Osinbajo: Nigeria Is Interested In Liberia’s Success

Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, has assured the people and government of Liberia of Nigeria’s support, noting that the success of their country is very important.

Osinbajo stated this while receiving the country’s Vice President, Mrs Jewel Taylor, at the Presidential Villa in Abuja, the nation’s capital, according to a statement by the Senior Special Assistant, Media and Publicity to the President, Mr Laolu Akande.

“Nigeria is committed to working with Liberia, we are certainly committed; the success of Liberia is important to us.”

“You can expect that we shall continue to support and even do much more for Liberia,” Osinbajo said. “We have invested considerably in Liberia and our support for the Sirleaf administration is also in that respect.”

Mr Osinbajo further reiterated the commitment of the President Muhammadu Buhari administration in seeing to the success of the West African country, formerly known to be war-torn.

Both Vice Presidents also spoke on the significance of their youth population, the role of technology in development and the need for greater intracontinental trade among African countries.

The Liberian VP, who arrived Nigeria a few days ago, spoke on Friday at the Inaugural African Women Summit for Peace and Development.

Osinbajo: Loyal To The Core

To many analysts, the position of vice-president is more of a spare tyre than the high political office it is. But, Prof Yemi Osinbajo (SAN) has endowed the seat with visibility and honour. Group Political Editor EMMANUEL OLADESU writes on the activities of the loyal deputy and the cordial relations between him and President Muhammadu Buhari.

Since the Second Republic, Nigeria has produced five vice-presidents – Dr. Alex Ekwueme (1979-1983), Alhaji Atiku Abubakar (1999-2007), Dr. Goodluck Jonathan (2007-2009), Namadi Sambo (2009-2015) and Prof. Yemi Osinbajo (SAN) (2015 till date). However, observers agree that Osinbajo, legal scholar, priest and technocrat, is a deputy with a difference.

He has two main priorities in government. The mess of 16 years created by the Peoples Democratic Party PDP) should be successfully cleared. Also, Nigerians should team up with President Muhammadu Buhari to lay a new foundation of national prosperity and progress. The message on the lip of Osinbajo is that Nigeria will surely recover.

In the last three years, the dynamic, hardworking and loyal vice-president has been assisting President Muhammadu Buhari in the task of navigating the ship of state. The former university don and Lagos State Attorney-General and Commissioner for Justice is more than a spare tyre. At his disposal are the weapons of incisive wit, knowledge of the economic problems, understanding of the heterogenous country and sense of patriotism. In recent times, he has become the administration’s anti-corruption curator. The president and vice president are on the same page in the anti-graft war. The anti-graft battle is becoming increasingly challenging as corruption is fighting back. But, he is confident that corruption will not eventually kill Nigeria because the progressive administration will not allow it.

“When you fight corruption the way we re fighting it, corruption is going to fight back. But, we are determined,” Osinbajo said during the 10th Bola Tinubu Colliqouiun in Lagos.

For Osinbajo, governance is not business as usual. Good governance is not a tea party. The challenges are being tackled. Yet, new ones are staring the country in the face. President Buhari made four promises-economic revival, security, anti-corruption war and job creation. To Osinbajo, government has been steady in fulfilling these cardinal promises, despite the constraints. The government has alleged that trillions of naira were stolen by privileged functionaries under the past administration. If the resources are available, Osinbajo said much burden would have been alleviated. The stolen funds would have been creatively used for people-oriented projects across the six geo-political zones.

The vice president has lamented that when the country was making huge money from crude oil, less was achieved, compared to the when the price of oil has crashed in the international market and activities of vandals in the Niger Delta have crippled production. He has urged the bewildered country to take solace in the fact that there is a lot to show for prudent spending under the Buhari administration.

Irked by the fetival of looting, the vice president said that there is no country in the world that will allow its resources to be plundered and still expect its economy to be economically viable. “Corruption is an existential problem for Nigeria. From all I have seen in government in the past three years, the corruption of the previous five years is what destroyed the Nigerian economy, ” he added.

The vice president’s style of engagement has brought government closer to the people. He has maintained a constant and consisted communication channel with Nigerians, who are nevertheless impatient about the prospect of economic recovery. For example, his visit to the Niger Delta has doused a measure of tension. Today, government is being applauded for the Ogoni Clean-Up, the setting up the Maritime University and modular refineries. He is also the coordinator of the working group trying to tackling the farmers/herdsmen crises. Government is busy fighting the infrastructure battle. Through the programe of economic diversification, increased funding for agriculture has led to job creation. Government is not relenting in fixing the power and rail sectors.

