Armed Forces Remembrance Day: Nigeria Is Stronger Together – Osibanjo

File photo of Vice President Professor Yemi Osinbajo.

 

Vice President Yemi Osinbajo believes that in spite of the religious, ethnic and political differences in the country, Nigeria is better off together. 

Osinbajo noted this on Sunday at the Interdenominational Church Service for the 2021 Armed Forces Remembrance Day Celebration, which held at the National Christian Centre, Abuja.

The former Commissioner for Justice and the Attorney General of Lagos State was represented at the event by the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Mr. Boss Mustapha.

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According to Osinbajo, Nigerians “must at every opportunity insist that every great multi-ethnic and multi-religious nation has, through thick and thin, fought to realize the great dividends of diversity and pluralism.”

As a mark of honour, Osinbajo was quoted by his media aide, Laolu Akande as urging Nigerians to, as a mark of respect, honour the sacrifices of the men and women of the Armed Forces and show more commitment to the unity of the nation and the task of building a better society.

He, however, admitted that “the struggle to ensure a more perfect federation is a lifelong enterprise to which each generation must resolutely commit.”

“It is to the memories of these heroes and heroines that we pledge in the words of our National anthem: that “the labours of our heroes past shall never be in vain,” Osinbajo added.

“That promise that their blood, spilled on the field of battle, will not be wasted, is the burden that we, the living, bear. And it is an onerous one indeed.”

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OFFICE OF THE VICE PRESIDENT

NIGERIA IS STRONGER TOGETHER OSINBAJO SAYS AT ARMED FORCES REMEMBRANCE SERVICE

*VP pays tribute to Nigeria’s military heroes and heroines

Despite differences in religion, ethnicity, political affiliations, or other diversities, Nigerians of all generations and from all walks of life must endeavour to commit to ensuring Nigeria’s unity, because the nation is stronger together than apart, according to Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, SAN.

The Vice President spoke today at the Interdenominational Church Service for the 2021 Armed Forces Remembrance Day Celebration, which held at the National Christian Centre, Abuja, on Sunday.

According to Prof. Osinbajo, who was represented at the Church Service by the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Mr. Boss Mustapha, Nigerians “must at every opportunity insist that every great multi-ethnic and multi-religious nation has, through thick and thin, fought to realize the great dividends of diversity and pluralism.”

He reiterated the need for Nigerians to, as a mark of honour for the sacrifices of the men and women of the Armed Forces show more commitment to the unity of the nation and the task of building a better society.

The VP said, “the struggle to ensure a more perfect federation is a lifelong enterprise to which each generation must resolutely commit.”

While paying tribute to the departed men and women of the nation’s Armed Forces, he observed that their sacrifices embody ultimate patriotism as they laid down their lives in the line of duty.

According to him, “drawn from all across the country, these brave men and women of the Armed Forces have made our nation proud and their lives show us what it means to be patriots. Each one of them reminds us of the timeless words of our national pledge: “to be faithful, loyal and honest, to serve Nigeria with all our strength, to defend her unity and uphold her honour and glory.”

He noted that the departed heroes and heroines of the Armed Forces “fought to preserve the freedom of the nations of the world from totalitarianism in the First and Second World Wars; to keep our Nation and its people as one in the Civil War.”

Continuing, the VP praised the members of the Armed Forces adding that they “laid down their lives in peacekeeping operations on the continent and elsewhere, paid the ultimate price in the fight against the mindless terrorism in the North East, and in defending this land from other threats to security.

“It is to the memories of these heroes and heroines that we pledge in the words of our National anthem: that “the labours of our heroes past shall never be in vain.

“That promise that their blood, spilled on the field of battle, will not be wasted, is the burden that we, the living, bear. And it is an onerous one indeed.”

In his tribute to the departed members of the Armed Forces, the VP recalled the heroism of the late Ms. Tolulope Arotile, who made history in October 2019, when she was winged as Nigeria’s first female combat helicopter pilot in the 55 years of existence of the Nigerian Air Force.

