Niger Delta people deserve fair deal – VP Osinbajo

Vice President Yemi Osinbajo has declared that notwithstanding the past leadership and governance failures, which resulted in the worrying conditions of Nigerians in the oil-producing communities of the Niger Delta, the people of the area still deserve a fair deal.

Osinbajo said it is the reason the current administration is now advocating a new vision for the people of the Niger Delta. A statement by his Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity, Laolu Akande, last night said Osinbajo spoke yesterday at the Presidential Villa while chairing an inter-ministerial follow-up meeting with relevant government ministries, departments and agencies involved in the Niger Delta,

“The President believes the people of the Niger Delta deserve justice, and for me also, it is a very important point,” the Vice President stated, adding that the state of the region and the suffering of the people does not reflect the fact that “it is the resource base of the country.”

In attendance at the meeting were the Minister of the Niger Delta, Pastor Usani Uguru Usani, Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Dr. Ibe Kachikwu and Minister of State for Environment, Alhaji Ibrahim Jubril.

Others include the Presidential Adviser on Amnesty Programme, Maj-Gen. Paul Boroh, and the Managing Director of the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC), Mr. Nsima U. Ekere.

All the ministers and officials made presentations about the next steps in the process, especially on how to effectively meet the commitments and deliver the promises made by the Federal Government during the interactive engagement tours led by the Vice President.

In his presentation, Jubril disclosed that the ministry has now fully engaged the Ogoni Clean-Up Project Coordinator, Dr. Marvin Dekil, an indigene of Ogoni. Besides, he also revealed that potential contractors have been visiting the site to demonstrate available and suitable technology to be used for the exercise.

Later, Osinbajo also received a delegation of western diplomats from countries involved in the oil industry in Nigeria. The delegation was led by the Dutch Envoy in Nigeria, Ambassador John C.M. Groffen, and included Ambassadors, High Commissioners or their deputies from the United Kingdom (UK), France, Germany, Italy, United States (US) and the European Union.

The Vice President told the diplomats that the idea of the interactive engagements with the oil-producing communities originated from President Muhammadu Buhari after he met with leaders from the region last November.

He added that the Buhari administration is working on how to make a positive and long-lasting impact in the region in a way that transforms the lives of the people from the “treasure trove of Nigeria.”

He added that the Federal Government welcomes partnership and support of the western countries in that effort.

Speaking on behalf of the delegation, Groffen said the countries represented at the meeting would like to stay involved in the dialogue and commended the administration’s approach of the matter.


Source: The Guardian

What Professor Osinbajo Told Me On His 60th Birthday – Bolu Akindele

This whole episode started when Kiki Osinbajo called me that evening. I rushed through my meal and finally picked the call the second time it rang. You see, there’s this thing with our conversations that just makes us keep talking on and on such that we never get fed up of it. From one issue to another and before you say Jack, we would have talked for almost an hour. So, now you understand the reason why I had to finish the meal before answering the call.

As usual, we went on and on with the gist and after some time of whining her about the political life, discussing some other pressing issues like the project we’re both working on, and giving reports of how far we had gone individually in pursuit of career fulfilment, she finally brought up the issue of her Popsy’s birthday. Her Popsy needs no introduction. If you couldn’t recognize her surname alone, I don’t know what to do with you. The exciting thing about her father’s birthday coming up in our discussion was that I had been given a special VIP invite to attend the special family and friends worship session at their home. Not only that, I was attending not as a photographer but as a guest. To say that I was excited is an understatement, I was extremely elated.

As much as I’m a regular friend of the family, I had only met Prof. Osinbajo a few times and it was understandable – his busy schedule. The first time we met one on one was when we both shared the stage to speak at one United Nations Symposium in 2015 and the other was when I had to photograph his grandson’s 1st birthday in 2016 but at those times, I couldn’t really say we met because we didn’t exchange much words. Just a few pleasantries here and there. So, now you know why this was such a big deal for me.

Right there on the phone, I had began to plan my clothing and flight arrangements as the Abuja airport had been scheduled for closure on Tuesday and all other logistics. Interestingly, Kiki had made arrangements for my accommodation at their house. That lady is just bae!

After a few minutes of her whining me about my new haircut (which I don’t want to talk about now), the loss of my phone and some other random things, we ended the call and I began my planning in earnest.

I arrived Abuja on Monday and I could literally feel the excitement in the air. There was so much buzz internally about it. I could literally feel 60 myself. Maybe it was because I’m practically a part of the family or maybe not!

Wednesday came so fast and we all gathered in the morning at the living room as planned. The worship was really tight! Unscripted and very real. You could check a few clips on kiki osinbajo’s IG handle @kikiosinbajo. I couldn’t do any updates cuz I was super electrified with the session. I just decided to enjoy and savour the moment while it lasted.

After about 45 minutes, Grandma (Prof’s mother) took centre stage. First, with her surprise cake and her many Yoruba choruses of thanksgiving to God and then she prayed for her son. In a couple of minutes, Prof himself admonished us all and it was all done, he had some other things to do. Prof left us in the living room whilst the rest of us continued in the celebration.



I could tell my heart skipped like 5 beats.

He called me again and this time was so sure it was Prof that called me. I wanted to enter the ground. I didn’t even know that he knew my name.

Was I expecting it?


How I walked down the stairs I can’t remember. All I can recollect now is that I met him down the stairs and errr.. I remember stealing glances at Kiki. She could see my nervousness clearly and was just having a good time smiling.

He held my hands and we walked into his room. He explained how that he had always saw the need to engage me in a discussion after we shared the stage at The UN symposium. Since my glasses were on, it was easy to dodge his eyes a couple of times. I was clearly shy. I looked around the room. It was massive. If this could be the other room, Buari talked about I think I want to remain in the other room abeg. It was a combination of both class and taste.

One word from him and I was back to reality.

He started by encouraging me not to give up on Nigeria. He shared some secrets of some of the things he currently envisions about Nigeria and our position globally. He clearly stated that it was of essence that I don’t give up on Nigeria and also carry this message to as many people as I could and ensure that they believe in the nation and do all that they can in their capacity to move Nigeria forward.

He also told me to build capacity now that I have the chance to do so. Reading books, listening to people of value, strengthening my relationship with God, Spending more time working rather than having fun are just a few ways of building capacity and ensuring that I am fully prepared for the future. He specifically said something about a transfer of the mantle of leadership to the youths and how that many of us young people who are clamouring for positions of leadership still aren’t fully prepared for what’s coming ahead hence the need for us to go back to our closets and grow deep.

He told me leadership isn’t always about the number one person. At this point, he smiled and then expressed his pleasure at how much work I was doing in this respect. He said he had read about 3 of my articles where I talked extensively on this and how it was necessary to rub this mindset into the heart of every young person. At this point, I glanced up into his eyes, my mouth hanging agape in wonder. That Osinbajo reads my blog posts came as a surprise to me. That meant that I was of course doing something right.

He told me to value my wife. He explained how valuable this instruction is if I would hold it very dear to me. He said people never know that the strength his wife possess has carried him thus far in his life. He stated clearly that it’s important to choose very wisely as that decision could make or mar ones destiny.

He also told me to respect the people ahead of me. To cherish, value and honor them with all of my heart.

He enlightened me on the need to pour all of my being into whatever my hand finds to do and be very diligent and skilled at it.

He moved on to share some other things but space wouldn’t allow me to share. He stretched out his hand and reached out for mine, closed his eyes and began to pray. I felt strength, freshness and peace all around me as he did this.

It was at this point during the prayer that I heard faint footsteps of movement which later became louder and louder till I finally opened my eyes.

It was my big sister leaving home for work and her movements in the house woke me from my sleep!


You see, this might just be one of my dreams but I still won’t forget what Prof. told me in the room. I’d hold them very firm to my heart and work hard to see these virtues at work in my own life

It doesn’t matter what anyone says, I met prof yesterday.

PS: It would also be nice if you took a cue or two from what prof. told me during his 60th birthday because of a truth, they are values I have learnt from his life.


Bolu Akindele is a young creative generalist with an incredible passion for excellence amongst young people. He shares his thoughts on twitter @boluakindele

“Adopt Jonathan’s method to save the Naira”, Doyin Okupe tells Osinbajo.

Doyin Okupe, former aide of ex-President Goodluck Jonathan, has advised Acting President Yemi Osinbajo to wholly adopt a crude-oil-swap arrangement to conserve foreign exchange.

Crude-oil-swap was an arrangement in which the government exchange crude oil for refined petroleum products through third party traders.

The arrangement, which was adopted by the Jonathan government, was allegedly replete with corruption.

The Buhari government then replaced it with a direct-sale-direct-purchase of crude oil initiative which removed the cost elements of middlemen.

In an open letter to the acting president on Thursday, Okupe urged the government to fully adopt the crude-swap arrangement even though the previous leadership of the Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) abused it.

“Nigeria is nearly totally an import dependent economy, we earned about N4.6 trillion from export of crude oil in 2015, while our total import bill was in the region of about N6 trillion; 30 percent of which was dedicated to the import of petroleum products. Actual figure was about N1.8 trillion or $5bn,” he wrote.

“It is obvious that if we can remove or substantially decrease this demand of $5bn from our forex pull, the value of naira will significantly appreciate further.

“Your Excellency, I want to submit that this is achievable through a responsibly and transparently organised crude swap scheme.

“I am not unaware that this administration has undertaken a limited crude oil swap arrangement, but this will not suffice. We need to carry it to the level at which we will not commit any significant amount of forex to import of petroleum products anymore.

“No doubt this option was also tried and to a large extent poorly executed and abused by the previous NNPC leadership. The errors in its manner of implementation can be corrected to give a major relief to the demand for dollar in our economy.

“The statutory allocation of 450,000 barrels of crude oil daily for domestic consumption which has been on for several decades needs to be readdressed for better productivity.

“In this dispensation, the government can start by committing the seven oil majors to the new scheme and after a period of about one year of successful implementation, qualified indigenous companies can be brought in, to join and participate.”

Okupe said the crude-oil-swap arrangement was a sustainable alternative to the current intervention of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) in the forex market because it would conserve foreign exchange.

“The current intervention of the CBN, though highly successful, which is based on injecting hard earned forex (to the tune of over $1bn a month) into the forex market through the banks, also grossly reduces the amount of forex inflow from sales of crude oil to the federation account; for sharing by the state and federal govt. The crude oil swap is a better sustainable alternative as it does not affect in any way our revenues from crude oil sales,” he said.

“Your Excellency, with all humility, I submit that while the above may not exactly represent the actual details in the suggested transactions, I strongly believe that this proposition of mine, if fine tuned by experts, will give results with much commendation to your administration and more importantly, improve the strength of our national currency further and relieve some of the current hardship in the nation.”


Source: The Cable

VIDEO: Nigeria’s acting president serenades self on birthday

On the occasion of his 60th birthday, Nigeria’s acting president Yemi Osinbajo took a break from his busy schedule to serenade himself with an Igbo worship song alongside his wife, Dolapo.

In a footage posted on his Twitter page, Osinbajo is seen singing ‘Aka Jehovah’ by Gabriel Eziashi.

“Thank you everyone, for your kind words, I am humbled. I am grateful to God for 60 years. There is no me without Him. Saved by Grace alone,” he said in a message accompanying the footage.

This is not the first time Osinbajo will display his love for music publicly. In December 2016, he led a choir including former president Olusegun Obasanjo and military ruler Yakubu Gowon in a rendition of the 18th century hymn “O God Our Help in Ages Past”. The adventure was greeted with a mixed receptions.

Meanwhile, Osinbajo is expected to pay an official visit to Sokoto on Thursday.

While in Sokoto, the Acting President will take part in a two-day clinic organised for micro, small and medium enterprises (MSME), which is being hosted by the Sokoto State Government.

“During the events, the Acting President will hold interactive sessions with government agencies, financial institutions, operators and stakeholders in the MSME’s sub-sector, ” said Imam Imam, Special Adviser, Media and Public Affairs to Sokoto State governor.

Osinbajo flags-off Lagos-Ibadan rail line, project to create 500,000 jobs.

Acting President Yemi Osinbajo has flagged off the Lagos-Ibadan standard guage railway line, stating that the national rail project will create half-a-million jobs.

Speaking at the ceremony in Lagos, Osinbajo said the project is one very close to the heart of President Muhammadu Buhari, who renegotiated the project with the Chinese, back in 2016.

The acting president said the rail line is just one segment of the Lagos-Kano railway project, which is an integral part of the national rail project.

Osinbajo said the rail line would be ready for use by December 2018, and would ensure ease of transportation and diversification of the national economy.

“If there is a project close to the heart of the president, it is this rail project he personally promised the people of this nation,” Osinbajo said.

“Our appreciation goes to the Chinese government, who have always proven to be reliable partners with Nigeria. As some may be aware, we have the entire Lagos-Kano standard guage track, as well as the Lagos-Calabar railway track in the 2017 budget.

“Negotiations of the Kaduna-Kano portion of the track is now completed and this phase is next in line. We have already provided our portion of funding for the Lagos-Calabar route as well.

“We expect that negotiations for the foreign component of the funding will be finalised in the next few months. The Lagos-Calabar rail will come on stream.

“An active and vibrant railway system confers many benefits on society, and our ultimate goal is to restore the railway using culture for both commercial and personal travels.

“The national railway project will create up to half a million jobs, and facilitate the movement of over 3.2 tonnes of cargo per annum.”

Osinbajo appreciated the efforts of Kemi Adeosun, minister of finance, and Rotimi Amaechi, minister of transportation for their hardwork, which made the project possible.

The rail line is expected to transport people and cargo at a speed of 150 kilometres per hour — that is Lagos to Ibadan via Abeokuta, in less than an hour.

Akinwunmi Ambode, the governor of Lagos state, Ibikunle Amosun, governor of Ogun state, Rilwan Akiolu, Oba of Lagos, were present at the flag off.


Source: The Cable

“Warn Trump Against Harassment Of Nigerians”, SERAP Tells Osinbajo.

The Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP), has urged the Acting President, Professor Yemi Osinbajo, to “tell the U.S President, Donald Trump, in no uncertain terms that Nigeria would not tolerate any harassment and unfair treatment of her citizens with valid multiple-entry U.S visas at U.S airports.”

This was revealed in a statement released on Tuesday and signed by its Executive Director, Adetokunbo Mumuni.

It follows a disclosure by the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Foreign Affairs, Abike Dabiri-Erewa, that in the last few weeks, the office has received a few cases of Nigerians with valid multiple-entry U.S visas being denied entry and sent back to Nigeria.

According to Mrs Dabiri -Erewa, such affected persons were sent back immediately on the next available flight and their visas were cancelled.

SERAP further said: “The Nigerian government must stand up to Trump and defend Nigerians’ internationally recognised right to freedom of movement just as the Iraqi Prime Minister, Haider Al-Abadi did for his own citizens.

“The Iraqi leader ensured that his country was taken off the obnoxious executive order list. Osinbajo must now show the leadership needed to defend the country’s citizens who are facing unfair treatment in the hands of U.S immigration officers.

“The Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) guarantees liberty of movement, and provides in article 13 that, “everyone has the right to freedom of movement and residence within the borders of each state.

“2. Everyone has the right to leave any country, including his own, and to return to his country. The declaration also guarantees the right of everyone including Nigerians to a social and international order in which the rights and freedoms set forth in the declaration can be fully realized.”

“SERAP notes that Eleanor Roosevelt, late wife of American President, Franklin D. Roosevelt, chaired the UDHR drafting committee.

“On the basis of the UDHR, persons are entitled to move from one place to another and to establish themselves in a place of their choice. The enjoyment of this right must not be made dependent on any particular purpose or reason for the person wanting to move or to stay in a place. Any restrictions must be in conformity with international standards.

“The Nigerian authorities must ensure that Nigerians’ liberty of movement is protected from interference by the trump government.

“The authorities should carefully study the revised executive order and take proactive measures to prevent any harassment and unfair treatment of Nigerians in the hands of U.S immigration officers.”


Source: Channels TV

Nigeria’s elites stealing from masses should be blamed for the country’s woes – Osinbajo

Acting President Yemi Osinbajo has lashed out at Nigeria’s elites, blaming them for the woes of the nation.

Mr. Osinbajo spoke on Monday in Benin City, Edo State. He was in the state to continue his tour of oil-producing states in the country.

“The elites everywhere, and not just in the oil producing communities, have very frequently deprived the people the opportunity to enjoy the fruits of the land,” Mr. Osinbajo said.

“That is the Nigerian story. And that is something we must deal with. We cannot continue as if we don’t know. We know.

“It is not just oil producing community issue, it is across the country.”

The crowd in the Samuel Ogbemudia College (formerly the New Era College), venue for the acting president’s meeting with the Edo State government and the oil producing communities, applauded Mr. Osinbajo’s remarks.

Mr. Osinbajo continued: “If you look at the numbers of contracts and the volumes of money that have been spent on paper in this country, it is enough to develop several countries. But this money has been usually corruptly taken away.”

The acting president told the people how corruption among the elites was also responsible for the lack of meaningful development in the oil-producing communities.

“I have looked at some of the issues of abandoned projects. I can tell you precisely how much have been voted or spent in several of our communities. And there is no sign of development in those areas.

“I can tell you how many of these projects are supposed to have been completed, and when you looked in the books, they say they have been completed. But they have not been completed. They haven’t even been done. Many have not even been started at all,” he said.

The acting president repeated a line he often used in the other oil producing states he previously visited, that the people of the oil producing areas have not really benefited from the wealth that oil has brought to the country.

He spoke of President Muhammadu Buhari’s sincerity and determination to turn things around in the Niger Delta.

“It does not make sense for leadership to look at the plight of the people, especially in the oil producing areas. This is the source of the wealth of the nation. Even if you ignore the people for a while, a time will come when you can no longer ignore them.

“So, there’s no question at all that we are committed to doing the things we say we will do, and that is the pledge coming directly from President Muhammadu Buhari himself.”

Mr. Osinbajo informed the people of the practical steps the federal government is taking to change the fortune of the oil producing communities.

“The ministry of petroleum in collaboration with the oil companies is working on 20 initiatives for host communities, state by state, and this includes working with illegal refineries so that we can bring them into a programme of what we have described in other states as modular refineries. So that these illegal refineries can become hubs for proper refining.

“We must make the oil producing communities become hubs for petroleum refining,” Mr. Osinbajo said.

Earlier on, before the acting president spoke, there was commotion in the hall as some protesters pushed their way into the hall and insisted that Mr. Osinbajo must visit the oil producing communities in order to have firsthand knowledge of what the people were going through.

The meeting was temporarily disrupted for about 10 minutes.

The governor of the state, Godwin Obaseki, appealed to the acting president to consider making another visit to the state, from there he could take a tour to the oil producing communities.

“Like other oil-producing states in the Niger Delta we have had our fair share of neglect and deprivation, and that is what you’ve heard from our people today,” Mr. Obaseki told Mr. Osinbajo.

The governor said the state government was developing a masterplan for the development of the 38 oil producing communities in the state.

“Mr. President with your permission and agreement with the federal government, we will not allow any government or any agency to operate in any of our oil producing communities without strict adherence to our masterplan,” Governor Obaseki said.

BREAKING: Osinbajo swears in Onnoghen as Chief Justice of Nigeria

Acting President Yemi Osinbajo has sworn in Walter Onnoghen as the 17th Chief Justice of Nigeria.

The swearing-in ceremony was conducted Tuesday inside the council chambers of Aso Rock presidential villa, Abuja.

Mr. Onnoghen, a native of Cross River state, was first appointed by President Muhammadu Buhari as acting CJN on November 10, 2016 after the retirement of former CJN, Mahmoud Mohammed.

Mr. Osinbajo returned his name to the Nigerian Senate for confirmation as substantive CJN on February 8.

The Senate screened and confirmed him on March 1.

Mr. Osinbajo said President Muhammadu Buhari had asked him to let the new CJN know that he was assuming office at a time “when all arms of government suffers from loss of confidence from the people”.

He also said Mr. Buhari expressed the belief that the tenure of the new CJN will help revive and sustain the people’s confidence.

Mr. Osinbajo said it was time to show Nigerians that the choice they made in bringing in the administration was the right one.

Speaking earlier, the new CJN said his complete loyalty was with the Federal Republic of Nigeria.

He pledged to continue to keep to his oath of office and solicited the cooperation of all Nigerians.

Mr. Onnoghen said the key to achieving good governance in Nigeria lies in respecting the rule of law.

“To Nigerians who had kept the faith, some have even fasted, I say a big thank you,” he said.

Part of the swearing-in ceremony is the investiture of the Grand Commander of the Niger, GCON, on the new CJN by the acting president.

Those who attended the event include Senate President Bukola Saraki, former CJN Mohammed Mahmud, Justices of the Supreme Court and other divisions as well as Ministers, and Mr. Onnoghen’s family members.


Source: Premium Times

JUST IN: Osinbajo’s meeting with Edo stakeholders marred by protests.

Protesters broke into the venue of a meeting Acting President Yemi Osinbajo was having with stakeholders in Edo state on Monday, disrupting the entire programme.

The meeting, which is a negotiation interface with the oil producing communities in the region, was disrupted after Usani Uguru, minister of state for Niger Delta, finished speaking.

Not even the attempt of Godwin Obaseki, governor of the state, to calm the aggrieved individuals yielded any result, as they continued waving placards.

The protesters were allowed to speak their minds, and they requested that the acting president leave Benin, for oil producing parts of the state.

A protester, who represented Pan Niger Delta Forum (PANDEF), said they had already prepared their region to receive the acting president, but were told he could not come due to security reasons.

“If you cant come to our place, leave our oil alone,” he said.

Another protester said the region was not feeling the impact of the ministry of Niger Delta like other states in the region.

After these speeches, Godwin Obaseki, governor of the state, said the reaction of the people show the nature of Edo people.

Obaseki said the people of the state love to express themselves, but they do so in a peace-loving manner.

Osinbajo said he will visit all the oil producing regions, and that there is not issue of insecurity. He said he may not visit all the communities, but he will schedule to visit all the communities.

The acting president said he is very happy to be in the region, and was on a visit to see what is happening for himself.


Source: The Cable

FG creates central database to track, manage assets in MDAs.

The federal government has launched an asset tracking and management project which will make it possible to locate, identify, assess and evaluate all its moveable and immovable assets.

In a statement on Sunday, Na’inna Dambatta, director of information, ministry of finance, said to achieve an effective tracking of government assets, a central asset register has been created and domiciled in the finance ministry.

The central asset register and the ATMProject, the statement said, were designed to enhance accountability, promote transparency and deepen efficiency in line with the change agenda of the Buhari administration.

It said these initiatives would afford the government to know and monitor its assets in real time online.

“For the first time a central and Unified National Database of Assets (Asset Register) would be generated and maintained for the purpose of recording, tracking and managing the huge investments in capital assets owned by government,” the statement quoted Kemi Adeosun, minister of finance, as saying.

“The Asset Tracking exercise and Register will make planning and control easier and improve accountability for assets. With the increased allocation to capital expenditure to 30%, it is important that all assets are recorded and accounted for.

“Where disposals occur, they must be in line with the laid down procedures and must be transparent.”

The statement also said that a circular has been dispatched to all ministries, departments and agencies (MDAs) requesting their accounting officers to prepare an inventory of all fixed assets held as at December 31, 2016.

“That any assets held by current and former staff are fully accounted for. In this regard, you may find it necessary to contact any former staff and /or political office holders to avail them the opportunity to return relevant assets in their possession.

“All inventory records submitted will be cross-checked to capital releases and project account purchases to ensure completeness. Where assets have been sold or otherwise disposed of, they must be recorded with supporting authorisation for sale and evidence of payment, where applicable.

“Any asset not accessible for physical inspection and not disposed of in accordance with financial requirements will be deemed to have been illegally withheld or converted. Please record such assets so as to enable the investigative agencies to be notified.”

Accounting officers of the MDAs were instructed to submit their reports not later than three weeks from the date of receipt of the circular.


Source: The Cable

JUST IN: FG redeploys 2 Permanent Secretaries

Acting President, Professor Yemi Osinbajo has approved the redeployment of some Federal Permanent Secretaries.

Dr. Shehu Ahmed of the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development has been assigned to the Ministry of Environment, while Dr. Bukar Hassan if the Ministry of Environment has been moved to the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development.

In a Circular issued to that effect signed by the Head of the Civil Service of the Federation, Mrs. Winifred Oyo-Ita, directed that the processes for handing and taking over should be completed on or before Friday, 10th March, 2017.


Source: YNaija

ONGOING: Osinbajo holds security meeting with community leaders over #SouthernKaduna

Acting President Yemi Osinbajo is currently on an official visit to Kaduna state basically on an inspection tour of the Kaduna airport in a last preparatory bid for the closure of the Abuja airport which is slated for March.

On his arrival at the Kaduna airport, Professor Yemi Osinbajo was duly received and welcomed by the Executive Governor of the state, Mallam Nasir Elrufai.

Osinbajo will also inspect the Abuja-Rigasa Railway terminal link road to the airport constructed by the Kaduna State Governor in less than one month as stated in a tweet by the Kaduna State Government’s Official Twitter Handle below;

Osinbajo arrived Kaduna in the company of the honorable minister for information and culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed and also the minister for transportation, Mr Rotimi Amaechi.

As at the time of filing this report, Omojuwa.Com has it on good authority that the acting president is currently holding a meeting with community leaders and representatives of the JNI and CAN which bothers on the security of Kaduna state with regards to recent unfortunate attacks in Southern Kaduna.

The Abuja airport will be shut for six weeks to enable engineers work on the repair of the expired runway.

The Nigerian Police has however promised to provide adequate security to cover travelers who will be plying the Kaduna-Abuja road as a result of the closed airport.

All flights within the six weeks period of the Abuja airport closure will be directed to the Kaduna airport.

Acting President Osinbajo inspects Kaduna Airport ahead of closure of Abuja Airport

Acting president Yemi Osinbajo is currently inspecting the Kaduna Airport to see its level of preparedness ahead of the closure of the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja.

Osinbajo, who was accompanied by Kaduna Governor, Nasir El-Rufai and Minister of Transport, Rotimi Amaechi is at the airport which will serve as an alternative following the planned closure of the Abuja Airport.

The Abuja Airport will be closed for six weeks beginning from March 8, to enable the authorities fix its faulty runway.

FG has budgeted N1 billion for Akwa Ibom seaport – Osinbajo

The Acting President, Yemi Osinbajo, says that Federal Government has made provision of N1 billion in the 2017 budget for the development of Ibaka deep seaport in Akwa Ibom.

Mr. Osinbajo said this in Uyo on Thursday while addressing a Townhall meeting of the government and people of the state.

The acting president’s visit was part of his consultation with people in the Niger Delta on how to maximise the gains of oil resources in the region.

The acting president, who was responding to myriads of complaints and requests by the people, said that budgetary provisions had also been made for the Itu – Calabar federal highway in 2016.

Mr. Osinbajo said the Ministry of Petroleum Resources was working with Amnesty Office to accommodate more youth from Akwa Ibom into the Amnesty Programme.

“I have heard all the requests. We must trust and give this government the patience that is required to put things right.