As the coordinator of some of the economic activities designed to alleviate the suffering of the masses, Osinbajo has lived up to expectation. Through proactive economic reforms, Nigeria has now achieved a leap in terms of ease of doing business. Also, concrete achievements have been recorded in the area of reviving the small and medium scale enterprises through financial aids. Human capital development is a priority of the Buhari administration. In this area, Osinbajo is a driver of change. The safe school project and other initiatives driven by HEVP have received commendations from stakeholders.

Many factors aided the choice of Osinbajo as the running mate to Gen. Buhari in 2015. But, the greatest factors are his competence, integrity, ability to deputise without undermining or subverting his principal, integrity, impeccable character and his antecedent as Nigerian with a national outlook. As the deputy president, he has not allowed power to use him. The proof of his loyalty end exemplary leadership came into fore when the president was on a medical trip abroad for over 100 days. Osinbajo held the country as one united and indivisible entity, thereby earning the appreciation of his boss.

He had emerged as the vice presidential flag bearer, not from the point of view of being an Ogun State indigene or a former Justice Commissioner in Lagos State. He became the running mate on the strength of the convincing argument that Buhari needed a decent, loyal and hardworking Christian Nigerian from the Southwest to meet the inevitable and non-negotiable criterion of the ethnic-religious divide.

His nomination was received with jubilations, not only in the Southwest region, but across the federation. But, in particular, the nomination has implications for the Southwest. It marked the beginning of a synergy between the larger North and the politically conscious and economically developed Southwest. Since 2007, the Southwest had been complaining about marginalisation. Thus, Osinbajo’s nomination promptly restored a sense of belonging to the six states. On account of the Buhari/Osinbajo joint ticket, the region became more committed to the All Progressives Congress (APC) agenda for change in 2015. Also, across the 36 states, the elite gravitated towards the Buhari/Osinbajo ticket. Both men were perceived to be tested, trusted and courageous, in terms of devotion to public good.

Both Buhari and Osinbajo paraded intimidating credentials. At 73, the former military leader was on the soap box in 2015. With the 56s year-old Osinbajo beside him, the joint ticket was a blend of old age and youthfulness. Buhari, a committed Muslim from the North, and Osinbajo, a Christian cleric from the Southwest, were strengthened in their determination to challenge PDP President Goodluck Jonathan, a Christian from the Southsouth, and his deputy, Vice President Namandi Sambo, a Muslim from the North, to a duel. There was parity as far as ethnic and religious factors, which politicians have successfully incorporated into contemporary politics, were concerned. The line of demarcation wass the differential qualities of the APC and the PDP tickets. Therefore, Nigerians took Buhari and Osinbajo seriously.

Buhari stood for honour and discipline as a leader. He is simply incorruptible. Osinbajo has been committed to the strengthening of democracy through his judicial reforms as Attorney-General and Justice Commissioner. He is an advocate of the protection of the temple of justice from the vulgarities of political life and societal vices.

Buhari/Osinbajo ticket in 2015 represented a rare Muslim/Christian ticket. It dwarfed the Jonathan/Sambo Christian/Muslim ticket, owing to the complaints about the 16 years of looting, misrule and boredom. The battle for Christian votes was be interesting. Apart from legal advocacy, the church is also Osinbajo’s constituency. The charming and charismatic lawyer is not a nominal Christian. He has a mass appeal in the Christendom as an exemplary preacher and doer of the word. Like Buhari, Osinbajo is morally predictable and excellent.

From 1999, Osinbajo has been a loyal, dependable and silent labourer in the progressive vineyard. His legal counsels, administrative acumen, uncanny capacity for research, understanding of the workings of government and sense of calmness and balance have been acknowledged by the academia, the bar, the bench, the government and the political class he has served with his best of ability,

Many believe that Osinbajo came into limelight, following his appointment as the Attorney-General and Commissioner. But, he has been around for a longer period. Ubder the Babangida administration, he was a Special Assistant to the Federal Attorney-General and Minister of Justice, Prince Bola Ajibola. As a university teacher, he has taught promising Nigerians from the six geo-political zones, who still perceive him as a mentor and role model. As a university don at the Lagos State University (LASU), Ojo and the University of Lagos, Akoka (UNILAG), he was a great scholar. His intellectual stature reflects in his teachings, rigorous research and seminal contributions. The diminutive scholar is a six feet of intelligence. The orator is good in debate. But, he always avoided scandals. When LASU was engulfed with protracted crises, which threatened a peaceful atmosphere for teaching and research, he refused to take sides in the divisive and highly destabilising crises. Osinbajo retraced his steps to UNILAG.