He said, “although her young life was cut short in very unfortunate circumstances, Tolulope lived her dream to join the Nigerian military and along with colleagues from all parts of this nation, to defend the territorial integrity, peace and security of this nation.

Prof. Osinbajo noted the nation will always be grateful and proud of the continuing commitment of our young men and women to serving in the Armed Forces.

He said “this occasion is also one where we celebrate, honour and pray for the families, relations and loved ones of our fallen heroes, those who daily bear the pain and deprivation of their absence. On behalf of Mr. President and the Federal Government, we once again extend our sincere condolences to you. We pray that the Lord will comfort you and uphold you daily.”

Laolu Akande
Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media & Publicity
Office of the Vice President
10th January 2021

Osinbajo Meets Northeast Humanitarian Hub Team

File photo of Vice President Professor Yemi Osinbajo.

 

The Vice President, Yemi Osinbajo has met with members of the northeast humanitarian hub team and pledged the support of the Federal Government and the National Economic Council (NEC) in the establishment of a Social Innovation and Research Institute (SIRI), an initiative of NEHIH aimed at developing skills and building capacity for social innovation.

During the meeting on Tuesday, the Vice President said that the idea of establishing a centre for social innovation as conceived by the NEHIH was good, emphasizing that “I don’t think there is enough attention being paid to the local needs of social innovation.

“I really think that this proposed institute can do enough in terms of capacity building and leveraging on ideas. And also making a lot of the innovations relevant to our demands and needs here in Nigeria.”

Prof. Osinbajo added that “part of the work I think SIRI might end up doing is in looking at our peculiar humanitarian condition, because the humanitarian condition that we find ourselves in Nigeria is enormous, a huge one.

“So, there is an opportunity here to teach the rest of the world how to deal with this, especially from the point of view of education of children in conflict situations, and even entrepreneurship in a conflict situation.”

Other participants at the meeting include the coordinator of the Hub, Mr. Ahmad Moddibo, the SIRI project coordinator at the hub, Nguveren Mary, among others.

Social Housing: Prototype Units Launched In Fct, Construction Set To Start In 12 States

The plan by the Federal Government to support 1.5 million Nigerians to acquire low-cost houses Under the Social Housing program of the ESP is on course as the portal for application by prospective beneficiaries was launched in December 2020 alongside the prototype 1-bedroom and 2-bedroom units.

During a visit over the weekend to the completed model houses in Dei Dei at the Federal Capital Territory, Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, SAN, reiterated the FG’s commitment to delivering decent and affordable accommodation that will be within the reach of many Nigerians.

The plan is to have a Rent to Own option as part of the Buhari administration’s resolve to impact the common man in the social housing scheme expected to also generate 1.8m jobs and deliver houses to about 1.5m Nigerian families.

Already sites for early start projects have been identified in all the 6 geo-political zones in addition to the FCT.

The sites include those in Ekiti and Ogun in the Southwest, Enugu, and Abia in the Southeast, Delta, and Edo in the South-south, Yobe, and Bauchi in the Northeast, Kaduna and Katsina in the Northwest and Nasarawa and Plateau in the North-central. Sites have also been identified in Abuja.

To kickstart the social Housing projects, the CBN has already committed to an N200B facility with a guarantee by the FG via the Finance Ministry.

The implementing agency, Family Homes Fund Ltd, an agency under the Federal Ministry of Finance has already mobilized thousands of Cooperatives groups across the country who will participate in the social Housing plan as the main warehouse agents and mobilize low-income buyers.

For instance, FHF met recently with 93 Cooperative Leaders from the 6 geographical zones, under the aegis of the Co-Operatives Federation of Nigeria.

We Must Find Ways Of Doing More For MSMEs Survival Fund, Says Osinbajo

File photo of Vice President Professor Yemi Osinbajo.

 

 

With the kind of impact and interest already generated among Nigerians by the ongoing implementation of the Survival Fund under the Economic Sustainability Plan, there is now a need to expand the scope and reach of the benefits to an even larger number of the populace, according to Vice President Yemi Osinbajo.