“We are working on modular refineries. Power stations must be established here. We must make our oil producing communities hub of petrochemical and gas industries.

“We must attract private investments. The biggest benefit is to attract more private investments to the state,” Mr. Osinbajo advised.

The acting president regretted that the blessings of oil wealth had not touched the majority of the people in the oil bearing communities.

He said the Ministry of Petroleum Resources was working on several incentives for the oil producing communities.

Mr. Osinbajo also directed the Ministry of Petroleum Resources to liaise with the oil multinationals operating in the state on the modalities to relocate their headquarters following repeated requests.

The acting president promised to partner with the state government to establish technology hub in the state while advising the people to be resourceful and innovative.

He noted that the future depended on innovation and the ability to harness what we have for development.

In his presentation earlier, the state governor, Udom Emmanuel, appealed to the Federal Government to support the Ibaka deep seaport.

The governor also requested the Federal Government to partner with the state to establish a logistics centre for oil and gas operations.

Mr. Emmanuel appealed to the Federal Government to resolve the ownership problem in the Aluminum Smelting Company of Nigeria (ALSCON) to enable the state benefit from it.

The governor, who described the acting president as a development partner and leader, appealed to the Federal Government to allocate oil and gas block to indigenes of the state.

Speaking on behalf of oil producing communities, a former Minister of Lands and Housing, Nduese Essien, lamented that the state had nothing to show for being the highest oil producer.

Mr. Essien suggested that the coastal railway project of the Federal Government should pass through Oron- Eket- Ikot Abasi routes.

He called on the Federal Government to correct the anomaly in the section four of the East-West spanning Onna and Eket in Akwa Ibom.

In his presentation, the state leader, Pan Niger Delta Forum, Idongesit Nkanga, urged the federal government to partner with the state government to complete the hangar at the Akwa Ibom Airport.

Mr. Nkanga called for the speedy completion of the East-West road cutting across the state and also expedite the transformation of Maritime Academy into a university.

In his speech, the Senate Minority Leader, Godswill Akpabio, commended the federal government for appointing indigenes of the state into key government positions.

Mr. Akpabio, who spoke on behalf of the state’s elders council, asked for fairness and equity considering the allocation of projects in the Niger Delta region.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that representatives of youth, women and special interest groups spoke at the town hall meeting.


Source: NAN

Osinbajo Visits Uyo, Assures Residents Of Sustainable Development.

The Acting President, Professor Yemi Osinbajo, has assured the people of the Niger Delta that the Federal Government is determined to address the issue of neglect and under-development in the region.

Professor Osinbajo made the comments during a town hall meeting in Uyo, Akwa Ibom state, as part of his tour of the region.

He reiterated the Federal Government’s commitment to confronting the challenges in the area, and promised to establish a technology hub, among other things.

The state Governor, Udom Emmanuel, who was happy to host the Acting President, however appealed that the Federal Government should stop playing what he termed as “lip service”, especially on the issue of amnesty and reintegration.

This visit is in continuation of the dialogue between the Federal Government and oil producing communities in a bid to find a workable template to ensure development of the oil rich region, and a brighter tomorrow for the people of the states.


Source: Channels TV

Osinbajo condemns celebration of treasury looters

Acting President Yemi Osinbajo yesterday urged Nigerians to stop celebrating treasury looters.

To him, it is unfortunate that someone accused of corruption is celebrated in his hometown because people believe he has taken his share of the national cake.

“Today someone who is corrupt is celebrated. There is a problem that we must resolve, and if we don’t resolve it, it will hurt us very, very badly, just as it is hurting us already,” he said.

Osinbajo said the best way to win the war against corruption is to study the models used elsewhere and adopt them.

“We can only resist corruption when we ensure that systems put in place are working,” he said.

The Acting President spoke while opening a two-day National Dialogue on Corruption, organised by the Office of the Vice President in collaboration with the Presidential Advisory Committee Against Corruption (PACAC).

Osinbajo said corruption fighting back was not peculiar to Nigeria, adding that the country “cannot survive with the type of corruption we have”.

According to him, corruption thrives where it is allowed to thrive.

“When the very best people say that there is no consequence of bad actions, they suddenly turn bad,” he said.

The Acting President recalled that when he initiated reforms in the Lagos judiciary as Attorney-General in 1999 aimed at curbing corruption, he was accused of ethnicity and witchhunt, but was not deterred.

Among the problems he addressed, he said, was the mode of appointment of judges that was based on “man-know-man”, as well as welfare, as judges were then paid N67,000, which could not meet their basic needs.

Osinbajo said the Bola Tinubu administration gave every judge a house for life, and increased their remuneration considerably, which became a reference point for other states and the appellate courts.

He said where there were issues of corruption against judges, petitions were sent directly to the National Judicial Council (NJC) and followed up.

The reforms, he said, led to the sack of 22 corrupt magistrates and three judges within one year. A 2006 survey showed zero percent corruption in the judiciary, as against 89 per cent in 2006.

“It was because a system was in place and impunity was not allowed. It is important that we put in place models that will work.

“We must work together – the legislature, the judiciary and the executive – to put a model that must work. We must ensure that systems that are put in place are fair and comply with the rule of law,” he said.

Osinbajo added that the campaign against corruption must connect it to the problems of their times ground so that people will realise the debilitating consequences of graft.

He called for international cooperation in the fight against corruption, such as making it easier to recover stolen assets, the process of which he said had been “so difficult”.

Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN) Justice Walter Onnoghen, making his first public appearance a day after his confirmation by the Senate, said the judiciary gets a lot of stick for corruption, sometimes unfairly.

“The judiciary finds itself being battered left, right and centre. So, what should the CJN say on an occasion like this, which will not appear as a defence of his institution?” he said.

The CJN admitted that “a few bad eggs exist within the judiciary”, but restated his commitment to collaborate with other arms of government to fight the scourge.

Justice Onnoghen said corruption thrived only in a culture of impunity where people believe in themselves alone.

He said the only way there can be justice is when everyone respects the constitution and the rule of law.

Justice Onnoghen appeared to be criticize the sting operation by the Department of State Services (DSS) in which the homes of judges were raided and some arrested.

He warned that such acts were capable of destroying the judiciary, adding that sanctioning judicial officers should be done through the right channels.

His words: “The judiciary holds these principles dear, because that is the only way we can ensure an orderly society, and ensure the maintenance of democracy and justice for all.

“So, if you are to fight corruption, then you should fight the culture of impunity which is attitudinal, by adhering strictly to the constitutional provisions and the rule of law.

“If we allow the rule of law to reign, then there will be a dramatic reduction in corruption and injustice. That is how I see it.

“The judiciary is painted with a brush like an institution that epitomises corruption; that is not fair; that is not correct. We have gentlemen on the bench, and by its nature, judicial officers can only be seen and not be heard.

“So, when you’re dealing with judicial corruption, you ought to do it in accordance with the rule of law and channel whatever you have through the appropriate channel so that you don’t destroy that institution, because destroying it will not do us any good. Yes, we can do more.”

On delays of cases, Justice Onnoghen said the judiciary alone was not to blame.

He said when prosecutors do not do their jobs well, a judge will not be expected to convict a suspect “willy-nilly”.

How I fought corruption in Lagos Judiciary – Osinbajo

Acting President Yemi Osinbajo has given insight into how he successfully fought endemic corruption when he served as the Attorney general and Commissioner for Justice in Lagos State.

Mr. Osinbajo served as Lagos AG in 1999 under the administration of Bola Tinubu on the platform of the defunct Alliance for Democracy, AD.

Speaking at the opening of a two-day national dialogue on corruption organised by his office in conjunction with the Presidential Advisory Committee Against Corruption, PACAC, at the Banquet Hall of Aso Rock Presidential Villa on Thursday, Mr. Osinbajo said he knew there was problem in the Lagos state judiciary even before he assumed office.

He said when he assumed office, the first thing he did was to conduct a survey of about 200 lawyers “who were regular practitioners at the court” and asked them certain questions.

The acting president said one of the most fundamental questions in the questionnaire bordered on the “integrity of the judiciary”.

“89 per cent of the respondents said that the judiciary in Lagos state was notoriously corrupt,” he said.

He also said the corruption went beyond judges to include court clerks and lawyers. He also said the survey identified the causes of the corruption to include appointments based on favours and connection to the detriment of merit.

He also said no serious background checks were carried out on prospective appointees. He said the take home pay of magistrates and judges was also found to be inadequate.

“We therefore, put in place a system of tests and interviews that each prospective appointee must answer satisfactorily,” he said.

He also said he subsequently put in place a team of seven senior judges and reviewed the monthly salary of judges which was about N67,000 and compared it to their average expenditure and then came to the conclusion that the take home pay of judges was grossly inadequate.

Mr. Osinbajo also said most good judges had no home of their own even after retirement and decided to not only increase the pay but provided each judge with a House.

“Every judge is given a house to live in and it belongs to him even after retirement. We also increased remuneration considerably,” he said.

The acting VP said after doing that he insisted that any judge accused of infraction is investigated and punished accordingly. He said within one year of the reforms, 22 magistrates were sacked while three judges were recommended for disciplinary measures to the National Judicial Council.

“When we conducted the same survey again in 2006, the outcome showed that there was zero per cent corruption among judges in Lagos state,” he said.

Mr. Osinbajo said people naturally have to see the consequences of bad behaviour before they toe the line.

The acting president also used the occasion to ask for additional cooperation from the international community on the recovery of stolen assets hidden in various countries.

He said the process of recovering stolen assets is very cumbersome and may even take several years. He then called on the international community to work with the Nigerian government to ensure that the assets are returned to the country speedily.


Source: Premium Times

Osinbajo unveils three-year strategic plan for Civil Service

The Acting President, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo, tuesday launched the strategic document for the Nigerian Civil Service from 2017-2019 aimed at increasing the quality of public service delivery, leading to the provision of a more lasting trajectory for the progressive development of the country.

The policy in four broad spectrum and enunciated by the Head of Civil Service of the Federation (HoS), Mrs. Winifred Oyo-Ita, was unveiled at the Banquet Hall of the State House.

Osinbajo called for a holistic approach in the improvement of the lot of the civil servants in a Change environment, adding that Nigerian public workers have historically offered robust contributions in the development of major sectors of the country.

“The civil servants pioneered and implemented some of the most robust and community-driven programmes in the history of our country. We have to do something that will improve their lot,’’ Osinbajo said.

He expressed optimism that the plan anchored on four strategic goals, would result in the development of the country if addressed while also offering to be a part of the small group that would transform the country.
The strategic plan, according to Oyo-Ita, which has clearly defined objectives and requisite initiatives for its actualisation is in consonance with the National Strategy for Public Service Reforms.

The four goals include: EPIC, which aims to develop and institutionalise an efficient, productive, incorruptible and citizen-centred culture in the civil service; ECM: design and implement an enterprise content management system; develop entrepreneurial culture and commercial orientation in the civil service and to improve the welfare and benefit packages for public workers.

She said the inculcation of entrepreneurial and commercial culture in public servants would transform the service from being perceived as cost centres to revenue earners, saying that the MDAs would become idea generation powerhouses that would complement the private sectors in creating business opportunities for government.
Meanwhile the Chairman, Africa Initiative for Governance (AIG), Mr. Aigboje Aig-Imoukhuede, has expressed his passion for public sector leadership and change initiative championed by the Presidency and HoS.

He pledged to work with the relevant stakeholders towards enabling the actualisation of these aspirations.
Aig-Imokhuede lamented that the narrative associated with the public sector is that of one dominated by poor performance, stagnation and self-interest in contrast to the true words of excellence, achievement, legacy that hold true in the private sector and civil society.

“These labels are borne out of the unfortunate reality that our country’s public sector is not efficient, not responsive and is becoming synonymous with non-performance. That is the experience of the ordinary Nigerian interacting with the Nigerian public service,” Aig-Imoukhuede said.

He added that at the root of so many of Nigeria’s problems are public servants who are unable to impact and transform the lives of the citizens despite the immense power of public policy within their grasp adding that the public sector in Nigeria is the first line of defence against most of the problems that have prevented the country from attaining its long anticipated potential.

‘’I have, through the AIG, which is a catalyst for public sector transformation, elected to join this crusade for a transformed civil service. I am committing my time and resources towards the dream of a Nigeria where our public sector will match that of Singapore; where Nigeria’s public servants will deliver effective, transformative change in the lives of the citizenry, using the power of public policy,” he said.

Military pledges continuous support to President Buhari

The Nigerian military has pledged its continuous support to the Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces, President Muhammadu Buhari.

The Minister of Defence, Mansur Dan Ali, made this pledge on Wednesday during a meeting of the Security Chiefs with the Acting President, Professor Yemi Osinbajo, in the Presidential Villa.

The Minister of Defence, Mansur Dan Ali, made this pledge on Wednesday during a meeting of the Security Chiefs with the Acting President in the Presidential Villa.

He applauded the administration’s support in the fight against Boko Haram, and the welfare of troops in crisis-ridden areas in the northeast.

Mr Dan Ali disclosed that more equipment have been procured to strengthen the troop in the fight against the terrorists.

He stated further that over 2,000 people held captive by the terrorists have been released, with several high profile Boko Haram Commanders arrested.

The Minister said normalcy has also returned to Southern Kaduna, following the recent killings in Kafanchan.

He added that efforts are ongoing to construct a military barrack in Southern Kaduna area.

Present at the Security Council briefing are the Chief of Defence Staff, General Gabriel Olonisakin, and the Minister of Information, Mr Lai Mohammed.

Also in attendance are other Service Chiefs as well as Directors and Heads of Security Agencies

The military is on top of its game in the north-east – Osinbajo

Acting President Yemi Osinbajo on Wednesday said Nigerian security agencies were doing well to keep Boko Haram insurgents at bay in the north-east.

While receiving a briefing from the service chiefs, Osinbajo noted that the insurgent group had been heavily degraded.

He expressed satisfaction at the job done by the military but clamoured for vigilance, saying that the insurgents were now in the business of causing havoc with suicide bombers.

“As you know, the Boko Haram as a military force has been degraded. They are not holding territory at the moment. Our armed forces have been able to dislodge them from practically all territories they were holding in the past,” he said.

“What is happening now is just once in a while attack by suicide bombers. By the nature of asymmetric warfare, we are not able to say it has ended now. But I think that militarily they have been contained. There is no question at all that Boko Haram as a fighting force has been degraded.

“We are still vigilant because of their capacity to do damage with suicide bombers. I am very satisfied with what the military has done so far.

“And the briefing has shown graphically that they are really on top of their game and that they are doing excellently well in the Northeast.”

The Acting President also disclosed that he will speak with President Muhammadu Buhari, who’s on medical vacation in London, on the briefing received from the service chiefs.


Source: The Cable

JUST IN: Osinbajo receives security briefing at Aso Rock

The Acting President, Yemi Osinbajo, is currently receiving security briefings from service chiefs and heads of other security agencies.

The briefing is taking place at the Situation Room of the Ask Rock Presidential Villa, Abuja.

The Minister of Defence, Mansur Dan-Ali said the briefing is aimed at “allowing the service chiefs and other heads of security agencies to brief the acting president on the security situation in the country”.

Mr. Dan-Ali also said the meeting affords the security agencies an opportunity to express the “unflinching support, commitment and loyalty of the Nigerian Armed Forces to the present administration.”

The minister said the administration of President Muhammadu Buhari has provided the needed support to the armed forces which has impacted positively in its capacity to fight the insurgent Boko Haram and other security threats across the country.

He said relative peace has been restored to the restive north-east and that what the Nigerian Armed Forces is doing in most areas is to prepare for the return of civil authority and policing.

He said operations in the area have led to recovery of “weapons, communication equipment and arrest of many Boko Haram fighters.”

He also said part the successes recorded by the armed forces of recent is the rescue of many women and children held captive by the Boko Haram, while many commanders of the sect were arrested.

He said many more surrendered to the armed forces.

Mr. Dan-Ali, a retired brigadier general, said the Nigerian military is also providing aid to many displaced persons camps in the form of good clothing and water supplies, while roads hitherto closed have been reopened.

On Southern Kaduna, Mr. Dan-Ali said the Nigerian Army is in the process of building a new barracks in Kafanchan town to consolidate the military presence in the zone.

He said peace talks are currently ongoing among the people of the area to address constant clashes between farmers and herders.


Source: Premium Times

Osinbajo intervenes in three states’ boundary dispute

Acting President Yemi Osinbajo on Tuesday waded into the boundary demarcation dispute among Ebonyi, Cross River and Akwa Ibom States.

Although the outcome of the mediation was not made public, the stakeholders in the states attended a meeting presided over by Osinbajo at the State House, Abuja.

The spokesman to the acting President, Mr. Laolu Akande, said the meeting was “to review updates on boundary and boundary demarcation issues.”

The governors of the states – Prof. Ben Ayade (Cross River), Mr. Udom Emmanuel (Akwa Ibom) and Mr. Dave Umahi (Ebonyi) attended the meeting alongside their deputies.

Also in attendance were officials of the National Boundary Commission led by the Director-General, Dr. Muhammad Ahmad, the clan head of Ipollo community in Cross River, Chief Stephen Odom, and senators from the states.

Osinbajo struggles to not outshine sluggish, bumbling Buhari – By Chinedu Ekeke

Nigeria’s Vice President Yemi Osinbajo is struggling not to be seen to outshine his boss, President Muhammadu Buhari, whose sluggish approach to governance has rallied critics against him and frustrated supporters in his nearly two years of exercising presidential powers.

Buhari is currently in the United Kingdom attending to an undisclosed ailment, although his handlers insist the president is hale and hearty, only receiving a much-needed rest. But the president made an abrupt departure to the UK on January 19, even though a letter he transmitted to the National Assembly to that effect indicated he was going to commence a 10-day leave on January 23. He left before the date he indicated he would leave. The speed of his departure raised concerns about his health.

However, in the same letter, the president handed over to his Vice, Yemi Osinbajo, a wonky professor of law who served as Attorney General in Lagos state for eight years. After the ten days the president had sought, he again wrote to the legislature, this time seeking an indefinite extension of his stay abroad.

Within the period the president has been away, Osinbajo carried on with the basic tasks of governance, tasks which have earned him accolades home and abroad. First, Osinbajo recognized the right of people to freely assemble for protests and acknowledged that on February 6th when Nigerians protested in different cities against the hardship brought upon them by the country’s current economic recession. He told protesters that the government heard them ‘loud and clear’.

Under Buhari’s watch, the Nigerian Military, described recently by Transparency International as ‘Human Rights Abusers’ killed scores of peaceful protesters seeking an Independent State of Biafra in the South East. Many public affairs commentators are of the view that if Buhari was around at the time of the February 6th protests, there might have been incidents of brutality from security agencies.

Osinbajo also sent the name of Justice Walter Onnoghen to the National Assembly for confirmation. Onnoghen was sworn in as acting CJN on November 10, 2016, by Buhari, even though the National Judicial Council (NJC) had long forwarded his name to the president as the next in line to replace then outgoing CJN Justice Mahmud Mohammed. The NJC recommendation was in line with tradition that the most senior justice of the Supreme Court at the time of the retirement of a sitting CJN takes over. The president did not forward Onnoghen’s name to the legislature. No reason was given for the action.

As his three months acting period was going to elapse, many citizens began to agitate about the delay in converting the judge to a substantive CJN. The presidency quickly packaged a line of defence, claiming security agencies were carrying out a background check on Onnoghen. But many understood the background check could have also been carried out soon after the NJC recommendation, while Justice Mohammed was still the CJN.

But that sluggishness is in tune with Buhari’s known modus operandi in governance. It took him nearly six months to assemble a cabinet after inauguration, even though he had two months between when he won the presidential election and when he took oath of office.

Currently, only three out of Nigeria’s 36 states have resident electoral commissioners (RECs) for the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), yet Nigeria has just about two years to another general elections. Those vacant posts need to be filled with presidential appointments. That has not been done., and no reason has been given for leaving the posts vacant.

Exactly a year ago, Minister of State for Labour, James Ocholi died in a ghastly accident on his way from Kaduna to Abuja. The president is yet to nominate a replacement for him. In Nigeria’s constitution, each state should produce a Federal Minister. Failure to replace Ocholi means Kogi state doesn’t have its fair share of representation at the Federal Executive Council (FEC).

The Vice President also undertook tours to the Niger-Delta states where he interacted with the people, speaking frankly to them about government’s desire to develop their communities and make life easier for them.  The visit to the region was in search of lasting peace to the perennial crisis of insurgency that has stalled development in that part. Some leaders of the region said after the VP’s well received visit, that such visitation was all the people of the region yearned for, just to be involved in their own affairs.

Prior to his medical vacation, President Buhari had remained holed up in Aso Villa, visiting only about five states in nearly two years. Part of the states he visited were Edo, for campaign and Ondo, also for campaign. APC, the president’s party, contested for the governorship seats in the two states. He however did visit 35 countries since his inauguration.

On the economic front, Vice President Osinbajo presided over the National Economic Council (NEC) meeting wherein it was agreed that $250 million be injected into the Sovereign Wealth Fund (SWF), and the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) was advised to adjust its forex policy. Subsequently, the apex bank came up with an action plan, and also released $371 million into the inter-bank market. Less than 48 hours after, the naira, which was exchanging for about N510 to a dollar crashed to between N400 and N450.

Since the appreciation of the Naira, Osinbajo’s stock has risen before Nigerians, and many of Buhari’s critics have publicly joked that the president remains abroad permanently since it seems his Vice is doing better.

But the Office of the Vice President which, initially, was out to promote the VP’s competence seems to have recoiled as it is increasingly appearing like more Nigerians prefer Osinbajo’s style of leadership. This became quite pronounced in a press statement sent out by Osinbajo’s Media Aide on Monday.

Unlike before when the headline would name the Vice President’s action, Laolu Akande’s Press Release headline shouted, “BUHARI PRESIDENCY ACTIVATES $20B OGIDIGBEN GAS INDUSTRIAL PROJECT”. In place of “Buhari Presidency”, FG (Federal Government) could have been apt for the headline. But observers read what the news release was designed to achieve: remind citizens that the presidency was still Buhari’s.

The statement went lengths to inform readers how President Buhari instructed the VP to embark on the Niger-Delta tours. It reads in part; “Before he went on vacation, President Muhammadu Buhari had mandated the Vice President to embark on visits to oil-producing communities to demonstrate the resolve of this administration to the pursuit of a new vision for the Niger Delta.”

Yet critics have wondered why the President could not personally embark on the tour in nearly two years which he’s been on the saddle, if he considered the visitation important.

The Presidency has since struggled to spin the narrative that Buhari and Osinbajo are on a joint ticket. Special Adviser to President Buhari on Political Matters, Senator Babafemi Ojudu, said what Nigerians are seeing under Osinbajo’s temporary leadership reflects the maturity of government policies implemented earlier. He blasted those he called ‘mischief makers’ for promoting divisive tendencies in the government. Ojudu said; “The same people who said we never had economic team, no policy, nothing are the ones saying this. “It is now that the policies we are implementing are maturing and they are seeing the result. It is not a question of one person being better than the other person.

“There is nothing that has been done since the Vice-President started acting that is not something that started far back in the past. A good example is the Niger Delta initiative.

“The President called the Vice-President and said ‘I am giving you the mandate, go into the Niger Delta and meet with everyone who is a stakeholder, all the communities, talk to the militants and make sure you solve this problem for the benefits of Nigerians.’

“We are losing 1.2 million barrels of oil per day, all the gas pipelines powering the turbines are being blown up. And the President has said unless and until we resolve this problem we will not get out of recession. The VP took up the mandate and went to the Niger Delta, it is the initiative of Mr. President not that of the Vice-President.

“These are mischief makers, those who do not wish this country well, who are always promoting crisis, who will not allow the people to benefit from this democracy. They are the ones promoting this kind of divisive tendencies” the presidential aide said.

But analysts say service delivery is idiosyncratic and dependent on the individual involved. In Osinbajo, the nation is witnessing a leader who identifies with everyone, including states politically opposed to his party, whereas in Buhari, the nation saw a leader who insisted on only addressing issues affecting constituencies he considers politically friendly.

Corruption in civil service, a nation’s greatest tragedy — Osinbajo

The acting President, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo, has said a situation where privileged civil servants subvert the system for personal gains at the expense of the poor is the greatest tragedy that a nation could experience.

Osinbajo spoke at the inaugural Quarterly Civil Service Lecture Series with the theme, “Civil Service in a Change Environment: The Change is Now”, held at the old Banquet Hall of the Presidential Villa, Abuja on Tuesday.

He said the nation was faced with what he called a monumental tragedy when civil servants used the opportunity of the position they hold for self enrichment.

He said, “The power to do good or evil lies with a few people who form what we refer to as our civil service.

“When some of such elite see the opportunity as one for self enrichment by corrupt practices, then the nation faces a monumental tragedy.

“There is no excuse anywhere in a nation where the majority are still poor and are struggling to make a living that anyone who has the benefit of good education and good fortune of a job in the civil service should subvert that service for personal gains.

“I think it is the greatest tragedy that a nation can experience.”

Osinbajo told the civil servants that they were sometimes being referred to as “evil servants.”

He, however, urged them to take heart, saying the best professions were usually the most criticised.

“Despite the criticisms that civil servants are subjected to, I am sure that you know that sometimes civil servants are described as evil servants, but you must take heart, the best profession are usually the most criticised.

“But I must say that the wholesome privilege of public service is very easily abused or taken for granted.

“The public service elite represent, as we have seen, the most important factor in mass development,” he added.

Osinbajo regretted that the system, which had firmly stood against injustices and high-handedness that characterised the military era, when leadership was mainly by promulgation of decrees, suddenly came crashing when civil servants began to see their functions as means to achieve personal aggrandisement, rather than the common good of the Nigerian state.

He noted that more often than not, civil servants used their positions to further their personal gains and left the masses impoverished.

The Head of the Civil Service of the Federation, Mrs. Winifred Oyo Ita, in her lecture, said the time had come for Nigerians to stop lamenting over the foregone glorious days of the civil service.

She said the service was possibly a victim of the overall malaise bedeviling the entire Nigerian society.

She blamed the inability to clearly articulate its vision as being responsible for the decline of the service.

Also on Tuesday, while inaugurating the Private Sector Advisory Group for the Sustainable Development Goals at the Presidential Villa, in Abuja, Osinbajo said so much corruption was prevalent among the nation’s political, religious and private sector elite because of the high premium placed on wealth in the country.

He said the elite had decided to view wealth as a measure of worth, hence the large scale corruption in the system.

He said some nations were doing better than nations who attach importance to wealth because such nations decided that the value of human beings was in their contribution to the society.

Osinbajo said, “We have decided as an elite in this country that wealth is a measure of worth. It is a decision we made consciously or unconsciously. The political elite have decided that wealth is a measure of worth and that is why you find so much corruption among the political elite. Even the religious elite believe that it is a blessing of God.

“There are some societies that have decided that the value of human beings is in their contributions to the society. Those societies, of course, have done better than those who have decided that wealth, no matter how it was obtained, is a measure of worth.

“I think it is important if our elite decide that dealing with poverty is worth the while and that it will measure whether or not we are serious about our society.”