As a lawyer, Osinbajo was not in the mould of luminaries who indulged in trivialities. He is a thorough prosecution lawyer, who does not indulge in the politicisation of sensitive cases to make a political capital out of litigation. He has often shunned financial inducement by unscrupulous elements to subvert the state in litigations involving the government and enemies of progress.

His assets are the power of ideas and imagination, organisational acumen, and steady inclination towards reforms. Brilliant, professionally assertive, focused, and loyal worthy causes, Osinbajo had hidden talents, which were unraveled by his involvement in politics and governance in the past. Many believe that he had added value to the progressive administration at the centre.

In fact, Buhari and Osinbajo share common traits and ideas about how a developing country should be run by visionary leaders. Osinbajo’s thoroughness, modesty, aversion for graft, belief in the role of law in human development and passion for people’s welfarehave made him and Buhari a perfect match. The law profesor is averse to primitive accumulation. It is indeed a mark of humility that, despite his achievements as a scholar, legal luminary and priest, Osinbajo has kept a low profile. Like Buhari, his public service career has been devoid of scandal. His colleagues inthe Federal Executive Council have descr5ibed him as a man of impeccable character, honesty, discipline and integrity.

These may be the reason both the president and his deputy have been partners in progress. Unlike the Obasanjo administration, there is no acrimonious relationship between the President and the Vice President. Since the duo do not have skeletons in their cupboards, and they are not in government to enrich themselves, Nigeria have been better for it.

But, it is not yet uhuru. The president and his deputy still have a lot to do in the area of security. More should be done to build on the past achievements. Also, the economy is still recovering at a snail-like speed. According to observers, if there is improved security and the economy is revived, Nigerians will heave a sigh of relief.

Osinbajo Asks Nigerians To Focus More On States’ Spending

Vice President Yemi Osinbajo has called on Nigerians to focus more on the expenditure of state governments rather than the Federal Government.

Professor Osinbajo made the call on Wednesday while speaking at a civic innovation hub in Abuja, the Federal Capital Territory.

He criticised the low internal revenue generated from states, noting that state governors should be held responsible in the area of healthcare funding.

The vice president reiterated that Nigeria’s biggest challenge remains corruption and integrity.

According to him, if 70 per cent of Nigeria’s resources went into the right channels, the nation wouldn’t be in its current situation.

Osinbajo further took a swipe at politicians who go into office simply to loot the public treasury instead of fulfilling the promises made to the people ab initio.

VP Osinbajo Assures Leah Sharibu Will Be Rescued Soon

Vice President, Yemi Osinbajo, has assured Nigerians that Leah Sharibu, a Dapchi schoolgirl yet to be released by Boko Haram, will soon regain her freedom.

Sharibu, a Christian girl among the students abducted from Government Girls’ Science and Technical College in Dapchi area of Yobe has remained with the insurgents for refusing to renounce her faith.

The Vice President gave the assurance at a concert in commemoration of the Easter celebration, yesterday in Lagos.

He described the cross on which Jesus Christ was nailed as a symbol of victory for those who believe in the Lord Jesus.

According to Osinbajo, victory was always assured in every challenge.

He said, “As I understand the Cross, I believe that what happened was so unique. Apart from the death, there was a trial before victory. Christ was accused of many crimes and given a death sentence.

“What Christ went through was beyond dying. He had already taken the pain that is why we can proudly say that the Cross is an evidence of our own victory.

“Leah has stood up to stand by her faith and truth. I am certain on my mind the Cross is able to deliver her.

“I am excited that we Christians are praying for Leah who is still being held captive by insisting she will stand by the Cross of the Lord Jesus Christ.

“The most exciting thing that a man can have is the knowledge here on earth that we are Victor and in Heaven, we will be counted among those that will reign with Christ in Heaven. There is nothing better than that. It is a win-win situation.”