This hint was dropped at a virtual meeting held just before the Christmas holidays between Prof. Osinbajo and the Steering Committee of the MSMEs Survival Fund. The meeting was attended by Minister of State for Industry, Trade and Investment, Ambassador Mariam Katagum, Chairperson of the Committee; the Chairman of First Bank, Mrs Ibukun Awosika, the Committee’s Vice-Chairperson, among other members.

So far, the scheme has commenced disbursement to about 500,000 beneficiaries: the Payroll Support Scheme has paid close to 350,000 beneficiaries; almost 166,000 0f 300,000 Artisans have benefitted from the Artisan & Transport Scheme, and the Corporate Affairs Commission is ramping up numbers to register 250,000 new businesses free of charge.

By the end of December, an approximate of 400,000 Payroll Support beneficiaries would have received salaries for October to December, while structures have been put in place to commence the General Grants and the Guaranteed Offtake Scheme early next year.

Speaking on the implementation of the scheme and the need to expand the scope, the Vice President said “the data indicating what you have done so far shows that it is possible for the government to deliver big programmes, and to deliver them credibly. And it is possible for people to actually benefit from government programmes especially with as little interference as possible from the political forces which is what has been the bane of several government programmes in the years past.”

Continuing, Prof. Osinbajo noted that, “I think that we must find ways of expanding the scope of the scheme because when you look at the numbers that we have approval for, the numbers are small in comparison to the enormity of the problems that we are faced with.

“Even if we are able to reach 2 million beneficiaries, it is still a tiny percentage of the millions who require help and assistance. So, I think, we have to find ways of trying to seek approval to expand the scope of the scheme. This is an important aspect of it.”

Commending the committee for their efforts in impacting the lives of beneficiaries of the Payroll Support, the Artisan and Transport grants as well as beneficiaries in other tracks of the scheme, the Vice President said the partnership with the private sector in the implementation of the scheme was notable.

In another virtual meeting on Tuesday, Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, and some federal ministers interacted with the Nigeria Automotive Manufacturers Association (NAMA).

At the meeting last week, the VP said the central plank of the government’s automotive policy was to protect the interest of all Nigerians, noting that maintaining high tariffs on automobiles will not necessarily lead to growth in the industry.

According to the Vice President, “Government has the responsibility for ensuring the welfare of the people, everybody and every industry. And the Auto industry is important. I understand all the issues about how the auto industry contributes to macroeconomic growth, jobs and others.”

Prof. Osinbajo noted that the way forward was for “the auto industry to challenge itself and whatever support it requires from the government to be able to say, where is the Nigerian car that will be affordable to all and affordable to most people.

“You got to find a way of developing a local industry that will benefit the people. If that is not working then it may mean that it is not just an auto policy issue. I know there are many constraints to manufacturing, but we can make things work.

Explaining further, the Vice President said “I want us to take all these into account and see that we must work jointly, it is not just about protecting an industry, it is about protecting the economy, and protecting everybody.

“There are countries of the world that have the same parameters as we have and are able to do much more for their people. I think we should think along with those terms, and not simply think about how this industry will maintain this relatively high tariff and for how long will this high tariff be maintained. Is this the only way of sustaining the industry? I don’t think so. You don’t need 77% percent tariff to ensure an industry grows, I don’t think so.”

Present at the meeting were the Finance, Budget and National Planning Minister Zainab Ahmed; Industry, Trade and Investment Minister Otunba Niyi Adebayo and other top government officials alongside representatives of the automotive industry.

We Have To Solve Malnutrition Issues, Osinbajo Tells Committee On Food

File photo of Vice President Professor Yemi Osinbajo.

 

The Vice President, Yemi Osinbajo has resolved to address the problems of hunger and malnutrition in the country, thereby setting up an ad-hoc Technical Advisory Group to support the implementation of the 5-year National Multi-Sectoral Plan of Action on Nutrition (NMPAN).

The Vice President constituted the technical advisory group earlier in the week when he called a virtual meeting of the National Committee on Food and Nutrition, a week after the National Council on Nutrition adopted the Plan of Action.

