
Meanwhile, the vice president denied the speculations the fight against corruption was one-sided.
He said the fight against corruption was bound to affect past leaders more because some of them had been in the position of power for about 16 years.
He said President Muhammadu Buhari was committed to the fight against graft and had emphasised that whoever infringed on the laws of the country should face the full weight of the law.