The Acting President said there was enormous responsibility placed upon the elite to do something about the millions of the extremely poor in their midst.

The responsibility, he said, should not be taken lightly since that was how they would be measured at the end of their lives.

“At the end of our lives, the question that will be asked is, what is the impact that we make on people’s lives? Nobody will be measured by how much money we made or the positions we held.

“A lot of our people in this country hang their hopes on us. They look up to us and believe we can do it and despite all the failures and the false starts, our people especially the poor and the vulnerable still believe that these elite will and can deliver.

“Let us therefore take this as a personal responsibility to our people to do something profound that will make a huge difference in the lives of our people.”

The Senior Special Assistant to the President on SDGs, Mrs. Adejoke Orelope-Adefulire, described the inauguration of the PSAG as a landmark event, saying Nigeria was the first United Nation member-state to do so.



Developing agric sector vital — Osinbajo

Acting President, Professor Yemi Osinbajo, has insisted that developing the agricultural sector of the country is a good starting point in the quest for not only diversification of the hitherto mono-cultural economy of the country, but also guaranteeing rapid industrialisation.

Professor Osinbajo, who spoke yesterday at Kuru, Jos, during the inauguration of the Senior Executive Course, SEC, 39 of the National Institute for Policy and Strategic Studies, NIPSS, noted that this year theme, Science, Technology and Innovation for the Development of Agriculture and Agro-Allied industries in Nigeria, had been approved by President Muhammadu Buhari because of his belief that the agriculture sector provides enormous potentials for quick industrialisation.

Represented by Plateau State Deputy Governor, Professor Sonni Tyoden, he stated that the theme could not have come at a better time, as the present administration was committed to revamping the agricultural sector through the application of science, technology and innovation to the development of agriculture and agro allied industries.

According him, “Nigeria remains an agrarian economy, with over 70 percent of the informal sector jobs created from this sector. It also has other multiplier effects.”

That could drive rapid economic recovery and growth in Nigeria in the shortest possible time. “We must radically transform agriculture to improve its contribution to GDP as well as promote sustainable food production in the country. When science, technology and innovation become the key drivers of agricultural sector, food security will not only guarantee sufficiency for our teeming population, but also industrial development, which would enhance employment opportunities for youths as well as take a substantial number out of poverty.”

Comparing Osinbajo and Buhari is ‘mischievous’ – Presidency

Comparing Vice President Yemi Osinbajo and President Muhammadu Buhari, and concluding that Mr. Osinbajo is doing better as he acts on behalf of the president who travelled on medical leave, is mischievous, the presidency has said.

Mr. Buhari left Nigeria for the United Kingdom on January 19 for what was initially scheduled to be a 10-day medical leave, but later extended his stay indefinitely.

He transferred power to Mr. Osinbajo before traveling, plugging a potential power vacuum and constitutional crisis once witnessed when late President Umaru Yar’Adua travelled for treatment in 2009.

As acting president, Mr. Osinbajo has amongst other things, supervised the implementation of a new foreign exchange policy that has managed to strengthen a rapidly sliding naira.

The government has also announced a reduction in attacks on oil and gas infrastructure in recent weeks, cuts that follow Mr. Osinbajo’s tour of the Niger Delta and talks with community leaders.

Many Nigerians view those decisions as swift and firm, and have compared them with President Buhari’s often unhurried response to needling national problems.

But the president’s political adviser, Babafemi Ojudu, on Monday condemned the assessment, and said it was done by “mischief makers” whose intention is to cause disharmony in the presidency.

“These are mischief makers, those who do not wish this country well, who are always promoting crisis, who will not allow the people to benefit from this democracy,” Mr. Ojudu told journalists. “They are the ones promoting this kind? of divisive tendencies.”

Mr. Ojudu said all steps taken by Mr. Osinbajo were with the approval of Mr. Buhari.

“There is nothing that has been done since the vice president started acting that is not something that started far back in the past. A good example is the Niger Delta initiative.

“The President called the Vice-President and said ‘I am giving you the mandate, go into the Niger Delta and meet with everyone who is a stakeholder, all the communities, talk to the militants and make sure you solve this problem for the benefits of Nigerians.

“We are losing 1.2 million barrels of oil per day, all the gas pipelines powering the turbines are being blown up. And the President has said unless and until we resolve this problem we will not get out of recession.

“The VP took up the mandate and went to the Niger Delta, it is the initiative of Mr. President not that of the Vice-President.”

On the foreign exchange policy, Mr. Ojudu said claims of superior leadership capacity in favour of Mr. Osinbajo are touted by “The same people who said we never had economic team, no policy, nothing”.

“It is now that the policies we are implementing are maturing and they are seeing the result. It is not a question of one person being better than the other person,” he said.

Also, a lawmaker representing Kankia/Ingawa/Kusada Federal Constituency, Katsina State, Ahmad kaita, told PREMIUM TIMES that “baseless, ill-motivated” comparison of Messrs. Buhari and Osinbajo was capable of affecting Nigeria’s unity.

“It is one presidency; and whatever anybody does in this administration is to President Buhari’s credit,” said Mr. Kaita.

“Meanwhile, all we now see that means progress takes root from the time before the President travelled, with the two leaders working cordially for the good of the country based on the manifesto of our party, APC.”


Source: Premium Times

Osinbajo felicitates with Shehu Shagari at 92

Acting President Yemi Osinbajo has congratulated former president Shehu Shagari on his 92nd birthday.

According to a statement by his spokesperson, Mr. Osinbajo said he joined “his family, well-wishers and indeed all Nigerians, in celebrating former President Shagari’s selfless service, leadership and steadfast commitment to the advancement of Nigeria, over the years.”

He said decades after serving as the second republic President of Nigeria, Mr. Shagari has continued to advance the unity, peace and prosperity of our nation.

“He believes that the patriotism, principles and the lofty values the former President displayed throughout his public life as a teacher, politician, parliamentarian, president and now as an elder statesman, make him one of the foremost national leaders of our time.

“The Acting President is confident that the honesty and strength of character with which former President Shagari has been known, will continue to be a source of inspiration.

“While wishing the nonagenarian many happy returns of the day in good health and joy, Prof. Osinbajo’s prayer for the former President is that as his days are, so shall his strength and favour be,” spokesperson Laolu Akande said.

Barely 24 hours after Osinbajo’s unscheduled visit, FG Sacks 10 Directors at NCAA

It was a gloomy day today at the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) as the Federal Government approved the sack of all the directors in the regulatory agency.

No fewer than 10 directors were unexpectedly sacked from their duty posts by the government.

Our correspondent learnt from a source in NCAA that the Director-General of the NCAA, Capt. Muhtar Usman conveyed the sack message to the affected directors in a meeting at the agency’s headquarters at the Murtala Muhammed Airport (MMA), Lagos.

A source close to the meeting confided in our correspondent that Usman had called for a meeting with all the directors who were in the dark about what was to befall them, but in the course of the meeting, he broke the news of the disengagement to them.

Those affected are Engr. Benedict Adeyileka (Director of Airworthiness), Mr. Justus Wariya (Director of Air Transport Regulation), Alhaji Adamu Abdullahi (Director of Consumer Protection), Capt. Ayodele Sasegbon (Director of General Aviation and Mr. Austin-Amadi Ifeanyi (Director of Human Resources).

Others are Alhaji Salawu Ozigi (Director of Finance and Accounts), Dr. Joyce Nkemakolam (Director of Aerodrome and Airspace Standards), Barr. Aba Ejembi (Director of Administration) and Mr. Emmanuel Ogunbami (Director of Licensing).

The General Manager, Public Affairs, NCAA, Mr. Sam Adurogboye in a telephone interview with our correspondent, confirmed the sack of all the directors but declined to give details when pressed further.He simply said: It is true that all the directors have been disengaged, but I don’t have details of their disengagement.”

However, a source close to NCAA confided in our correspondent that the relationship between Usman and his directors had been frosty in the past one year. The source told our correspondent that most of the directors had overtime complained about his managerial style, which they were not comfortable with and had confronted him severally.

The source alleged that the directors specifically told him to sit more in the office and attend to more safety matters, rather than junketing around the world with the Sirika.

Our correspondent gathered that this did not go down well with Usman who then vowed to ensure their removal through the ministry.

The source said: “The relationship between Usman and his directors has not been rosy in the past one year because they challenged him on his frequent stay out of office. He saw this as an affront and decided to deal with them.

“In fact, he specifically told Sirika that he was no longer comfortable with the directors and feared that if they still remained in the saddle, some of the shady deals perpetuated in recent time with Sirika would come to the open.”

All the sacked directors were political appointees.


Source: Sahara Reporters

Osinbajo, Saraki, Dogara meet, discuss speedy passage of 2017 budget.

There are expectations that the 2017 Budget would be passed in earnest based on the level of rapport developing between top government officials in the Executive and Legislative arms in the country.

A meeting was held Thursday night between the leadership of the two arms of government at Aso Rock “discussing the Federal Government budget proposals now before the National Assembly,” according to a statement by Acting President Yemi Osinbajo’s spokesperson, Laolu Akande.

The meeting hosted by the Acting President at his official residence lasted about an hour and was attended by members of President Muhammadu Buhari’s Economic Management Team and members of the leadership of both the Senate and House of Representatives including Senate President Bukola Saraki and House Speaker Yakubu Dogara.

The meeting discussed issues and developments around the 2017 budget, while both sides also exchanged ideas and compared notes in order to ensure that this year’s budget passage process is better and faster than previous times.

During the meeting, held in a convivial atmosphere, there were also discussions on the need to ensure that key projects of the Federal Government aimed at enhancing the speedy recovery of the Nigerian economy are well taken care-of in the appropriations that will now emerge from the legislative arm of government to the Presidency.

The Wednesday night meeting also created the opportunity for both arms of the Nigerian government to work on clearing the grey areas in the budget and arrive at agreements on key and related issues.


Source: Premium Times

Financial Times: Osinbajo delivering good governance in Buhari’s absence

The Financial Times of London has observed governance in Nigeria, since President Muhammadu Buhari left the country over 33 days ago, and concludes that Acting President Yemi Osinbajo, has seized Buhari’s absence to deliver what Nigerians have been expecting for two years.

In an article written by Maggie Fick, its west African correspondent, the newspaper said “President Muhammadu Buhari’s five-week absence from Nigeria has triggered political jockeying within his ruling party as concerns grow about his health and capacity to lead”.

“His office tried to reassure Nigerians this week that “there is no cause for worry”, but it also said the 74-year-old, who has been receiving treatment in London, would need a longer period of “rest” than initially planned.

“And not even his own ministers know how ill Mr Buhari is, says senior officials,” Fick wrote.

The newspaper goes on to explain the zoning formula in Nigeria, quoting a senior party member as saying “whether Mr Osinbajo then becomes the APC’s nominee in 2019 is ‘anybody’s guess’”

“Still, some in government note that Mr Osinbajo has used the president’s absence to push ahead with the sort of action Nigerians have been hoping for since electing Mr Buhari two years ago,” FT wrote.

“‘People are happier with the performance and style of the vice-president — he’s more decisive, active and charismatic,’ said a senior government official.”

“The country has been in a freezer for the past year,” FT quotes the head of a multinational company in Lagos, to have said.

“He [Osinbajo] listens, understands, and inspires trust.”


Source: The Cable

Osinbajo summons Nigeria police chief over kidnap of German archaeologists

Acting President Yemi Osinbajo on Thursday summoned the Inspector-General of Police, Ibrahim Idris, over the kidnap of two German archaeologists, Peter Breunig and Johannes Behringer, in Kadarko Local Government Area of Kaduna State.

A source told the News Agency of Nigeria that the police chief briefed the Acting President on efforts so far made by police to rescue the victims unhurt and apprehend the kidnappers.

While the Germans were kidnapped, two Nigerians who tried to rescue them were killed in the process.

Usman Kagarko, a witness who joined many others in going after the assailants, said their effort ended when the kidnappers turned back and opened fire.

“We had to scamper for our safety when they opened fire, shooting sporadically at us, killing two local hunters who were in our lead as we chased them on our motorcycles and on foot,” ,” he told newsmen. “If only we are armed or in company of armed security, we would have stopped them because they are on foot.”

He gave the names of the two victims as Anas Ibrahim and Adamu Abdulrahim.

He said many locals were familiar with the Germans who for many years frequently travelled from Abuja to Kaduna for their work.

“So we felt personally concerned that this very friendly foreigners are innocently abducted by criminals under our nose,” he said.

The police have since dispatched a team of special forces and to work in synergy with the police command in Kaduna State and indigenes of towns and surrounding villages where the archaeologists were kidnapped.

The special force deployed comprise the Intelligence Response Team (IRT), the Technical Intelligence Unit (TIU), the Anti Kidnapping Unit, the Counter Terrorism Unit (CTU), the Police Mobile Force and Police Surveillance Helicopters.

The Special Investigation Team on Kidnapping and Terrorism Cases under the Command of the Deputy Inspector General of Police, Department of Operations, is also participating in the rescue operation.

The kidnapped archaeologists, working in collaboration with National Commission for Museum and Monument on the relics of NOK Culture in Nigeria, were kidnapped on Wednesday morning at an excavation site in Kadarko Local Government Area of Kaduna State.

“Why I Vetoed Four National Assembly Bill” – Acting President Osinbajo Reveals

Acting President Yemi Osinbajo has withheld assent to four bills passed by the National Assembly last year. The four proposed laws are National Lottery Amendment Bill; Dangerous Drug Amendment Bill; Agriculture Credit Guarantee Scheme Fund; and Currency Conversion Bill.

And to quell the growing agitations by senators who expressed readiness to override the president’s veto on the bills, the Senate President Bukola Saraki quickly declared that the upper chamber would seek legal advice before taking further step on the matter.

While the action of the acting president signals a rising assertion of his authority, it is also an early indication of potential frosty relations between him and the National Assembly. Thus, unless the two arms of government can mutually resolve the matter, it will adversely affect governance.

Osinbajo explained that “The rationale for withholding assent to the Lottery Amendment Bill is the existence of pending legal challenge to the competence of the National Assembly to legislate on the subject matter.”

The National Assembly had, in amending the Lottery Act, transferred the power to grant licences to lottery operators from states to the Federal Government for the purpose of boosting federal revenue.

On the Currency Conversion Bill, Osinbajo said: “The rationale for withholding assent to the bill is the concern regarding the modalities for the communication of asset forfeiture orders.”

The National Assembly’s motive for amending the Currency Conversion Act (Freezing Orders) was to transfer the power of the President and the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) governor on asset forfeiture to the law courts. The amendment sought to whittle down the powers of the president to order the forfeiture of assets and transfer such powers to the court.

On the Dangerous Drug Amendment Bill, the acting president said he withheld his assent as a result of certain words and phrases that might be inconsistent with the spirit behind the amendment.

Osinbajo also said he rejected the bill on Agriculture Credit Guarantee Scheme Fund because of funding concerns and composition of the board. “The reason for withholding assent to the bill are the concerns surrounding board composition, funding arrangements, limitation of liability of funds and proposal to increase levels of uncollateralised loans from N5,000 to N250,000.”

After the letters had been read in the Senate by Saraki, a point of order was raised by Dino Melaye who quoted extensively from the 1999 Constitution and claimed that the action of the acting president and the executive branch of government had injured the principle of separation of powers.

“The role of the executive is to carry out their traditional role by signing any bill passed by the National Assembly,” Melaye claimed, insisting that the action of the acting president, if allowed to stand, would constitute a grave danger to democracy in the country and undermine the powers of the parliament.

“The National Assembly shall make laws for the peace, order and good government of the federation or any part thereof with respect to any matter included in the exclusive list set out in part one of the second schedule of this constitution.

“The role of the executive is to carry out their fundamental objective by signing anything that has been passed by this House and anyone who has a problem with it can go to court in compliance with the provisions of section 6 of the constitution. May it not be a bad day for democracy if we keep quite and allow the powers of the legislature to be usurped by the non-compliance with the provisions of the constitution.”

George Sekibo, in his own reaction, reminded the lawmakers that they have the power to override the acting president if they are not satisfied with his decision.

Saraki said the decision of Osinbajo would be examined by the legal team of the Senate after which appropriate steps would be taken on the issue.
“ I think the procedure is that we would refer this to our legal department to give us advice or interpretation on some of the things that you have raised for us to be properly guided. But I agree with you that it is a matter that we must take seriously because it goes down to the issue of separation of powers. We would get the opinion of the legal department,” he said.

Also yesterday, the House of Representatives hinted that it may override Osinbajo. The Speaker, Yakubu Dogara who informed his colleagues of the refusal by the acting president to assent to the bills mandated the House Committee on Justice to scrutinise the basis for his decision.

The House leader, Femi Gbajabiamila who spoke in the same vein enjoined the House to read through Osinbajo’s observation before taking a final stand on the bills.

Dogara said the House would be left with no option than muster the required support to override the acting president if the need arises.


Source: The Guardian

It’s insane to talk about succession when Buhari is dealing with his health – Shettima

Kashim Shettima, Borno state governor, has said it is only insanity that can motivate anyone to be talking about succeeding President Muhammadu Buhari at a time when he is addressing his health issues.

Reacting to a purported call made to this effect by Danlami Kubo, the deputy speaker of the Borno house of assembly, Shettima said, “It would amount to moral insanity for anyone to be discussing succession of President Buhari at this time.”

Isa Gusau, his spokesperson, in a statement said, “I received a Google alert of the story credited to a lawmaker in Borno State over issue of succession. Governor Kashim Shettima was deeply angered by that report and he has tried reaching the lawmaker to clarify if he granted that interview or he was misrepresented.

“In the meantime, Governor Shettima feels it would amount to moral insanity for any Nigerian to be discussing issues of succession at a time a very popular, highly experienced and capable sitting president is managing his health.

“We have a sitting President, a popular one that we are all proud of for working more than anyone would have done in fighting the Boko Haram insurgency which is our number one problem in our state, the north-east and the Northern region.

“How can anyone in his right thinking be talking about succession when a cherished President is dealing with his health? What has gone wrong with our moral values?

“Has politics taken over our sanity? What is most precious to me is to have Boko Haram brought to an end and I don’t think anyone would have done better than what President Buhari is doing for us. This call does not represent the slightest of my thoughts.

The Borno governor further noted that nobody in Nigeria’s history nobody had successfully aspired to be the country’s president.

He said most Presidents were invited to contest without actually nursing any aspiration.

“Only a mad man blindly aspires to be Nigeria’s President if history is anything to go by. From 1979 to date, nobody with aspiration for the presidency has achieved it,” Shettima said.

“President Shagari was invited to contest without aspiration in 1979; President Obasanjo was invited to contest without aspiration in 1999; President Umaru Musa Yar’Adua was invited to contest without aspiration in 2007; President Jonathan who eventually succeeded

“Yar’Adua was also invited to become Vice President without aspiration. Even President Buhari with his electrifying popularity didn’t win the presidency in his 2003, 2007 and 2011 aspirations until in 2015 when he was invited to contest.

“This is the complexity of Nigeria’s politics and any person with the slightest wisdom must learn from history and face his business of the day.

The Borno governor added that President Buhari will be fine and successfully re-elected, noting that his “greatest wish is that the person succeeding me as the next governor of Borno State doesn’t inherit the Boko Haram crisis like I inherited the crisis in 2011 and my other wish is that Borno is rebuilt before whoever is taking over from me at Allah’s appointed time.”

“I am not the ungrateful and not the blindly ambitious type and I thank Allah for his grace and pray that I succeed in positively reversing the Borno story,” he said.

Acting President Osinbajo vetoes four bills passed by National Assembly

Nigeria’s Acting President, Yemi Osinbajo, has vetoed four bills passed by the National Assembly and transmitted to the President for assent.

The bills are Dangerous Drug Amendment Bill 2016; National Lottery Bill 2016; Currency Conversion Freezing Order Amendment Bill 2016; and Agricultural Guaranteed Credit Scheme Bill 2016.

Senate President Bukola Saraki disclosed the development at the Senate plenary on Wednesday while reading Mr. Osinbajo’s letters separately conveying the refusal of assent to each of the bills.

According to the letters as read by Mr. Saraki, the acting president refused to sign the bills into law due to do the wording and spirit of the bills.

Specifically regarding the lottery bill, the concern was about pending litigation and the power of the National Assembly to legislate on the subject.

The All Progressives Congress Senator representing Kogi West, Dino Melaye, protested Mr. Osinbajo’s presidential veto, arguing that, following the principle of separation of powers, the presidency has the duty of assenting to bills passed by the National Assembly or approach the judiciary for redress.

But Mr. Saraki said the matter would be referred to the legal department of the National Assembly for advice.

Nigeria’s presidential system allows checks and balance, which moderates the principle of separation of powers. In essence, Nigeria’s Constitution grants the president the power to withhold assent to a bill within thirty days of receipt.

But upon presidential veto as exercised by Mr. Osinbajo, section 58(5) provides that such bill automatically becomes law if it is passed again by two-thirds majority of each of the chambers.

It is not the first time a veto would be exercised. Last year, President Muhammadu Buhari refused to assent to the initial version of the 2016 Appropriation Bill passed by the National Assembly.

Before Mr. Buhari, former President Goodluck Jonathan had at the twilight of his tenure in 2015 refused to assent to the Constitution Amendment Bill 2015 passed by the National Assembly, pointing to some anomalies.

Meanwhile, Mr. Osinbajo had days ago signed seven bills into law.


Source: Premium Times

Dino Melaye raises petition against Osinbajo for refusing to sign 3 bills

Senator Dino Melaye on Wednesday frowned at Acting President, Yemi Osinbajo’s refusal to assent three bills passed by the National Assembly.

Mr. Osinbajo in a letter read by the Senate president, Bukola Saraki returned the bills for proper correction.

But Senator Melaye quickly raised a petition on the refusal by the Acting President Prof. Osinbajo to assent to 3 bills passed by the National Assembly.

The Senate President while responding said the issue will be referred to the legal department for advice and interpretations of the law.




Osinbajo refuses to sign 4 bills, returns them to Senate

The Acting President Yemi Osinbajo on Wednesday refused to assent four bills and returned them to the NASS for correction.

Senate President Bukola Saraki read the letters today at Senate plenary.

The four bills are: Dangerous Drugs Amendment Bill 2016, National Lottery Amendment Bill 2016, Agriculture Credit Guarantee Scheme Fund 2016, and Currency Conversion Freezing Order Amendment Bill 2016.


Patronage Of ‘Made-In-Nigeria’ Goods Will Drive The Economy – Osinbajo

Acting President Yemi Osinbajo has reaffirmed the Federal Government’s determination to drive the Nigerian economy with locally manufactured products.

Professor Osinbajo made the pledge at the 2017 National Productivity Day in Abuja, the Federal Capital Territory.

According to him, the current economic realities indicate that continued dependence on importation is not sustainable.

He, however, called for the patronage of made-in-Nigeria goods.

“Permit me to make a comment on made-in-Nigeria initiative, which has also been recognised here.

“As the president said in his 2017 budget speech, we must grow what we eat and we must use what we make; we must patronise made-in-Nigeria products to encourage local production,” Professor Osinbajo said.

In his opening remarks, the Minister of Labour and Employment, Senator Chris Ngige, stressed the importance of the occasion.

“We are here today to celebrate and reward excellence in service by recognising individuals and organisations that have made significant contributions to the growth and development of the nation.

“The National Productivity Day is therefore a day we set aside to demonstrate that high productivity is the bedrock of every economy.

“It is time to reflect on ways of energising all sectors of the economy towards our goal of institutionalising productivity consciousness and excellence in service,” the minister said.

The Minister of Solid Minerals, Dr. Kayode Fayemi, on his part highlighted the importance of a reward system in encouraging local entrepreneurship.

“Society can only develop and be productive when our reward systems are robust and effective.

“Good must be rewarded and evil must be punished; government can however, not do this alone.

“It is a task we must all tackle collectively right from the family unit to our community to the nation at large.

“We can only make progress and be productive when we stop celebrating criminal brigands and start recognising unsung heroes in our society,” the minister said.

The National Productivity Day has been set aside by the Federal Government to promote local production of goods and services, as well as reward indigenous entrepreneurs who are contributing to the growth of the economy.

At the 2017 edition, 15 individuals and five organisations were rewarded by the government for their contributions to Nigeria’s economy.

Onnoghen’s confirmation imminent as Osinbajo writes the Senate.

Senate President Bukola Saraki yesterday read the letter from Acting President Yemi Osinbajo urging the confirmation of Justice Walter Onnoghen as the Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN) at the plenary.

Onnoghen has been in office in acting capacity since November last year and his tenure elapsed on February 10, 2017. The National Judicial Council (NJC), which had nominated Onnoghen for the position, re-nominated him on February 9, a day before the expiration of his three-month tenure.

The acting president’s letter reads in part: “Following the recommendation of the National Judicial Council (NJC), I hereby notify you of the appointment of the Honourable Justice Walter Samuel Nkanu Onnoghen CFR as the Chief Justice of Nigeria.

Also, Saraki yesterday read the letter from President Muhammadu Buhari seeking the extension of his vacation in the U.K.

Saraki told senators he met President Muhammadu Buhari, who is currently on vacation in London, in “good health,” adding that the president will be back with them in the country very soon.

“I am happy to report that we met the President in good spirit, in good health, chatty as usual and convey his best wishes and hopes to be back very soon.”

Meanwhile, Acting President Osinbajo will launch Sovereign Green Bonds at the conference for investors and capital markets operators at the Nigerian Stock Exchange, Lagos on Thursday.

A statement made available to The Guardian indicated that the conference is organised by the Federal Ministry Environment in collaboration with Ministry of Finance and Debt Management Office.

The Minister of Environment, Amina J. Mohammed, was quoted as saying that Green Bonds Project present a huge opportunity to discuss next step in the diversification of the economy and it will bring together institutional investors, banking finance and young social entrepreneurs.


Source: The Guardian

Osinbajo, governors appoint six board members for NSIA as agency gets fresh $250 million

The National Economic Council (NEC) on Thursday approved the nomination of six Nigerians for appointment into the board of the Nigeria Sovereign Investment Authority (NSIA).

The body also approved the injection of a fresh $250 million capital into the Sovereign Wealth Fund.

The fresh capital was sourced from the Excess Crude Account (ECA), an official said.

NEC is composed of all the 36 state governors, the minister of the Federal Capital Territory and the governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria.

Thursday’s meeting, the first this year, was presided over by Acting President Yemi Osinbajo.

A statement by Laolu Akande, the spokesperson for Acting President Yemi Osinbajo, said the nominations were unanimously adopted by council members after the list was tabled by the Minister of Finance, Kemi Adeosun.

The nominees represent each of the six geo-political zones in the country.

They are Halima Buba (North-East), Bello Maccido (North–West), Lois Laraba Machunga-Disu (North Central), Babajide Zetilin (South West), Urum Kalu Eze (South East) and  Asue Ighodalo (South-South).

The nominations will now be forwarded to President Muhammadu Buhari for final approval.

Established by an Act of the National Assembly in May 2011, the Nigeria Sovereign Investment Authority manages Nigeria’s Sovereign Wealth Fund.

