Osinbajo Seeks Continental Response To Maritime Challenges

Yemi Osinbajo Seeks Continental Response To Maritime ChallengesStrengthening the coast guard function and timely exchange of information by African countries will help build a stronger maritime industry and improve trade facilitation.

Nigeria’s Vice President, Professor Yemi Osinbajo, made the recommendation on Thursday at the third annual conference of the Association of African Maritime Administration in Abuja.

As part of the opening ceremony of the conference tagged: ‘Sustainable Use Of Africa’s Ocean and Seas’, a new Logo for the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA).

New NIMASA logo unveiled at the conference

Professor Osinbajo who said the challenges facing the sector are not insurmountable, however tasked African countries to take advantage of the incredible opportunities to tackle the difficulties.

“The challenges are many but not insurmountable. As things stand, Africa’s fishing grounds are being pillaged, it waters are polluted and piracy is heightening maritime insecurity and causing increases in the cost of insurance and trade. Many difficulties but incredible opportunities.

“The good news is that we are on the right path, collaboration and synergies. Our countries have to continue to develop the maritime sector, beginning with the national level to the sub-regional and regional levels,” he said.

The Vice President further suggested better regulatory framework and human development as crucial factors for development in the industry.

He stressed the need for countries to ensure a coherent and collaborative continental response to the challenges facing African maritime.

“Here in Nigeria, we have taken steps to tackle some of the issues peculiar to us while still requiring regional and sub-regional collaboration. As African maritime administrators and regulators, it’s my respectful view that you must ensure a coherent and collaborative continental response to the challenges facing our maritime space.

“This will require cooperation amongst our states and agencies, and with other segments of society, including the private sector. It means that governance issues and appropriate legal and regulatory frame works must be put on the front burner, alongside timely exchange of information.

“In addition, issues of maritime security and safety must continue to receive priority attention as we strive to make Africa a valued player in the international maritime community,” he said.

Osinbajo Meets With Heads Of Prosecuting Agencies

Yemi Osinbajo, OndoAll heads of prosecuting agencies of the Federal Government are in a crucial meeting with Nigeria’s Vice President, Professor Yemi Osinbajo, at the Presidential Villa.

The agencies include the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC), Department of State Services (DSS), and the office of the National Security Adviser (NSA).

Although the reason for the meeting is unknown, feelers are that it may not be unconnected with the recent setbacks suffered in the government’s corruption cases.

Details coming shortly.

Osinbajo Reveals ‘One More Thing’ To Defeat Boko Haram Completely

Osinbajo Reveals 'One More Thing' To Defeat Boko Haram CompletelyThe Federal Government may have concluded that Boko Haram has been technically defeated, but there is “one thing” they say is left to properly deal a lasting blow to the menace.

To this end, the Nigerian Government and France have agreed to work together in achieving a terror free Nigeria.

Both countries indicated their interests on Friday at a bilateral meeting between Nigeria’s Vice President, Professor Yemi Osinbajo, and French Prime Minister, Mr Bernard Cazeneuve, in Paris.

According to Professor Osinbajo who stressed the need to break the ideological underpinnings of terror, “one thing left for us to deal with is deradicalisation, defeating the ‘ideology’ behind the mindless killing and violence”.

On his part, Mr Cazeneuve praised what he described as the ‘tremendous progress’ made by the President Muhammadu Buhari led administration in degrading Boko Haram and suppressing the insurgency significantly.

He pledged that France will stand by Nigeria, saying the French Government is aware of the problem and they know “it cannot be solved by countries working alone”.

Professor Osinbajo has been in France where he attended and spoke at the just concluded Global Forum on Anti-Corruption and Integrity hosted by the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD).

Looted Funds: Osinbajo Blames Difficult Recovery On Int’l Financial System

We Hear You, Loud And Clear, Osinbajo Tells ProtestersNigeria’s Vice President, Professor Yemi Osinbajo, has blamed the difficulty in retrieving funds looted from the country on the international financial system.

Professor Osinbajo was speaking on Thursday at the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) forum in Paris, France.

In a statement, the Vice President pointed out that illicit financial flows must be regarded as corrupt activity.

He acknowledged that the tracing, freezing and return of stolen assets have proved exceptionally difficult for most African countries.

