Nigeria’s Greatest Challenge Is Absence Of Integrity – Osinbajo

Says FG Would Have Solved 70% of Nigeria’s Problems If Citizens Are Truthful

By Nofisat Marindoti and Toba Adedeji

The Vice President of Nigeria, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo has noted that the greatest challenge of the country aside corruption, is the absence of integrity.

Emphasising that any society without integrity is doomed to fail, Osinbajo urged Nigerians to add value to the society.

He also added that 70% of the myriad of challenges facing the nation would have been solved if most Nigerians were truthful, sincere and integrity personified.

The VP gave this charge at the 1st Regional Youth Summit organised by the Government of the State of Osun in collaboration with Development Agenda For Western Nigeria, DAWN tagged, “West 2040; Productivity, Prosperity and Peace”.

The Vice president in his address contended that, to draw 25years action plan which the Regional Youth Summit is aimed towards, youths must see the needs to incorporate integrity and hardwork as part of their lifestyle which will definitely served as compass to lead the country to promised land.

“The greatest challenge facing Nigeria is the absence of Integrity and Corruption. Every society that does not emphasize and stand on integrity always fail. Economy, business is based on trust.”

Osinbajo also urged youths to be hardworking, have good character and integrity, adding that talent by itself means nothing.

“Hardwork is crucial, you have to be resolute and maximize the opportunities in the country. There are many opportunities in the country today, the Internet is there, make good use of it. Think and act nationally and globally. Add values to the society.” Osinbajo charged the teeming youths.

“The southwest has showed a great concern by putting a 25years action plan to advance the country but we must realize that hardwork is very crucial because nothing can be achieve without it.

“Don’t see yourselves as people of southwest alone but see yourselves as an advocate of development and advancement to build old waste places, building the gaps and bridges globally.”

The Guest Speaker of the event, Ayodele Modope who is the Director General of “No Left Over” a catering outfit who started the business of selling “Moin moin” with just N1,000, also urged the youths to be creators of wealth.

In his welcome address, the State Commissioner for Regional Integration, Hon. Bola Ilori explained that the Summit was geared towards setting the master plan for the Western Region in 25 years to come.

“The summit is to provide platform for the youths of Western Region, to come together and plan the future of the Region. The script will be written by them on how this region will be by 20 years and that is why we call it “West 2040″. So it is to involve the youths in the planning of how the region will be by year 2040.” Ilori explained.

Fuel Scarcity: Osinbajo, Kachikwu Meet With Oil Marketers

Nigeria’s Vice President, Professor Yemi Osinbajo, and the Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Dr Ibe Kachikwu, have met with some major petroleum marketers over the issue of fuel scarcity in the country.

Dr Kachikwu said in a tweet that Monday’s meeting, which was ‘productive and collaborative’, was convened as part of efforts by the Federal Government to frontally provide the much-needed solutions to the lingering fuel availability challenges across the country.

The minister said that the government was very much aware of the difficulty Nigerians go through to get the scarce product but that it would soon be a thing of the past.

He informed the people that the government has mandated the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation and other relevant agencies to ensure the states are flooded with the product.

“Whilst empathising with Nigerians for the needless pain and suffering that the current situation has sprung up, we expect that the fuel availability challenges evidenced by long queues will be completely eliminated, soonest.

“We are leaving no stone unturned as we continue to monitor the current fuel situation and collaboratively work with the NNPC and the Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR) to assiduously execute already communicated ministerial directives to maximally flood the market with products,” Kachikwu said.

He further thanked Nigerians for their understanding and support for the administration of President Muhammadu Buhari, adding that measures are being put in place to prevent a reoccurrence of such incident.

He said: “The bigger picture is to ensure that a repeat of the current challenge is never again experienced; I thank every Nigerian for the support even in the face of challenges. God bless you and I respectfully wish you a splendid holiday and celebration.”