PHOTONEWS: Aregbesola Attends 10th Annual Bola Tinubu Colloquium

Governor Rauf Aregbesola of the State of Osun on Thursday joined President Muhammadu Buhari and Vice President, Yemi Osinbajo alongside other dignitaries at the 10th Annual Bola Ahmed Tinubu Colloquium to mark his 66th birthday.

Dolapo Julius captured the following images from the event.

 

 

Grand Corruption Under Jonathan Cannot Be Forgotten- Osinbajo

Vice President Yemi Osinbajo has justified the continued reference to the extent of corruption under the administration of former President Goodluck Jonathan.

Osinbajo spoke at the 10th birthday colloquium held in Lagos in honour of a National leader of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Senator Bola Tinubu.

According to him, there need to highlight what he described as grand corruption in the last administration because of the impact on the present state of the country’s economy.

“Nigeria is where it is today because of the corruption that was perpetrated by previous administration.

“We will talk about grand corruption, ” recalling the Yoruba proverb that translates thus: Frog says when discussion gets to the issue of tail, we should skip it. He says we must ensure Nigeria never takes such road (of corruption) again!.

” If we do not kill corruption, corruption will kill us,” Osinbajo stated.

While admitting that the best times of the country are yet to come in accordance with the change promised by the APC, Osinbajo said “we are getting better and better”

Osinbajo Lists Gains Of Lekki Deep Seaport To Nigeria

Vice President Yemi Osinbajo has explained how the Lekki Deep Seaport will benefit Nigerians and the nation’s economy.

Professor Osinbajo spoke on Thursday at the official flag-off ceremony for the construction of the port in Lagos, the nation’s commercial capital.

He said the Federal Government was informed that the project targets about 1.5 million 20-foot equivalent unit container capacity annually, and is expected to increase to as high as about 4.7 million when the project operations commence.

The Vice President was optimistic that with this feat, the port would become one of the largest deep-water ports in West Africa and serve as a hub for port operations in the whole of the sub-region.

He added that once completed, the government expects the port to influence the generation of up to 170,000 direct and indirect jobs in the Nigerian economy.

Osinbajo stressed further that the promoters of the project also plan to dredge the port channel to about 16 metres draft, one that is not currently obtainable in any seaport or any port in the country.

According to him, this is an indication that ships of larger sizes and very large crude carriers will be able to visit the port while greater efficiency and economy of scale will generate significant revenues for the Nigerian economy, with government earning a significant portion of it.

The Vice President believes the construction of the port would also enhance the Economic Recovery and Growth Plan (ERGP), and its emphasis on supporting game-changing infrastructural projects directed at making major impacts in trade and commerce sector.

He revealed that the Federal Government has provided an aggregate of about N90bn for the development of special economic zones in its last two budgets.

“We are developing the Lekki special economic zone as a model special economic zone specifically targeting exports. The development of this deep seaport is mission critical to the achievement of the important objectives of creating a special economic zone,” he said.

While noting that project is essentially private sector driven, Professor Osinbajo said the government remains committed to its economic philosophy of private sector leadership in its economic development effort.

The commended the state government and other promoters of the project, as well as the Minister of Transportation, Mr Chibuike Amaechi, whom he said his zeal has continued to drive the project.

He also assured the stakeholders that the Federal and state governments would be ready to provide necessary support to ensure the completion of the project.

The event was also attended by the deputy governor of Lagos State, Dr Idiat Adebule; and the Ministers of Trade and Investment, Dr Okechukwu Enelamah, among others.

Bill Gates, Dangote Challenge FG To Invest In Human Capital

Philanthropist and Founder of Microsoft, Bill Gates has challenged the Nigerian government to invest in human capital development, saying it would lay a good foundation for the nation’s prosperity.

He made this known on Thursday while delivering a speech at the Expanded National Economic Council on Investment in Human Capital held in Abuja.

According to him, although Nigeria has enormous potentials, they can only be maximized when the citizens are well equipped.

Making reference to the Economic Recovery and Growth Plan, he, therefore, urged the Federal Government to take practical steps in prioritising human capital development.

 

“Nigeria has unmatched economic potentials but what becomes of that potential depends on the choices you make as Nigeria’s leaders. The most important choice you can make is to maximise your greatest resource – the Nigerian people.