“Countries hosting global financial centres, and other usually targeted destinations of illicit flows must be held more accountable to enforce mechanisms which ensure transparency of ownership, control, beneficial ownership, trusts and other legal contrivances that may be used to camouflage financial or other assets,” Professor Osinbajo said.

He insisted that member-countries must work collaboratively to ensure transparency in financial transfers, and outlaw secrecy jurisdictions, in addition to more rigorous enforcement of rules promoting transparency in the international banking and financial system.

FG To Distribute 20,000 Solar Energy Units In 2017

Yemi Osinbajo, Beyond The Grid, Solar Energy UnitsNigeria’s Vice President, Professor Yemi Osinbajo, says 20,000 new solar energy household units will be dispersed across rural areas in the first phase of the Federal Government’s ‘beyond the grid’ project in 2017.

Professor Osinbajo said that while the government’s commitment to developing traditional means of power generation and transmission remained unshakeable, off the grid energy supply would receive heightened attention, moving forward.

He made the disclosure while commissioning the ‘beyond the grid’ solar power project which was launched by the Niger Delta Power Holding Company (NDPHC) in Wuna community of Gwagwalada in Abuja.

The Vice President emphasised that while past rural power projects lacked vision and longevity, the solar energy initiative would strategically power industrious communities that provide goods and services to surrounding territories for broader economic development.

Overseeing the project, the Managing Director of the NDPHC, Chiedu Ugbo, noted that project maintenance was central in project conceptualisation.

The traditional ruler of Wuna community, Mr Yusuf Isa, who commended the initiative, said that the usage of kerosene lamps has become a memory.

He, however, highlighted some of the challenges the residents of the community faced before the launch of the project.

A farmer in the community, Solomon Jaka, also thanked the government for the project, saying the solar energy initiative has changed his life and that of his family.

‘We Are Going To The World Cup’, Osinbajo Tips Eagles

Yemi Osinbajo, World Cup, Super Eagles, AlgeriaNigeria’s Vice President, Professor Yemi Osinbajo, has asked the Super Eagles to emerge victorious in their encounter with Algeria in the World Cup qualifying series.

Professor Osinbajo was full of confidence in the Nigerian squad, saying “we are going to the World Cup”.

The comments made by the Vice President are contained in a statement by his Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity, Laolu Akande.

Describing the squad as “a team of history makers”, the Vice President said that the victory over Zambia in Ndola proved that the Super Eagles “are definitely going to make history”.

“Beating the Zambians in Ndola, I think that was an incredible feat and by being able to break that old jinx, I think you have shown that we are certainly going to the World Cup. But not just get to the World Cup; we are going to come back with the kind of victory that will stun the world.

“So, Algeria is just going to be a stepping stone and I know that you guys are all set, you are all prepared to go!

“Frankly speaking, I think that we have all it takes to win and to win very decisively and so we have all our hopes and all our aspirations. We place them very squarely on your very able and robust shoulders and we will be looking forward to victory and we are almost certain that we will give all the support that we need to give.

Osinbajo acknowledged that there are always financial needs. “We will definitely do our best and make sure that you are well provided for, so that our country is portrayed in the very best light and our team, this great team of ours will win,” he promised.

Nigerian Governors Pledge Support For FG’s Plan To Revive Economy

Nigerian GovernorsNigerian governors have pledged to work with the federal government, especially in the area of agriculture to reverse the effects of the current economic recession.

This is part of the outcome of a meeting of the governors in the council chambers at the Presidential Villa in Abuja, with the Vice President, Professor Yemi Osinbajo presiding.

The Council in its last meeting on September 22 approved President Muhammadu Buhari’s strategies to pull the economy out of recession.

At the meeting, ministers and governors also debriefed the Finance Minister, Mrs Kemi Adeosun and the Minister of Budget and National Planning, Mr Udoma Udo Udoma as well as the CBN Governor, Godwin Emefiele on the strategies to take the country out of the woods.

The governors who blamed the dwindling power supply in the country on gas pipeline vandalism, also commended the federal government on the plan to diversify energy sources through wind, and solar.

Economic Recession 

The oil-rich nation’s economy officially slipped into recession in the second quarter of 2016, with a report of the National Bureau of Statistics showing that the economy contracted by 2.06% in that quarter.

The Naira had become weak, exchanging for over 480 Naira to a dollar in the parallel market.

