Vice President Yemi Osinbajo yesterday assured Nigerians that the 2016 budget will become operational “in the next few days”.

Prof. Osinbajo was speaking at the annual conference of The Platform, a non-denominational conference organised by the Covenant Christian Centre, Abuja.

He said once President Buhari signs the appropriation bill into law, government will get cracking to cover lost grounds.

The reconciliation committee of the National Assembly on the budget is currently working on lapses noted by the executive after details of the budget were submitted to President Muhammadu Buhari.

The nation’s number two citizen said the budget will tackle adequately the problem of electricity in the country as government plans to resume work immediately on power projects left uncompleted by the last administration.

Osinbajo, who chairs the National Economic Council said the agenda is still firmly on course and that critics are just being impatient with government.

According to him, ”Nearly a year on, there are many problems and many have asked where is the change? Is this the change we voted for? Even some fifth columnists in our midst have suggested bring back corruption.

“The government of President Muhammadu Buhari is completely and irrevocably committed to change. We believe that though it may not be easy, though the early signs may be confusing and sometimes discouraging, there has never been a better opportunity than now to turn the country in the direction of success.

“Today we have the best opportunity in decades for profound change. It is an opportunity in a generation. A revolution whose time has come! Everything around us tells us that the moment is now! Can this change happen? Yes it can! Yes it must! What do you have in your hands to make it happen? We have a country that is tired of corruption, tired of leadership without values, tired of an economy that is neither designed to accommodate enterprise, nor to create opportunity and wealth for the majority. ”

He was quick to announce the coming of an Innovation Fund this year which would deploy significant resources for the aim of creating opportunities for the youth to access fund for innovation and entrepreneurship.

The other plans are as follows:

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-Establishment of technology innovation hubs across the country; two super hubs (in Lagos and Abuja) and six regional hubs in the six geo-political zones in partnership some major technology companies;

-65,000 young Nigerians to be trained in hardware and software services and in animation;

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-to create a reservoir in technology capacity that can be exported annually abroad like the case of India;

-on June 23, 2016, Federal Government would launch a Presidential Technology Innovation Initiative targeted at 50 Nigerians engaged in innovative start-ups to be mentored by major technology innovation companies

-bursary award to 100,000 STEM undergraduates developing their interests in programming, robotic and animation technology, in addition to deploying technology in the training of the 500,000 teachers that are expected to be employed under the social investment of government this year,

-VP’s Office to institute a literary prize in poetry and short stories during independence anniversary to encourage field of humanity/arts


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