News By Igoniko Oduma of AllAfrica
Yenagoa Bayelsa State — Nigeria’s Vice President Yemi Osinbajo said on Thursday that corruption remains a major impediment to the growth of Nigeria’s industrialization.
Declaring open the second Bayelsa State Investment and Economic Forum in Government House, Yenagoa, Osinbajo said that the menace of corruption had remained a stumbling block in the nation’s effort at industrialization.
He also observed that the absence of strict codes of ethics and lack of zero-tolerance for corruption had also stifled the economic prosperity of the country and the 36 states of the federation.
The Vice President advised state governments to do everything possible to prevent corruption from thriving, stressing that the prevalence of corruption was discouraging reputable investors from investing in local economies.
Represented by his Deputy Chief of Staff, Ade Ipaye, Osinbajo said it is only when government conducts its affairs with transparency, sincerity and openness that genuine investors would show commitment to invest.
He reiterated the commitment of the Federal Government towards ensuring increased transparency in the management of the nation’s resources, assuring that the administration of President Muhammadu Buhari would keep to its promise of tackling corruption headlong in the country.
“Corruption is a major problem that could be a stumbling block to industrialization and development of the country.
“Investors want the assurance of a secure environment to invest their funds.
“The theme of the programme cannot be more apt both for the state and the entire country since the industrial sector is the key engine of growth of any economy”, he said.
He also called on businessmen to pay taxes to support government’s effort to provide the enabling environment for industrialization and investment which he noted were vital to the nation’s economic viability.
Earlier, the Bayelsa State Governor, Seriake Dickson, had stated that the idea for hosting the forum was inspired by his vision to transform the state into a model of an African economic success.
“That vision stands and is now even more imperative in view of the recent downturn in the oil and gas sector.
“More than ever before, it has become necessary for Bayelsa State to diversify its economy and pursue our competitive advantage in agriculture, oil and gas, industrial activity, power generation and manufacturing”,he said.
Dickson, who noted that the second edition of the forum was aimed at consolidating on the gains of the previous one, urged the participants to take advantage of the state’s enormous potential in oil and gas to invest in power generation, aquaculture and agriculture.