Despite the recession, a report of the International Monetary Fund (IMF)  has affirmed Nigeria as the biggest economy in Africa.

Nigeria was reported to have lost its spot as Africa’s biggest economy to South Africa in August 2016, following the recalculation of the country’s Gross Domestic Product.

But the IMF’s World Economic Outlook for October 2016, puts South Africa’s GDP at 280.36 billion Dollars, from 314.73 billion Dollars in 2015.

Meanwhile, latest estimates from the IMF put Nigeria’s GDP at 415.08 billion Dollars, from 493.83 billion Dollars at the end of 2015.

Nigeria’s Economic Council Holds Talks

Yemi Osinbajo Nigeria Vice President presides over National Economic CouncilNigeria’s Vice President, Professor Yemi Osinbajo, is currently presiding over a meeting with state governors at the Council Chambers of the Aso Rock Presidential Villa in Abuja.

Other members of the National Economic Council are also present at the meeting.

It is not clear what the agenda of the meeting is, but it is likely to be on the state of the nation and perhaps how the governors can contribute in getting Nigeria out of recession through collaboration with the Federal Government.

The Council in its last meeting on September 22 approved President Muhammadu Buhari’s strategies to pull the economy out of recession.

At the meeting, ministers and governors also debriefed the Finance Minister, Mrs Kemi Adeosun and the Minister of Budget and National Planning, Mr Udoma Udo Udoma as well as the CBN Governor, Godwin Emefiele on the strategies to take the country out of the woods.

Biggest Economy In Africa

The oil-rich nation’s economy officially slipped into recession in the second quarter of 2016, with a report of the National Bureau of Statistics showing that the economy contracted by 2.06% in that quarter.

The Naira had become weak, exchanging for over 480 Naira to a dollar in the parallel market.

Despite the recession, a report of the International Monetary Fund (IMF)  has affirmed Nigeria as the biggest economy in Africa.

Nigeria was reported to have lost its spot as Africa’s biggest economy to South Africa in August 2016, following the recalculation of the country’s Gross Domestic Product.

But the IMF’s World Economic Outlook for October 2016, puts South Africa’s GDP at 280.36 billion Dollars, from 314.73 billion Dollars in 2015.

Meanwhile, latest estimates from the IMF put Nigeria’s GDP at 415.08 billion Dollars, from 493.83 billion Dollars at the end of 2015.

Britain Re-iterates Commitment To Rescue Of Chibok Girls

Chibok Girls, BBOG, Presidency, Boko HaramThe British Minister for Africa, Mr Tobias Ellwood has assures Nigeria of Britain’s continued support for the rescue of the Chibok school girls abducted in April 2014.

Mr Ellwood gave the assurance in Abuja after a closed door meeting with members of the Bring Back Our Girls group at the United Kingdom’s High Commission.

According to him, he will be having another meeting with Nigeria’s Vice President, President Yemi Osinbajo to discuss the release of the Chibok school girls.

Meanwhile, the leader of the Bring Back Our Girls group, Mrs Oby Ezekwesili, has said the group will continue to seek international support for the rescue of the girls.

Prisoners’ Swap Request

Britain’s assurance is coming days after Boko Haram released a video of the girls in their custody, demanding for prisoners’ swap to release them.

Over 200 girls preparing for their final year examination in Chibok secondary school in Borno State were taken from their school’s dormitory.

After the Boko Haram released the video, parents of some of the girls asked the Federal Government to swap suspected members of Boko Haram terrorist group held at different detention facilities with the girls, as requested.

The Nigerian president, Muhammadu Buhari, thereafter renewed his commitment to rescuing the Chibok girls, saying the government will not give up in the search.

In tweet on his Twitter handle, President Buhari paid glowing tributes to the military for their efforts in the war against insurgency in Nigeria’s northeast.

The President also said he was willing to swap Boko Haram prisoners for the Chibok girls.

But that is on condition that they are able to list those they want released and then come out to discuss with the Federal Government.

He says the Federal Government will want the girls out safe without any harm done to them.

Recently, the Bring Back Our Girls campaigners had called on the President to accept the swap of the Boko Haram prisoners for the Chibok girls who were kidnapped in Borno State two years ago.

At a bilateral meeting with the United Nations Secretary General, Ban Ki-Moon,on the sidelines of the U.N. General Assembly meeting held in New York few days ago, President Buhari said Nigeria would welcome intermediaries from the United Nations as a show of commitment, to swapping the abducted Chibok girls with Boko Haram fighters in custody.