It was set up to receive, manage and invest in a diversified portfolio of medium and long term the revenue of the Federal Government, State Governments, Federal Capital Territory, Local Governments and Area Councils.

Also at the NEC meeting, the agency’s Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer, Uche Orji, presented a report on the NSIA annual reports and accounts for the year ended 2015 and update on 2016 activities.

“In his report to NEC, Council members were informed that Nigeria Sovereign Wealth Fund (NSWF) has the highest ranking in Africa in terms of performance and capitalization,” Mr. Akande said in his statement.

According to him, the report by Mr. Orji, highlighted, among others, the following:

•Financial performance 2014 to Q3 2016

•Update and investment strategy on the NSIA Future Generation Fund (FGF)

•NSIA Infrastructure strategy and Agriculture Fund

•NSIA – Old Mutual Real Estate Co-Investment Vehicle, among others.

• NSIA outlook, among others, are as follows:

•NSIA plans to increase domestic infrastructure investment in 2017 as there are compelling opportunities in the environment.

•NSIA will also focus on “Social Infrastructure” including investments in the form of affordable housing, and healthcare through the development of specialist hospitals.

•Council, while adopting the report of the NSIA,  decided to inject a fresh $250 million into the SWF sourced from the ECA.

Acting President Osinbajo Reiterates FG’s Commitment To Rebuilding The Niger Delta

The Acting President Professor Yemi Osinbajo has reiterated the Federal Government’s commitment in rebuilding the Niger Delta region and to also ensure that there’s lasting peace and stability in the region, through active development initiatives.

The Acting President stated this during his one-day working visit to Imo state, the first since elected as the Vice President and in acting capacity as the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.

The visit is part of his familiarisation tour and consultation with oil producing communities in the Niger Delta region of the country, in a bid to achieving lasting peace and stabilisation in the region.

The President was accompanied by the Minister of Transport, his counterparts in Power and Niger Delta Affairs as well as the Special Adviser to the President on Amnesty.

His first point of call was the palace of the Chairman of the Imo state council of traditional rulers Eze Agunwa Ohiri, afterwards, the Vice President entered into a stakeholders and town hall meeting with indigenes of the state after his visit to Ohaji Egbema and Oguta Local Government Area.

The stakeholders in the oil producing areas of the state, as well as ex-agitators from the region were given opportunities to express their minds to the Acting President, with lots of complaints revolving around marginalisation and neglect of the oil producing communities in Imo state by the Federal Government.

One of the stakeholders from the region Cletus Ohale, says “The problem of the Niger delta region is more spiritual than physical, I don’t understand how the goose that lays the golden egg will continue to suffer.

“ We have been marginalised and neglected for too long, most of the allocations meant for our people are being diverted to non-oil producing areas, appointments meant for our people are being diverted, even in the budgetary system of the Ministry of Niger Delta Affairs, Imo state, the 4th largest oil producer in the Niger Delta is being given the lowest allocation, its so unfair” he added.

Meanwhile, the Imo state Governor; Rochas Okorocha while addressing the gathering expressed sadness over the way, the oil producing region has been neglected in the past, he called for the support of the Federal Government’s commitment to the development of the Niger Delta region of the state, especially through the Imo Peace and Reconciliation Committee.

The Governor said “We want to feel the presence of Federal Government more in this state especially in Ohaji Egbema and Oguta oil producing areas of the state, the State government has set up the Peace and Reconciliation Committee to cater for the challenges facing the people of the region and we have budgeted 35 billion Naira at least to wipe away the tears of the people.

“And in this regard, we need the support of the Federal Government of Nigeria, we thank you for the approval made on the abandoned skills acquisition centre, which will soon be converted to a Federal College of Technology, and the immediate revisit of the Egbema Power Plant which will ensure that Imo state and the entire southeast get uninterrupted power supply”

In his speech, the Acting President Professor Yemi Osinbajo reiterated the commitment of the Federal Government in rebuilding the Niger Delta region and ensuring that there is a lasting peace and stability in the region through active development initiatives.

While assuring the people that the Federal Government will complete all abandoned and ongoing projects in the region, He promised that the Federal Government will sanction all contractors who have been mobilised to ensuring the projects are completed.

“The Federal Government is committed to ensuring that the Niger Delta region is given a face lift, we cannot continue with the old ways of doing things, bombing of pipelines is not the solution, the Buhari-led administration has mapped out several programmes that will touch directly the people in the grassroots, for example the N-power programme for youth employment, the micro credit scheme for market women and we are also collaborating with private sector, civil societies, state governments and other stakeholders to bring meaningful development to the people of the Niger Delta region”.

The One-day working visit of the Acting President also availed him the opportunity to commission some of the projects executed by the Imo State Government, one of which is the Imo State Government House Chapel.

This Is The “Change” We Voted For – By Godwin Amadi

Some people glamourize regret as if regret is a virtue or an endowment. All some posers need to do to remain relevant on social media is to say they regret voting Buhari. Others less imaginative ask, “Is this the change we voted for?” Whenever I hear these, I am reminded that loyalty is a high-price commodity.

What are you regretting? IF you really voted “Change”, what did you have in mind? Instead of reveling in your ignorance, should you not be ashamed that you lacked the basic understanding of what you espoused? At your age and with your level of education you still dance to every beat? Shame!

This is the “Change” I campaigned and voted for. From inception, I know real, lasting change comes at a high cost and discomfort. Have you ever attempted to change your life, weight, values or complexion? Did it come cheap or easy? Why do many people fail to live up to their New Year resolutions? Genuine change at any level is tough and cruel at first. Nigeria will not be an exception.

What happens when corporate organizations decide to change processes and procedures in the workplace? It is usually resisted because most people prefer the status quo. Corporate changes like mergers, acquisitions and reconstructions create imbalance and uncertainties in the concerned entities. I know a man whose workforce reduced by 75% when he restructured (or effected change in) his company. Today, the same man is shouting his voice hoarse that Buhari’s change is draconian and insensitive. Hypocrite!

How do we become self-sufficient in food production? The answer is simple: make heavy investments in agriculture and ban importation of foods that deplete our foreign reserve. Take rice for instance. As long as there are no restrictions on the importation of rice, local farmers will not grow rice and our exotic taste buds will not be retrained. If I were Buhari, I would put a total ban on the importation of rice.

Take cars, fabrics and wines (and spirits) for another instance. Something drastic needed to be done about our appetite for cars, clothes and wines. The cumulative costs of importing this trio into Nigeria consumed a substantial share of our foreign reserve. Buhari says NO. He argues that if you must use these imports, then be ready to pay a premium price for them. This is simple logic and economics. This is especially so since global oil price has dwindled and tempers are high in the Niger Delta.

Goods are more expensive in Nigeria today because Buhari insists that most of the products we import can and should be produced locally. By so doing, he has flung open unending investment and job opportunities for Nigerians especially. While reserving limited foreign exchange for some critical sectors of the economy, Buhari is urging them to make hay while the sun shines. Buhari is CHANGING the way we live, and the pains we now experience are his instruments of CHANGE. You can only take it, but you can’t reject it.

Why is Buhari putting these strategic restrictions on our consumption patterns? If you are PDP or a hater, these restrictions are to punish Nigerians. But to the dispassionate observer, Buhari’s stance is the most effective route to Nigeria’s escape from economic doldrums festered by inordinate importation of all and every product. Some countries in Asia, Africa and North America have provided infallible precedents to what Buhari has set out to do.

What has happened so far? Buhari is in a mad hurry to fix the refineries. About 6 states are now producing rice in commercial quantities. Cross River state has almost completed what is arguably the largest textile mill in Africa. Buhari is challenging Nigerians to introspect and unleash their creative geniuses. Unfortunately, politics is providing a distracting counter-intuition to these breath-taking developments.

Where will Nigeria be in 10 years if we continue (or forced to continue) to look inwards? Imagine what will happen if we continue to produce a larger chunk of what we eat, wear and drink. Imagine when Aba, Sokoto, Nnewi, Kano, Ondo, Osun, Benue and Nasarawa turn natural endowments into skills. Imagine when our universities and polytechnics wake up. Imagine when our industries and blue-chip companies begin to produce. Only a bold step like Buhari’s CHANGE will give form to these imaginations.

If you did not understand Buhari’s change, it is not Buhari’s fault. Regretting voting Buhari says so much about your character. Asking “Is this the change we voted for?” is the clearest indication that you must never be taken seriously again. You are a plastic supporter, and we will not need you in 2019.

Over one million Nigerian school children fed by government daily – Osinbajo

The Federal Government has now released enough funds to start the delivery of one hot meal a day to more than one million primary school pupils across seven states in the country, under the National Homegrown School Feeding Programme, Acting President Yemi Osinbajo has said.

Mr. Osinbajo, speaking through his spokesperson, Laolu Akande, said on Monday in a statement that a total sum of N844, 360, 550 has so far been released for the commencement of the programme in Anambra, Ebonyi, Enugu, Oyo, Osun, Ogun and Zamfara as at the end of last week.

While funds have been released to the seven states to kick off the programme, not all of them have actually started the implementation as at press time, the statement said.

In the States of Anambra, Enugu, Osun, Ogun, and Oyo, the feeding has actually started, while it is expected to start this week in the two other states of Ebonyi and Zamfara, that have been funded already.

That means, the Buhari Presidency’s Homegrown School Feeding Programme would be feeding this week a total of 1, 043, 205 pupils in those seven states.

Equally a total number of 11,775 cooks have now been employed to prepare the meals in those states already, while local farmers in the states are also the one producing the food prepared and served.

Of all the States, Anambra, which was the first state to receive funding late last year has now received three full funding tranches covering 30 school days, totaling N188, 769,000. The state has a total of 937 cooks and feeding 96,489 pupils.

In Ebonyi, FG has also released a total of N115, 218, 600, while 1466 cooks have been engaged and 164, 598 pupils are to be fed.

Also in Enugu State, the government released N67,244, 800 to feed 96, 064 pupils and 1128 cooks engaged.

In Ogun State, it released N119, 648, 900 to feed 170, 927 pupils and engaged 1381 cooks, while in Osun a total of N92, 425, 400 have been released to feed 142, 193 pupils with 2688 cooks engaged.

For Oyo State, a total of N72, 288, 300 has been released by the FG to feed 103, 269 pupils, engaging 1437 cooks, while Zamfara received a total sum of N188, 765, 500 to feed 269, 665 pupils and engaged 2, 738 cooks, the statement said.

Osinbajo To Meet With Niger Delta Leaders In Bayelsa.

The Bayelsa State Government is set to welcome the acting President, Yemi Osinbajo.

Professor Osinbajo is scheduled to meet with the leaders of the Niger Delta, to discuss how to achieve peace, that would lead to the improvement in crude oil production and resolve the youth restiveness in the oil rich region.

This is the first visit of Professor Osinbajo as an acting President, who is leading a high level delegation of the Federal Government, in an interaction with traditional rulers of the region.

The first time Professor Osinbajo held a similar meeting was at Gbaramatu Kingdom in Delta State, where he told the people that the Federal Government feels the pain of the Niger Delta region.

The Bayelsa Government on Thursday released a statement saying it is looking forward to receiving Professor Yemi Osinbajo, when he visits the state, as part of his tour to some states in the Niger Delta region.

The state government urged residents to come out en masse to welcome the nation’s number two citizen.

It also assured the acting President of the hospitality of people of the state and urged him to use the occasion of his visit to experience same for himself.

Furthermore, it called on him to access critical areas of the state that need prompt intervention by the Federal Government, stating that Bayelsa is the epic centre of all the issues as the home land of the Ijaw ethnic nationality.

Osinbajo meets heads of security, anti-corruption agencies, ministers.

Acting President Yemi Osinbajo on Thursday at the Presidential Villa, Abuja, presided over a meeting of heads of security and anti-corruption agencies and some cabinet ministers.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed and the Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami, attended the meeting.

The meeting, which lasted for over two hours, was also attended Inspector-General of Police, Ibrahim Idris and the Chairman of the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC), Ekpo Nta.

Others at the meeting included the Director-General of the State Security Services (SSS), Lawal Daura, and the Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crime Commission (EFCC), Ibrahim Magu.

Answering questions from State House correspondents after the closed door meeting, the EFCC boss, who declined to speak on the outcome of the meeting, urged all Nigerians to join the ongoing fight against corruption.

He identified corruption as one of the causal factors responsible for the current recession in the country.

“I’m asking all Nigerians to join in the fight against corruption; adults, children, men, women and including you journalists.

“Corruption is the greatest menace we are facing in the country. Corruption is responsible for the recession we are witnessing today.

“So, all Nigerians must join in the fight against corruption,’’ he said.

NAN reports that Acting President Osinbajo had earlier met with the leadership of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC)and Trade Union Congress (TUC) and commended them for joining the ongoing campaign against corruption in the country.


Source: NAN

Niger Delta Crisis: Osinbajo Leads Delegation to Bayelsa

Acting President Yemi Osinbajo is expected to lead a high-powered delegation of the Federal Government to Bayelsa State today as part of efforts to restore peace in the Niger Delta region.

Osinbajo and his team earlier visited Delta State, where he held meetings with major stakeholders on issues affecting the region.

He also toured facilities at the temporary site of the controversial Maritime University in Gbaramatu Kingdom.

Osinbajo’s visit, it was gathered, will enable the Federal Government to further interact with stakeholders, understand their challenges and proffer solutions to them.

Bayelsa, as one of the major oil-producing states, was second in the list for the visits to the troubled region, after Delta.

The visits, it was learnt, are meant to make the government see the effect of the recent attacks on pipelines and oil installations in renewed agitations by militants.

The Bayelsa State Police Command confirmed the Acting President’s visit and urged the public to go about their normal activities.

In a statement in Yenagoa, the state capital, Police Commissioner Amba Asuquo said Osinbajo and his team would meet with traditional rulers, eminent Bayelsa indigenes and members of the conflict resolution committees.

He said the consultations were scheduled to hold at the DSP Alamieyeseigha Memorial Banquet Hall at the Government House in Yenagoa.

He said: “Attendance is strictly on invitation. The command, therefore, advises all law-abiding citizens to go about their lawful and legitimate businesses, while gathering of persons not invited to the programme, at any point within the state, will not be tolerated. Tight security measures have been put in place to curtail the activities of miscreants.”



Niger Delta crisis: Osinbajo leads delegation to Bayelsa

Nigeria can’t grow without stopping corruption – Osinbajo

Acting President Yemi Osinbajo yesterday explained that every time the Federal Government fights corruption hard, there is a major fight back, “because corruption in this country is wealthy, powerful and influential”.

He said there would be no sustainable growth without winning the battle against corruption.

Osinbajo spoke when he received Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) President Ayuba Wabba and labour leaders at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.

They led protest to Aso Rock, demanding good governance.

Osinbajo said: “We commend you for taking this laudable campaign to the villa on behalf of the Nigerian people. For a democratically elected government, we must constantly report to the people and we must show that we are accountable to the people.

“That is why positions like yours have to be received properly and we must find ways to positively take action on the many demands that were raised.

“When we came on board, there were 22 states that were not paying salaries – some up to six or eight months. That was despite that oil prices were still high. President Buhari decided that salaries of workers across the states must be paid and that was what informed the first bailout.

“We were bailing out at a time we were losing 60 per cent of our revenue on account of what was going on in the Niger Delta. We later did the second bailout; the third was the Paris Club refunds.

“These are sums of monies owed to states and nobody has ever paid that sum of money,” he said

Osinbajo added: “Management of resources is critical, especially when those resources are as small as what we are witnessing today. We want to ensure that everyone is held to account. If resources were not efficiently managed, we will not be able to do even the things we are doing now because we are operating at less than 60 per cent of revenue as at 2015, today.

“Every time you fight corruption the way we are trying to fight corruption, there is a major fight back, because corruption in this country is wealthy, powerful, influential and it is in every aspect of our lives. It is in practically all institutions including religious institutions.

“The social media campaign of bring back corruption is an orchestrated one. Nobody that is suffering can say bring back corruption. Attempts by those who are being tried for corruption to delay trials are also part of the orchestrated campaign.

“If we don’t speak up against corrupt officials, who make it look as if there is a witch-hunt, then we will not succeed in the fight.

“Government needs everybody to speak up. We have a serious battle in our hands and if we don’t win that battle, this country will never get to the path of sustainable development. The major problem that this country has suffered so far is the looting of its resources. We must fight corruption hard. It is a tough one, but we must fight it.”

He added: “The government is committed to ensuring due process and rule of law.

“The President is a process-driven person that accounts for the steps he has taken so far.

“There is no gain without some pain. There is no way you will eat an omelet without breaking an egg.

“There is so much we can do with the Nigerian economy. We are going to be consulting with the labour union and civil societies on our economic recovery and growth plan, which we intend to launch this month.

“There is supposed to be a consultation on it so that we can take a look at the issues that are important, especially to labour and civil societies and we can incorporate them into the plan.”

The protesting labour movement was led by Wabba and Bobboi Kaigama of Trade Union Congress (TUC).

Wabba, who spoke on behalf of the 18 union leaders, said labour was concerned about good governance and corruption.

Buhari called me last night, we discussed food security for Nigerians – Dogara

President Muhammadu Buhari on Wednesday evening called Speaker of the House of Representatives, Yakubu Dogara.

Mr. Buhari, who just extended his vacation in the UK called Speaker Dogara on Wednesday evening.

The speaker stated this on his personal twitter handle on Thursday.

He said: “@MBuhari called me yesterday evening. He talked about what the Executive/ Legislature must do to to ensure food security for all Nigerians”.

“He said he was pained by the suffering endured by most Nigerians last year and he’s resolved not to let events of 2016 repeat themselves

“He also asked me to extend his best wishes to all Hon Members”, he tweeted.


Similarly, on Wednesday, the senate president also said the President called him and they joked about working late night.

Oba of Lagos visits Osinbajo, prays for Buhari

The Oba of Lagos, Oba Rilwan Akiolu, on Thursday, met behind closed doors with the Acting President, Yemi Osinbajo, at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.

The traditional ruler who was accompanied by one of his chiefs later told State House correspondents that he was at the Presidential Villa to pay homage to Osinbajo who he said was his law lecturer at the university.

He said he also used the opportunity of the visit to pray for good health and safe return of President Muhammadu Buhari who is currently in London, United Kingdom.

He said, “I am a traditional ruler and a servant of the people and I am here to see the Acting President.

“We had a meeting that I was invited by the Senate and the House of Representatives on Tuesday. We were supposed to have another security meeting tomorrow (Friday) but unfortunately it was cancelled.

“So, I have found time to see my former law lecturer and once more to convey to him the wishes and prayers of Lagos so that by the grace of God, the Almighty Allah that our President will return to us hale and hearty.

“It will be well with this country provided all of us are sincere and we cooperate with the government and we tell the government what we feel: constructive and not destructive criticisms.”

Akiolu also urged Nigerians to be patient with the present administration.

Making reference to the reported ill-health of the President, the traditional ruler said all Nigerians should be praying for both Buhari and Osinbajo.

“We have to be absolutely patient and provide useful suggestions to move the country forward.
“Prof. Yakub was sick to the extent that maggots were coming out his body and Allah brought him back not to talk of somebody who is not like that.

“By the grace of Almighty, our President will be back to all of us. As I told the Acting President now, God blessed him more than how he expected. He was a law teacher; very quiet, easy going and he is always with his Bible and see what God has done for him. He is not interested in any political thing but God had destined that he will be the number two man.

“All of us should pray for the two of them and for Nigeria to be very successful provided we are and close to God and very absolutely honest in everything we are doing. All will be well with us,” he added.

It will be recalled that the Emir of Kano, Mohammed Sanusi II, had on Wednesday paid a similar visit to Osinbajo in his office.

Acting President Osinbajo meets with labour leaders, promises good governance.

Leaders of organised labour met with Acting President Yemi Osinbajo on Thursday to present a letter bordering on the welfare of Nigerian workers.

Members of the Nigerian Labour Congress (NLC) and Trade Union Congress of Nigeria (TUC) held a protest in Abuja to demand good governance.

Some of their placards read: ‘High Electricity Tariff + Increase in Fuel Price = Factory Closure, Job Losses’, ‘Stop Importation of Petroleum Products, Refine at Home’, and ‘Gagging the press is Encouraging Corruption’.

Addressing reporters after meeting Osinbajo, Ayuba Wabba, president of the NLC, said they told the acting president that there was a disconnect between the centre and the state.

“We presented our letter of demands, we reminded him (Osinbajo) that this is the second time we are marching for good governance, we have also marched to support the fight against corruption,” he said.

“We told him that despite all that is going on there is no connect with what is happening at the centre and the states because up till today, the funds of some local government have not been released.

“Despite the bailout, despite the Paris club up till now we are yet to see something tangible. We are still discussing the issues of salaries, pension and gratuity.

“He informed us, that is myself and the TUC president, that they were cataloguing these things. Everything was documented, see the documents.

“He appreciated the fact that we came in an orderly manner to table our demands, saying that is what is expected.

“He said every item on that agenda is going to receive the attention of government. We also reminded them that on pensioners because we have also been at the receiving end.”

Wabba said the government must always consider its citizens when formulating policies.

“Basically this has received a favourable response and attention. All the three arms of government need to be together, we must have good laws. They must look at the citizens in whatever policies they churn out,” he said.

The Cable: President Buhari asks Osinbajo to forward Onnoghen’s name to the senate.

President Muhammadu Buhari has asked Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo to forward the name of Walter Onnoghen, acting chief justice of Nigeria (CJN), to the senate for confirmation.

In a letter seen by TheCable, Buhari said the name should be transmitted to the upper legislative chamber before February 10 when Onnoghen’s tenure in acting capacity would elapse.

“Your Excellency may recall that I sent a letter dated 10th November, 2016, to Honourable Jutice Walter Samuel Nkanu Onnoghen CFR, appointing him as acting chief justice of the Federal Republic of Nigeria,” the letter read.

“His acting appointment is due to lapse on the 10th of February, 2017. I am therefore, authorising you to write to the Distinguished Senate, in conformity with section 231 (1) of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria as amended, requesting for the confirmation of the same Honourable Jutice Walter Samuel Nkanu Onnoghen CFR, as the substantive Chief Justice of the Federation with effect from the date of the senate confirmation.

“Please accept, Mr Acting President, the assurances of my kind regards.”

TheCable understands that the acting president has since sent the request for confirmation to the senate.

There have been controversies over the delay in the confirmation of Onnoghen, who is the first individual from the south to attain that height in 30 years.

Ayo Irikefe was the chief justice of Nigeria between 1985 and 1987, and he was succeeded by Mohammed Bello.

The delay in confirming Onnoghen had sparked controversy, with many accusing the president of ethnic bias.

Abubakar Dangiwa Umar, former military governor of Kaduna state, had urged the senate not to confirm any nominee apart from Walter Onnoghen.

Onnoghen had appreciated the interest of Nigerians in the issue, but called for restraint.

“Nigerians should allow President, Muhammadu Buhari, GCFR, a free hand to perform his constitutional duties concerning the appointment of a substantive chief justice of Nigeria,” he had said in a statement issued on his behalf by Awassam Bassey, his media aide.

On Monday, TheCable conducted a poll on whether Osinbjao should forward Onnoghen’s name to the senate.

Majority of the respondents voted in support of the idea.

Buhari is currently on medical vacation in the UK.


Source: The Cable

Osinbajo preaches at Pentecostal event; speaks on religious crisis, Southern Kaduna

Acting President Yemi Osinbajo on Tuesday urged Nigerians to embrace love, saying “the seed of hate is the device of the devil.”

He made the call at the Biannual Conference of Pentecostal Fellowship of Nigeria (PFN) in Benin as he preached forgiveness.

The acting president, who went down memory lane on religious crisis dating back to 1979 with the Maitasine crisis in Borno that left many dead, urged Christians to live in peace with one another.

He also urged Christians to embrace love, noting that “hate is the device of the devil likely to hinder prosperity of the Christendom.”

According to him, hate is man’s greatest enemy, recalling that the country witnessed brutal killings of men and women in the past few years.

He added that “the history of blood and religious conflict extends every Nigerian government.”

Mr. Osinbajo, therefore, urged Christians not to be despised by others, saying “it is the burden of the Gospel.”

On the Southern Kaduna killings, he said “investigations are ongoing; I can’t make any categorical statement.

“The Federal Government has taken steps by first aligning with the state government, and it is working with the police to be the first respondents.

“It is not true to say that Federal Government is silent about the killings: it is not true.

“Troops were sent in after a security council briefing was received from the state and police, after they found themselves not being able to curtail the killings.

“Every Nigerian leader, whether Christian or Muslim, tried to solve the problem of religious crisis and none succeeded.

“In many respect, the failure of our criminal justice system to punish culprits has not helped matters.

“Meanwhile, suicide bombers and those ready to die with their victims keep adding more satanic dimension to the public.

“Why is it that no government has succeeded in stopping these age-long killings?,” he asked.

He explained that everything about the gospel contradicted the flesh, saying as far as the gospel was concerned, the way to live and be fruitful was to die.

He urged Christians to love and forgive their enemies, irrespective of the harm done to them.


Source: NAN

I am not under pressure to resign, says Osinbajo.

Nigeria’s acting president Yemi Osinbajo Monday said he was no under pressure to resign from his post, addressing rumours for the first time that he was pressured by a special interest to vacate his position.

Osinbajo spoke to reporters at the State House, Abuja, after a meeting with the national chairman of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) Chief John odigie-Oyegun.

“I’m absolutely under no pressure to resign. In any event, I was voted for by the people of this nation – myself and Mr President, and the people of this nation have not asked us to resign,” Osinbajo said.

Reiterating the presidency’s position that the Buhari had no serious health issues, the acting vice president said he had a long phone conversation with ‘hale and hearty’ Buhari earlier on Monday on the state of the nation.

“Let me say that the President is hale and hearty. I spoke to him just this afternoon and we had a very long conversation.

“He was interested in knowing about the budget process and how far we had gone. As you know, we had a meeting today with the private sector on the economic recovery plan.

“Of course I informed him about some of what we are seeing – the protests, marches and all of that, some of the feedback and what people are saying about the economy.

“He is in good shape, he was very chatty and we had a good conversation this afternoon.”

He, however, like Buhari’s spokesman, Femi Adesina, declined to disclose the exact state of the president’s health, noting that only the president had the right to disclose such information to the public.

“I think that the health status of Mr President is a fact or issue that only Mr President himself will be able to discuss at the appropriate time.

“Again, he is running tests and before you determine your health status you must be able to say ‘this is my health status’.

“If I’m running tests; doing some routine and some that my doctors have asked me to do, then surely I must await the outcome of that before I talk about any kind of status,” he said.

President Buhari is hale and hearty – Osinbajo

Acting President Yemi Osinbajo has assured the nation that President Muhammadu Buhari is hale and hearty and would return home as soon as he completes the necessary tests recommended by his doctors in the United Kingdom.

Mr. Osinbajo, a professor of law, gave the assurance on Monday when State House correspondents approached him for a chat shortly after his reported telephone conversation with the president.