Membership of the advisory group is drawn from the Office of the Vice President, Nigerian Governors Forum, Nutrition Society of Nigeria, Nutrition Partners Forum, Organised Private sector, Academia/ Research, Scaling Up Nutrition Secretariat at the Federal Ministry of Health ( FMOH), Civil Society groups-and the UN-Nutrition.

Noting the mandate and composition of the team, Prof. Osinbajo said on Tuesday that “the technical advisory group will provide high-level strategic advice and support to the Secretariat of the National Council on Nutrition on the National Policy on Food and Nutrition’s vision and strategy, thereby facilitating nutrition positioning and comparative advantage to enable maximum impact.“

According to the Vice President, “for the next few months, this group composed of select members of the National Council on Nutrition who are heads of major MDAs and agencies will have the following Mandate:

“To provide technical assistance to the NCN and Secretariat, and facilitate inter and intra-agency coordination, supervision and monitoring, and implementation of the National Multi-sectoral Plan of Action on Nutrition.”

Continuing, Prof. Osinbajo noted that the assignment would be executed by, “developing a synthesised work plan for National Multisectoral Plan of Action on Nutrition; identifying and documenting the roles of each sector and MDA, as well as the relationship(s) between these roles and the achievement of nutrition outcomes, based on the NMPAN.”

He added that the group will “work with the newly constituted National Committee on Food and Nutrition to define and train the secretariat on the capacity needs for the development and implementation of nutrition programs and projects as defined by the NMPAN and; develop a comprehensive advocacy, information, and education strategy for the NMPAN”

Stating the significance of the group’s assignment, Prof Osinbajo said “we need more than ever to think holistically if we are to solve the issues of malnutrition, in my opinion, we have embarked on a new era, where collaboration and active engagement of stakeholders to assist with implementing the NMPAN is embedded in our agenda and should propel us forward.”

The National Council on Food and Nutrition chaired by Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, at its last meeting approved the action plan titled the “National Multi-Sectoral Plan of Action for Food and Nutrition (NMPFAN) 2021-2025” with a target of addressing nutrition and related problems across the country.

Osinbajo, Boss Mustapha Physically Present As Buhari Presides Over Virtual FEC Meeting

Vice President Yemi Osinbajo and President Muhammadu Buhari

 

President Muhammadu Buhari has presided over the 29th virtual Federal Executive Council (FEC) meeting at the Council Chamber of the State House, Abuja.

Vice President, Yemi Osinbajo, Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Boss Mustapha are physically attending the meeting.

Ministers attending virtually

12 Ministers are physically attending the meeting. They are those of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed, Attorney General and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami, Works and Housing, Babatunde Fashola, Aviation, Finance, Zainab Ahmed, Hadi Sirika, and Federal Capital Territory, Mohammed Bello.

Others are Ministers of Education, Adamu Adamu, Power, Sale Mamman, Water Resources, Suleiman Adamu, Science and Technology, Dr. Ogbonnaya Onu, Transport, Rotimi Amaechi, and Minister of State Foreign Affairs, Zubairu Dada.

The Head of Service of the Federation, Dr. Folasade Yemi-Esan, and other Ministers are participating in the weekly council meeting from their various offices in Abuja.

We Need An Ecosystem Of Competent Nigerians Who Can Get Jobs Internationally- Osinbajo

File photo of Vice President Professor Yemi Osinbajo.

 

Vice President Yemi Osinbajo has harped on the need for the country to develop an ecosystem of competent Nigerians who can secure jobs locally and internationally. 

The former Lagos State Attorney-General and Commissioner for Justice said this on Thursday during a virtual courtesy call from Huawei Nigeria led by its new CEO, Trevor Liu.

“I think that Huawei and the Federal Government should work as partners, not just a business relationship, but a relationship that also takes employment into account, especially with our young population,” a statement by his media aide, Laolu Akande, quoted the former Head of Department, Public Law, University of Lagos as saying.

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Osinbajo explained that “we need to develop an ecosystem of competent Nigerians who can work locally and get international jobs as well, a business-outsourcing-type arrangement.”