A statement by the Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, Femi Adesina, said that”the challenge is in getting credible and bona fide leadership of Boko Haram to discuss with”.

“The split in the insurgent group is not helping matters. Government had reached out, ready to negotiate, but it became difficult to identify credible leaders. We will welcome intermediaries such as UN outfits, to step in.”

The President reiterated that the teachings of Boko Haram were far from being Islamic, as neither Islam, nor any other religion, advocates hurting the weak and innocent.

“The fact that they kill men, women, children, and other people wantonly, and shout Allahu Akbar (God is great) shows that they do not know that Allah at all. If they did, they would not shed innocent blood,” President Buhari said.

National Economic Council Approves FG’s Strategies To End Recession

Adeosun, GovernorsThe National Economic Council has approved President Muhammadu Buhari’s strategies to pull the economy out of recession.

This was done during its meeting in Abuja, chaired by the Vice President, Professor Yemi Osinbajo.

The council of ministers and governors debriefed the Finance Minister, Mrs. Kemi Adeosun and the Minister of Budget and National Planning, Mr Udoma Udo Udoma as well as the CBN Governor, Godwin Emefiele on the strategies to take the country out of the woods.

Briefing State House correspondents after the closed-door meeting, the Deputy Governor of Ogun State, Yetunde Onanuga, said that the Central Bank would henceforth adopt best options to manage the situation.

Other areas of urgent intervention were also agreed upon by the council to immediately inject larger funds into the economy, including meaningful diversification and more stringent importation cuts.

Intervention of affordable housing was also among urgent issues discussed, which the council said a target of one billion naira fund has been set up to create a blended pool of long term funds for housing development finance and mortgage provision aimed at delivering 500,000 housing units annually.

The council commended members of the National Economic Team for their diligence and hard work.

The council’s declaration comes barely 24 hours after the Deputy Senate President, Ike Ekweremadu, asked President Muhammadu Buhari to reshuffle his cabinet and redeploy the Minister of Finance and the Minister of Budget and National Planning from their present ministries.

Senate-Ike-Ekweremadu
Deputy Senate President, Ike Ekweremadu

As the Senate began debate on the state of the economy on Wednesday, Ekweremadu said that he was not impressed with the performance of the two ministers and believes they would perform better in other ministries.

Nigeria’s economy had slipped into recession after a report of the National Bureau of Statistics showed that the nation’s GDP contracted by 2.06% in the second quarter of 2016.

The report came just as militant activities have resurged in the Niger Delta, causing the revenue of the nation which comes largely from crude oil sales to drop.

The price of crude, which had dropped in the international market, already taking its toll on the nation’s economy was compounded by the attacks on oil installations in the Niger Delta.

Negative Growth Since 2012
The Minister of Finance, Mrs Kemi Adeosun, had recently said that the country had been in negative growth since 2012 with the hope that it would avoid recession but since the reality of the recession has dawned on the nation, the government was prepared to address it.

Kemi-Adeosun-Minister-of-Finance-Nigeria-on-Economy
Minister of Finance, Mrs. Kemi Adeosun

She said that the tactical plan of the Nigerian government to address its economic challenges would not change in spite of the official confirmation that the country had gone into a recession.

Mrs Adeosun was the guest of Channels TV’s breakfast programme, Sunrise Daily on Tuesday, September 20, where she explained that the solution to Nigeria’s problem remained the same from years past.

“Our plans haven’t changed. We need to stimulate the economy and we are going to do so largely by redirecting expenditure from recurrent into capital because we believe that capital expenditure will create jobs and create more productivity in the economy in the long run and help us to diversify,” she said.

She maintained that getting out of recession remains dependent on how productive the economy becomes as well as how well it can create jobs. “we’ve got to invest in our capital infrastructure,” she said.

Set To Inject Funds
The Minister had few days earlier said that the government was set to inject an additional 350 billion Naira ($1.1 billion) into the economy and raise $1 billion from Euro-bonds by mid-December to ease the recession.

She had told reporters in Abuja that the additional funding, on top of the initial 420 billion Naira released in May, was primarily for capital expenditure projects that would also involve support from local banks and transaction partners.

