‘GDP of 10 Nigerian states bigger than some African countries’
By JOHNMARK UKOKO
Vice President Yemi Osinbajo has revealed that the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of some 10 Nigerian states was bigger than that of some African countries and as such, Nigeria should not be compared with smaller African countries in terms of economic prosperity.
In a statement issued by Laolu Akande, media aide to the Vice President, and made available to journalists on Monday, indicated that Osinbajo spoke when a group from Harvard Business School visited him at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.
“First there is the need to appreciate the size of the country, which is crucial to understanding the issues. For instance, Borno State is about the size of the United Kingdom (UK), plus Sweden or Denmark.
“And so, when they talk about the economy, we are often compared with smaller African countries, but there are 10 states in Nigeria that have bigger GDPs than those countries, which makes the country a huge target market,” he said.
He added that integrity, transparency and social justice were important to him, adding that he came into government with those values, adding: “Merely looking at the values, there is a great deal of unanimity about the right thing to do. The question is whether or not you will do those things, or whether you are motivated enough to do them or whether you are completed to do them or not.
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“Spirituality helps in the sense that it enables you to decide what to do and what not to do, especially where institutions are not strong enough to restrain people from behaving in a particular fixated way.
“I came into government with values about what I think is important, especially around transparency, social justice and justice, among others. You are almost always a product of the values you believe in. Fortunately, a lot of the values cut across the different faiths. They are not necessarily restricted to a religion or one faith,” he stressed.
He added that in societies that are more developed institutionally, one does not need to be told that he should not do certain things because people who flout the laws end up in jail.
“If one commits an offence, there is the likelihood that he could be detected and the process will go through and the culprit will end up being punished. I talk about corruption and all that, but where institutions remain weak, some people have the tendency of not doing the right things,” Osinbajo said.
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