While commending the efforts put in place by Huawei in training Nigerians,  the vice president reiterated the need to go beyond capacity building.

He said “every other technology company does training programmes, but that is not what I am looking for. I am looking at something that shows Huawei wants to be a partner with Nigeria, working together as a corporate organization that sees itself as a part of Nigeria’s future. There are loads of people who have done training but have no work.

“I want us to do something groundbreaking and different. Let’s see something that gives young people more than training, gives them some opportunity as well because this ecosystem will require a lot of people who see Huawei not just as a business but a brand that’s interested in them going forward.”

READ ALSO: Snapchat Challenges TikTok With Curated Video Feed

Liu, while responding on behalf of the tech company, restated that the firm is investing in youths, noting that Huawei has a lot of Nigerians working for it and would continue to do more.

The Huawei CEO assured the Nigerian government that the company would deploy more resources to building young people and give a progress update, adding that the firm wants to position the country as the continent’s technology centre.

Those present at the virtual courtesy call include the Deputy Managing of Huawei, Otunba Lanre Odekunle, and the General Manager of Huawei in Nigeria, Michael Zhuang.

Osinbajo Reveals Why Alternative Dispute Resolutions Is Useful For Business Conflicts

 

As part of measures to attract foreign investors, the Buhari administration is promoting the adoption of Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) and creating the necessary infrastructure which will enhance the speedy resolution of business-related disputes, according to Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, SAN.

Prof. Osinbajo disclosed this on Thursday while answering questions during a virtual interaction with members of the French Business Confederation (MEDEF), an event that also featured representatives of several top French companies and officials from both governments of Nigeria and France.

Addressing a concern on the resolution of commercial disputes in Nigeria, the Vice President said “Nigeria has a robust judiciary and most companies engage some of the best lawyers in Nigeria, many of whom are internationally acclaimed.”

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According to him, “our courts, the commercial courts are doing well. Sometimes there may be delays in the length of time that it may take to resolve disputes which is why arbitration is the preferred mode of resolving disputes. And am sure that most companies have an arbitration clause in their agreements and contracts.

“Alternative Dispute Resolution is something that we are promoting as a government and we are trying to create infrastructure for it. And I know that most businesses don’t even want to go to court. They will rather resolve their disputes through commercial arbitration. And that is an area we are looking to explore in greater detail.”

Continuing, the Vice President said “I will say that Alternative Dispute Resolution such as arbitration and mediation should always be in contracts especially where companies may be wary of going through the legal process that may be long-drawn. I think that on the whole, the resolution of commercial disputes is one that we have done quite well. And I am very confident that the Federal High Courts, especially in the commercial nerve centres in the country – Lagos, Port Harcourt and Kano are doing a decent job.”

Speaking on Nigeria’s terms of doing business competitiveness, the Vice President said the efforts made by the Buhari administration across diverse areas of creating a conducive business environment is yielding results.

Prof. Osinbajo said the generality of the Ease of Doing Business reforms comprising improvement in port operations, checking of smuggling, and the adoption of a common trading platform had improved Nigeria’s competitiveness.

On government’s investment in education, the Vice President said though basic education falls under the jurisdiction of the States, the Federal Government had introduced and is enforcing a policy on free and compulsory education in the first nine years of the Nigerian child’s life.

He said the Federal Government’s emphasis is also to modernize education by prioritizing Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Mathematics (STEAM).

In the health sector, Prof. Osinbajo told the French business community that the Federal Government was supporting and monitoring developments in the States through the National Economic Council (NEC), noting that the Federal Government, in collaborating with State governments is encouraging best practices in the Education and Health sectors.

On continuing efforts at engaging youths in the country, the Vice President said several thousands of young men and women have been equipped with digital skills especially in coding as part of a programme initiated by the Federal Government.

Citing the example of the privately built power plant in Edo State, Prof. Osinbajo noted that the Federal Government welcomes new investments in the power sector especially ones that will connect directly with the end consumers on willing buyer-willing seller basis.

According to him, “We really want as many private companies as possible to come on stream. We prefer that new companies do not come on the grid and expect government guarantees. We will be happy to have new investments in generation and distribution.”

