Vice President, Yemi Osinbajo, of the ruling All Progressives Congress, APC, has stirred online reaction after he said Nigeria must move from consumption to production.
The statement has been read by supporters of the Labour Party presidential candidate, Peter Obi, as an endorsement of his economic plans for the country.
Obi, the former Anambra State governor, has claimed that drastic reduction in importation of goods for consumption and increase in production of tessential goods will help keep jobs in the country instead of exporting them.
He has made the theme his recurrent campaign slogan and has been promoting it, arguing that the country’s balance of trade and payment would be surplus if government policy is anchored on local manufacturing.
That has resonated with many Nigerians who see capital flight as a consequence of excessive importation and deficit trade balance.
On Friday, while speaking in Anambra State, during a national
innovation workshop organised by the Senate Committee on Science, Technology and Innovation, Osinbajo said, “Nigeria will be great only when we begin to shift our emphasis from a consuming nation. We must rely on production and that is the only way to go.”
Some Nigerians see the statement as a direct endorsement of Obi’s campaign theme.
A user of the micro logging site Twitter, Frank, latched on to the statement and said, “VP secretly endorsing obi.”
Vp secretly endorsing obi pic.twitter.com/66KrZU380c
— Frank (@Frank62493258) November 25, 2022
JoSi said, “Okay. Yemi Osinbajo is now Obidient.”
Okay. Yemi Osinbajo is now Obidient.
— JoSI (@Cosvictori) November 25, 2022
Another user, Bamidele John advised the Vice President to
“Just say Vote Peter Obi cuz that’s his campaign slogan.”
Just say Vote Peter Obi cuz that’s his campaign slogan
— BamideleJohn??? #PeterObi (@JohndHR) November 25, 2022
Peters on his part said, “PYO is sending a coded message to Nigerians. That’s is, Vote a candidate that first said he’s taking Nigeria from a consumption economy to production.”
PYO is sending a coded message to Nigerians. That’s is, Vote a candidate that first said he’s taking Nigeria from a consumption economy to production
— Peters (@inpeters) November 26, 2022
Also, an elated Bucos said, “Our amiable VP is gradually becoming Obidiently Yusful”
Our amiable VP is gradually becoming Obidiently Yusful
— BUCOS (@TENIBEGILOJU202) November 25, 2022
Ceen Ogbonna rather praised the Vice President saying, “May i never be in a suppressed position that I can not openly express my pains.
God bless @ProfOsinbajo God bless ppl of good conscience.”
May i never be in a suppressed position that I can not openly express my pains.
God bless @ProfOsinbajo God bless ppl of good conscience.
— Ceen Ogbonna (@CeenOgbonna) November 25, 2022
Omo ‘Luabi said, “And this is how Osinbajo endorses Obi. We see what you do there sir.”
And this is how Osinbajo endorses Obi. We see what you do there sir??
— Omo ‘Luabi (@thebluebirdsays) November 25, 2022
Obi’s consumption to production received the much needed attention in November 2021 in Lagos while giving his remark at an event to mark Africa Industrialisation Day.
He said Nigeria’s economy is largely consumption-based, and needed “to become production-driven for a sustainable growth and development to be witnessed in the country.”
He stated that part of the reasons Nigeria’s economy performed poorly on many fronts was because of “the inadequate production of goods and services to satisfy the local demand, thus encouraging excessive importation of such goods and services.”