“Let me first say the President is hale and hearty. I spoke to him just this afternoon and we had a fairly long conversation, he is in good shape and very chatty,” the Acting President said.

He disclosed that the conversation was focused on the economy, the budget and goings on in the country.

The President was “interested in knowing about the budget process and how far we had gone,” especially with efforts aimed at taking the country out of recession.

“As you know we had a meeting today with the private sector on the economic recovery and growth plan and he was interested in knowing what was happening with that, with the economic recovery and growth plan and what we are doing with the private sector.”

“And of course I informed him of what we are seeing, the protest matches and some of what the feedback is, what people are saying about the economy and all of that,’’ Mr. Osinbajo added.

On when the President would return to Nigeria and his present health status, Mr. Osinbajo said “just as he has said in his letter to the National Assembly, he needs to go through a cycle of tests and once the test results are seen, he will receive medical advice. We should expect him very soon.”

On the health status of the president, Mr. Osinbajo noted that at the appropriate time Mr. Buhari be able to discuss it, especially as he is currently running tests.

According to Mr. Osinbajo, “before you determine your health status, you must be able to run the necessary tests, and do what doctors have asked to be done, and await the outcome of that before one can talk about any kind of health status.’’

The Acting President also dismissed insinuations that he was under pressure to resign.

“I was voted for by the people of this nation, myself and Mr. President, and the people of this nation have never asked us to resign.

“So, I am absolutely under no pressure, and the truth is that there has been absolutely no pressure from any source.”

#IStandWithNigeria: We Hear You Loud And Clear – Acting President Osinbajo

The following are excerpts from the opening remarks of Ag. President Yemi Osinbajo, SAN,  at today’s consultative forum between the Economic Management Team and the Private Sector on the Economic Recovery Growth Plan, which is to be launched later this month.

The Ag. President in response to the #IStandWithNigeria protesters across the country, said;

WE HEAR YOU loud and clear, those who are on the streets protesting the economic situation and even those who are are not, but feel the pain of economic hardship. We hear you loud and clear. You deserve a decent life and and we are working night and day to make life easier.

The Ag. President also recalled the words of President Buhari, a few months ago when he said;

“I know that uppermost in your minds today is the economic crisis, the recession for many individuals and families is real. For some it means not being able to pay school fees, for others it is not being able to afford the high cost of rice, millet, or of local or international travel. And for many of our young people the recession means joblessness, sometimes after graduating from university or polytechnic.

I know how difficult things are, and how rough business is. All my adult life I have always earned a salary, and I know what it is like when your salary simply is not enough. In every part of our nation people are making incredible sacrifices.”

The journey out of the damage caused by years of neglect and corruption is bound to be difficult but there is a glorious light at the end of the tunnel. Let us work together, steadfastly and patiently for the economic change that will come very soon.

Prof. Yemi Osinbajo, SAN 

Ag. President 

Federal Republic of Nigeria 

February 6, 2017

VP Osinbajo Calls For Reform Of Criminal Justice System.

Nigeria’s Vice President, Professor Yemi Osinbanjo, has called for the reform of the nation’s criminal justice system to ensure that criminal elements do not escape punishment.


Osinbajo made the call at a lecture with course 25 of the National Defence College in Abuja.


According to the Vice President, the reforms would also help to check the activities of groups like Boko Haram and Niger Delta militants.


He then urged the military to resist divisive forces that undermine national unity and economic growth.


According to him, they are major threats to national prosperity.


Source: Channels TV

Shiites urge VP Osinbajo to release El-Zakzaky, wife

The Islamic Movement in Nigeria (IMN), otherwise known as Shiites, has urged Acting President Yemi Osinbajo to release its leader, Ibraheem El-Zakzaky, and wife from detention.

The group’s spokesman, Ibrahim Musa, made the renewed call yesterday in a statement.

He said they were encouraged by Osinbajo’s recent statement at Eko Stakeholders Summit, which condemned police and judges for illegally detaining suspects without trial.

The Attorney-General and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami, represented the acting president at the summit.

Musa urged Osinbajo, in his capacity as the acting president to release their detained leaders in line with his declaration at the summit.

He said this was necessary since a Federal High Court had ordered their release over a year ago.

He accused the Federal Government of not respecting the rule of law, stating that despite the fact that El-Zakzaky met his bail conditions within the stipulated time, he is yet to regain his freedom.

He said it is conflicting for government to condemn illegal detention of suspects when El-Zakzaky and others had been detained for more than one year without charging them to court.

Musa said: “It is unfortunate that Osinbajo, who is a professor of law and Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN), could serve in a regime that flouts court orders.”

He, therefore, urged Malami to demonstrate the country’s respect for the rule of law by commencing the process of their release.

VP Osinbajo inaugurates task force to reduce food prices

Moved by the need to enhance affordability of food prices across country, the Buhari administration has constituted a Presidential Task Force to urgently consider measures that would ensure a steady flow of produce to the market and reverse recent price increases.

Giving the directive Wednesday at the Federal Executive Council meeting, Acting President Yemi Osinbajo, SAN, expressed concern at some of the inflationary rates of food prices, noting that the Task Force will explore options to promote availability and affordability of food items to Nigerians.

According to him, the Task Force, which has seven days from Wednesday to report back to the Council, will consider how to remove some of the cost-raising factors that come into play between the farms and the markets and therefore “bring relief to our people.”

While there have been reports of bumper harvests in parts of the country, the prices of food stuff still end up rather high, while some of the produce even end up wasted due to a number of reasons preventing effective transportation delivery to the markets.

One of the focus areas of the Task Force, the Ag. President noted, would be to review the transportation and preservation processes, and see how government can intervene in those aspects to bring down food prices.

The Task Force, which would be meeting with the Ag. President in the discharge of its urgent assignment, will therefore draw out a practical plan and present same to the Council next week.

Members of the Task Force include the following:

Minister of Agriculture & Rural Development, Chief Audu Ogbeh

Minister of Finance, Mrs Kemi Adeosun

Minister of Industry, Trade & Development, Dr. Okey Enelamah

Minister of Transportation, Honorable Rotimi Amaechi

Minister for Water Resources, Engr. Suleiman Adamu

Minister of Labour & Employment, Dr. Chris Ngige

The Offices of the Chief of Staff to the President and the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Sustainable Development Goals, SDGs, would also be on the Task Force.


VP Osinbajo swears in 5 NPC Commissioners

Acting President Yemi Osinbajo on Wednesday in Abuja swore-in five new commissioners of the National Population Commission, NPC.


The swearing in of the commissioners followed their successful screening by the Senate, on December 12, 2016, after their nomination by President Muhammadu Buhari.


The appointment of the commissioners was also endorsed by the National Council of State, last year.


They are Benedict Ukpong, Akwa Ibom; Gloria Izonfuo, Bayelsa; Kupchi Iyanya, Benue; Haliru Bala, Kebbi; and Eyitayo Oyetunji, Oyo.


This is the first time the acting president will be administering oath of office on political appointees as President Muhammadu Buhari is on 10-day vacation in London.


The event, which was carried out before the commencement of the weekly Federal Executive Council, FEC, meeting, was witnessed by cabinet ministers and relations of the appointees.


Source: NAN

Osinbajo meets Saraki, Dogara, others over 2017 budget

Acting President Yemi Osinbajo yesterday met with the National Assembly leadership in continuation of consultations between the executive and legislative arms of government over the 2017 budget.

The meeting, held behind closed doors of the Presidential Villa, Abuja, had the President of the Senate, Dr. Bukola Saraki and Speaker of the House of Representatives Yakubu Dogara and some cabinet ministers in attendance.

Addressing State House correspondents after the meeting, the Senate President said they discussed issues relating to the nation’s economy, including the 2017 budget proposal before the National Assembly.

According to him, the National Assembly had so far not encountered any problems with the 2017 budget.
“We were meeting on the economy and the budget: the Vice-President, the Speaker, ministers of budget, finance and I. We are aware that the economic team would soon be going on road shows and this meeting was just to brief us and let us know the issues and carry us along. We have started the budget scrutiny, so there are no issues. These are just consultations,” he said.

Meanwhile, the Senate Committee on Basic Education yesterday took the management of the Nigeria Education Research and Development Council (NERDC) to task over high overhead cost of the agency in the 2017 budget proposal.

The NERDC Executive Secretary, Professor Ismail Junaid had in his defence of the 2017 budget of the research council before the committee disclosed that N244million was proposed for overhead cost aside major recurrent expenditure to cover salaries and emolument of staffers of the agency.

The committee, however, felt uncomfortable with the proposal more so, when it discovered that out of the figure, a whopping N30million was budgeted for security services, N15 million for fumigation, N19 million for powering of generator among others.

Senator Binta Garuba Marshi (APC Adamawa North) wondered why overhead cost of such an agency would be far more than half of its capital vote of N377million.

‘Resist divisive tendencies over Southern Kaduna killings’ – Osinbajo tells Nigerians

Acting President Yemi Osinbajo has urged the citizenry to display true leadership virtues and resist the temptation to succumb to divisive tendencies.

A source in the Presidency, who craved anonymity, quoted the Acting President as responding to the leadership of Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN), which accused him of keeping silent in the face of brutal killings of Christians in Southern Kaduna.

The source said Osinbajo would always work in line with the rule of law and was committed to the best standards of governance that value the life of every Nigerian, regardless of religion or ethnicity.

He noted that even though there were weaknesses in the nation’s criminal justice system that limited his action, the Acting President was still working within government to bring the reforms necessary, including the option of community policing, to effectively arrest the situation in Southern Kaduna and other places.

The source said: “The Acting President has always acted to defend the rule of law and course of Justice. He is firmly committed to the best standards of governance that primes and values the life of every Nigerian, regardless of religion or ethnicity. As far as he is concerned, all Nigerians are equal and loved by God and does not discriminate on the basis of religion.

“Alongside the President, Prof. Osinbajo is unwavering in ensuring that anyone who violates the law should and must be made to face the full extent of the law.

“He has spoken out publicly on the inherent weaknesses in the nation’s Criminal Justice System, and is working assiduously within government to bring the reforms necessary, including the option of community policing.

“The current limitations of the criminal justice system, however, affect virtually every kind of crime, including the example of high profile murders of the past, many of which remain unsolved.

“This administration will continue to defend and protect the lives of all Nigerian citizens. It’s the reason the President gave firms instructions to security agencies – military and police – to send reinforcements to Southern Kaduna to enforce the peace. The Southern Kaduna crisis has become a worrying recurrent decimal over the years.

“We -all of us in government, political, religious leaders, traditional rulers and the Nigerian people, especially the elites- must work to find a lasting solution.”

23,000 Artisans, Traders Get FG’s Soft Loans in 13 States – Presidency

The Presidency on Monday said 23,000 persons have so far benefited from 23, 400 loans in 13 States and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) in the Government’s Enterprise and Empowerment Programme (GEEP), under the Social Investment Programmes (SIPs).

A statement by the Senior Special Assistant on media and publicity, Laolu Akande, listed the States as Adamawa, Akwa Ibom, Delta, Ekiti, Kogi, Kwara, Niger, Lagos, Osun, Ogun, Oyo, Ondo, Rivers and the FCT.

He said the loans ranged between N10,000, to N100,000 per applicant.

The loans, he said would be paid directly to individuals, while they are expected to belong to registered associations and/or cooperatives to ensure that they were peer-endorsed as credible, and to facilitate timely repayments.

“All beneficiaries must have BVNs and bank accounts.” the statement stated

Stressing that the Micro-credit scheme is a no-interest loan scheme, with only a one-time 5 per cent administrative fee for costs, the statement said the loan is targeted at micro-enterprises: traders, artisans, market men and women, entrepreneurs, farmers with the involvement of cooperatives and executed through the Bank of Industry, BOI.

It added “Although over 23,000 people have benefited from the loans, altogether, over 1 million people have already enrolled for the programme across the country and are expected to benefit this year.

“To facilitate the loan disbursement, four payment providers have been signed-on for the programme mostly in the urban areas. The next wave of payment providers, coming on stream by March 2017, would provide a much wider coverage in the rural areas.”

“About 8,436 market associations and cooperatives nationwide have been registered for this scheme through the web portal (, as well as through paper application forms.”

On the progress made with the National Homegrown School Feeding Programme, the statement said that “actual feeding of pupils is expected to commence this week in Ogun and Oyo States, while Ebonyi State will soon follow

It also gave details of the cost of the feeding programme, stating that N70 was the cost of the one meal per pupil.
“Contrary to insinuations in some quarters and inaccurate reports in some sections of the media, there are no payment issues or any kind of food rationing taking place in states where the Homegrown School Feeding Programme has kicked off.

“While the Federal Government has paid all approved cooks based on the number of pupils allocated to each cook, it is the State that provides the number of pupils to be fed. And where those figures change, the next batch of FG payment would reflect it.

“Specifically, where the number of pupils increase, the State will communicate the increase and approve the review. The numbers of the new pupils are then physically verified, before a commensurate number of cooks are engaged, trained and then paid.

“The FG has also adopted a system where it pays the cooks a 10-day advance payment for feeding. The programme is designed to ensure that no cook feeds more than 150 pupils a day, but in some cases, the numbers are as low as 35 children per cook.

“The meal which must be sufficient and nutritious is costed around locally sourced items and approved by the State under the N70 per child provision by the Federal Government. Food quality is monitored at the school level through the head teachers, the Parent Teachers Association, PTA, and the State monitoring teams.

“11 States have so far indicated their readiness to commence the school feeding programme having met FG’s set criteria.

“The progress so far recorded with the Homegrown School Feeding Programme, the N-Power Teach for unemployed graduates, the Conditional Cash Transfer for the poorest, and the GEEP underscores the Buhari Presidency’s commitment to the plight of poor Nigerians and unemployed youths in the country.

“Efforts to ramp-up all the schemes are in top gear currently”, it said.

Presidency, Saraki dismiss rumours of plot to force Osinbajo’s resignation

The presidency and Senate President Bukola Saraki have dismissed rumours that some governors are putting pressure on Mr. Osinbajo to step down as acting president.

Mr. Osinbajo is currently acting as Nigeria’s president after a letter to that effect was sent to the Senate by President Muhammadu Buhari shortly before he jetted out to the UK for vacation.

Rumours were rife on social media that Mr. Saraki was working with some governors to force Mr. Osinbajo to resign paving the way for him to serve as acting president.

Mr. Saraki is constitutionally next in hierarchy after Mr. Osinbajo.

In his reaction to the rumours, the political adviser to the president, Babafemi Ojudu, on Wednesday said such reports were “ridiculous.”

“I have read many ridiculous stories saying the Vice President Prof Yemi Osinbajo is being held hostage by some governors who are trying to compel him to resign.

“I have equally received several calls regarding this. The story is simply not true. It is a fabrication. Don’t be a purveyor of fake news,” Mr. Ojudu said.

He also said the Vice President is “behind his desk carrying out his task” and that he presided over the meeting of the Federal Executive Council earlier on Wednesday.

On his part Mr. Saraki advised those peddling the rumour to leave him out of it.

In a statement also on Wednesday by his spokesperson, Yusuph Olaniyonu, Mr. Saraki said his first reaction after the rumours emerged was to ignore them.

Mr. Olaniyonu said Mr. Saraki was “inundated with calls from across the country and abroad, it became necessary for me to make clarifications from our own end.”

Mr. Saraki said it is a good thing that the Presidency had also dismissed the speculation and showed that there is no substance to it.

“However, I feel it should be known that those behind this baseless, empty and unintelligent mischief are those who do not love this country,” he said.

“Such suggestions as contained in the speculation can only bring ill-will, disunity and crisis to the country and I therefore advise the sponsors to desist immediately. More importantly, these trouble makers should refrain from linking Senator Saraki’s name to their evil plot.”


Source: Premium Times

Emefiele backs Osinbajo, says CBN not floating the Naira.

Godwin Emefiele, governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), on Tuesday revealed that the CBN would not float the Naira.


Instead, he said the bank would continue with a managed float regime.


“The reserves today, I am happy to say is $28.9 billion,” Emefiele said.


“It is exciting to see this happen, but is there a need to float the naira? It is important for us to know that we do not run a float regime; we run a managed float.


“What that means is that from time to time, we would continue to intervene in the market to ensure that the exchange rate doed not go beyond our own expectations and those interventions will be to manage the risks, as we deem necessary.


“The fact that we began to see some accruation to reserves does not mean that we have to be reckless; we would continue the policy of ensuring that foreign exchange is available to those who are importing raw materials, who are importing plants and equipment, who are supporting the agricultural sector.”


Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo, who spoke in Davos, Switzerland, last week, had said the country could not simply float the naira.


“We simply can’t allow the currency to float; we have to look at all of the market conditions and all of that,” Osinbajo had said.


And Emefiele, who spoke at the conclusion of the monetary policy meeting in Abuja, said the country’s forex policy is sound, and asked manufacturers and business owners not to panic.


“[What] we have [been] operating since June 20 is flexible, and like I said, that document remains a sound document. But, of course,one way or the other, there may be few issues, a few fine-tuning that has to be made in terms of the implementation strategies, and we would look at it from time to time.


“I would like to say there is nothing wrong with that document, and there is nothing wrong with what the central bank is doing  at this time to stabilise the exchange rate and see to it that the currency stabilises at a rate that we consider to be in line with any model that anybody wants to use to determine the price or value of our currency.


“We would continue to assure those who are doing their businesses that as you require foreign exchange, we would continue to support you, and there is no need to panic.”


Source: The Cable

A day after VP Osinbajo’s visit, militants ‘blow up’ pipeline in Delta.

A militant group has blown up a crude oil trunkline in Ughelli, Delta state, a day after Yemi Osinbajo, vice-president, paid a visit to the Niger Delta region.


Punch reports that the attack was carried out by an “unidentified militant group”.


No militant group has claimed responsibility for this latest attack on an oil installation.


Osinbajo had on Monday led a federal government delegation to the region to kick-start the process of peace and stability.


During the trip, the vice president had met with traditional rulers and key stakeholders.


Speaking in Gbaramatu kingdom, Delta state, Osinbajo put out a clarion call, urging members of the region to embrace peace and “prepare for the future”.


“Our future is the future of progress and development. Unfortunately, there is no time because the future is already here.


“I have come with a message for the people of Gbaramatu Kingdom and the people of the Niger Delta as whole. It is a short message and I quote ‘we must prepare for the future’,” Osinbajo had said.

VP Yemi Osinbajo Visits Gbaramatu Kingdom.

Nigeria’s Vice President, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo, on Monday paid a visit to the Gbaramatu Kingdom in Delta state.

Osinbajo was accompanied by the Minister of State for Petroleum, Ibe Kachikwu and was received in Delta State by Governor Ifeanyi Okowa.

He then flew to Gbaramatu kingdom for a talk with the leaders of the oil bearing coastal communities.

The Vice President is looking to engage in talks on how to address issues affecting the region and bring an end to militants’ attacks on Nigeria’s oil and gas facilities.

Vice President Yemi Osinbajo is expected to also visit a number of oil communities across some Niger Delta states.

According to a statement from the Office of the Vice President, Prof. Osinbajo would also be visiting Bayelsa and Rivers States at a later date to be announced.

Spokesperson for the Office of the Vice President, Laolu Akande, described the move as further demonstration of President Muhammadu Buhari’s readiness and determination to comprehensively address the Niger Delta situation.

#ArmedForcesRemembranceDay: President Buhari, Osinbajo honour fallen heroes

President Muhammadu Buhari has commended troops for their sacrifice to the nation.

He also said those who died in the line of duty would not be forgotten.

He spoke at the national arcade in Abuja on Sunday, while performing the wreath laying ceremony for the 2017 Armed Forces Remembrance Day.

Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo; Yakubu Dogara, speaker of the house of representatives; and Walter Onnoghen, acting chief justice of Nigeria, were among the dignitaries at the event.

Buhari spoke via video-conference to troops in Sambisa forest, and United Nations Mission In Liberia (UNMIL), and the air force base In Yola, Adamawa state during the event.

He encouraged them to keep doing the nation proud, saying his government was solidly behind them.

“Good morning officers and men of the 7th division of the Nigeria army. You have done Nigeria a great pride. Your success was received spontaneously by all Nigerians,” he told those in Borno.

“I congratulate you and thank you very much for the honour done to the country and to us. Well done! I wish you and your families well and I hope that you are in touch with your families.

“I wish you more success and please maintain the standard of discipline and efficiency. Thank you very much indeed.”

To troops in Liberia, he said: “Good morning General (Salihu Uba, force commander for the United Nations Mission in Liberia). We thank God and we thank technology.

“I can see you and I can hear you. I am impressed with the turnout of your men and I thank you for keeping the flag flying on the performance of Nigerian military in the United Nations peacekeeping operations.

“God willing as you briefed us, in 2018, the last contingent of Nigeria troops in Liberia will come back. I sincerely wish them a successful operation and I wish the general the best of luck.”

He said he gets briefings on the activities of the troops in Yola.

Like he said to those in Borno and Liberia, he commended the Adamawa troops.

“I get regular briefing from your chief of air staff. Your performance speaks for itself and you have raised the morale of your colleagues in the military especially the army,” he said.

“With your hi-tech performance and platforms, we have been able to restore the sanity and the territorial integrity of Nigeria; I congratulate you.

“For the officers and men, you know you cannot be over-trained. With your hi-tech outfit, training has to be continuous and I am very pleased with the initiative that you have taken in maintenance of equipment.

“It is very encouraging and a boost to our morale here. I congratulate you and please pass my message to your families that we are very mindful of their patience and anxiety whenever you are in the field.”

Some Nigerians see corrupt politicians as heroes – VP Osinbajo

Vice-president, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo, has disclosed that some Nigerians still see politicians who steal from the county’s treasury as heroes.

Osinbajo regretted that act, noting that many others did not see anything wrong when the politicians involved in stealing the nation’s commonwealth were their kinsmen.

The VP made this known on Tuesday in a statement by his Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity, Mr. Laolu Akande.

He was quoted as saying this while granting audience to a delegation of the Presidential Advisory Committee Against Corruption led by its Chairman, Prof. Itse Sagay, at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.

According to the statement, Osinbajo commended the committee which he said had done very well by removing skepticism on whether anti-corruption initiative can work well in the country.

The statement reads: “How we communicate what is going on regarding corruption is important.

“There are still those who think a politician who steals, is some kind of Robin Hood, instead of being vilified.

“Some people believe that if ‘my kinsman steals it is okay.’

“It is important to completely legitimize corruption especially through the way it is communicated.”

Osinbajo’s book gift – By Wale Fatade

At my barber’s salon on Christmas Eve, a copy of the day’s Punch newspaper caught my attention. To pass away time while waiting for my turn, I decided to read or flip through, more correctly, as no story was interesting enough to retain my attention. That was before I got to Aso Rock lens, a weekly roundup of events at our nation’s seat of power by Olalekan Adetayo, the paper’s Aso Rock correspondent. Titled Osinbajo’s unique Christmas, New Year gifts for ministers it detailed how our vice president, Yemi Osinbajo, on December 23, gave book gifts to all ministers shortly before the cabinet meeting of the day.

Book gifts? To ministers? In a country where leaders are not shy to advertise their phobia or disdain for the printed matter except perhaps contract documents, that must be stranger than fiction. Remembering, however, that our vice president used to be an academic before joining politics, it makes sense. But in a cabinet where the president has told us that he prefers cartoons to other reading materials, the gesture deserved more than a passing glance. While I do not know most of the ministers intimately, I know that at least two read a lot of books going by their antecedents and what those close to them have testified. A friend and I have seen ‘super minister’ Babatunde Fashola’s car as Lagos State governor at a function and we were dazed by the number of books in the car.  Even though one is not sure whether Mr. Fashola suffers from tsudoku, it was gratifying enough that he could proudly display books just as his numerous interviews were filled with quotes from books. I heard Kayode Fayemi is a bibliophile too and again that is not surprising for he was an academic before becoming a politician.

But books as gifts is a wonderful gesture that we must all commend, unfortunately reading is a dying art in our country today. In other democracies, reading is a common attribute of their leaders and there are even the occasional visits to bookstores. I remember that under former president Olusegun Obasanjo, retreats were organised for cabinet members with reading list complete with power point razzmatazz. Some so-called experts were flown in at public expense to discuss some of these books; we are wiser now whether such reading sessions made any difference in governance. Also during the late Umaru Musa Yar’Adua presidency, his media adviser once issued a statement that his principal would go on retreat at Obudu Cattle Ranch and would also take time to read some books. As news editor of a newspaper then, we decided to do a follow-up and ask the adviser what books the president would be reading, maybe he would get back to us tomorrow. Apparently, it was a PR stunt they never imagined anybody would be interested in as there might not be a reading list after all.

The choice of the books too made an interesting read as they were by only one author, Malcom Gladwell.  The Tipping Point, Outliers, and David and Goliath could be a good read but for those charged with leading us out of recession, but perhaps this government’s mantra of buying local would have been a preferred course of action. While I know that there are inherent lessons in these books having read them, I wonder whether our ministers would not have been better served with books by Nigerian authors. Just imagine a reading list comprising Just Before Dawn by Kole Omotoso, The Trouble With Nigeria by Chinua Achebe, and Olusegun Adeniyi’s Power, Politics and Death.  Achebe’s book was published in 1983 and it offers a diagnosis of what ails our country putting it succinctly as leadership failure just as Omotoso’s, published in 1988, chronicles the downfall of the second republic while Adeniyi’s provides a window to the Yar’Adua presidency. Why these three? Achebe’s diagnosis is still apt and Omotoso’s book is a warning to those who are still subverting the democratic process and Adeniyi’s is a reminder to what happens when a president is held hostage by those closest to him. It would also be a boon for local publishers who are asphyxiating due to some policies of this government. Probably too, Osinbajo would have discovered that Spectrum Books, which published Omotoso book has changed ownership due to low patronage.

But, hey, am I not getting ahead of myself? Are we sure our ministers would read and digest Osinbajo’s books? They probably spent a better part of the holiday causing more trouble for governors in their states irrespective of whether they belong to the same political party or strategizing on how they could be retained in the cabinet. Historical moments sneak on us without fanfare; one of such was the gift by the vice president. May we have many of such this New Year.

VIDEO: Obasanjo, Gowon, Osinbajo, Diya, others sing for Nigeria.

Former presidents and several Nigerian leaders have collaborated to sing a hymn for Nigeria’s progress on New Year’s Day, 2017.


Yakubu Gowon, Olusegun Obasanjo, Ernest Shonekan, and Alex Ekwueme were some of the former leaders who sang the hymn ‘Oh God Our Help In Ages Past’.


Yemi Osinbajo, vice president, served as the coordinator of the choir.

Osinbajo: Niger Delta is where we get most of the money

Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo says the oil rich Niger Delta region is where Nigeria gets most of its money.

Speaking on Thursday when he paid an unscheduled visit to the Mpape artisans’ village in Abuja, Osinbajo highlighted the resurgence of militancy in the region as one of the major challenges confronting this government.

He admitted that the pace of the current administration is slow, but said progress had been made.

Osinbajo also blamed the economic crisis on the “damages of the past”.

He told his audience of government’s plan to develop small and medium scale enterprises, and to also create sustainable jobs.