In continuation of the field rounds in our bid to frontally provide much needed solutions to the lingering fuel availability challenges with the Vice President H. E @ProfOsinbajo, SAN, we engaged the Major Oil Marketers in a very productive and collaborative meeting. pic.twitter.com/DsGvkgFfQR

— EIK (@IbeKachikwu) December 25, 2017
Whilst empathizing with Nigerians for the needless pain and suffering that the current situation has sprung up, we expect that the fuel availability challenges evidenced by long queues will be completely eliminated, soonest. pic.twitter.com/9kVNfMzTMh
— EIK (@IbeKachikwu) December 25, 2017

We are leaving no stone unturned as we continue to monitor the current fuel situation and collaboratively work with @NNPCgroup and the Department of Petroleum Resources to assiduously execute already communicated ministerial directives to maximally flood the market with products. pic.twitter.com/ospL33o5V7
— EIK (@IbeKachikwu) December 25, 2017

Buhari/Osinbajo 2019 Endorsement Posters Flood Abuja

Major streets of Abuja were on Thursday adorned with campaign posters endorsing President Muhammadu Buhari and Vice President Yemi Osinbajo for reelection in 2019.

The posters were pasted on structures located on major streets as well as bus shelters.

The posters also has the picture of “Comrade Felix Ubokan”, with the words: “ We endorse you for 2019: Courtesy: Niger Delta Youths, Women and Security Movement For Buhari/Osinbajo”.

The posters are coming less than 24 hours after a former governor of Lagos state, Bola Tinubu, said he had ”absolute confidence and was exceedingly proud of the excellent job, Professor Osinbajo is doing as Vice President of Nigeria.”

Mr. Tinubu’s statement was in reaction to speculation that he may be picked by Mr. Buhari as his running mate in 2019.

The APC national leader said a report to that effect by SUN newspaper is a “classic case of utterly and irredeemably-fake news”.

Mr. Osinbajo has so far not made any comment regarding the 2019 election or his fate if the president chooses to seek re-election.
That, however, is not the case with Mr. Buhari.

He has so far tacitly shown on two occasions that he may be seeking reelection in 2019.

Addressing a group of Nigerians resident in Cote D’ Ivoire two weeks ago, Mr. Buhari said he arrived the meeting late because he had to wait for the two governors in his entourage, Udom Emmanuel of Akwa Ibom and Mohammed Abubakar of Bauchi states.

“This is why I came along with them so that when we are going to meet you, when you are going to meet the rest of Nigerians, if you tell them that their governors were in the company of the president, I think that will be another vote for me in the future,” Buhari said.

Tinubu also accompanied him on that trip.

Buhari while in Kano last week also revealed that he may re-contest.

At a State Banquet in his honour, the president said, “I know the elections (2019). If they are to be free and fair, if it is a question of numbers, if it is a question of allowing people to make their choice, then I think the people of Kano are in my pocket.”

”I am overwhelmed by the reception the people of Kano offered to me. This has indicated that I can still win an election in Kano. The people of Kano are aware of the tremendous job we did on security and agriculture.”

Islamization Rhetorics: A Deliberate Attempt To Create Division And Mutual Suspicion

By Rotimi Ayanwale

Human beings can at best be described as homo economicus: path dependent, self-interested, utility maximizers and rational. Although the level of rationality every human has is contingent on the amount of information he is privy to.

This general definition makes the news making the rounds about Islamization agenda by a person or few in a sovereign secular nation understandable. This parochial mindset can probably be tolerated from some individuals but not from religious institutions that are expected to hold high values and express views capable of fostering Nigeria’s unity.

No, doubt, Nigeria’s Vice President Yemi Osinbajo (SAN), is a talented man who has traversed the private sector, the church, the public service and ultimately holding the second highest office of the land. His journey, no doubt would have transformed him to a realistic man by virtue of his interaction with virtually all social class in Nigeria. He is equally a Pastor who stands by his faith in a secular Nigeria where people have the right to worship without fear.

One does not need to look too far before seeing tendencies of organized political capture and path dependence in Nigeria. A development worsened because of the support it receives from bodies which are supposed to hold high societal values.

