Osinbajo To Attend Kenyatta’s Inauguration

Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo is said to represent President Muhammadu Buhari in attending the second term inauguration of Kenya’s President Uhuru Kenyatta in Nairobi, Kenya.

This was revealed by the Vice-President’s Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity, Mr Laolu Akande.

“Prof. Osinbajo would be joining several other Heads of State and Government from Africa and beyond who are expected at the swearing-in ceremony holding at the Kasarani Sports Complex in the country’s capital city.’’

The statement said the Vice President who left Abuja on Monday night, was accompanied by the Foreign Affairs Minister of State, Mrs Khadija Ibrahim and he is expected back in Abuja later today.

The Kenya’s Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IBEC) had returned Kenyatta as winner of the first poll held on Aug. 8, before the country’s Supreme Court annulled the election in September.

The annulment followed a petition by opposition opponent, Mr Raila Odinga, who came second in the election.

The Supreme Court nullified the election on the grounds of “illegalities and irregularities” and ordered a rerun within 60 days.

However, Kenyatta won the rerun presidential election when he scored 7,483,895 votes representing 98.26 per cent.


Nigerians Advised To Prepare For Higher Electricity Tariffs

Nigerians have been advised by the Vice President; Yemi Osinbajo to prepare for the payment of higher electricity tariffs saying it had become inevitable.

Speaking yesterday at the sixth presidential business forum held at the Banquet Hall of the Presidential Villa, Abuja, Osinbajo said: “There is no question at all that we must pay higher tariffs.”

He, however, said that government was not going to increase the tariffs for now but rather working towards cleaning the electricity value chain.

According to him, the N700 billion payment assurance guarantee set aside by government was to ensure uninterrupted payment for gas and liquidity in the power sector.

Osinbajo said the payment assurance guarantee was to fund a smooth transition “from where we are to a much more market-determined policy for electricity.”

He said that government was already working with the World Bank on this.


Your History Is Not Your Destiny! By Gbenga Adebambo

“The only substitute to hard work is hard life” – Bishop David Oyedepo

A little over a week ago (November 9), Vice President Yemi Osinbajo (SAN) was invited to give the convocation speech at the 10th Convocation of Lead City University in Ibadan, Oyo State.

What was just meant to be another speech by the Vice President turn out to be a masterpiece with bundle of inspiration for the Nigerian youths. What actually astonished me is his consistent harping on character and seizing opportunities as the shortcuts to success.

I decided to publish this highly cerebral and thoughtful piece released by his Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity, Mr. Laolu Akande:
I was 60 years old in March this year, and I must confess that it was one of the greatest surprises I ever experienced! I just suddenly became 60.

I can clearly remember when I graduated when I was 21 years old. How time flies.
ne of the most important lessons you will learn is that time flies. Whether you are wasting it or using it well, it simply flies by.

There are a few other lessons I learnt along the way. And at the age of 60, I’m entitled to give some advice, and l will share some of them with you. Some, you might agree with, others, you may not, but I would be most flattered if you remember them, and whenever you meet me in life’s journey, somewhere down the line, you will tell me whether I was right or wrong.

First I learnt is that talent, an excellent degree, even coming from a well-off family, does not mean success and certainly does not mean greatness. The most talented people, those who get the best degrees, and even from a well-known family, do not necessarily become the most successful in life.

The difference between success and failure, mediocrity or excellence, is character. Along with character is the importance of opportunity, but perhaps most crucial, is the grace of God.

So, what is character? And l will define it my own way. Character is a set of values that shapes the conduct of an individual. It is the set of principles, spoken and unspoken, that a person observes and lives by.

As a young student at the London School of Economics and Political Science, University of London, in 1980, my school fees were delayed in a particular term. There were problems with the remitting from the Central Bank in Nigeria (CBN).

So, I spoke to the student’s counsellor in my faculty, who asked me to go to the bank and ask for a loan. I asked how? How do l go for a loan when I don’t have any money? I owe over 600 (British) pounds and I probably have only 50 pounds in the bank, where would I get the collateral to take the loan?

