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

See More Photos Below:

 

SARS Disbandment, First Step In Our Commitment To Police Reforms – Osinbajo

File Photo: Vice President, Professor Yemi Osinbajo

 

Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, (SAN) has reacted to the disbandment of the Special Anti-Robbery Squad by the Inspector-General of Police Mohammed Adamu and the ongoing protest calling for an end and reform in the Nigerian Force Force.

The Vice President in his reaction on Monday said that the SARS disbandment is the first step to Federal Government’s commitment to the reform in the police.

In a statement by his spokesman Laolu Akande, he said that government is not only committed to full-scale police reform but also ensuring that wrongful acts are duly investigated and prosecuted.

“The disbandment of SARS is the first step in our commitment to extensive police reforms in order to ensure that the primary duty of the police and other law enforcement agencies remains the protection of lives and livelihood of our people.

“The President also spoke, a few minutes ago, about the prosecution of all those (law enforcement agents) who have committed wrongful acts. I think, all these are commitments that have been made. But we must also understand that it is a process. It is not an event. Reform is a process. We must show commitment. Everyone must be interested, and we must stay focussed on the issues.”

On the issue of the ongoing protests nationwide, he said “I think the clear message is that there is a government commitment to ensuring that the process of reform is done and those who have committed wrongful acts are duly investigated and prosecuted. And whatever replaces SARS is something that is acceptable, first of all, in its compliance to all the tenets of the rule of law and human rights.

“These are all issues that we are very deeply worried about. All of us are deeply concerned about it. Many young people have complained to me. I have also been involved in many cases trying to resolve these kinds of conduct.”

“I think it is a very good moment for the Police Force, a good moment for law enforcement and for all of us. This is the time for reform, a time for change and we are all committed to it.

“Everyone is committed to seeing a Police Force and also Law Enforcement that will meet the expectations of the Nigerian people. The purpose of law enforcement, the purpose of policing, is for the safety of lives and livelihoods of Nigerians. So, we are all committed to that, and I think that everyone is committed, we are all very committed to it”, he added.

Osinbajo further noted that the IGP is committed to ensuring that the unit is not only disbanded but will involve groups and civil society in the participation of the reform.

“The most important thing is that SARS has been disbanded and the IGP has committed to ensuring not only that it is disbanded but also that whatever takes its place has the full participation of civil society groups and all other stakeholders.”

COVID-19: Buhari Understands Nigerian’s Pain, Working Out Further Palliatives – Osinbajo

The Vice President, Professor Yemi Osinbajo

 

President Muhammadu Buhari understands the pains and burdens Nigerians are going through because of the economic aftermath of COVID-19 pandemic and that is why the Federal Government is considering palliatives that can offer succour to the people.

Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, SAN, stated this yesterday when he was accosted by State House Correspondents at the Presidential Villa.

According to him, “we fully understand that we must have a way of ensuring that the pain that people feel, the economic difficulty that people are going through, that we are able to address those as much as possible.

“Which is why even in our current discussions with Labour, one of the issues we are looking at include, what sort of palliatives are possible for the Nigerian people. In what ways can we reduce the burden and how quickly can we do so.”

Giving further insights to government’s plan for the use of Compressed Natural Gas (CNG), Prof. Osinbajo said “one of those issues we have looked at is how to reduce the cost of gas and petrol. How do we ensure that people are able to go about their businesses buying cheaper energy?”

The Vice President explained that “one of the ways is by using Compressed Natural Gas (CNG). And the government has committed to do the conversion. First of all, we are starting with commercial vehicles. Most commercial transporters will have the capacity to use both gas and petrol. That is already being done, experimentally in Edo State. Dangote, for instance, has converted all his trucks to the use of CNG, and that is 4000 or even more of those trucks. It is not a particularly difficult thing to do for the commercial transporters, it may be expensive for the individual but that is also part of the commitment of government, to be able to do the conversion, and the price of gas comes at about almost half the price of petrol.”

The Vice President also noted that “there are other creative ways that we are involved in at the moment, in reducing the burden on Nigerians, because we all accept that nobody expected a downturn in the economic fortunes of the country,” occasioned by the fallouts of COVID-19 pandemic.