Osinbajo was accompanied by Lai Mohammed, minister of information and culture.

“We are progressing but it is slow and the reason why it is slow is because there have been a lot of damages in the past,” he said.

“For instance, look at what is happening in the Niger Delta; that is where we get most of the money.

“But when the boys in the Niger Delta decided in blowing up the pipelines, production dropped from the two million barrels per day that we used to do to one million per day and we lost 60 per cent of what we used to earn from oil, that is partly responsible for the problem that you see today.

“We are trying to deal with the problem in the Niger Delta, address farming, industry and the economy so that this problem you are talking about will be fixed permanently.”

He urged the artisans not to despair, saying the government remained focused on improving key sectors that would revive the economy and create jobs for them and other Nigerians.

Our Government is Slow, but Progressing – VP Osinbajo

Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo on Thursday admitted that although the current administration is making progress, it is slow.

He attributed the slow nature of the government’s progress to what he called “damages of the past.”

According to a statement from his media office, Osinbajo spoke when he paid an unscheduled visit to the Mpape artisans’ village, located near the Maitama district of Abuja.

The Vice-President who was accompanied by the Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Muhammad, cited the vandalism in the Niger Delta as one of the problems facing the country.

He said, “We are progressing but it is slow and the reason why it is slow is because there have been a lot of damages in the past.

“For instance, look at what is happening in the Niger Delta; that is where we get most of the money.

“But when the boys in the Niger Delta decided in blowing up the pipelines, production dropped from the two million barrels per day that we used to do to one million per day and we lost 60 per cent of what we used to earn from oil, that is partly responsible for the problem that you see today.’’

Osinbajo encouraged the artisans not to despair as government was focused on addressing key sectors that would improve the economy and create jobs for them and other Nigerians.

“We are trying to deal with the problem in the Niger Delta, address farming, industry and the economy so that this problem you are talking about will be fixed permanently,” he said.

No Quick Fix To Recession– Osinbajo

Vice President Yemi Osinbajo has declared that there is no quick fix to the current problems confronting the nation’s economy.

According to the vice president, “there is no country that can make progress without some pain.”

A statement last night from the office of the Vice President quoted him as declaring this earlier yesterday when he paid an unscheduled visit to the Mpape artisans’ village in Abuja.

He urged the artisans not to despair as government remained focused on improving key sectors that would revive the economy and create jobs saying “we’re trying to deal with the problem in the Niger Delta, address farming, industry and the economy so that this problem you’re talking about will be fixed permanently.”

Osinbajo, who assured of Federal Government’s commitment to supporting the growth of small and medium scale enterprises, said Buhari’s administration was progressing.

The vice president, however, admitted that the present administration was slow “because there have been a lot of damages in the past.”

Earlier, the chairman of the Mpape Artisans Association, Obafemi Adeleye, appealed to Osinbajo to help them secure a permanent location for their workshops. He assured the vice president of their support for Buhari administration’s policies.

Credit: dailytrust

Nigeria saves N15.4 billion monthly from fuel subsidy removal – Osinbajo

Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo says the fuel subsidy removal has removed a burden of not less than N15.4 billion monthly from the Federal Government.

Mr. Osinbajo said this in Abuja on Thursday at the 2016 presentation of scorecard of the Ministry of Petroleum Resources and Agreements Signing ceremony for Joint Venture Cash Calls (JVC) exit.

Represented by the Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami, Mr. Osinbajo said that $15 billion would be injected into the sector.

”I am pleased to be the special guest of honour at the agreements signing ceremony for Joint Venture Cash Call exit and the announcement of $15 billion investments to be done in the sector.

”The oil and gas sector remains very critical to the stability and growth of our economy as it accounts for about 90 per cent of earnings.

”Amongst others, the downstream sector has been deregulated with the elimination of petroleum subsidy.

”This policy has removed from government, a burden of not less than N15.4 billion monthly,” he said.

The vice-president said that government had taken steps to raise the domestic refining capacity for petroleum products by repairing the existing refineries.

”We have also licensed modular refineries and support the development of private refineries one of which is a 650,000 barrel per day capacity,” he said.

According to him, one of the refineries is nearing completion, adding that when completed, it will restore “our pipeline to facilitate crude and products transportation.”

He said that the Federal Executive Council (FEC) had approved new measures aimed at eliminating the burden of JVC and easing future payments in the upstream sector.

Mr Osinbajo commended the World Bank on the global initiative to secure the environment by ending and commercialising gas flares.

”It will boost the discharge of international obligations by Nigeria on climate change and contribute to our national power generation capacity”.

He urged other ministries to come up with score cards of their performances in the last year.

Also speaking, the Minister of State for Petroleum, Ibe Kachikwu, said that when he took over the leadership of the ministry, oil sector was losing N1.2 trillion every year and fuel scarcity was common.

”Today, we have a situation where refined petroleum consumption has gone down from an all-time high of 40 million litres a day to about 28 million litres a day.

”On cash call, the issue was how long the upstream was going to continue to bleed as investments were drying up and activities grinding to a halt.

”For the first time in 2017, you are going to see the Ministry driving an effort with the Department of Petroleum Resources to find leakage areas, essential to cover the gap in the 2017 budget.

”In the Niger Delta, we have brought the all-time low production of 1.3 million barrels per day (mbpd) to 1.8mbpd but for some minor incidents it would be closer to 2.1mbpd or 2.2mbpd.

”We set a zero militancy target in 2017 and we want anything that needs to be done should be done,’’ he said.

On Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries, OPEC, he said that he was thrust into the chairmanship of the organisation immediately he was appointed.

He added that he said he had to convince four countries to serve as engine rooms of finding solutions and not bringing the national problems to OPEC.

In her address of welcome, DJamila Shua’ra, said that ”the year started with refineries producing below capacity, high demand for petroleum products and insufficient supplies at depots, forex shortages.

”However, President Muhammadu Buhari believed in our team and our collective ability to find solutions.

”Although, it is not Uhuru yet, there are many more rivers to cross. As we speak, aviation fuel remains a challenge.

”We are yet to pick maximum capacity in our refineries and there is need for more investors to fund massive infrastructural development in the sector”.

The News Agency of Nigeria reports that awards were presented to an outstanding staff each from subsidiaries of the ministry.

Gowon, Obasanjo, Shonekan, Osinbajo Pray for Nigeria at Villa Chapel Thanksgiving

Aso Villa Chapel yesterday organised its annual end of the year thanksgiving service with former Heads of State, Gen. Yakubu Gowon, Olusegun Obasanjo and Ernest Shonekan in attendance.

The service, which took place in the chapel, was also attended by former Vice-President Alex Ekwueme, former Chief of General Staff Rear Admiral Ebitu Ukiwe, Gen. Oladipo Diya and the host, Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo.

Osinbajo said the service was an exciting time to thank God for all he had done for the country during the year.

“Today is a special thanksgiving for the end of the year and as you have seen, all the former presidents and vice-presidents are here for the special thanksgiving service.

“They have been specially invited to come, we also expected former President Jonathan but unfortunately, he had to cancel at the last moment.

“So we are all extremely excited that we have been able to bring everyone together to thank God for our nation and to give Him thanks for the great future ahead of us,’’ he said.

Gowon said he was delighted to be at the service with other former colleagues and thanked Osinbajo for facilitating his attendance.

Gowon said he was more excited with the children who came also to do their thanksgiving and prayed to God to bless the children in a special way.

He enjoined the children to keep the faith with other Christians and “to always make sure that we keep this country one and together’’.

He urged Christians to love every Nigerian in spite of their faith following the injunction of Jesus Christ to love their neighbour.

“Our neighbours are Christians, Muslims, traditional religions etc. Whatever we do, we make sure that we live up to the expectation of what Christ expects of us,’’ he said.

Gowon prayed for President Muhammadu Buhari, Osinbajo, the entire presidency and Nigerians and asked God to give the leadership the guidance to administer the country according to His will.

The Senior Special Assistant to the President on National Assembly Matters, Senator Ita Enang, thanked the vice-president and organisers of the service for bringing the past and present leaders to the service.

He said the nation was expecting good lead from the leadership in the coming year, noting that the event was meant specifically to thank God for helping the country to steer its economy.

Enang said the year was almost gone and that the budget for next year would soon be presented.

Read More: thisdaylive

Gowon, Obasanjo, Shonekan, Osinbajo grace Villa Chapel thanksgiving

The Aso Villa Chapel on Sunday organised its annual end of the year thanksgiving with former Heads of State, Yakubu Gowon, Olusegun Obasanjo and Ernest Shonekan in attendance.

The service which took place in the chapel was also attended by former Vice President Alex Ekwueme, former Chiefs of General Staff, Ebitu Ukiwe and Oladipo Diya, and host Vice President Yemi Osinbajo.

Vice President Osinbajo said the service was an exciting time to thank God for all he had done for the country during the year.

“Today is a special thanksgiving for the end of the year and as you have seen, all the former Presidents and Vice Presidents are here for the special thanksgiving service.

“They have been specially invited to come, we also expected President Jonathan, but unfortunately, he had to cancel at the last moment.

“So we are all extremely excited that we have been able to bring everyone together to thank God for our nation and to give Him thanks for the great future ahead of us,’’ he said.

Mr. Gowon said he was delighted to be at the service with other former colleagues and thanked Mr. Osinbajo for facilitating his attendance.

Mr. Gowon said he was more excited with the children who came also to do their thanksgiving and prayed to God to bless the children in a special way.

He enjoined the children to keep the faith with other Christians “to always make sure that we keep this country one and together.’’

He urged Christians to love every Nigerian in spite of their faith following the injunction of Jesus Christ to love your neighbour.

“Our neighbours are Christian, Muslim, traditional religions, among others. Whatever we do, we make sure that we live up to the expectation of what Christ expects of us,” he said.

The Senior Special Assistant to the President on National Assembly Matters, Ita Enang, thanked the Vice President and organisers of the service for bringing the past and present leaders to the service.

He said the nation was expecting good lead from the leadership in the coming year, noting that the event was specifically to thank God for helping the country to steer the economy of the country.

The Chaplain of the Aso Villa Chapel, Seyi Malomo, in his message said thanksgiving was an injunction from God, adding that everyone in spite of status must thank God in all circumstances.

According to him, thanksgiving is an acknowledgement that God is alive, adding that each time the faithful gave thanks they demonstrate their faith in God.

“As we thank God, He will restore the good days to the nation,” he said, and predicted that time shall come when people will queue in embassies to visit Nigeria.

Vice President Osinbajo condemns Nigeria’s quota system, insists on merit.

Vice President Yemi Osinbajo has identified the importance of merit in giving reward and said that quota system was detrimental to the progress of any society.

He said this in Abuja at the conferment of the Nigerian National Order of Merit, NNOM, on two professors, Omowunmi Sadiq, an environmental scientist, and Tanure Ojaide, a poet and literary critic.

According to him, the nation had placed quota before merit which “we know does not work.”

Nigeria’s quota system, embedded in the constitutional federal character principle, seeks to ensure that all parts of the country are adequately represented in public positions or for public benefits. Critics have argued that it promotes mediocrity as it allows people who otherwise would not be qualified on merit to assume positions or get government benefits based on the part of the country they are from.

On Friday, Mr. Osinbajo called on leaders to make sacrifices and commit to a country run on merit, integrity, hard work justice and patriotism.

“To build a new Nigeria, we need a new tribe of men and women of all ethnicities, of all faith committed to a country run on high values of merit, integrity, hard work, justice and love of country.

“A tribe of men and women who are prepared to make the sacrifices and solve the constraints that is crucial to building a strong society.

“Who are prepared to stick together, fight corruption side by side, insist on justice even when our friends and those of our tribes and faith are at the receiving end.

“A tribe consisting of professionals, businessmen, politicians, religious leaders and all of those who believe that this new Nigeria is possible.

“This requires a new way of thinking, a new leadership corps, a new tribe.

“The challenge for us today is a challenge of finding a society where everyone especially those of us who lead in every aspect of leadership agree that this country is worth fighting for, that this country can truly be great.

“And the evidence we have seen today is that this country can truly be great and so may I just challenge us today that it is time to populate that new tribe.”

The vice president noted that the award recipients demonstrated that Nigeria was blessed with tremendous talent and that her writers, poets and scientist were world class.

He, however, expressed surprise that the individual greatness of the citizens did not correlate with that of the nation.

Mr. Osinbajo said the national predicament was the result of an elite failure to accept responsibility or privilege to shape the values of the society.

“We must define clearly what is lofty, noble and deserving of honour and how these values can be sustained, preserved and enforced.

“This is the burden of privilege so that it is for us to create the moral and philosophical premises for integrity in the public service, fidelity to the rule of law and the creation of meritocracy as a rule,’’ he said.

Mr. Osinbajo commended the laureates for their intellectual accomplishments and said they would remain as mentors for the younger generations.

Also speaking, the Chairman of the Merit Award Board, Moses Essien, said the award was designed to identify the nation’s best and brilliant persons and reward them to serve as role models for the youth.

Mr. Essien said that since its creation, the board had demonstrated that the nation had the best citizens who could compete among their peers in the globe.

He said the awardees had also contributed to national discourse to make the nation great.

Responding, Ms. Sadiq thanked the federal government for the award and gave the assurance that it would spur her for greater contributions toward national growth and humanity.

She noted that the fact that the administration had focused attention on things that matter to the people sent serous message to the rest of the world.

She observed that her award showed that women had as much power in sciences and the academia as their male counterparts.

Mr. Ojaide, a recipient of many international awards, on his part hailed the organisers of the award for recognising intellectualism adding that the award was the most important in his life coming from his country.

On the militancy in the Niger Delta region, Mr. Ojaide said the region was also known for producing good writers and scholars outside militancy.

He appealed for fairness on the side of the Niger Delta people as well as the federal government to resolve the issues in the region.

“I feel that by exposing the problems of the Niger Delta it should make others more sensitive to the problems.

“At the same time I want Niger Delta people to realize that they are part of the Nigerian federation and as such should cede some of the resources to the development of the entire country.

“But the rest of the country should also be sensitive to your own problems,” he added.

VP Osinbajo to visit manufacturing firms in Anambra

Vice President Yemi Osinbajo would on Nov. 24 visit some select companies in Anambra to assess the challenges facing them in the state.


Gov. Willie Obiano made this known to newsmen in Awka on Wednesday.


Obiano said the visit was against the backdrop of the presentation he made to the Federal Government after he met with the Manufacturing Association of Nigeria, Anambra chapter, recently.


He said the visit would enable the federal government provide sustainability package for 300 firms in the state in the areas of Forex and raw material sourcing to enable them stay afloat.


According to the governor, Osinbajo would visit the major industrial hubs of the state including Onitsha, Nnewi and Awka.


He said the need to help the manufacturing firms could not be farfetched as the sector alone employed no fewer than 800,000 workers.


“Recently I had a meeting with manufacturers in Anambra where they made their challenges known to us and I tabled the problems in Abuja before the Federal Government and Central Bank.


“On that basis, the Vice President will visit the state on Thursday (Nov. 24) and see things for himself; he will visit selected firms in Onitsha, Nnewi and Awka,’’ Obiano said

Oil Era Will Soon Be Over- Osinbajo

Nigeria’s Vice President Yemi Osinbajo warns that the nation’s reliance on oil as a means of sustenance will soon be over with the development of technology. Osinbajo spoke today at the E-Nigeria summit, organised by the National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA) with the theme “leveraging i.T. Innovation for economic diversification”.

His speech reads:

 It is my pleasure to be with you today at this 9th edition of the e-Nigeria summit. I don’t think there is any subject of greater importance in Nigeria today than the theme of this summit which is Leveraging IT Innovation for Economic Diversification. The Director General of NITDA, Mr Musa Ali Ibrahim and his team truly deserved to be commended for this excellent and innovative idea. Their choice of subject and task that they’ve set for themselves are entirely spot on.

Every once in several centuries comes an innovation that completely redefines every aspect of human life and experience. The printing press for example is described as the turning point at which knowledge began freely replicating, and quickly assumed a life of its own. The invention of the telegraph was so revolutionary that a notable commentator said that before it “information was moving only as quickly as a man on a horseback.”

Read More:

Buhari express concern over criminal justice system.

President Muhammadu Buhari, who was represented by the Vice-President, Professor Yemi Osinbajo, revisited the challenges of law and order as well as the importance of having a vibrant and speedy criminal justice system in the country.


“Our system of criminal justice from investigation to prosecution and adjudication by the courts need to be re-engineered.


“The long delay in the entire process has impaired the credibility of our capacity to hold offenders to account for their misdeeds.


“I have charged the judiciary often and I do so again for the task of developing a firm blueprint for a justice system that works, a system that will give us results”.


The Acting Director General of the Institute, Mr Jonathan Juma, expressed confident that recommendations and implementations strategies contained in the report will be considered by the government.


The National Institute for Policy and Strategic Studies, Kuru in Jos, is the nation’s foremost policy and had its graduation for participants of senior executive course 38 after a ten month intensive research through lectures, seminars, discussions and study tours within and outside the country, with the theme, ‘Strengthening Institutional Mechanisms for Poverty Reduction and Inclusive Development in Nigeria.


The national institute was established in 1979 and has since produced a total of 1,847 top-level policy and strategy experts who have contributed positively on national development in various sectors of the country.

Why I have been meeting with Buhari, Osinbajo – Saraki

The Senate President, Dr. Abubakar Bukola Saraki, has advised politicians and the media to stop peddling empty speculations about his recent visits to the Presidential Villa and linking such visits to the request by the Buhari administration for approval of the National Assembly to get $29.9 billion loan from foreign sources.


Saraki, in a statement by his Special Adviser (Media and Publicity), Yusuph Olaniyonu, stated that in all his recent meetings with President Muhammadu Buhari and Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, the issue of the proposed loan has never come up for discussion.


He noted that the comments by some politicians on the loan issue without any factual basis was “unfortunate”.


“Like I once told the media, these politically-motivated commentaries are trivialising a serious national issue and presenting it as if it is a personal matter that can be decided at meetings between Saraki and President Muhammadu Buhari,” he stated.


Saraki added: “The National Assembly which I head as Senate President has taken a position on the issue as required of it by the laws of the land and legislative conventions.


“At every point, the present National Assembly will make decisions based on national interest and we have vowed that we will always act in the interest of our people. That is why despite the fact that members belong to different parties, when national issues come to the floor we forget about party affiliations and act as Nigerians elected to protect the interest of Nigeria.


“A visit to the Presidency by the Senate President is a normal thing because we need to consult, discuss, exchange ideas and make suggestions to each other from time to time. More importantly, at this time, when the nation is facing economic crisis, there is need for frequent engagements by the Presidency and the National Assembly.


“It is in fact very unfortunate that these empty speculations by the media are now forming the basis for commentaries by some politicians who are in a position to be better informed. Politicians should stop playing to the gallery or drawing political capital from all issues. When serious national issues are on ground, we should refrain from making statements based on mere sentiments. Similarly, the media should exercise restraint in their reportage and commentaries in order to properly serve our people.


“At a time when we are about to prepare a budget which is aimed at responding to the current recession and our plan is to ensure all issues concerning the budget are ironed out before the budget comes to the floor so that we will have a less tedious process than that of last year, the media should be ready to witness more of these engagements between the Presidency and the National Assembly.”

NEC: Osinbajo, governors meeting in Aso rock.

Reports reaching Omojuwa.Com has it that the Vice-President, Yemi Osinbajo, and state governors are currently in a meeting.


The meeting which started about 11.10am is holding inside the Council Chambers of the Presidential Villa, Abuja.


They are meeting under the aegis of the National Economic Council, NEC.


Details later…

Judiciary must fight corruption – Osinbajo

Vice President Yemi Osinbajo on Tuesday said it was fundamental for the judiciary to fight corruption in order to protect its independence.

Osinbajo said this at the 2016 Fellows Lecture and Conferment of Honourary Fellowship on him and three others by the Nigerian Institute of Advanced Legal Studies in Abuja.

According to him, the most potent threat against judicial independence is corruption.

Osinbajo wondered how a compromised judge could be fair and just if a litigant could buy justice.

Osinbajo said: “But (and this is fundamental), it is to protect judicial independence that we must fight corruption.”

Osinbajo noted that judicial independence was spoken of sometimes as though it was a favour being done to the judiciary, saying: “No, it is not. It is not a favour or a privilege to them.

“It is the essence of our system of justice. A judge must be independent for at least one reason: so that he or she can be fair and just, without fear or favour.

“This is why the executive must neither interfere in judicial process nor attempt to compromise judicial independence in any way.”

The Vice President said those in the legal profession owed themselves a duty to preserve the administration of justice system.

Osinbajo said: “Not only because it is the last hope of the common man but because this is our means of livelihood.

“Our profession and the credibility of the administration of justice system depend entirely on public confidence.

“Once that is eroded because of the delinquency of a few, we, the majority must fight hard against it.”

The Vice President remarked that Nigeria’s formal legal tradition is over 100 years old, adding that the tradition had three established components: the Bar, Bench and Academia.

He said each branch had distinguished itself through the years and had attained world class status.

Osinbajo stressed: “In all the serious researches on the best known administration of justice systems, it is evident that at various points in their histories, the institutions were challenged by falling standards, corruption, and abuse of office.

“When this occurred, the profession itself had often made the first and farthest drastic moves to self-correct.”

He, however, observed that one of the great difficulties of the legal profession in Nigeria was the shyness and reluctance of the practitioners to call themselves to order.

Osinbajo said: “Nobody wants to be held responsible for possibly ending the career of another.

“So, we watch the decay and gradual collapse of an excellent tradition built on the self-restraint, sacrifices and integrity of many in the past 100years.”

Osinbajo warned that such posture should stop to save the profession and the nation.

He commended the NIALS for its commitment to the highest academic traditions and for the awards.

He said: “As fellows, we pledge our commitment to the Institute’s mission of being the nucleus and hub of legal research and advanced studies in law in Nigeria.”

A delegation of Niger Delta Peoples Congress, led by the Amanyanabo of Twon Brass, King Alfred Diete-Spiff, later visited Osinbajo to address the lingering security and development issues in the region.

Chief Mike Loigho, a delegate, told newsmen the visit was to reaffirm the commitment of the congress towards ensuring security in the region and support the initiatives of the Buhari administration in that direction.

He said, however, that there was the need to carry all the Niger Delta stakeholders in the peace initiatives of the government.

Loigho said: “We don’t have any political affiliation to any group but we have come genuinely concerned to solve this problem once and for all.’’

According to him, the group has seen in Buhari a President that is very honest with governance and issues that affect Nigeria who wants a roadmap for the resolution of the conflicts in the region.

Osinbajo Meets With APC Governors, NA Leadership On FG Appointments

Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo monday met with Senate President Bukola Saraki, the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Yakubu Dogara, and five governors of the All Progressives Congress (APC) behind closed doors at the State House, Abuja, to resolve the rising discontent among APC governors and other stakeholders over the absence of consultations by President Muhammadu Buhari in his federal appointments.

The governors who attended the meeting were Ibikunle Amosun of Ogun State, Rochas Okorocha of Imo State, Abdulaziz Yari of Zamfara State, Sanni Bello of Niger State, and Jibril Bindow of Adamawa. Osun State Governor Rauf Aregbesola arrived after the meeting had been concluded.
Also in attendance were the Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), Babachir David, and the Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed.

Although there was no official statement from the presidency on the two-hour meeting, it was gathered that Buhari who departed the country for Morocco yesterday, had mandated his deputy to meet with the National Assembly leadership and the governors to allay concerns and hold talks with them, after mounting complaints that they had not been carried along on several of the federal appointments previously made by the president.

Feelers from the meeting heightened the suspicion that all may not be well among the front line leaders of the ruling party, as the meeting was said to have been very heated.

Sources  said that the meeting was essentially a meeting involving the governors representing the five geopolitical zones in the country and that Osinbajo had been mandated by Buhari to broaden the scope of consultations by bringing in the governors and National Assembly leaders who had been feeling disenfranchised since the outset of the administration.

Since the APC has no governor in the South-south zone, there was no governor to represent the zone at the meeting.

During the meeting, presidency sources said the issue of board appointments to federal parastatals and ambassadorial nominees was discussed, and the governors made their feelings abundantly clear that they were not happy that they had been shut out in past appointments made by the Buhari administration.

Also, the sources said party unity and the state of the party was emphasised by the vice-president against the backdrop of deepening cracks in the APC.

After airing their grievances, it was agreed that a committee head by the SGF, which had recently drawn up a list of nominees to the boards of federal parastatals, would be reviewed by the governors.

Read More: thisdaylive

What We Discussed With Osinbajo, State Governors – Saraki

Vice President, Professor Yemi Osinbajo, on Monday met with leaders of the National Assembly and some Governors.

At the closed-door meeting held at the Presidential Villa were Dr. Bukola Saraki, Honourable Yakubu Dogara, the Chairman of the Governors Forum, Abdullaziz Yari, the Governor of Imo State, Rochas Okorocha and the governors of Ogun, and Osun States.

The Senate President, after the meeting told reporters that the meeting was held to discuss issues that would move the nation forward.

“All for good governance, inclusion and great collaboration with all arms.

“The states are here, the National Assembly executive is here to just come up with ideas about how to make things work even better,” Dr. Saraki tsaid.

Recall that the Senate had returned the loan approval request to the executive arm of government, demanding for more details to be provided.

VP Osinbajo, Saraki, Dogara, Governors Meet Over $30 Billion Loan

The Senate President, Dr. Bukola Saraki, on Monday said the meeting the leaders of the National Assembly had with Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo and some state governors was meant to ensure good governance and collaboration.

Saraki spoke with State House correspondents at the end of the meeting held inside the Vice-President’s office at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.

The meeting was also attended by the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Yakubu Dogara; the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Babachir Lawal; as well as governors of Ogun, Adamawa, Zamfara, Osun, Imo and Niger states.

The meeting was believed to be one of the efforts aimed at resolving the issues arising from the Senate’s recent rejection of President Muhammadu Buhari’s $30bn foreign loan request and the 2016-2018 Medium Term Expenditure Framework as well as other party matters.

Osinbajo heads the present administration’s Economic Management Team.

“I am sure the Vice-President will issue a statement. But nothing of great alarm, it (the meeting) was all for good governance, inclusion and collaboration with all arms. The states are here, the National Assembly executives just came up with ideas on how to make things work even better, that’s all,” Saraki told reporters.

Saraki had met with Buhari thrice within one week on the same matter.

The meetings came after the Senate rejected Buhari’s request for approval to take $30bn foreign loan.

The Senate had also dismissed the Medium Term Expenditure Framework submitted to it for approval, describing it as “empty.”

The document was said to have been returned to the Executive.

Saraki had after a meeting with Buhari told State House correspondents that the issue of the foreign loan was work in progress.


Osinbajo, Saraki, Dogara Meeting In Aso Rock

Vice President Yemi Osinbajo is currently meeting with the President of the Senate, Bukola Saraki and the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Yakubu Dogara, at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.

The meeting is believed to be one of the efforts aimed at resolving the issues arising from the Senate’s recent rejection of President Muhammadu Buhari’s $30bn foreign loan request and the 2016-2018 Medium Term Expenditure Framework.