The story of Nigeria in the past years have been that of monumental and systemic corruption which has risen to an alarming level and posing existential treat. There is no nation that can deliver when the monies meant for all kinds of social services ends up in private pockets. The beneficiaries of this ugly trend prefers status quo and can do anything to achieve this situation that keep huge percentage of Nigeria in a state of despair and abject poverty while a privileged few enjoy our commonwealth. This must stop! The avenue to sustaining this shameful position must be challenged.

Prof. Osinbajo’s position is that faith leaders must uphold high moral standard and the church particularly should avoid been politicized but inculcate in people enviable values and norms. The church must not be turned into one that creates division and hatred amongst members of the society. The church must speak to the truth no matter what and at all times steaming the values of Christ. The church must realise that Nigeria cannot and can never be islamised and should shift focus and attention to endeavors capable for prompting brotherliness and national collective action.

The infrastructure gap that exists in Nigeria is visible all over the country and there is need for innovative financing model to bridge the gap.

The need for out-of-the-box solutions brought SUKUK financing model to the fore. The funds mobilized through SUKUK bonds have since been allocated to finance road projects across the geopolitical zones of the country which will jump-start economic development around those corridors and foster broad-based growth.

As Nigerians, we must be opened to innovations especially ones that can unleash our national economic potential. As it were, the United Kingdom, issued SUKUK bonds which attracted over $2bn to finance critical projects and no nation have developed without strategically tapping into new models, new ideas, breaking path dependence and adopting creating destruction.

People are poor, Nigerians are yearning for development and it is the duty of the elite across all social organizations to support government to deliver on its core mandate of delivering public goods and lifting people out of poverty in a bid to create a prosperous country. To achieve this, places of worship must continually spread messages that will enhance national cooperation which is an ingredient for national development.

As it is today, aside government, places of worship must speak against our common enemy which is corruption. It has become a way of life and norm. Nigeria cannot survive if the rate is not lessened for the dual goals of building resilient and respected country as well as highly celebrated religious leaders who will live a life of example and desist from talks capable of tearing Nigeria apart.

Rotimi Ayanwale, a Public Affairs analyst, writes from Abuja, Nigeria.

 

FG Set To Clampdown On Ilegal Smuggling Of Poultry Product

The federal government has said it would soon commence the onslaught on poultry product smugglers because of its negative effect on poultry industry and the hazard it poses to human health.

Minister of State, Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (FMARD), Heineken Lokpobiri, who stated this during his visit to Amo Farm Sieber Hatchery (AFSH), Awe, Oyo State, during the week, said government is also taking the war to sellers of smuggled poultry products, to reduce the menace to its barest minimum.

Amo group of companies has Amo Byng Nigeria Limited, Diversay Solutions Limited, Natnudo foods Limited and DSL farmers, as its subsidiaries.

Lokpobiri, who described the farm as the biggest indigenous poultry facilities, lauded the farm’s Group Managing Director, Dr. Ayoola Oduntan for creating jobs for over 2,000 rural dwellers, noting that government has set up a committee, headed by Vice President, Yemi Osinbajo, to explore all possible avenues to tackle smuggling.

“It is either we kill smuggling or smuggling kills us. This administration, under President Muhammadu Buhari is ready to kill smuggling because of its negative effect on poultry industry. We are working very closely with your Group Managing Director and other stakeholders, to see how we can use multiple approaches to address this problem.

“FG is not only taking the war to smugglers alone, but also sellers of smuggled poultry products. In the next few weeks, we would be going to cold rooms to ask them how they got their stocks, “he said.

The Minister gave assurance that government would complement efforts of the farm in the area of motorable roads, provision of potable water for host community and other infrastructure, noting that he would ensure they are part of the 2018 budget.

In his address, the GMD, lamented the effect of the economic meltdown on the farm, saying it lost over two million Day-old-chicks due to low patronage. He added that increase in the price of maize with regards to stabilisation of prices, unavailability of grain all year round, are some of the serious challenges facing the industry.

I Know Those Frustrating Buhari’s Anti-Graft War – Osinbajo

The Vice President, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo (SAN), has accused the elites, as well as religious leaders across the geo-political zones of frustrating the fight against corruption in Nigeria.