Anyway, I got to the bank and l explained the problem to the lady across the counter that I needed to pay 600 pounds for my fees, and she simply asked the name, and l brought out my ledger.

She looked at it and found out I had no money in there. She asked me when I thought I could repay, I said maybe six weeks. She then gave me a document, I signed and she gave me 600 pounds.

I paid my fees and I paid back when my cheque came. But in the same United Kingdom (UK), a few years after, if you carried a Nigerian passport, the banks would not even open an account for you. Why? Some Nigerians abused the trust that financial transactions require. And if you look at the past few years, many foreign banks have closed accounts of Nigerians because of the numerous attempts to defraud on those accounts. So, because of the untrustworthiness of a few, a whole nation is painted black.

The world is in search of the Nigerian of integrity, the trustworthy Nigerian to do business with, to employ. Everyone wants faithful partners or employees. Even thieves are in search of trustworthy people to keep their money with.

The other lesson is that you must repay when you borrow, whether it is from a friend, relation or a bank. Credit is the lifeblood of business, the lifeblood of commerce. You are dead if your credit sources dry up.

I have a friend, Remi Morgan; he owns perhaps the largest Christian bookstore in Nigeria, possibly the largest bookstore in Nigeria. When he wanted to start his business of importing Bibles and Christian books from the United States (US), no publisher in the US wanted to give him credit. Why? Many Nigerians who they had done business with in the past had taken credit and simply disappeared. So, he had to pay cash for everything.

Now, if you want to have a profitable business, you must have credit line. But if you don’t have credit, you can’t do profitable business.

But gradually, he began to build trust; as time went on, he began to show that he could be trustworthy. They gave him credit for 30 days, then 60, then 120, and he made sure he paid back, so everybody wanted to do business with him.

Suddenly, every Christian and business book publisher around the world want to do business with this honest Nigerian. So, later on, his bookstore company possibly became the largest bookshop in Nigeria, because he showed that he could be trusted.

While I was teaching at the University of Lagos, as a young lecturer, in the Department of Public Law in the Faculty of Law, there were three typists in the department- the chief typist, senior typist, and the junior typist. Because in those days, before laptops and personal computers, typists in universities had to do a lot of work and they were very important, because you always needed to type all your materials.

When there was work to do, what l discovered was that the chief typist would disappear. He works only till 4 pm. The senior typist would be nowhere to be found. But a gentleman called Adereni, the junior typist, who only had his school certificate, was remarkably hardworking. Sometimes, I would drop him off at his home at 1am.

Years after, I was working as an adviser to the then Attorney General of the Federation, Prince Bola Ajibola, who later became a Judge of the World Court. While in the court at The Hague, in the Netherlands, one day he called me and asked if I could recommend a good secretary who is hardworking and could do long judgments.

I had three options- chief typist, senior or this junior typist, but the junior typist at a time had only school certificate, he didn’t have any other qualification, but l choose him. He got to The Hague and typically worked hard and diligently. Every Judge in the court wanted him to work with them.

He later moved his family over to The Hague and got degrees and made a good living for himself. One day, he remembered me and actually sent me a car.

I just want to say that it was so apparent that all that this man had to proof, despite the fact that he had no qualifications at all, was diligence and hardwork.

Time and chance is another way of saying opportunity is crucial to success. And I’m sure many of us are familiar with that saying. Opportunity knocks once as they say. But I think it’s probably more true to say that sometimes, opportunity whispers.

Besides, as Ravenhill, an intellectual said: “The opportunity of a lifetime must be seized within the lifetime of the opportunity.” In order words, opportunity itself has a lifespan and you must seize it within that lifespan.

But to seize opportunity, you must be prepared. Most people have great hopes and dreams, but they are hardly ready for the opportunity when it comes.

Let me tell you another story. A lady worked with me many years ago. One of her greatest ambitions was to do a Master’s degree in Law in the US. She prayed hard about it, and everyone in the department knew of her desire.

One day, out of the blues, we got an offer from a US Foundation through the embassy to nominate a candidate, preferably female, to do a Master’s degree and fellowship in a US university.

We were all so excited. We had only two days to the deadline. We had to submit her passport that afternoon. Then, the bombshell, she didn’t have a passport! We desperately tried the next day to obtain a passport, but it didn’t work.