Osinbajo heads the present administration’s Economic Management Team.

The meeting started at about 2pm with the arrival of the heads of the two chambers of the National Assembly in the Vice-President’s office.

Read More:

$30bn loan: Osinbajo in closed-door meeting with Saraki, Dogara.

Vice President Professor Yemi Osinbajo is currently holding a closed-door meeting with President of the Senate, Bukola Saraki, and the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Yakubu Dogara, Daily Trust reports.


The meeting with the leaders of the National Assembly is believed to be in line with reaching a truce on the $30bn loan request currently before the legislature from the presidency.


Both men are believed to have arrived the Aso Rock villa at about 2pm for the meeting, which is holding in the Vice President’s office.


The Senate had penultimate Tuesday rejected the request citing incomplete documentation.

Why Buhari, Osinbajo were absent from Akeredolu’s rally – APC

The All Progressives Congress, APC, in Ondo State says President Muhammadu Buhari and his Vice, Yemi Osinbajo, were absent at its governorship rally due to urgent national matters they had to attend to.


APC governorship rally in the state kicked off yesterday at the Democracy Park in Akure, the state capital at about 11am but the President, his Vice and some top-shots of the party were noticeably absent from the event.


The state Publicity Secretary of the party, Abayomi Adesanya, while explaining the absence of the President, however, announced that Buhari would be in the State for the grand finale of the campaign, scheduled for November 19.


He said, “The President and the Vice President had an emergency state matter they had to attend to and so could not turn up.”


Also absent at the event was a National Leader of the party, Bola Tinubu, but his media team while explaining, said the former Lagos State Governor was currently not in the country.

Vice President Osinbajo Pays Eagles, Falcons Surprise Visits In Camp

Nigeria’s Vice President, Professor Yemi Osinbajo (GCON) on Tuesday paid a surprise visit to the country’s senior national football teams, Super Eagles and Super Falcons at their respective training sessions at the National Stadium, Abuja.


While the Super Falcons are preparing for the 10th Women Africa Cup of Nations taking place in Cameroon 19th November – 3rd December this year, the Super Eagles are getting set for Saturday’s 2018 FIFA World Cup qualifying match against Algeria.


The Vice President arrived the practice pitch of the National Stadium, Abuja at about 5.30pm, as the teams were rounding off evening sessions. To the Super Eagles, Vice President Osinbajo said: “I commend you for your patriotism and commitment to the cause of fatherland. By going to Zambia to defeat the Zambians on their own ground for the first time, you have shown your determination to conquer your group and qualify for the World Cup.


“I want to assure you that the Government and people of Nigeria are behind you in your quest to qualify for the World Cup. I believe that you will certainly pick the ticket from your group to make it to the World Cup finals.”


While Sports Minister Solomon Dalung presented the Super Eagles to the Vice President as a bunch of disciplined and dedicated patriots, NFF President Amaju Pinnick assured Osinbajo that the Eagles will fight hard to qualify for the World Cup.


Skipper Mikel John Obi praised Vice President Osinbajo for finding time to spur the team, saying Nigeria has one of the youngest national teams in Africa presently, and Technical Adviser Gernot Rohr declared that as a German, he has brought the German mentality of resilience and perseverance to the team’s camp.


To the Super Falcons, Osinbajo said: “I am happy that you girls are the reigning African champions, and I believe you will go to Cameroon and retain your trophy. The whole nation is behind you. You must start by beating Mali and then going all the way so as to bring the Cup back to Nigeria.”


Captain Evelyn Nwabuoku thanked the Vice President and promised that the Falcons are committed to retaining their continental title.

FG employs 200,000 graduates, offers N30,000 monthly.

The Federal Government says it has employed 200,000 graduates who will work for only two years as teachers and agricultural extension workers throughout the country.

An online newspaper, The Cable reported that the new employees would be paid N30, 000 per month, which would be paid directly into their accounts.

Speaking in Abuja at the second presidential economic communication workshop organised by the office of the vice-president on Friday, the Senior Special Assistant to the VP on media and publicity, Mr. Laolu Akande, said out of the fresh employees, 150,000 would work as teachers while the remaining 50,000 would work as extension workers.

Meanwhile, the Vice-President, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo, who spoke at a colloquium on ‘The Way Forward for Nigeria’ in Lagos on Friday, said the employment of 200,000 persons is the first batch of the Volunteer Job Programme that is to commence in about two weeks.

Osinbajo said, “The delay is because we are trying to provide as many equipment as we require. We also want to ensure that we provide opportunities across the states. Close to a million registered; we should start with the first 200,000 in 14 days or thereabout. It is a temporary opportunity for young graduates.”

At the event, which was organised by Coalition of Nigerian Apostolic Leaders, the Vice-President said the government was trying to create jobs directly while creating space for more private sector activities to facilitate economic growth.

FG Rules Out Online Application for Poor, Most Vulnerable Nigerians

The Federal Government on Thursday ruled out the need for the poorest and vulnerable Nigerians to apply online before they can benefit from the monthly N5,000 Conditional Cash Transfer.

This was contained in a statement issued by the Vice President Yemi Osinbajo’s media office.

The statement was responding to some misleading reports in the media regarding the implementation of the N500 billion Social Investment Programmes of the Buhari administration.

It reads: “While we understand the need for an ongoing public discussion of this unprecedented budgetary allocation in favor of the Nigerian people especially the poorest and the most vulnerable, it is not correct to claim any form of mismanagement or marginalization whatsoever.”

“There has not been any disbursement from the allocated fund not to talk of any kind of mismanagement at all. While it is true that funds are being released for the social investment programmes, it is rather preposterous for now to say there is no evidence where the funds have gone to.

“As an administration noted for its transparency, we intend to fully keep Nigerians posted on all financial expenditure in line with extant laws of the country.

“Of the series of social investment programmes we have outlined, only the job creation scheme-N-Power requires an online registration from unemployed graduates and non-graduate youths.”

But the statement justified the requirement for online registration for the hiring of 500,000 unemployed graduates.

“It is important to explain, again, for the benefit of clarity, that the requirement for online application for the N-Power job scheme makes absolute sense considering that all together the Federal Government is planning to hire half a million unemployed Nigerian graduates.”

“We are all witnesses to the calamity that occurred in the past when a manual effort was made to hire large number of Nigerian youths. It led to needless deaths and outright chaos.” It added

On the allegation that Borno State is not online and the people of the state will be discriminated against in the N-Power process, the statement, said such a claim simply flies in the face of the fact.

It added: “Almost 15,000 Nigerians from Borno State applied in the first application series of N-Power schemes online.

“It is also not tenable to argue that people in Maiduguri for instance which today plays hosts to tonnes of international NGOs cannot apply online or are denied internet access.”

The statement disclosed that the selection process for the first batch of 200,000 Nigerians to be engaged in the N-Power process has now been completed, and that their official engagement is now awaiting the completion of BVN verification so that they would be paid directly.

On how the selection was done, the statement said “Presidency officials collaborated actively with the Ministries of Agriculture & Natural Resources, Health and other government agencies all through the process. There were no foreign consultants involved, nor is one needed.”

It added that selection of the first 200,000, were based on three criteria including 40% selected based on the number of applications per state, a special mark-up for the 6 states of the Northeast and a discretionary addition for states with low numbers of applicants.

#SultanAt10: Buhari to visit Sokoto on Saturday.

President Muhammadu Buhari will pay a one-day working visit to Sokoto, the Seat of the Caliphate on Saturday, November 5, 2016.


A statement issued Friday by Malam Imam Imam, the spokesman of Governor Aminu Waziri Tambuwal, said while in Sokoto, the President will officially inaugurate the 500 unit housing estate built by the Sokoto State Government for civil servants at Kalambaina.


The President will use the occasion of the visit to witness the Durbar organised as part of activities marking the 10th anniversary of the appointment of Sultan Muhammad Sa’ad Abubakar to the throne.


A well-attended international symposium on the Sokoto Caliphate was held on Thursday and declared open by Vice President Yemi Osinbajo.

#SultanAt10: Don’t build airports when you can’t pay salaries – Sultan tells Governors

The Sultan of Sokoto, Muhammad Sa’ad Abubakar 11 has enjoined Nigerian leaders especially the State Governors to check themselves and focus more on projects that could be of benefit to the people.

He gave the advice on Thursday, while speaking at the International Symposium on the Sokoto Caliphate as part of the activities marking his 10th anniversary of ascension to the throne as the 20th Sultan of Sokoto.

The Sultan decried a situation where political leaders do lots of wrong things hiding under politics.

He particularly frowned at misplaced priorities, wondering why a governor that is struggling to pay workers salaries for months now woukd be considering building an airport.

It will be recalled that the Governor of Benue state, Samuel Orton, has announced the resolve of his administration to build a N38 billion cargo airport in Makurdi.

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In series of tweets, Imam Imam, Media Aide to Governor Aminu Tambuwal, quoted the Sultan as saying, “We want to call on our leaders to check themselves especially the Governors and I am very serious about this.

“Why should we have proliferation of airports when the roads used by the common is in terrible shape?

Governors, please check yourselves. You have many misplaced priorities.

“Why should a Governor build an airport of N38 billion when you can’t pay salary?

“Injustice by leaders at all levels is a threat to our existence. Without justice we can’t make progress.

“People hide under politics to do lots of wrong things against the state. Don’t let them get away with it.

“There are many issues in this country that require adequate attention. Among the most important is to tackle security.

“It is our duties to tell our political leaders that this is what the common man is saying.

“Please, our leaders , do what is right.”

Sultan Abubakar also lamented insecurity across the country, calling on the federal government to consider convening security summit that will have all stakeholders in attendance and devoid of a jamboree.

Imam tweeted further, “There are many issues in this country that require adequate attention. Among the most important is to tackle security.”

The Sultan said he has in the last 10 years been focusing “on education, health of our people, and building understanding among all Nigerians.”

He assured that “We will continue to do more for our people, much more than what we have done in the last 10 years.”

Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, who declared the symposium open, commended the Sultan’s efforts in promoting peaceful co-existence among Nigerians in the last 10 years.

He prayed to God to continue to guide and give him more wisdom to carry on with the task of promoting harmonious relationship among Nigerians irrespective of ethnic and religious differences.

Earlier in their different speeches, the keynote speaker, Prof Murray Last; Emir of Kano, Muhammad Sanusi 11, chairman of the occasion, Prof Shehu Galadanchi and the host Governor Aminu Tambuwal, had congratulated Sultan Abubakar and appreciated his commitment to peace and peaceful coexistence.

Jonathan was never committed to defeating Boko Haram – Osinbajo

Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo said on Monday that despite what his administration might want people to believe, former President Goodluck Jonathan was never committed to ending the Boko Haram insurgency during his tenure.

Osinbajo said this in a lecture titled, “The unraveling of Boko Haram and the rebuilding of the North-East of Nigeria” which he delivered at the Harvard University’s Weatherland Centre for International Affairs, United States.

The Vice-President’s media office made the speech available to journalists on Monday.

While attributing his position to many factors, Osinbajo said it was politically convenient for the then ruling Peoples Democratic Party to claim that the Boko Haram sect was sponsored by a northern-Muslim political elite to discredit the government led by a Christian.

He recalled that when the All Progressives Congress was formed, the then ruling party was also quick to paint it (APC) as the political wing of the Boko Haram sect.

He said it was not until President Muhammadu Buhari who was then the leader of the opposition, was nearly killed in an attack in Kaduna that the false narrative began to lose credibility.

The Vice-President added, “Secondly, the ruling party also somewhat cynically seemed to have considered that since BH attacks were actually in the heartland of the opposition it was not necessarily an unwelcome development as it could only weaken the opposition.

“Third, extensive corruption in arms procurement estimated at about $15bn, ensured that the military remained poorly equipped and demoralised.

“A number of well-publicised mutinies occurred and troops involved were taken through widely unpopular court-martials.

“As the government dithered and equivocated BH proceeded to realise the objective of occupying territory and establishing Islamist states in Nigeria and in the Lake Chad basin.

“In Borno State alone, it occupied and hoisted its flag in 20 of the 27 Local Government Areas that constituted the state. In Adamawa State, BH took Mubi and some villages in Yobe State.”

Osinbajo said it was not until the abduction of more than 200 secondary schoolgirls from their dormitories in Chibok that public outrage against Jonathan’s government’s inept handling of the insurgency reached its peak.

He added that the government then incurred widespread anger when it denied that an abduction took place and suggested that the opposition had simply invented the story.

Osinbajo, however, said Buhari’s assumption of office changed the tide.

He said the strongest reasons for Buhari’s victory in the March 2015 presidential election was the expectation that going by his reputation as a no-nonsense soldier, he would defeat Boko Haram and restore peace to the North-East.

True to type, he said within six months of Buhari’s Presidency, the sect had been effectively dislodged from all the local governments they once held and had retreated into the Sambisa Forest and the northern border towns and villages.

He said the terrorists’ military capacity had been severely degraded and their supply lines effectively blocked.

Osinbajo said the ability of Boko Haram to get willing suicide bombers remained a mystery.

Why we’ve not arrested Jonathan — Osinbajo

Vice President Yemi Osinbajo has responded to calls by some Nigerians for the arrest of former President Goodluck Jonathan.

Mr. Osinbajo said the Buhari administration does not arrest “anybody, anyhow”.

Answering a question at a session in the United States on Friday, on when Mr. Jonathan would be arrested, Mr. Osinbajo said the Buhari administration was not in the business of arresting just anyone anyhow.

He said all the Buhari administration does is to empower the security agencies and the anti-corruption agencies to do their jobs, without the administration trying to teleguide them.

He also added that the fight against corruption in the country was not fought on ethnic, hasty or premediated grounds.

“Corruption is not an ethnic thing, there is an equal representation in the stealing as no one operates with his/her ethnic group alone, the culprits are in every case seen so far, united by greed to steal and not by ethnic or religious interest,” he said.

He frowned at a situation where for instance as much as $15 billion has disappeared from the national coffers into private pockets, saying no responsible government would wave that aside so as not to offend people.
Mr. Osinbajo also said that security agencies in Nigeria have arrested about 800 suspected violent herdsmen across the country.

Mr. Osinbajo said this in Houston, Texas in the United States at a Townhall event where he interacted with U.S.-based Nigerians who asked questions live at the event and also via the internet, according to a statement issued by his spokesperson, Laolu Akande.

The vice president fielded about 30 questions at a well attended townhall event moderated by Rudolf Okonkwo of Sahara Reporters and Nimi Wariboko of Boston University.

Asked about the issue of Fulani Herdsmen attacks in certain states across the country and what the Federal Government was doing to curb the problem, the Mr. Osinbajo said “the President has given firm instructions to the security agencies to arrest not only herdsmen who are attacking communities anywhere in the country but anyone of them or anyone at all in possession of firearms”.

He added that “there are about 800 of suspected violent herdsmen in the country that are currently in custody.”
The vice president however decried the slow pace of the criminal justice system that affects the prompt trial of such suspects.

Mr. Osinbajo reminded the audience however that the issue of killings by such violent herdsmen has been a perennial issue especially as grazing lands continue to disappear over the years and the cattle feed on peoples crops on the farmlands. He said that the matter just did not crop up when President Buhari assumed office.

Vice President Osinbajo urged against the tendency of interpreting the herdsmen issue as a religious issue, stressing that it is important for all Nigerians to refuse such divisive narratives and tendencies.

He reminded his audience that there has always been conflict between herdsmen and communities across the country and that people should disabuse the notion that the problem has just started because President Buhari, a Fulani, is currently at the helm of affairs in the country.

Answering a question on the need for community policing, the Vice President said that community policing via state police is indeed a cardinal program of the ruling APC. He said the party’s agenda cannot be introduced until there is an amendment to the nation’s constitution.

The current situation where police activities are controlled at the federal level sure has some limitations, he said, adding that “ the federal government is currently working to introduce community policing that would be in line with the constitution.”

Commenting on the recent arrest of judges in the country, Mr. Osinbajo told his audience that impunity could be very dangerous in any sector and that the federal government was only exercising its executive function in attempting to check excesses.

He said the important thing was that due process was followed as the judges were released about 24 hours after their arrest and once they had given their statements.

The Vice President also responded to a question on the state of the nation’s economy and attributed the current recession to the loss of about 60 percent of government revenue due to pipeline vandalisation and endemic corruption in the system.

He however said that getting back oil production is a sure way to get out of the recession and the federal government is working to sort it out.

VP Osinbajo to deliver lecture on Boko Haram at Harvard University

The Vice President Yemi Osinbajo will continue the global campaign against Boko Haram insurgency in a lecture he would deliver at the Harvard University, Boston, in the U.S. on Thursday.

A statement issued by the Vice President’s spokesman, Mr. Laolu Akande, on Thursday, said the lecture at the Harvard’s “Nigeria in the World” seminar is at the invitation of the university.

It added that Prof. Osinbajo would be talking on “Destroying Boko Haram and the Rebuilding of Nigeria’s North-East”.

Akande said Osinbajo would highlight the progress made by the Buhari presidency in degrading Boko Haram resulting in the freedom of thousands of Nigerians in Boko Haram captivity, including some of the abducted Chibok girls.

The Vice President who left Abuja on Wednesday after attending the Federal Executive Council meeting and the inauguration of the Presidential Committee on the Northeast Initiative, is expected back on Sunday.

Fighting Corruption Protects Everybody from Resultant Chaos, Conflicts – VP Osinbajo

Remarks by Vice President Yemi Osinbajo at the National Conference on the role of Legislature in the Fight Against Corruption on Tuesday, October 18, 2016:
The National Assembly, the Presidential Advisory Committee Against Corruption, and the UNODC deserve to be commended for this far-sighted initiative.

Despite the widespread cynicism about the capacity of the political class to fight corruption and graft, we have found the will to open up a public discourse on this all important subject.

Let me also thank Prof. P.L.O Lumumba,(keynote speaker from Kenya) for what, for me, was the most insightful and most eloquent extemporaneous speech I have ever heard on the subject.

I have been involved in anti-corruption advocacy and research, and action since1990. In all of that, I have never heard anyone say with any seriousness that they support corruption. Indeed everyone agrees that corruption is ultimately a fatal scourge.

Let me even argue that it is a crime against humanity, given the fact that in many countries including ours, it is largely responsible for the abject poverty of the majority and the massive fatalities of the most vulnerable in our society.

For the majority of our citizens, the greed and mindless selfishness that portends corruption is bewildering. How do you explain how anyone can embezzle funds meant to equip soldiers for a war that could consume thousands and eventually all of us?

Or how in the midst of so much want, how can some seize the treasury for themselves, their families and friends? And how can anyone argue after all of that, that all that is required and all that we need to pay attention to is the technicality of how such people are possibly arrested?

As the Senate President just pointed out, a few subsidy scams consumed almost N5 Trillion. When you consider that the budget is N6 Trillion, the size, the scale of the damage is clear. So I am sure that we all agree that there is no point bringing together this most distinguished, erudite and knowledgeable group for an intellectual exigencies on the consequences of corruption.

Indeed, a conference on corruption in which the arms of government are invited can, in my view, have one objective, and one objective alone, which is: what is the way out of this existential evil?

So, a gathering like this presents a unique opportunity to explore a consensus on how to free our nation and its most crucial institutions from the ravages of corruption or as the President said famously, how to kill it before it kills us.

Indeed we have a chance to develop a uniquely Nigerian approach to deal with this problem. I think it is important for us to be humble and clear headed enough to understand that the coalition that should emerge from such a consensus is not a coalition of saints, neither can it be a conclave of only righteous men and women bound by holier-than-thou creed and a crusading view. No, that will fail.

What we need is a coalition of reasonable men and women of the Nigerian bureaucratic, political, business and religious elite. Men and women who believe that the proposition that corruption does not pay is not merely a moral injunction, that it is an admission of a grave reality in commerce, in governance or whatever another field of human endeavor.

That a corrupt executive, for example, will destroy all plans of development, that a corrupt legislature will use its legislative and oversight functions to enrich itself and compromise its roles of checks and balances, and the corrupt judiciary will sell its powers over life and death to the highest bidder and will turn society to the anarchical notion that self-help is best. That corruption in the capital market or banking system means that we cannot be sure that our investments will ever be safe. We may wake up one day to find that the banks or stocks that we put our resources in have failed because of the dishonest acts of a few. It means that the corrupt law enforcement officer will settle personal scores with its exclusive rights to use the force of state power. So, the proposition that corruption does not pay is simply one that captures the self-destructive nature of corruption.

The reason why we elect men and women as leaders in the executive, judiciary, and legislature, and why we appoint men and women in the judiciary are that we desire an orderly society where we entrust the power to make decisions about how to spend our collective resources for the common good to a few. This is because reasonable men and women discovered long ago that if we allow everyone to take care of themselves, we will remain in the state of nature fighting like savages for our own portion of the meat.

We give the power to adjudicate on our lives and livelihood to the fairest and most honest amongst us who is called a judge, otherwise law and justice will serve only the strongest and the richest. So the reason why the elite in different countries of the world decides to fight corruption is quite straightforward, it is not necessarily altruistic, it is not necessarily a moral issue. But that first, it protects even the elites itself from being consumed by the chaos and the conflict that the corruption may cause. And more importantly, if public officials and private sector persons generally observe a code of integrity, the society itself is saved from a breakdown of law and order.

Your excellency, the Senate President, Honorable Speaker, we have an opportunity today to begin an important national project and I wish to emphasize that this should not be a finger-pointing exercise. What is required is a consensus of reasonable men and women who realize that the current path will destroy us all, that such a consensus will produce a coalition of the like-minded from the executive, the legislature and the judiciary, united by a common cause and proposition namely; that this Republic will fall and consume us all if we do not put in place a practical plan to clean up our crucial public and private institutions.

Thank you all.

FG will revisit tax holidays, waivers – Osinbajo

Vice President, Professor Yemi Osinbajo, has said that though there might be challenges with the present duty waivers and tax regimes in the country, the federal government is working hard to correct the wrongs with the view to encouraging the growth of small businesses and attracting foreign investments.

Speaking at a forum on job creation, skills and employment at the ongoing 22nd Nigerian Economic Summit in Abuja, the Vice President explained that the emphasis of the government on agriculture and agro-businesses was premised on its agenda on diversification and self-reliance in food production for domestic consumption.

According to a statement by his spokesman, Laolu Akande, Osinbajo said the enormity of the challenge with tax holidays and waivers could not be addressed by a ‘one size, fits-all’ tax holidays initiative, stressing that there were areas that the government would revisit and revise.

He said the Presidential Enabling Business Council, PEBEC, a special initiative of the federal government established by President Muhammadu Buhari in collaboration with the private sector, was looking at incentives and issues related to waivers.

The Vice President, who had spoken extensively on the administration’s economic policies on Day 1 of the summit, also emphasized what government was doing to support funding of small businesses in the country.

He said: ‘‘There are complications around funding and that is why in the short term, intervention funds are what we think might work. We are looking at intervention funds in agriculture, we have the anchor borrowers’ programme, we are resuscitating the Bank of Agriculture, and recapitalizing it.

‘‘We expect that the Bank of Agriculture and a few other banks will be able to provide some cheap funds for agriculture, we are already seeing that in the anchor borrowers’ programme.

‘‘We also think that intervention fund in setting up areas like health, before we are able to get the overall monetary environment right, is necessary.’’

Similarly, Osinbajo revealed plans by the federal government to raise up to N1 trillion with the help of private investors to finance mortgages for low-income earners, even as the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) said it plans to sell N138.16 billion in short-dated treasury bills at an auction.

In a public notice, the apex bank said it would raise N36.78 billion in three-month papers, N35 billion in six-month bills and N66.38 billion in one-year bills. Payment for the purchases would be made on Thursday.

Osinbajo who did not specify when the fund would be raised said the capital raised would be used as an intervention fund to help low income earners afford homes of their own.

“It is actually a financial intervention fund. Already we are trying to aggregate funds from the private sector, local and international investors. The idea is that any Nigerian who earns at least 30,000 naira ought to be able to own a home,” he said, adding that the developers would be able to use the mortgages raised by the fund to build affordable housing.

Nigeria which has a population of more than 180 million people, suffers from a housing shortage.

Corruption: VP Osinbajo backs judges’ arrest.

Vice President Yemi Osinbajo has backed the arrest of some judges by the Department of State Services (DSS). He maintained that courts remain public resource, hence the need for judges to be held accountable for their performances.

He spoke while representing President Muhammadu Buhari at the opening of the 46th yearly conference of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Nigeria (ICAN), which featured participants from the United Kingdom and other African countries. The theme of the conference was “Accountability Now, Nigeria.”

Osinbajo explained that performance has been so low in Nigeria because public officials are not held accountable. He told ICAN members who often are charged with public finances to raise their accountability a lot more to ensure increased performance.

According to him: “Those who handle public or private resources must account for their performance because lack of performance can hold down a country. Courts are a public resource, therefore judges and lawyers like every other public or private officials must be held accountable for their responsibilities. We must be able to hold ourselves accountable for the responsibilities that we are charged with.

Besides, at the ongoing 22nd Nigerian Economic Summit in Abuja, the Vice President assured local manufacturers, business owners and foreign investors that the current administration remains focused on improving the business environment.

According to a statement by his Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity, Laolu Akande, Osinbajo said the administration was ‘seriously’ tackling issues relating to local production, employment generation and all that would be needed to re-energize the economy.

Osinbajo has also disclosed that the Federal Government would commence the disbursement of loans ranging from N60, 000 to N100, 000 to artisans, traders and market women under its micro credit scheme at the end of this month.

Giving the indication at the Presidential Villa yesterday, Osinbajo disclosed that “we expect before the end of the month, to engage 200,000, out of the 500,000 unemployed graduates the Buhari administration plans to hire in the N-Power jobs programme.”

Corruption: Buhari’s friends, associates won’t be spared – Osinbajo

To ensure that the Nigerian society was completely purged of corruption, Vice President Yemi Osinbajo has said that the anti-corruption war would be holistic and thorough to the extent that even the political associates and friends of President Muhammadu Buhari would not be spared.


Osinbajo who reiterated that the president had zero tolerance for corruption emphasized that he would never cover for his friends.


The Vice President spoke during a special interview session with some journalists at the presidential villa, Abuja on Tuesday.


He said: “The major drain on the country’s resources. No one would be spared in the fight against corruption because, even the close friends of the President know that they will not be spared; he will not cover for them. Fighting corruption is a priority”.


Osinbajo also revealed that 200,000 unemployed graduates had been selected to be engaged by the federal government under the N-power jobs Programme.


He said that this was in fulfillment of campaign promises of the present administration.


We expect that before the end of the month, we will engage 200, 000,” out of the 500,000 unemployed graduates the Buhari administration plans to hire in the N-Power jobs programme.”

FG Begins School Feeding Programme This Month- Osinbajo

Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo on Tuesday said the government’s free National Home Grown School Feeding programme would start in some states of the federation this month.

According to a statement by his Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity, Mr. Laolu Akande, the Vice-President said this in an interview with some journalists.

The Federal Government had failed to commence the programme at the beginning of the current academic session in September as promised.