Osinbajo accused the political, business and religious leaders of selfishness, saying they refused to make sacrifices, either in service or self-restraint.

The Vice President, represented by the Aso Rock Chaplain, Seyi Joseph, said this on Tuesday in Yenagoa, Bayelsa state capital, during the dedication and commissioning of the 10,000 seater Ecumenical Centre, constructed by the administration of Henry Seriake Dickson.

According to Osinbajo, corruption, tribalism, religion and other parochial tendencies remained impediments to the growth of Nigeria as a nation.

He said, “Permit me then to make a concluding submission. It is my view that the Nigerian elite – political, business and religious – regardless of faith and ethnicity, think alike, and are driven by largely similar motivations. The elite are usually self-centred, selfish and unprepared to make the sacrifices either in service or self-restraint that leaders of successful communities must make.

“Playing the religious or ethnic card when necessary so as to get the masses in line is the grossly cynical default of our elite. However, the most poignant point to note is that, when you look at any list of alleged perpetrators of a heinous case of corruption, all tribes ethnicities and religions are well represented.

“In other words, high level corruption knows no religion or ethnicity. The conspirators include Christians and Muslims from all the Geo-political zones. They are in government, legislature, judiciary and the press. They are United, protect each other, fight for each other’s and are prepared to go down together. They are one tribe, indivisible, regardless of diversity. It is this tribe that confuse the arguments for change in society…Nigeria’s greatest battle is the Jane to bring integrity and accountability to public service and the private sector.”

To build a new Nigeria, Osinbajo canvassed a new tribe of men and women of all faith, tribe and ethnicity who are committed to a country administered on high values of integrity, hard work, justice and patriotism.

The edifice was dedicated by the General Overseer of Redeemed Christian Church of God (RCCG), Pastor Enoch Adejare Adeboye, and witnessed by a former President of Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) and founder of the Warri-based World of Life Bible Church (WLBC), Pastor Ayo Oritsejafor, who said, “Bayelsa State is blessed.”

Source: Daily Post

I Approved Only Loans, Not Contracts For NNPC – Osinbajo

Vice President Yemi Osinbajo has denied the reports that he approved contracts for the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) clarifying that what he approved when President Muhammadu Buhari was away on medical vacation were financing loans and not contracts.

Senior special assistant to the vice president on media and publicity, Laolu Akande, had earlier said that the VP approved contracts for NNPC.

Akande said the contracts were approved after due diligence by the vice president when he acted as president recently.

He said his principal approved the recommendations for the contracts as part of necessary actions to deal with the backlog of unpaid cash calls and incentivise investments.

Akande said Osinbajo made the clarification in view of media enquiries that followed NNPC’s claim that the contracts were indeed approved by Osinbajo.

The VP’s aide tweeted: “In response to media inquiries on NNPC joint venture financing, VP Osinbajo, as  Ag President approved recommendations after due diligence & adherence to established procedure.

“Action necessary to deal with huge backlog of unpaid cash calls which Buhari adm inherited and also to incentivise much needed fresh investments in the oil & gas sector”.

But refuting the statement made by his aide yesterday in Bonny Island where he flagged off the Bodo-Bonny Road in Rivers State, Osinbajo said he granted loans and not contracts.

He said, “They were financing loans, joint venture loans that have been procured. So, in some cases, NNPC ventures have to secure loans and they need the authorization to secure those loans. While the President was away, I granted authorisation which is what the law provides.

“The law actually provides for that authorisation. So, I did grant all of those. In fact, there were two of them but those are presidential approvals but they are specifically for financing joint ventures and they are loans not contracts”.

Recall that minister Of State Petroleum, Ibe Kachikwu, had accused the Group Managing Director of NCPC, Maikanti Baru, of alleged insubordination, due process abuse and malfeasance, leading to the award of contracts worth over $25 billion.

In a memo to President Buhari dated August 30, 2017,  Kachikwu attributed the slow growth in the oil and gas sector to illegal practices by the departments and agencies under his ministry, especially the NNPC headed by Baru.