“We had 12 consecutive quarters of growth before the pandemic, we were all expecting that 2020 will be the best year, since the beginning of the administration, but here we are, faced with challenges, global challenges, we also have our own peculiar problems.

‘But the important thing is that the President and the government are committed completely in ensuring that Nigerians do not suffer needlessly and in whatever way it is possible, we will reduce the burden on Nigerians.”

Police Violations Of Young People’s Rights Unacceptable, Annoying – Osinbajo

 

Vice President Yemi Osinbajo has frowned at the constant violation of the rights of Nigerian youths by men of the Nigeria Police Force (NPF).

“I am very concerned, in fact, very angry about what I see, happening to young men and women who are arrested, in some cases maimed or killed by men of the police force,” the Vice President said when State House correspondents approached him at the Presidential Villa on Sunday afternoon.

Prof Osinbajo was asked mainly about the economic challenges facing the country and Nigerians, and also the reported recent upsurge in the activities of FSARS regarding harassment of people alongside different violations of the rights of especially young Nigerians by some police officers.

In his response, the VP who had earlier held a meeting with the Inspector General of Police today at his residence said the President and himself had discussed the matter on a number of occasions noting the President’s displeasure about such reports and his resolve to ensure reforms.

According to him, such violations are “completely unacceptable because these are individuals who are meant to protect Nigerians. The arrest, maiming or killing of young people or anyone at all, is completely wrong. It is unlawful and illegal, and anyone involved in this act ought to be investigated and prosecuted.”

The VP said, “today, I had a meeting with the Inspector General of Police, we reviewed several of these issues. The President and I have had discussions on this, he is very concerned about it. He wants to see reform.

“You are probably aware that the IGP has issued a statement looking at all these issues, in particular, the warning against the use of these tactical units such as SARS for purposes of doing anything other than anti-robbery.

“For example, and I think in his statement, he specifically said that you cannot have a situation where SARS says, they are investigating Cybercrime by arresting young men and women carrying their laptops and phones. Cybercrime is electronic crime. I don’t see how you can investigate that by seizing people’s phones in a taxi or in their cars.

“It is very obvious that this is a major concern, a few bad eggs in the police force are causing all of these problems because it is all over the place, in different states. There is a need to take serious action.

“The IG’s statement today is a good first step. He has said clearly that policemen must wear police uniforms. You cannot say that because you belong to a tactical unit, you can dress in your casual clothing and be armed, because people can’t even tell the difference between robbers and the police if you are not properly dressed in police uniform. So, clearly, reform is in the offing.

“So, I will like to encourage civil society activists, young men, and women, who bring this regularly, by the way, to the attention of government and the police. And I think that activism is important because they have been able to bring a lot of these issues to the attention of the police and government, and that is an important part of the process of the reform.”

Continuing, he said “It is very obvious that this is a major concern. A few bad eggs in the police force are causing all of these problems. It is all over the place, in different states. There is a need to take serious action. The IG’s statement today is a good first step.

“He has said clearly that officers have to dress properly. You cannot say that because you belong to a tactical unit, you can dress in your casual clothing, armed in a car. People can’t even tell the difference between robbers and the police, if you are not properly dressed in police uniform.”

Urging that all hands be on deck to effect reforms, the VP said “I think that we all have to work together to ensure that the police and law enforcement agents, do what their duty is and their duty is to protect us, protect our society and livelihoods and homes.

“By the way, many of them are doing their duties excellently well, but there are some of them who are engaged in these activities. So, we must see this as something we all must work together to achieve, as individuals, to bring to the attention of the police and government, where there have been violations.

“And on the part of the government and the police: to ensure that every one of those allegations is properly investigated and those found responsible are prosecuted and publicized so that people know that prosecution has taken place and this is the consequence. I am very confident that we will have a reformed police force and that process has already begun.”

Nigeria At 60: I Disagree With A Bleak View Of Our History, Says Osinbajo

The Vice President, Professor Yemi Osinbajo, gives a speech virtually at the NBA Annual General Conference on August 27, 2020.

 

As Nigerians, including public commentators, reflect on the country’s journey to nationhood over the past 60 years, Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, SAN has called on the youth not succumb to the challenges confronting the nation, noting that young Nigerians hold the key to a more united, peaceful and prosperous nation.