Participants at the forum include, Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment, Mr Niyi Adebayo; Central Bank Governor, Mr Godwin Emefiele; The Nigerian Ambassador to France, Mrs Modupe Irele; the representatives of Schneider Electric, Mr Christophe Begat; Swipha Pharmaceuticals, Frederick Lieutaud; Dassault System, Raoul Jacquard; Kamil Senhaji, and Federic Morel-Barbier, among others.

Getting COVID-19 Vaccine A Matter Of Utmost Concern, Says Osinbajo

File photo of Vice President Professor Yemi Osinbajo.

 

One of Nigeria’s main priorities now is getting the COVID-19 vaccine and this is a matter of utmost concern to the Buhari administration, according to Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, SAN.

Prof. Osinbajo stated this on Thursday at the opening session of the virtual edition of the Paris Peace Forum which featured presentations by some Heads of State & government alongside international organizations, on a collective response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Stating what Nigeria’s priorities in its COVID-19 response are, the Vice President said “the priorities of Nigeria in the post-COVID-19 era include improved healthcare and the economy. First, we need to keep the virus under control. While our guards are still firmly in place, getting the COVID-19 vaccine is a matter of utmost concern.”

According to him, “On this, we are encouraged by the efforts of WHO and other international agencies working to ensure that vaccine delivery will be equitable across all countries, regardless of the priority of orders and ability to pay.”

Underscoring the importance of prioritizing interventions and investments in the healthcare system, the Vice President said “we are encouraging private investment to upscale our health sector, with emphasis on improved facilities and affordable universal healthcare.”

While appreciating leaders across the world for their prompt response and cooperation in controlling the spread of the COVID-19, Prof. Osinbajo said “the sheer scale of disruptions to our lives and livelihoods caused by COVID-19 certainly caught us all by surprise.”

Restating the call for debt relief for developing countries, the Vice President said “the pandemic underscores the need for adequate financial buffers to cope with the ‘black swan’ events. For many developing countries, the debt burden makes this all but impossible.”

Continuing, Prof. Osinbajo noted, “We call for debt relief for these countries, and the extension of the Debt Service Suspension Initiative (DSSI) at least until the end of 2021 as well as commercial debt relief where needed.”

The Vice President had in previous international forums earlier in the year made a case for debt relief for developing countries, noting that “the Debt Servicing Support Initiative of the G20 is welcome and will no doubt bring some relief to relevant African countries. However, it remains inadequate because it does not address the problem of commercial debt service obligations.”

He assured that Nigeria stands with all countries of the world, in the effort to eradicate the virus, and leverage experiences for a healthier and more prosperous world.

The Paris Peace Forum is an annual event that features leaders and actors from civil society around the world with a focus on challenges facing the world – climate change, terrorism, migration, cyber insecurity, and global governance issues among others.

Nigeria Getting Power Sector That Can Provide Quality Service To Consumers, Says Osinbajo

 

The main objective of developing a power sector that will steadily deliver quality service and sustain itself is on track with the successful acquisition of Afam Power Plc and Afam Three Fast Power, by the Transcorp Consortium, according to Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, SAN.

Prof. Osinbajo stated this on Thursday in Abuja at the signing ceremony of the Share Sale and Purchase Agreements for Afam Power Plc and Afam Three Fast Power Limited. The Minister of Power, Engr Saleh Mamman, officials from the BPE and Transcorp Consortium, were among those that attended the event.

According to the Vice President, “the Buhari Administration’s goal is to eliminate challenges in the Power Sector by improving liquidity in the market through a host of measures, including the recently announced National Mass Metering Program and the transition to Service-Based Tariff. We need a power sector that can provide quality service to Nigerian consumers and sustain itself.”

Speaking on the significance of the development in the administration’s effort at improving electricity supply in the country, the Vice President said “today is a milestone in our continued efforts to accelerate reforms in the power sector. This investment by Transcorp in acquiring “Afam Power Plc” and “Afam Three Fast Power Limited” is the first of many new investments planned in the sector across the value chain from Generation to Distribution.”