But in his response, Baru described Kachikwu’s allegations as baseless and accused the minister of exaggerating and concocting figures to give vent to his claims, maintaining that due process was followed in the activities of the corporation.

Osinbajo Admits Approving NNPC Contracts

The Vice President, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo, has taken responsibility for the authorization of controversial contracts allegedly approved by Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC).

This new development has now put an end to cold war between the Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Ibe Kachikwu and the NNPC Group Managing Director (GMD), Maikanti Baru over who has power to approve contracts is such circumstance.

The Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity, Laolu Akande, in a series of tweets on his twitter handle @akandeoj, on Thursday, confirmed that the contracts were approved after due diligence by the Vice President when he acted as President, recently.

Akande said Osinbajo approved the recommendations for the contracts as part of necessary actions to deal with backlog of unpaid cash calls and incentivise investments.

He also said Osinbajo made the clarification in view of media enquiries that followed NNPC’s claim that the contracts were indeed approved by Osinbajo.

The tweets stated, “In response to media inquiries on NNPC joint venture financing, VP Osinbajo, as Ag President approved recommendations after due diligence & adherence to established procedure. Action necessary to deal with huge backlog of unpaid cash calls which Buhari adm. inherited and also to incentivise much needed fresh investments in the oil & gas sector.”

Kachikwu’s letter to the President in which he alleged gross insubordination by the Group Managing Director of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) Maikanti Baru, was leaked to the media last week.

He had alleged that Baru awarded $25 billion contracts without following due process.

He had also alleged that the $25 billion contracts were struck without consulting the office of the Minister of State for Petroleum Resources or the board of the corporation.

I See A Prosperous Nigeria In Coming Years – Osinbajo

Vice President of Nigeria, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo on Sunday reassured that Nigeria will be prosperous in the coming years.

Osinbajo who spoke at the 2017 Independence Day Interdenominational Church Service at the National Christian Centre in Abuja said that Nigeria will overcome all challenges facing it..

The service was themed “National Unity in the Bond of Peace and Love.”

The Vice President said that the  greatest commandment in the scripture is “love the Lord your God with all your strength and love your Neigbour as yourself.”

He also reminded the congregation that the Bible also encourages us to love our enemies.

To those who sought revenge, Osinbajo reminded them that the Lord says vengeance is His.

“I was very inspired by the words spoken by Professor Turaki a few minutes ago very challenging words that he spoke and I think that in some senses it led to the question who does God hold responsible for the destiny of nations.  There is a people of whom  Jesus said that you are the salt of the earth and the light of the world, a people who are charged with sweet name but bitterness of hate of selfishness and pride.

“There is a people described by scripture in 1st Peter 2:9 and the words of the scripture says but you are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation that you may proclaim the praises of him who called you out of darkness and to his marvelous light.

“It is this same people whom Jesus Christ empowered and commandedth in the following words, he said all authority has been given to me in heaven and on earth and to these people he said go therefore and make disciples of all nations baptising them in the name of the father and of the son and holy spirit.

“Teaching to observe all the things that I have commandeth you and low am with you always until the end of the world.

“It is this same people that God has commandeth to teach the world all that he has commandeth the greatest of those commandment is love the lord your God with all your strength and love your neigbour as yourself.

“Our nation is at a point where we should teach the people the virtue of the Lord Jesus Christ.”

Osinbajo prayed that the nation will blossom and overcome challenges and that the glory of the former days will be nothing to be compared to the glory of the latter days.

He declared that the nation will be joyful and prosperous.

Speaking during the service, former Head of State, Yakubu Gowon, said that Nigeria’s unity has already been fought for.

He said: “Continue to pray for the peace and unity of Nigeria. Do not fear, Nigeria has fought for its unity and the unity will continue with your prayer.”

As soon as Gowon finished his remarks, former President, Olusegun Obasanjo and former Head of Interim National Government, Ernest Shonekan, who came with him to the podium to make their own remarks, immediately shouted “We concur.” and left the stage with him.

Delivering the message, Rev. Prof. Aminu Turaki (TEKAN/ECWA) called on the Federal Government to urgently convene a National Conference to resolve the divisive challenges facing the nation.