To cut a long story short, she lost the opportunity. She had everything else, but missed her moment.

So, there are some here who will say I want to work in an international organisation, may be the United Nations (UN), and you know that to stand a good chance, you need a second language, apart from English. So, if you haven’t started yet, now is the time to learn French, Spanish or even Chinese.

I think that aside from hardwork, innovation will be very important. Here in Nigeria, many young people are using technology to disrupt existing assumptions and create new opportunities, new markets for themselves.

Nollywood film industry, Jason Njoku, is not an actor or movie producer, but he has used technology to create a new line of business in the Nollywood film industry. He is the proprietor of the Iroko brand TV; he made the Iroko brand the largest mainstream licensors and distributors of over 5,000 Nollywood films and African music. Iroko has attracted $20 million in equity.

So is the story of Jobberman, which was listed in the Forbes Magazine Top 10 tech start-ups in Africa.

Jobberman’s story is a fascinating one. In 2009, Olalekan Elude, Ayodeji Adewunmi and Opeyemi Awoyemi at that time, students of Obafemi Awolowo University, Ife, started a site called Jobberman, in their hostel to help connect people looking for work with companies looking to hire.

Now, Jobberman is one of the top 100 websites in Nigeria and it gets 5,000 applications every day.

Just last May, Mark Zuckerberg, the founder of Facebook, mentioned them as one of the major technology innovators in Nigeria.

Finally, our family history, the misery and deprivations of our beginnings, the shame and disgrace of the past, sometimes the spectacular failures of the past are the tyrannical weapons of history.

Our past, yelling unworthy, unworthy, unworthy at us as we struggle to do right, live right and act with dignity. But history, we must remember, is not only a record of the past; it is the past, it is gone!

Our future is not determined by history or the past, unless we allow it. Your history is not your destiny. You have a chance to make your destiny.

I pray for you that the Almighty God will help you. The grace of God will support you, that the coming years will be easy and exciting and that your journey will be smooth.

Quote Of The Week:
“Our future is not determined by history or the past, unless we allow it”- Prof Yemi Osinbajo

Corruption, Tribalism, Religion Hamper Development – Osinbajo

Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo on Friday at a conference attended by over 1000 pastors in Lagos has declared that in his opinion, corruption, tribalism and religion are the key problems hampering Nigeria’s development.

Osinbajo also talked on restructuring of Nigeria and agreed that “states should have more opportunities to develop themselves’’.

Osinbajo also said that “What Nigeria needs is already written in the gospel of Jesus Christ. “We need people of integrity, hard work and people with love for the country. It is this tribe that can configure the argument for change in Nigeria. The corrupt Nigerian elites are one tribe. In sharing their loot, they neither bring in ethnicity nor religion but only use such to create misunderstandings that will benefit themselves.

“The reason Nigeria is where it is today is because people do not really care. It is time people should stand up for what is right and join the fight against corruption.

“Corruption has become the rule in Nigeria and this must stop. It did not start with this administration and it is yet to stop.

On the Fulani herdsmen palaver, the vice-president said that “contrary to opinions that it began because the president is Fulani, in 1996, there were issues between herdsmen and some communities in Gombe.

“This issue has been on through the years. Giving the impression that it is a phenomenon because a Fulani man is president is wrong.

“Even in 2014, there were reported herdsmen issues in Nigeria.”

On alleged lop-sided appointments in the country, Osinbajo said it was time that Nigerians begun to look at merit rather than tribe or religion.

“It is easy to say that appointments are lop-sided if one set of appointments come or that it is not balanced. It is on record that Ogun State has the highest number of heads of agencies and parastatals in Nigeria, followed by Imo.

“Borno, Sokoto and Yobe States that voted heavily for the APC in the 2015 presidential election do not have a senior minister in the administration.

% that the north is favoured or better because the president is from there will have a re-think when they visit northern Nigeria.

“The north is the poorest part of Nigeria in every way. There are over 2.3 million displaced people. The north is ravaged by diseases and Boko Haram.

“Many people’s perception will change if they visited the north.’’