Referring to the current capacity of the plants, Prof. Osinbajo who is the Chairman of the National Council for Privatization, expressed optimism that Transcorp Consortium would significantly improve the operational capacity of the plants.

His words: “the Afam Power Plc and Afam Three Fast Power Limited plants have a combined capacity of almost 1,000MW. The current usable (operational) capacity of 240MW from Afam III and about 100MW from Afam Plc speak to the opportunity that the Transcorp acquisition can bring. We expect that under Transcorp’s ownership the operational capacity of the facility will be raised to its full capacity.

“We have seen the progress that Transcorp has made with the Ughelli Power Plant in raising the operational capacity significantly (since it acquired the plant in 2013) and we expect nothing less from the Afam acquisitions.”

The Vice President noted that “the Afam cluster houses multiple power plants outside of those being acquired by Transcorp (including those owned by Shell Petroleum Development Company and Sahara Energy) and is an energy hub for the country. We have no doubt that the addition of Transcorp to the community will come with the forward-thinking Corporate Social Responsibility initiatives that Tony and his team are known for.”

Prof. Osinbajo assured investors that the Federal Government in collaboration with other stakeholders will “continue to work on Ease of Doing Business reforms to drive foreign investment, but our local investors are always a great litmus test for the investment environment and this transaction is a confirmation of the reform trajectory the Administration is leading in the power sector.”

Earlier in his remarks, the Chairman of Transcorp Consortium, Mr Tony Elumelu said the acquisition of both plants was a confirmation of the private sector’s confidence in the Buhari administration’s power sector reforms.

He said though the journey to acquire the plants has been long, it’s successful acquisition and subsequent operation by Transcorp Consortium would lead to improved access to electricity and better livelihoods.

On his part, the Director-General of the Bureau for Public Enterprises (BPE), Mr. Alex Okoh, said the completion of the sale of the Federal Government’s shares in Afam Power Plc and Afam Three Fast Power Limited is a demonstration of the Buhari administration’s commitment to promoting an efficient electricity supply industry in order to meet the consumers’ demands and drive the process of sustained social-economic growth.

Okoh said the government’s objective is not just to privatize its assets, but to hand them over to competent investors, noting that Transcorp Consortium has signaled an ambitious development plan for Afam Power and has committed to investing $350 million in the combined power assets for this purpose.”

“In addition to the new Afam Three Fast Power plant with an installed capacity of 240 megawatts, the consortium has committed to ramping up power generation of the plant to its rated capacity of 726 megawatts within a period of five years, thereby adding an aggregate amount of 966 megawatts to the national grid,” Okoh added.

We Will Get Justice For Victims Of Lekki Shooting – Osinbajo

File Photo: Vice President Yemi Osinbajo

 

 

Vice President Yemi Osinbajo on Wednesday said the Federal Government will get justice for #EndSARS protesters who were shot and killed by soldiers in Lekki.

“I spoke to some of those in hospital. The pain of these terrible events is palpable in our towns and cities, and some losses are irreplaceable, but we can and will get justice for all of them. I stand with Lagos & all other affected states in these trying times,” he said in a series of tweets on Wednesday.

He described the shooting, which has sparked global outrage and fury, as terrible and commiserated with those who lost loved ones.

“My heart goes out to all the victims of the Lekki shootings, and also the policemen and all other men and women who lost their lives in the past few days in different parts of Lagos and other states,” he said.

The Vice-President prayed for the nation never to experience “a repeat of these tragedies.”

On Tuesday evening, two weeks into the #EndSARS protests, soldiers opened fire on unarmed protesters at the Lekki Toll Gate in Lagos State, hours after the State Government had imposed a curfew on the country’s commercial nerve centre.

The military has denied being involved in the shooting, despite accounts by witnesses and videos showing soldiers at the venue shooting sporadically.

The morning after: These combination photos show part of the carnage left behind by the attack on the protesters. AFP photos.

 

 

The attack led to the death of some protesters while at least 28 others were confirmed injured. Witnesses said the casualty figures were much more than that.