The programme, which was formally inaugurated on June 9, 2016 by Osinbajo, is part of the Social Investment Plans of the present administration for which N500bn has been budgeted for in the 2016 Appropriation Act.

The Federal Government, through the national manager of the programme, Mrs. Abimbola Adesanmi, had in July said it would commence the scheme in September when schools resumed, with 5.5 million pupils across the country.

But Osinbajo reportedly told the journalists that it was the expectation of government that the programme would kick off in several states before the end of the month.

He said while the Federal Government would fund the scheme for pupils in Primary One to Primary Three, it was expected that state governments would be responsible for pupils in primary four and above.

Osinbajo said, “Definitely before the end of this month, we expect that several states would have come on stream with their Home Grown School Feeding Programme.

“The programme will energise agriculture in the different states because it is what you plant that you feed the children with.

“We will be hiring caterers and cooks in each state because it will be Federal Government-funded from primaries 1 to 3 and the state governments hopefully would be able to cater for the other classes.”

The Vice-President said the programme was a section of the Social Investment programmes that would impact directly on the lives of Nigerian children and families.

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FG to raise N1trn for housing scheme – Osinbajo

Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo has said that the Federal Government is working with stakeholders to raise one trillion naira to provide affordable housing for Nigerians.

The vice-president spoke at the 22nd Nigerian Economic Summit in Abuja on Tuesday where he chaired a Roundtable on Job Creation, Skills and Employment at the summit.

He said that the proposed project would also help to create jobs.

Osinbajo said that the job creation unit in his office had worked out a framework with the Nigerian Economic Summit Group to focus on three sectors to create employment.

He listed the three sectors as construction, agriculture and information communication technology.

Under construction, the vice-president said the Federal Government was trying to work on a social housing programme, called the Family Home Fund.

He said, “The Family Home Fund is a financial intervention into social housing in the country.

“We are trying to raise a fund which will come to about one trillion naira; we have aggregated fund from the private sector, local and international funds already.

“The whole idea is to be able to intervene in mortgage financing so that developers can build special houses to the specification of the Federal Government.

“Already eight or nine states are giving land and certificate of occupancy for social housing scheme.

“The idea is that any Nigerian who can afford N30,000 should be able to own a house.”

Osinbajo said that there would emerge job creation opportunities as technicians, engineers and skill workers would benefit from the scheme.

He said there would also be training opportunity from the scheme.

The theme of the summit is “Made-in-Nigeria’’.

The problem of housing in Nigeria has been of interest to every administration and official estimates suggest that more than 17 million houses are needed to cover the country’s 180 million citizens.

Each administration has introduced a different scheme but the impact is not felt by the people.

I Did Not Lobby To Be Vice President- Osinbajo

Prof. Yemi Osinbajo, yesterday, disclosed that he never lobbied anybody before he became Vice President.  He  also declared that the country had moved forward as it turned 56 years and would continue to move forward.
He made the declaration in a speech at the service of the Olive Tree Parish of the Redeemed Christian Church of God, Lagos. He asked the congregation if they knew that God made a promise to the nation which was that the nation would be great and made the same promise to them as individuals.
The vice president said a lot of people are confused and asking if the promise will ever come true.
He said “this country has gone forward and it is going to keep moving forward.”
Osinbajo recalled that while he was praying recently, the Lord reminded him of something he asked him to do on the eve of the 2015 Presidential election.
He said that God asked him to take the communion because he was crossing over and when he did (take the communion), God took him through the journey from Egypt to the Promised Land.
Osinbajo said God reminded him of what happened in that journey.
He added that the first thing that happened was that God Himself said if He took the children of Israel through the path where the Philistines lived, they would be afraid and would be asked to return to Egypt.
He said God rather took the people thr0ough the Red Sea.  The vice president explained that by the time they were about crossing the sea, there was a fight back from where they were coming from as Pharoah chased them and wanted to bring them back.
He said the incident got Moses confused as he did not know what to do as God never told him there would be a Red Sea, a difficulty, in the journey. The vice president added that if God was with us, no one would be against us. “The reason why I, Yemi Osinbajo, without asking for a position, was given the Vice Presidency of this nation is because God’s hand is in this business. And so, I am completely confident that despite where we are today, it is the dawn of a new beginning.

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President Buhari will do everything possible to make Nigeria great again – VP

President Muhammadu Buhari is ready to put everything on the line to make sure Nigeria is great and he has no other objective other than seeing this dream come true, says Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, SAN.

“This morning, I had a meeting with the President and he repeated to me twice, he said ‘at my age there is only one thing I am looking for, I want to see a great Nigeria’. He has no other objective and I feel very inspired by that,” Prof Osinbajo stated.

The Vice President spoke while receiving a delegation of Christian Ministers Welfare Initiative also known as the Pastors’ Forum, Taraba State, at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.

Prof. Osinbajo while restating the firm commitment of the President and himself to a great Nigeria where peace and justice reign said “it is madness for anybody in our position to be looking for money. According to him, God put people in a position of authority for them to be able to do something for their people.

“I think if any Nigerian gets the chance to be president of the country, there is nothing he/she is looking for anymore except that while there you improve the lot of the people,” he added.

Linking the economic situation to corruption and official graft, the VP stated that “no economy can tolerate the level of corruption seen in Nigeria without the consequence, Nigerian lives were being lost and yet people cannot account for $15 billion meant for purchase of security equipment to fight the insurgents.”

Besides, the Vice President also explained how the factor of vandalisation of oil installations is contributory to the recession.

He said Nigeria has lost several millions of barrels of crude oil due to the activities of the militants in the Niger Delta.

According to him, by early 2016 the country was producing 5,000MW of power for the first time, but by February 2016 the Focados terminal  was destroyed by militants and 40 per cent  of the gas used to fire the power plants were lost and the country was down to 2,500MW of power.

According to Prof. Osinbajo, at the time the militants started blowing up oil and gas installations, the amnesty stipend were still being paid, “nothing changed, the only reason is that we  are investigating people who have stolen money.”

He added that the country was loosing one million barrels of oil a day, nothing that, that is 60% of the country’s revenues, and there is nowhere such amount of revenue is lost without going into  some  economic challenge like a recession.

While expressing optimism that the country will come out of the recession, the VP stated that “there is no question at all, God has a reason for bringing us in at this time and God helping us we will see a change in this country.”

Vice President Osinbajo urged the Church and all religious leaders to stand up against corruption, stressing that if this government is doing the right thing by fighting corruption the Church should support it.

In response to some of the concerns of the delegation, the Vice President assured that the Federal Government is working very seriously to end the problem of ravaging herdsmen. He said the President has instructed the police and the military to act and deal with anybody who carries arms.

He then urged that anybody with early information or intelligence on such violent activities should give it to government and the security agents for effective response. He also added that those behind the ‘herdsmen violence’ are criminals.

While calling on honest and forthright men in the country to work together, Osinbajo said God has structured Nigeria in such a way that no one can dominate another, not Muslims against Christians or Christians against Muslims.

“It is not possible for one tribe to dominate another based on the way God has structured the country. The reason we have Christian president and Muslim vice president or Muslim president and Christian vice president is to have balance,” he said.

Earlier, the Chairman of the delegation, Rev, Godwin Nyiekule said the delegation was in the State House to pledge their support to the Buhari Administration for its forthrightness and fight against corruption.  “We are happy with the government for the war against corruption crusade,” he said.

Rev Nyiekule also highlighted that the Christian Ministers Welfare Initiative is a non-partisan group but supports good persons who want to participate in government, adding that the federal government should come to the assistance of those churches whose premises are being used as IDP camps.

Laolu Akande
Senior Special Assistant-Media & Publicity
In the Office of the Vice President

Buhari Taking Nigeria Out Of Wilderness- Osinbajo

Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo says President Muhammadu Buhari is taking Nigeria out of the wilderness just as Moses took the children of Israel out of Egypt to the Promised Land.

Osinbajo said this at the 56th Independence Anniversary Interdenominational Church Service at the National Christian Centre, Abuja, on Sunday.

The promise of God, he said, included building a new Nigeria where there would  be peace from North-East to the Niger Delta, and where there would be jobs for the unemployed.

The Vice-President urged Nigerians to see beyond the current problem instead of asking to ‘return to Egypt.’

He said, “We are on our way out of the wilderness. We should not be like the children of Israel when He took them out of Egypt and after few problems became grumblers-in-chief.

“As children of God, we must declare this nation will prosper, we must be like our father who is the great encourager. Our message to Nigeria is be strong and be of good courage; do not be dismayed, every Nigeria will benefit from the new Nigeria.

“God saw our nation and decided to put this leadership in place, this leadership will take us across the Red Sea to the new Nigeria.”

The President of the Christian Association of Nigeria, Rev. Samson Ayokunle, in his message said that the leaders needed divine revelation and to receive wisdom from God in order to handle the economy.

He said Nigeria was in recession because the government failed to save during the oil boom.

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We Must Fight Corruption For Its Damage On Nigerian Economy – VP Osinbajo

It is important that Nigerians insist that the problem of corruption must be dealt with considering the extent of the damage it has caused the country’s economy.

Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, SAN, made the assertion today while receiving a delegation of the University of Lagos Alumni Association that paid him a courtesy call at the Presidential Villa.

“We’ve watched corruption fighting back, some people even said bring back corruption, but not the man on the street,” according to Prof. Osinbajo who added that the nation has witnessed excessive corruption.

Said he : “no economy can tolerate the level of corruption seen in Nigeria without consequences. Look at the Northeast, while a war is going, Nigerian lives being lost, some local governments had been taken over, and yet people cannot account for $15B meant for security equipment purchases.”

“The corruption has been so much. Look at the sheer amount of money stolen and decisions taken that fuels corruption, decisions taken just with the sole aim of cornering national resources,” the Vice President lamented.

While explaining the Buhari administration’s approach to the fight against corruption, the Vice President noted that “we are not sitting down focussing on it, all we do is to empower the relevant agencies EFCC and co to do their jobs. Our main focus is the national economy.”

Continuing he said “what catches our attention is the kind of discoveries we get and hear of daily.” But he observed that Nigeria is still blessed with honest people, adding that as a nation it is important to pay serious attention to issues of integrity.

According to him, regarding the current government, “I can say is one that is completely focussed on dealing with issues that concerns this country. I work everyday with the President so I can say so. He is totally focussed on how to make this country a better place to live.”

The UNILAG Alumni Association was led by Dr. Sunny Kuku who noted the group’s support for the Buhari administration, expressing readiness to assist in any way necessary. He said the members of the Alumni Association were proud that one of them rose to the high office of the Vice President. Prof. Osinbajo said he was glad to receive the group in his office and grateful to be honored with the Distinguished Alumni Award.

Laolu Akande
Senior Special Assistant-Media & Publicity
In the Office of the Vice President
Sept 20, 2016

Infographics Report Reveals Buhari, Osinbajo, Ministers, Presidential Aides’ Earnings

Inforgraphics as reported by The Punch reveals the earning of President Mohammed Buhari, Vice President Yomi Osinbajo, the 36 ministers and 15 presidential aides. See Infographics below:



Part-time NASS Requires Constitutional Amendment- Osinbajo

As more Nigerians continue calls for membership of the National Assembly-the Senate and House of Representative- to be made part-time due to the huge cost of running the two chambers, the Vice President, Professor Yemi Osinbajo has said such move would require a constitutional amendment.

The Vice President, who was responding to comments from members during the 90th Anniversary of the Yoruba Tennis Club in Lagos yesterday, stressed that such change would “go through the National Assembly”, thereby making it the prerogative of the lawmakers to either adopt it or not.

On the call for the autonomy of Federal Universities, Osinbajo said that would only be feasible if the institutions could finance themselves in all aspects.“ But as long as the government continues doing that, attainment of complete autonomy would be difficult,” he said.

Earlier, the Vice President, who was the guest speaker at the event, delivered a lecture titled: Revitalizing the Nigerian Economy: The Challenges and the Opportunities, in which he stated: “We have been talking about diversification for about 40 years, but we have not been able to achieve this due to lack of discipline,” stressing that the call only intensifies whenever there is crises in the oil sector.

Osinbajo who said that Nigeria is facing the “most challenging period” economically, which has plunged the country into a recession, said the government was doing its best to revive the economy with one of the ways being “Social Housing Initiative” which would be launched by the end of the year.

He stressed that the idea was not just for job creation, but to also create an avenue where young Nigerians could own houses.

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“Nigeria badly governed & systematically destroyed”, says VP Osinbajo.

Vice President Yemi Osinbajo yesterday lamented that the country had been badly governed and systematically destroyed.

Speaking at the Presidential Villa in Abuja while receiving a delegation of the Northern States Pentecostal Bishops Forum, Osinbajo said corruption was responsible for the current state of the nation’s economy.

“This country had been badly governed. We are dealing, for instance, with the embezzlement of funds to the tune of $15bn in one sector alone. There are those who are asking, ‘why talking about the past?’ We have to, that is why we are here. We have not turned attention to the oil and gas sector, where the former CBN governor alleged that $20bn was stolen. We must condemn and stand up against this level of corruption. It is the single most important reason of the current state of the country. We can’t ignore it,” he stated.

According to him, no country in the world can experience the kind of looting that has taken place in Nigeria without having to deal with the consequences such as the current economic recession.

The vice president, however, assured that “even though the times are hard today, there is great hope that this country will prosper.”

He urged religious leaders in the country to openly condemn graft, saying, “we can’t say because they are Christians or Muslims, we wont condemn those involved in corruption.”

Osinbajo, who said the country had been systematically destroyed, further noted that the Naira depreciated “because we don’t have the reserves to back it. At the height of the oil boom, there were no savings.”

He also decried the destruction of oil pipelines which worsened the situation with the nation losing about one million barrels of oil per day within the past six months and cut in short power supply.

“That is the background for the sort of situation we find ourselves. God surely has a plan for this country.
We, as a government, are open, honest, transparent and we shall use the resources of this country very well,” he said.

The vice president argued that the recent GDP figures recently released showed improvements in agriculture and solid minerals.

Osinbajo assured that the social investment programmes of the present administration were on course, saying “very soon, the 500,000 jobs scheme will take off, alongside other schemes.”

He noted that President Muhammadu Buhari had instructed the security agencies to deal with perpetrators of violence.

“The president has said twice in the past fortnight that anyone who commits atrocities must be arrested and tried and he has demonstrated that resolve,” he said.

The vice president also regretted that the nation’s criminal justice system was slow in delivering justice, noting that there is need for justice sector reforms as the system is very slow, not just in some cases, but generally extremely slow, saying for example, it takes for ever before a murder trial gets to court.

The leader of the delegation, Archbishop Daniel, expressed the support of the forum for economic diversification and advocated access to lower interest rates.

He also urged the federal government to check the violent herdsmen, create ranches in the states and promote religious harmony.

Osinbajo Urges Youths To Key Into Multi-tasking Age To Remain Relevant

Vice President Yemi Osinbajo on Tuesday advised Nigerian youths to see the present age as one that offers them an opportunity to embrace “multi-tasking”.

He gave the advice while opening a two-day Google Digital Training programme for Youth Employment with the theme: “Diversifying the Nigerian Economy: Enabling Youth through Digital Skills Training’’.

Osinbajo said that the opportunities abound for professionals with multi skills to excel in the period of economic hardship and joblessness, adding that innovation was the best way to go.

“For any student today, I think that we must appreciate that this is the age of multi-tasking.

“You cannot just be an economist, an accountant, or a lawyer or a graduate of international relations, or mass communication or performing arts and just remain that way.

“Multi skilling is crucial today, multi-tasking is the order of the day; You can’t just be one thing.’’
Cue out audio

“The vice president emphasised that every young man must to be “a man of affairs, a versatile operator and not a mono skill graduate.’’

According to him, there are many opportunities and practically anything can be learned online today.

“Whatever you choose to do, be technology savvy and understand its best uses in your chosen discipline,’’ he said.

The vice president applauded the Google programme targeting 400,000 Nigerians as beneficiaries out of one million Africans.

He said that with the programme a new future had certainly arrived for the youth “and it is a future that has come bearing great hope’’.

He said that technology had opened mind-bugling opportunities in commerce, science and medicine and practically all aspects of human endeavour.

“Today technology has created space for millions of business opportunities.

“Just by being able to virtually connect millions of people, the internet has changed the business landscape and empowered anyone with great ideas and any smart handheld device.’’

Osinbajo said it was in recognition of the central role of innovation and technology in the national economic growth plan that the Federal Government in the current budget provided extensively for technology and innovation.

According to him, the administration is establishing technology hubs across the country with two super hubs in Lagos and Abuja and six regional hubs in the six geo-political zones.

He said that in partnership with several major technology companies, the hubs would be fully resourced with infrastructure and capacity building tools.

He said that each hub would be designed to produce relevant innovative technology, solutions to a wide range of business, commercial and government problems.

Osinbajo also noted that starting this year, the administration had budgeted for the training of 65,000 young Nigerians in hardware and software services and more sophisticated software such as animation.

“This would mean that we would be building more local capacity to build, assemble hardware and to write innovative programmes.

“We will also be focusing on technology for media and entertainment.

“We intend to create a reservoir of human capacity in technology that can be exported internationally.

“Nigeria can lead India as a market for technology and innovation talent,’’ he added.

Osinbajo gave the assurance that all agencies of government were together and determined to give every opportunity possible to the youth in technology and innovation.

“I can assure you that the next few years are going to be great indeed.’’

The Vice President thanked Google for the initiative and offer to open the minds of the young Nigerians to the limitless opportunities that thousands of web tools available could offer.

He announced that President Muhammadu Buhari had launched a special initiative on innovative technology and start-ups while presentation of prospective participants had already been done in Lagos, Abuja and Port Harcourt.

He said that 30 of the best start-up ideas would be exhibiting their innovations at the Presidential Villa at the first Annual Aso Villa Demo Day on Friday.

He described the Google’s training of 400,000 young people as a monumental contribution to the national plan and in particular to economic development.

“The exciting prospect of this training is that it unleashes the creativity and innovation and the boundless imaginative of the most productive segment of our society,’’ he said.

Be Patient, Osinbajo Begs Nigerians Over Economic Hardship

Vice President, Prof Yemi Osinbajo, yesterday, pleaded for greater understanding and patience of Nigerians in the face of biting economic headship in the country.
President Muhammadu Buhari, he said, is aware of the economic hardship facing the people, and he feels “the pains that you feel, and has asked me to reassure you that a glorious dawn awaits. Osinbajo disclosed this in his goodwill message at the South West Conference of the All Progressives Congress (APC) held at the Premier Hotel, Ibadan yesterday.
“We seek your continued trust and ask you all to join hands with the government as we tackle the challenges ahead. Change is not easy, but, we are not relenting until we achieve a better life for all Nigerians. The change that we advocate will be irrevocable when we are finally done,” he said.
Osinbajo, who was represented by Senator Babafemi Ojudu, admitted that  just a little over a year ago that the present administration came to power, majority of Nigerians are already fed up with the direction that the seemingly rudderless ship of the Nigerian state was headed.
He continued: “Nigerians who desired the needed change that we promised voted for our great party in their millions. That confidence reposed in us by millions of Nigerians is what we have come to renew.
“Since we have savoured the sweetness of that electoral victory, we cannot afford to betray the trust that paved the way to usher in change from the ineptness of the past. When we took over the reins of governance, we knew things were bad. What we did not realise, however, was just how bad they really were. Now we know better!
“We have since been working extremely hard to remedy the rot and malaise that pervaded our dear country. The current pains and suuferings that our people are feeling today are the results of yesterday’s mismanagement of the commonwealth of our great country.”
“Every day, as I travel round the country to meet our people, I see on their faces evidence of pains and trauma they are going through. I have heard the anguish and cries of our people in various town meetings that I have addressed. As you all may well know, the darkest part of the night is the period before the dawn. Nigeria’s dawn is about to break. We are determined to turn things around, so that, once more, our people will begin the real impact of government in their lives.
“Our plea to our people is for greater understanding and patience even as we forge ahead to continue the work of making the lives of all Nigerians better again. We seek your continued trust and ask you all to join hands with the government as we tackle and surmount the challenges ahead. Change is not easy, but we are not relenting until we achieve a better life for all Nigerians…”

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Osinbajo Urges Public Officers To Return To Farm

Vice President Yemi Osinbajo has urged public officers to return to the farm for the nation to be liberated from the periodic cycle of boom inter-laced with busts and meltdowns.
He made the call in Abuja at the public presentation of President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration’s agricultural promotion policy, ‘The Green Alternative’ on Monday.

Osinbajo noted that farming was the only conventional activity which the constitution allows a public officer to participate in.
“This agricultural revolution calls us all to farm, even small vegetable farms. The only conventional activity that our constitution allows a public officer is farming. So, we have no excuse,” he said.
He described President Buhari and the Agriculture minister Chief Audu Ogbeh as farmers who practice what they preach, and the “rest of us are being slowly converted!”
“It is an urgent call for the nation to embrace the truth that an oil-dependent economy would never provide enough for 170 million people and still grow in leaps and bounds,” he added.
Commending Buhari for his renewed vision of an agriculture-led economy as an alternative proposition to an oil dependent growth, Osinbajo said the government knew it had to put the economy on the path to inclusive growth with job opportunities for the nation’s huge population.
“One of the most critical components of that plan is to position agriculture as the arrow-head of the economic recovery effort. There is no question at all that if we get agriculture right, we’ll get our economy right. The road map we’re about to present, identifies two key challenges. The first is the inability to meet domestic food requirements: this is a productivity challenge driven by an input system and farming model that is likely inefficient, the lack of good seeds, fertilisers, irrigation, crop protection, etc.
“And two: the inability to export at the level required for marketing which is typified by an inefficient system for setting and enforcing food quality, poor knowledge of target markets, a weak inspectorate system and poor coordination amongst relevant agencies. With great clarity, ‘The Green Alternative’ sets out strategies for resolving these challenges. I’m personally impressed that The road map does not dismiss the Agricultural policies of the past. Indeed, the policy says that it is “building on the successes of the agricultural transformation agenda, closing the gap,” he said.
Read More: Dailytrust

We Are Committed To Anti-Tobacco Campaign – Osinbajo

Vice President Yemi Osinbajo (SAN) has reiterated Federal Government’s commitment to the reduction of tobacco use among citizens, particularly exposure of underage children to smoking.


Osinbajo, who spoke at the Presidential Villa yesterday, while receiving leaders of anti-tobacco NGO groups in the country, lamented inadequate information about the dangers of smoking “which has made it difficult to convince many to quit the dangerous habit.”


According to the Vice President, “we need the public behind us in this engagement. We need to change the public perception that smoking is a matter of choice. We also need to be more creative in passing our messages and in developing policies.


While lamenting tobacco products “proliferation” in the country, Professor Osinbajo hinted that government would be exploring strategies on how to reduce tobacco consumption.


The Presidency will give every support that is needed to ensure that tobacco control laws and policies are effectively implemented in Nigeria,” he assured.

He charged the NGOs to work closely with youths to ensure that under-age initiation into smoking was reduced in the country.


Earlier, leader of the delegation, Mr. Akinbode Oluwafemi, Deputy Director of Environmental Rights Action/Friends of the Earth Nigeria, ERA/FoEN, urged Federal Government to provide all the necessary support for the effective implementation of the National Tobacco Control Act, NTCA, 2015.


We want the Federal Government to demonstrate that the era of impunity is over by bringing all tobacco companies, flouting our laws, to justice,” he said.


Mrs. Hilda Ochefu of the Washington-based Campaign for Tobacco Free Kids, CTFK, expressed the readiness of her agency and other international NGOs to support Nigeria in implementing effective tax policy for the tobacco industry.

VP Osinbajo Wants AU To Declare Corruption A Crime Against Humanity

Nigeria has formally requested the African Union (AU) to declare corruption a crime against humanity. The country blamed the impoverishment of African people on corrupt leaders. Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo said on Wednesday at the inaugural JF Ade Ajayi Memorial Lecture held at the University of Lagos, that the request had been tabled. The late Ajayi was one of Nigeria’s foremost history scholars, and former vice-chancellor of the University of Lagos.


Thousands of lives


Prof Osinbajo said the problem of corruption must be escalated as the vice was clearly the most devastating affliction on the African people. Corruption, he noted, was the single leading cause of poverty on the continent. Drawing on the Nigeria situation, he said: “Corruption of a few has cost thousands of lives and billions of dollars, destinies lost and futures destroyed.’’


The wasteland


He also wondered how anyone could explain “the wasteland that is the Niger Delta today’’. Prof Osinbajo described the “needless elongation of the insurgency in the North East’’ and “continuing human and environmental tragedy in the Niger Delta’’ as two recent tragedies orchestrated by corruption. The vice-president recalled that some estimates showed that some Niger Delta state earned more than many African countries every year, but they had nothing to show for such fortunes.


Moral tradition


We must demonstrate that it is un-African for leaders to perpetrate the immorality of stealing the future of our children,” he stressed. The vice president hailed the virtues of the late Ade Ajayi as worthy of emulation.


The legacies of men and women like the great JF Ade Ajayi must be held aloft as the examples of the African moral tradition.’’

Mrs Dolapo Osinbajo And TY Bello Call On Well Meaning Nigerians To Join The Get Involved Initiative

Wife of the Vice President Mrs Dolapo Osinbajo has reiterated her support for the GET INVOLVED initiative in a campaign with ace Nigerian photographer TY Bello.
The initiative is a component of Mrs Aisha Buhari’s Future Assured program which is designed to provide solutions to problems of malnutrition among children in the country.

“I am getting involved, will you join us?” they both captioned the photos. “Let us send help to needy children- Pls give milk, blankets, socks, underwear and warm clothing for children. Can you spare? Can you share? 

Collection point: LTV 8, Agidingbi, Ikeja, Lagos.
Saturday 13th August, 2016. From 10am

The GET INVOLVED initiative envisions the active participation of Nigerians, private sector and non governmental organizations in response to the alarming outbreak of undernourishment at Internally Displaced Camps.
More photos below…

Osinbajo, Governors Meet Over Economy

The National Economic Council (NEC) met at the Council Chambers of the Aso Rock Presidential Villa, Abuja.

 The meeting is being presided over by the vice president, Professor Yemi Osinbajo.

 Governors in attendance include those of Ogun, Kano, Akwa Ibom, Jigawa, Nasarawa, Abia, Katsina, Kogi, among others.

 The meeting is expected to review the state of the economy.

Credit: DailyTrust

Osinbajo’s Wife Visits Murdered Preacher’s Family

The Wife of the Vice President, Mrs Dolapo Osinbajo on Sunday visited the family of the late Assistant Pastor of the Divine Touch Parish of the Redeemed Christian Church of God (RCCG), Abuja, Mrs Eunice Elisha.

The forty-two-year-old mother of seven was murdered while evangelising on Saturday morning.

She was said to have been butchered to death by assailants while preaching around Gbazango-West area of Kubwa in the Bwari Area Council of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT).

Mrs Osinbajo, who visited the bereaved family around 1:30 pm., was received by the deceased’s husband, Pastor Olawale Elisha; children and a host of church members and loved ones.

 In her condolence message, Mrs Osinbajo wrote: “May her gentle soul rest in perfect peace.”
Credit: Nation