Commenting on an alleged plan by the present administration to start taxing churches, Osinbajo said that a bill on the issue was sponsored by some civil society groups. “The bill is currently being debated in the National Assembly. There is no plan by the government to get churches to pay tax.’’

On the Islamic Development Bank, he explained that Nigeria did not become a member of the bank during the present administration.

“Buhari does not own the bank. Nigeria became a member in 2008. The first and present directors of the bank are Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala and Kemi Adeosun and Okonjo-Iweala and Kemi Adeosun and they are Christians.

“Nigeria is just a shareholder and like any business we make use of the profit we get from there.”

Nigeria Open To More Investment – Osinbajo

Nigeria is giving the opportunities to investors to come and invest in the country to increase the economy and help develop the country. The Vice President Prof Yemi Osinbajo on Tuesday said Nigeria is open was open to business and more investment.

Osinbajo who chairs the nation’s Economic Management Team said this at a bilateral meeting he held with his Indonesian counterpart, Vice President Jusuf Kalla, on the sidelines of the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative Beneficial Ownership Transparency Conference in Jakarta, Indonesia.

According to a statement by his Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity, Mr. Laolu Akande, the Vice-President also said Nigeria and Indonesia would work together to increase the level of economic cooperation between both countries.

“We are looking forward to more Indonesian investments especially in the manufacturing sector in Nigeria, trying to exploit our local raw materials,” Osinbajo was quoted as saying.

The Vice-President also informed Kalla that the Muhammadu Buhari administration has implemented reforms that have made the Nigerian business environment “a more favorable environment.”

In his own remarks, the Indonesian Vice President said his country was also ready for more economic cooperation with African countries, especially Nigeria.

Kalla conveyed his greetings to President Muhammadu Buhari and asked after his health, to which Osinbajo responded that the President was doing very well.

The Nigerian Vice President then expressed appreciation to the Indonesian government and extended greetings to President Joko Widodo.

Nigeria Targets Streamlining SMEs Intervention Policies

The Vice President, Yemi Osinbajo said that the Federal Government would streamline intervention policies for Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) to enable more people to benefit.

He gave the assurance at the Third Annual Tony Elumelu Foundation (TEF) Entrepreneurship Forum in Lagos. He stated that the government would continue to embrace policies that would encourage start-ups to thrive.

He commended the Founder of TEF, Mr Tony Elumelu, for the initiative, which he noted had been result-oriented. Speaking on “Tyranny of the Past or History”, the Vice President called on Africans to stop remembering the past with apprehension.

He said that dwelling on the past could cripple ones hope and vision. According to Osinbajo, African countries are nearly defeating hunger and famine with new farming tools, discovering cure for diseases and eradicating most causes of infant mortality.

He called on the TEF participants to take advantage of the initiative for the growth and development of their countries instead of relying on the past.
“The great days have come, everyone that has succeeded has his or her own failures,” Osinbajo said.

Earlier, Alhaji Aliko Dangote, President, Dangote Group, identified infrastructure gap, corruption, policy inconsistency, low inter-trade rate and scarcity of finance as some challenges of entrepreneurship development in Africa.

Dangote, however, said that a resilient investor would overcome the challenges. He advised SMEs to avoid waste, build strong teams and ensure cost efficiency to survive.
Dangote said that Africa’s potential was enormous, hoping that the continent would experience a boom with enhanced agriculture.

Zamfara State Governor, Abdul’aziz Abubakar Yari, said that public and private sectors should work together for industries to survive.
Yari urged that Africa should do away with corruption and policy inconsistency to advance.
Katsina State Governor, Alhaji Aminu Bello Masari, said that African leaders must ensure formulation of policies with the private sector for the survival of the continent.

Masari said that proper education was paramount for entrepreneurs to succeed, adding that basic education was important for the growth of any business. He urged access to loans by SMEs at lower interest rates.

Oba Otudeko, Chairman, Honeywell Plc, said that government and private sectors’ cooperation was important for Africa’s development.
Otudeko remarked that entrepreneurship was not easy, and urged entrepreneurs to conceive unique ideas to succeed.
“Empires of the future are empires of the mind”, Otudeko said.
He added that African leaders should implement policies that would improve logistics and inter-African communications.