“Nigeria Will Thrive when every Nigerian Is able to thrive, If you invest in their health, education and opportunities, the human capital that we are talking about today, then that will lay the foundation for sustained prosperity.

“If you don’t, however, it is important to recognise that there would be a sharp limit on how much the country can grow,” he stated.

“Much of Nigeria still looks like a low-income country. Nigeria is one of the most dangerous places in the world to give birth.

“With the fourth-worst maternal mortality rate in the world, ahead of only Sierra Leone, Central African Republic, and Chad. One in three Nigerian Children is chronically malnourished.

“The Nigerian government’s Economic Recovery and Growth Plan identifies investing in our people as one of three strategic executives but the execution priorities don’t fully reflect people’s needs – prioritising physical capital over human capital,” he stated.

Also addressing the issue, President of the Dangote Group, Aliko Dangote, asked the Federal Government to provide solutions to human capital challenges experienced in the country.

 

He stressed that human capital is a critical component of Nigeria’s future economic growth , noting that while the nation has largely achieved growth by extracting natural resources, the youths have to be equipped both physically and mentally to drive the nation’s future success.

“In Nigeria, we have largely achieved growth by extracting natural resources and we’re not building on that through our physical infrastructure. But we must also remember that it is our young people that will drive our future success.

“By 2050, Nigeria is projected to be the 3rd largest economy in the world.

“For this next generation to thrive as adults and drive economic progress, we need to invest in their health and well-being and in their ability to learn and apply new skills.

“As a business leader, it is my responsibility to offer jobs and opportunities but I can only do that when people themselves are healthy and have basic skills.”

 

Speaking further, the business mogul explained how nutrition and infrastructural development also play a huge role in equipping the youth for the future.

According to him, malnutrition has been identified as one of the biggest factors undermining the potentials of children and for Nigeria to be able to truly compete globally, we must prioritize investment in health, education and other key sectors.

He said: “As a philanthropist and development expert, I have seen first-hand and critical gaps and proven interventions that can help set those young people up for success especially the poorest.

“A key example is nutrition; a primary focus for the Dangote Foundation.”

“Today, one of the biggest factors undermining our progress is malnutrition. Poor nutrition prevents children from realizing their true potentials, stunting not only their physical and intellectual growth but also educational and employment opportunities.

“As a business leader, I feel the consequences of malnutrition. An inadequately skilled workforce is a constraint to my businesses. Again as a philanthropist and development expert, it is the kind of challenge I am committed to helping solve.

“By this, is where my two roles converge because all sectors, businesses, philanthropy and especially government will need to step up to address the human capital challenges we are now facing in Nigeria.

“For Nigeria to truly compete globally, we must prioritize investment in the health, education, and opportunity of our people alongside other critical areas like infrastructure,” he stated.

PHOTONEWS: Bill Gates Meets National Economic Council

Governor Rauf Aregbesola on Thursday attended a joint meeting between the National Executive Council, Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and Aliko Dangote Foundation at the Old Banquet Hall, Presidential Villa, Abuja.

The meeting was chaired by Vice President, Yemi Osinbajo.

 

Photos Credit: Dolapo Julius

Osinbajo Presides Over FEC Meeting As Buhari Visits Yobe

Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo on Wednesday presided over the Federal Executive Council (FEC) meeting as President Muhammadu Buhari embarked on visit to Yobe in continuation of his tour of troubled areas in the country.

The President, who left the Presidential Villa for Damaturu, Yobe, at about 9.10a.m., is expected to meet and address traditional rulers and opinion leaders as well as parents of the missing Dapchi schoolgirls.

Buhari had earlier visited Taraba and Benue States where he met and condoled with governors and people of the states over recent incidents that led to tragic loss of lives and destruction of properties worth millions of Naira.

The President is also billed to visit Zamfara and Rivers States over recent terrorist attacks and criminal activities in the States.

It would be recalled that an alleged notorious armed bandit in Zamfara, Buhari Tsoho, popularly known as Buharin Daji, believed to have been terrorising Zamfara communities for several months was on March 7 killed by repentant cattle rustlers in the state.

Tsoho’s death was confirmed by the state government after parading his corpse in Gusau, the state capital, a day after he was killed.

News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) would today update the FEC on its activities since November 2015.