Nigerian Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo spoke to Bloomberg Television on location in Abuja, in an interview airing on Countdown on 21th October. The Vice President discussed the Setting up an infrastructure fund, the Government’s plan to spend to avoid recession, planned investments in agriculture and the decline in oil prices.
Here is the official transcript of the interview
On setting up an infrastructure fund:
I want to set up a fund, an infrastructure fund, which will benefit from both public sources, which is government sources, and concessionary funding, a mix of funds, and then of course private sector funds. A lot of those projects will be bankable projects, because we’re looking at projects that will interest private sector investors as well. But they are strategic for us.
We’re looking at a $25billion infrastructure fund. That’s the size of the fund we are looking at.
On looking for important investments in agriculture
In agriculture especially, we’re looking at quite substantial private sector input. Because you know that our agricultural sector is possibly, you know, one of the… the second largest contributor to GDP, which means that millions of farmers will be employed, so we get some leverage with job creation, which is a major policy objective as well. So we think that overall we’ll do well with GDP especially if we are able to invest in agriculture as well.
On spending to avoid recession
The way out this, of what some have described as impending recession, is actually to spend rather than to cut back in any way – especially spending on ways of diversifying and also on infrastructure. We’re going to be investing quite massively on infrastructure, especially power, roads and rail, and of course we’re going to be investing in agriculture as well.
On the decline in oil prices
We’ve seen that the central bank had to produce some short-term foreign exchange controls because largely the oil prices have plummeted. And we think that that has been reasonably successful in the short term.