Osinbajo in London for FT’s Africa Summit

Vice President Yemi Osinbajo will leave for London this Saturday and return on Monday after delivering the keynote address at this year’s Africa Summit, with the theme “What Makes Africa Work, ” his spokesman, Mr Laolu Akande has revealed.

Akande said the summit would attract global leaders, economic experts, investors and intellectuals from Africa and around the world.

“Osinbajo will discuss the increasing economic prospects in Africa and detail the progress of the Buhari administration, especially through the Federal Government’s medium-term Economic Recovery and Growth Plan (ERGP), to the global audience.

“The summit which will also include presentations from other leaders and speakers will feature first-hand experiences and interactions from government and business leaders in the continent while providing credible opportunities and encouraging foreign investments.

“So far, the yearly event has become a platform for the dissemination of a more accurate and beneficial narrative of the improving economic environment in Africa’’, he said.

Osinbajo Did Not Meet With PDP’s Sheriff – APC

The ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) has urged its stakeholders to  disregard the speculation making rounds that  Vice President Yemi Osinbajo and the APC national chairman, Chief John Odigie-Oyegun met with former National Chairman of Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Sen. Ali-Modu Sheriff.

An official statement released by the party on Friday said “Following Thursday’s visit of the national chairman of the APC to the Villa, the attention of the party has been drawn to surprising speculations in some sections of the media on the visit.

‘’For the records, the APC national chairman only met with the Chief of Staff to the President, Abba Kyari.

‘’He was not aware, neither was he part of the reported meeting between the Vice President and the former PDP national chairman,’’ the statement by APC National Publicity Secretary, Mallam Bolaji Abdullahi, said.

Abdullahi added that Odigie-Oyegun did not visit the Vice President on the day in question and had equally not met Sheriff in over two years.


Nigeria with Endless Talents Cannot Fail – Osinbajo

Elated by the potentialities of Nigeria and with its endless flow of talents, Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, is optimistic that the nation would be great.

Osinbajo expressed the optimism at a literally event, “Activating Success with Love Idoko’’ and presentation of “Celebrating 100 Episodes’’ being broadcast-to-print works of a young Nigerian, Love Idoko.

He said that the works of the author showcased the future of the country.

According to him, the calibre of persons who graced the event is a reflection of the saying that “what you sow you reap’’.

“If you sow encouragement and help others to succeed you reap from it. ‘’

Osinbajo noted that everyone turned up to encourage the youth for all the encouragements and motivation that she had given other people.

“I am just fascinated not just by the potential of this country but the fact that there is no way this country can fail,’’ he said.

According to him, people said all sorts of things about the country including the country being maligned by its citizens but Nigerians yet react swiftly to such offending statements to protect their integrity.

“I am impressed about Nigeria and I think that what there is about this great nation is just an endless flow of talents, endless flow of creativity and endless flow of energy.’’

While commending the diligence of the motivational speaker and the master of ceremonies at the event he hinted that one would see so much talent and creativity among Nigerians in many other events in the country.

“I am extremely proud of our country and I very strongly believe that our country is certainly going to be a great nation.

“It is not going to depend on many of us but on a lot of very young people who are multi-tasking, creative and able to stick to it a long time,’’ he said.

Osinbajo noted that everyone had a talent but what was not easy to find was the ability to do the same thing over and over no matter how difficult or boring.

He urged the youth to remain steadfast in their noble endeavours as success would be theirs in the end.

He said it was difficult to do 100 episodes of anything and hailed the determination of the author to achieve the feat with integrity.

Dialog To Address Farmers/Herdsmen Clashes – Osinbajo

Yemi Osinbajo the Vice President made a statement on Wednesday, at the ongoing National Conference on livestock to address the persistent clashes between farmers and herdsmen in the country.

The Vice President stated this during the livestock stakeholders’ conference organised by the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (FMARD), in partnership with the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) and other stakeholders in Abuja.

He said the conference was a deliberate plan to converge all key stakeholders in the livestock industry in order to provide a lasting solution to several challenges confronting the industry.