Many world and national leaders have condemned the attack and called for thorough investigations.

Several others have blasted the government and military authorities and called on President Muhammadu Buhari to take responsibility as the Commander-In-Chief of the Armed Forces and address the nation, among other things.

In reaction to the shooting, angry youths took to the streets in several parts of Lagos, setting buildings, vehicles and more ablaze demanding decisive action and accountability for the attack.

‘We Are Sorry’: Osinbajo Apologises To Nigerians As Protests Against Police Brutality Continue

File photo of Vice President Professor Yemi Osinbajo.

 

 

Vice President Yemi Osinbajo has apologized to Nigerians and admits the Federal Government could have “moved faster” in addressing the demands of #EndSARS protesters. 

“Dear Nigerians, I know that many of you are angry, and understandably so. We could’ve moved faster and for this we are sorry,” he said in a series of tweets on his handle late Friday.

“I fully understand how many young people feel. Many feel that we have been too silent and have simply not done enough. These feelings of frustration are justified.”

READ ALSO: #EndSARS Protesters Hold Candlelight Procession In Abuja

#EndSARS protesters during a candlelight procession in honor of victims of police brutality.

Taking Responsibility

According to him, “There are far too many people who have been brutalized at the hands of the police and this is unacceptable.

“We must take responsibility for protecting young people, even sometimes from those who are paid to protect them.”

READ ALSO: [#EndSARS] Protesters Hold Candlelight Vigil In Lagos

He also believes the protests rocking the country goes beyond agitations about the Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS).

“They’re deep and systemic and we’re undertaking comprehensive measures that will revamp the police by addressing issues of welfare, service conditions, and training,” he explained.

A file photo of protesters in Abuja.Sodiq Adelakun/Channels TV.

Ongoing Work

According to the former University of Lagos lecturer, meetings have been held with several stakeholders in the country with a view to addressing the demands of the youths who are championing the protests.

“We understand that you want to see action from us and I’m here to tell you that work is ongoing,” the Vice President noted. “I chaired a meeting of 36 state governors and the Minister of the FCT (NEC), where we resolved to set up judicial panels of inquiry so we can see justice served, and fast.

“The reason being that only state governors, by law, can set up judicial inquiries in their states. The hearings will be public.”

READ ALSO: [#EndSARS] Presidential Panel Recommends Dismissal Of 37 SARS Operatives

While reiterating the disbandment of SARS, he assured that officers from the unit will not be part of any tactical squad.

Osinbajo equally commiserated with the “families of Jimoh Isiaq, and all those who have lost their lives at the hands of wayward police officers. To those injured, I wish a full and speedy recovery.

“We have proposed that each state government set up a Victims’ Support Fund, which will support. This is the least that we can do to compensate for the injustice suffered at the hands of errant officers.”

Read his tweets, below:

 

 

Osinbajo, SGF, In Attendance As Buhari Presides Over Virtual FEC Meeting

Buhari presides over FEC meeting

 

Vice President Yemi Osinbajo and the Secretary to the Government of the Federation were in attendance at the 19th virtual Federal Executive Council meeting presided over by President Muhammadu Buhari.

The meeting which was held at the Council Chambers of the State House, Abuja also had in attendance the Chief of Staff to the President, Ibrahim Gambari and the National Security Adviser (NSA), Major General Babagana Munguno (retd).

Ministers physically present at the Council Chambers are Ministers of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed, Finance, Zainab Ahmed, Justice, Abubakar Malami, Works and Housing, Babatunde Fashola, and Digital Economy, Dr Isa Pantami.

Ministers present at the meeting

Others include Minister of Transportation, Rotimi Amaechi, Minister of Aviation, Hadi Sirika, Minister of Interior, Rauf Aregbesola, Minister of Health, Dr. Osagie Ehanire, and Minister of Power Saleh Mamma.

The Head of the Civil Service of the Federation, Dr. Folasade Yemi-Esan, and other members of the cabinet are participating in the weekly council meeting from their various offices in Abuja.

Minister attending virtually

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