“We are raising money. As you know the Euro-bond capital raise is on.

Udoma-Udoma
Minister of Budget and National Planning, Mr Udoma Udo Udoma

“We are about to appoint advisers so we we will be raising additional $1 billion.

“Two weeks ago we approved the external borrowing plan and that was very important,” the Minister said.

While local investors feel neglected despite being in greater majority than the foreign investors for which the government is looking to attract back to Nigeria, the Minister for Budget, Senator Udoma Udoma, had reassuring words.

“We are determined to make it easier to do business in Nigeria and we believe that, working together with the private sector, we must surely transform this economy,” he told businessmen during a quarterly business briefing at the Presidential Villa with private sector stakeholders.

Mahmud Mohammed Cautions Judges Against Delay In Judgement

Mahmud Mohammed, JudgesThe Chief Justice of the Federation, Justice Mahmud Mohammed, has called on judges in Nigeria to reduce the delays in dispensing justice.

However, the Chief Justice asked them never to sacrifice justice for speed.

For the second time within two days, Justice Mohammed took a swipe at judges who give conflicting judgements.

He observed that such action threatens the integrity and the independence of the judiciary in Nigeria.

The Judge stated that delays in dispensing justice in high profile cases and that of conflicting judgements were the major challenges that the judges must resolve in the new legal year.

He made the remarks on Tuesday at the second day of the Annual Judges Conference in Abuja, to mark the commencement of the 2016/2017 legal year.

Firmer And Unbiased Decisions

Justice Mohammed had earlier announced that the National Judicial Council (NJC) would probe judges involved in the recent conflicting judgments emanating from courts of equal jurisdiction.

He observed that the action of judges involved in conflicting judgments was embarrassing and warned against the politicising of the appointment of a Chief Justice of Nigeria.

Speaking at the same gathering, the Chief Judge of the Federal High Court of Nigeria, Justice Ibrahim Auta, asked the judges to be firmer and unbiased in their decisions.

Justice Auta, who highlighted the backdrop of the challenges and successes of the high courts during the last legal year, asked them to ensure that the decisions they take do not create room for anarchy.

NJC To Probe Judges Involved In Conflicting Judgments

Mahmud-NJC-Judges-CourtThe National Judicial Council (NJC) says it will probe judges involved in the recent conflicting judgments emanating from courts of equal jurisdiction.

The Chief Justice of Nigeria, Justice Mahmud Mohammed, observed that the action of judges involved in conflicting judgments was embarrassing to the judiciary.

He announced the NJC’s decision on Monday at a special session to mark the commencement of the 2016/2017 legal year and the swearing in of 22 new Senior Advocates of Nigeria at the Supreme Court in Abuja, the Federal Capital Territory.

Justice Mohammed also warned against the politicising of the appointment of a Chief Justice of Nigeria.

He tasked the newly inducted senior advocates to be above board in the discharge of their professional duties.

The Chief Justice added that the council would not hesitate to sanction erring lawyers.

On his part, the President of the Nigerian Bar Association, Abubakar Mahmoud, advised the new Senior Advocates to be patriotic.

The Director General of the Nigerian Law School, Mister Olanrewaju Onadeko and the Secretary of the 2014 National Conference, Mrs Valerie Azinge, were among the new senior advocates.

They pledged the commitment of the new silks to uphold the ethics of the profession.

The conferment of the 22 Senior Advocates of Nigeria has increased the number of silks in the Nigerian Bar to 451.

Criminal Justice Reforms

Meanwhile, the Chief Judge of the Federal High Court of Nigeria, Justice Ibrahim Auta, has asked judges to be firmer and unbiased in their decisions.

Justice Auta, who highlighted the backdrop of the challenges and successes of the high courts during the last legal year, asked them to ensure that the decisions they take do not create room for anarchy.

Elsewhere, Vice President Yemi Osinbajo emphasised the need for far-reaching reforms in Nigeria’s criminal justice system and the decentralisation of the Nigeria Police Force for effective service delivery.

Professor Osinbajo made the call in Abeokuta, Ogun State’s capital at the 20th celebration of the death of the late Mrs Bisoye Tejuoso.

He expressed the commitment of the Federal Government to sustaining the anti-corruption crusade.

The Vice President asked Nigerians to rise up against corrupt individuals and groups who were bent on fighting back despite the genuine interest of government.