Osinbajo said the effort would eventually contribute to national security, adding that the Federal Government has established agro-rangers to protect ranches.

The vice president noted that about 3,000 Rangers are currently undergoing training in order to discharge the duty effectively.

According to him, the agro-rangers will be strongly armed to protect ranches across the country.

Osinbajo, who was represented by the Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Chief Audu Ogbeh, said the service would be rendered free while the rangers would be supervised by the Federal Ministry of Interior.

“In the face of expanding the human population, food production and demand have increased in a commensurate manner. The pressure on land is great. There is a decline in soil fertility and farm holdings are small while grazing lands are being degraded due to increasing livestock activities, poor management, effects of climate change and increased conversion to farmlands due to the high population of humans.

“We have heard so many have lost money, 300 cows rustled and other 200 taken. We have now put together a new security group called agro-rangers. This group is being trained by the ministry of interior. They are heavily armed. 3000 of them are heavily trained.

“If you have a ranch or big agricultural project, approach us, we will post them to you at no cost. They will protect your investment,” Osinbajo said.


FG Approves Concessioning Of Lagos, Abuja Airports

The Vice President, Yemi Osinbajo, on Monday, said the Federal Executive Council, FEC, has approved the concessioning of the Lagos and Abuja International Airports for better management.

Mr. Osinbajo said this in Abuja at the fifth Presidential Quarterly Business Forum aimed at improving the ease of doing business in Nigeria. He, however, did not name the concessionaires.

“We are working hard to make the airports more passenger friendly, but then we have several issues.

“Infrastructure is in a terrible state and we know that public sector has a poor record on maintenance of facilities.”

He said the airports needed to be overhauled as they lacked basic facilities as most of the available ones were dilapidated.

He said for the economy to be improved, the private sector needed to be involved in many ways.

“Partnership with the private sector is not only a policy, it is the most sensible thing to do and our approach is to engage, work collaboratively to take criticisms and suggestions seriously and to respond.’’

He said a lot needed to be done in the whole process to ensure that what needed to be done was done to guarantee change and improve the economy.

He, however, said the change was always slow but that the nation must remain focused to achieve the required objectives.

Mr. Osinbajo said the readiness to confront the covert and overt resistance of a system accustomed to renting seeking and gratification were also important

“The private sector is also used to a system where there are constant gratification and rent seeking and in order to reverse and stop that, it involves calling out public officials who are involved in such.

“So, it means the private sector cannot say because I want to do my own business as quickly as possible I will not call out anybody who is seeking gratification or bribe.

“We have to do this thing and if we do not we will not solve the problem,” he said.

He said the regulators of all the sectors of the economy should ensure that they were facilitators to the ease of doing business initiative and not obstacles to the growth being sought for.

Okechukwu Enelamah, Minister of Industry, Trade, and Investment, said the progress made in the business community so far had helped the economy come out of recession.

He said some of the successes of the federal government were tied to the responsiveness and engagements from the private sector.

“Forums like this help strengthen the engagement between the private sector and the government and we have used the feedbacks to improve our policies and interventions.

“In many respects, we are becoming more and more of a responsive government and we are mindful of the challenges that businesses face, particularly the private sector and incoming investors.

“We would like to understand some of these issues better and proffer solutions.

He said there was continued concern about what appeared to be an adversarial relationship and trust deficit between the private sector and government.

He added that there were several complaints about the multiplicity of taxes and agencies that collect various levies at the different levels of government, adding that there was also the issue of coordination between government agencies.

He assured that some of these issues were already being worked on using the executive orders that were issued on fast tracking businesses for both the local and foreign investors.

“I know that we are beginning to see improvements in the registration of businesses, in getting credit with the enactment of new bills on credit and collateral.

“We are continuing to simplify the procedures for paying taxes and progress is being made with regards to visas at the airports for entry and exit of people.’’

The forum was focused on enabling business environment as it pertained to government regulators, was aimed at sharing the views the current regulatory environment users of government regulations were confronted with.

It also served as an opportunity to give an update on the current Ease of Doing Business initiatives and the current impact on the regulatory environment.