He titled his message as “Godly Leadership” and cited Jeremiah 9: 23-24, Isaiah 11: 1-5.

While appealing to all Nigerians to stop attacking one another either because of religious or ethnic differences, he called on them to embrace values that unite the nation and resist divisive tendencies.

Stressing that God holds all leaders accountable to the ordinary people, he said that Godliness is the moral character of God.

“Having power over the people are not good enough, the leaders must be rooted in Godly character.” he said

Noting that the Book of Jeremiah in the Holy Bible described the soul of Nigeria,  he said that selfishness and lack of knowing God are among the factors responsible for the challenges facing Nigeria.

He said “Too much religion without ethics is useless. Religion without ethics and morality is dead.”

Stressing that immorality and violence is everywhere in the world, he said that the Nigerian society is in dire need of prophets that preache peace and not violence.

Scripture reading I was taken from Ephesians 4:1-16 by Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN), Walter Onnoghen

The Scripture reading II was taken by Speaker of the House of Representatives, Yakubu Dogara, from 1st Corinthians 13: 1-13.

Beside the prayer of thanksgiving, intercessory prayers were also offered for the Nigerian nation, Security and economic challenges, the Nigerian Leadership.

Other intercessory prayers were for political stability, Nigerian families, peace and development in the country and the unity of the Church.

There was also praises and worship by Hallelujah Nigeria 400hours Praise Team and special song by the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) Mass Choir.

Others dignitaries and clergies at the service were the National Chairman of the All Progressives Congress, John Odigie-Oyegun, the Wife of the Vice President, Mrs. Dolapo Osinbajo, Deputy Senate President, Ike Ekweremadu, was represented by Prof. Olusola Adeyeye.

Also at the service were the CAN President, Rev. Dr. Samson Ayokunle, Nicholas Okoh, Bishop Peter Ogunmuyiwa and top government officials and security personnel

Governors To FG: Handover Federal Roads To States

The governors of the 36 state of the federation in Nigeria have called on President Muhammadu Buhari to handover some of the roads belonging to the Federal Government to them to fix.

 

The demand was announced Thursday by the governor of Ebonyi State, Dave Umahi, at the end of the monthly meeting of National Economic Council, NEC, presided over by Vice President Yemi Osinbajo at the Presidential Villa in Abuja..

Mr. Umahi said the failure of most federal Roads in the country was of concern to governors.

 

Mr. Umahi said NEC has “recommended release of some federal government roads to state governors for prompt rehabilitation”.

 

He also said the NEC directed the Minister of Power, Works and Housing, Babatunde Fashola, to come up with modalities that will reduce pressure on the roads in order to preserve their quality.

 

The governors of Kwara and Kebbi State, Abdulfatah Ahmed and Atiku Bagudu, who also briefed State House correspondents at the end of the meeting, said the council also deliberated on how to increase the export of agricultural produce from Nigeria.

Mr. Ahmed said a national committee on export promotion had also been put in place by the council.

 

Here are Pictures from the Meeting presided over by Vice President, Prof Yemi Osinbajo.

 

Photo Credit: Bayo Omoboriowo

Osinbajo In Akure To Attend National Council On Niger Delta Meeting

The Vice President of Nigeria, Prof Yemi Osinbajo, has arrived Akure, the capital of Ondo State to attend 2nd National Council on Niger Delta meeting.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that Osinbajo would deliver the keynote address at the event and later meet with communities of riverside areas of Ondo State.

Osinbajo, accompanied by the Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Usani Usani, was received on arrival by Gov. Oluwarotimi Akeredolu.

Also on the vice presidents entourage were the Minister of State, Niger Delta Affairs, Prof Claudius Daramola, and Sen. Victor Udoma, Chairman, Niger Delta Development Commission.

He touched down at the Akure airport amid tight security provided by the police, Army, Civil Defence Corps and road marshals among others.

Others at the airport to receive the vice president were the Speaker, Ondo state House of Assembly, Mr Bamidele Oleyeloogun, Secretary to the State Government, Ifedayo Abegunde and other top government officials.