Vice President, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo, has said some of the past polices and planning including budgeting of government did not reflect the needs and the conditions of majority of the people in Nigeria who have become disempowered in the process.
He disclosed this at a meeting with members of the Alumni Association of the National Institute for Policy and Strategic Studies (NIPPS), at the State House, Abuja, he said the important thing now is how policies could address the need of the people.
“This is the main challenge,” he said
He added, that governments in the past have not been accountable to the people, otherwise policies should have roots in the real conditions of the people.
He observed that some past planning, policy formulation and budgets were not accountable to the people, stressing that in the past there have been “policies that don’t seem to have solutions that truly reflect the understanding of the question of poverty in Nigeria.”
He said, a country cannot be described as rich when about two-third of its people are extremely poor.
While expressing concern about extreme poverty in the country, Osinbajo restated that records have shown that we have 110 million poor people, representing two third of the Nigerian population, who he said have become disempowered based on the kind of policy formulation that has been going on in the past.
“when you look at the economic and social policies, and you look at the level of illiteracy in parts of the country, some are extremely bad and some with cases of about 80% or 90% of children out of school, and other cases of unimaginable decayed infrastructure.”
“The people are concerned about how do I get a meal, how do I get healthcare and how to send children to school. When you look at the budgets it does not often address the needs of the people.”
The VP also challenged members of the Alumni Association to discuss how policy formulation ought to have root in the conditions of the people.
The Vice President welcomed the idea of a Policy Round table proposed to him by the Alumni Association, stating that it’s one thing the government of nowadays lacked.