Prof. Osinbajo also expressed disagreement on comments reflective of a bleak view of Nigeria’s history noting that “despite the onerous challenges we face, we have endured as a people and there is still so much that I believe should give us reason to face the future with hope.”

The Vice President made the remarks Thursday at the virtual edition of the NASFAT Global Youth Seminar themed: “A Unified, Peaceful and Prosperous Nigeria”.

According to him, “I urge you to guard your hearts and protect your capacity for idealism and creative optimism. These are the tools with which you will build the Nigeria of our dreams. We have a future worth fighting for.

READ ALSO: It Makes No Sense For Oil To Be Cheaper In Nigeria Than Saudi Arabia – Buhari

“Your generation has what it takes to move us away from the destructive and unproductive rent-seeking attitudes that engender conflict and on to the terrain of enhanced productivity.

“Your generation has the tools to usher in a new age of abundance and wealth creation that will lift our society beyond the hunger-induced and poverty-inducing squabbles over a national cake that has ceased to exist. As Nigeria seeks to find her proper place in the world in the 21st century, you are our nation’s most important resource. It is because of you that a united, peaceful and prosperous Nigeria is very possible.”

Speaking about overcoming the challenges confronting the nation, Prof. Osinbajo said the youth’s capacity for innovation would come handy in an era of scarcity and unequal distribution of resources.

He said “Much of the discontent and tensions that we have are distributional conflicts ignited by the struggle for access to tangible and intangible resources. As resources become scarcer, identity-based claims to a share of the national patrimony become more aggressive and lead increasingly to conflict. Under these circumstances, we are liable to see each other as competitors and rivals instead of compatriots and eventually we begin to demonize each other as “enemies.

“With a population of about 200 million, and with our country on track to be the third most populous nation on earth in a few decades, the challenge for us is creating opportunity for the huge number of people that increasingly need education, food, healthcare, and employment. This is where your capacity to innovate comes in.”

Recalling efforts made in the past to promote unity among Nigerians and progress across different sectors of the economy, Prof. Osinbajo said Nigerians must not relent in striving for a progressive and united country.

“Inspired by constitutional imperatives, we created institutions such as Federal Government Colleges otherwise known as Unity Schools and the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) to foster cohesion and solidarity amongst our diverse people. And we instituted the Federal Character principle to govern the democratization of opportunity, participation, and representation in our public institutions.

“We are therefore alive and here at a time in history when our society must complete the unfinished tasks of resolving issues of structural poverty, entrenched inequality, disparities in access to social and economic opportunities, fractured access to justice, and the diminishing faith in governing institutions – all of which create profound radical discontent with the social order,” the Vice President added.

Osinbajo then noted that “those of us who desire a united peaceful and prosperous Nigeria must confront the everyday injustices that mock our aspirations and erode our confidence in a shared future.”

His words: “It is important that we do not raise our voices only when we perceive the rights of our own group to have been violated. We must make common cause with other groups when they are injured because our rights are rooted in universal principles that cannot be selectively applied.

“We must also reject the idea that some Nigerians have to lose in order for other Nigerians to win, and that some Nigerians have to be deprived in order for some Nigerians to prosper. We can all win and we can all live in prosperity. Nigeria will work for each of us only when it works for all of us.”

Continuing, the Vice President said “we must resist the temptation to demonize whole groups by judging them by their most extreme fringes. We must resist the urge to portray communities in caricatures.

“As citizens, there are moral choices upon us. Are we using our influence to promote measured voices of reason or are we amplifying the voices of divisive hate-mongers? The choice before us is clear.”

The event featured presentations by Islamic scholars including Sheik Nurudeen Lemu, Mufti Ismail, Imam Abdul Azeez Morufu Onike, among others.

Osinbajo Calls For Reform Of International Tax System

The Vice President, Professor Yemi Osinbajo

 

Vice President Yemi Osinbajo has called for a reform of the International Tax System, urging leaders of destination countries to insist on repatriation of illicit funds & their proceeds.

The VP also called for effective global action against Illicit Financial Flows (IFF) and related vices, which is negatively impacting progress in developing countries, especially in Africa.

He stated this on Monday at the virtual press launch of a publication by the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) on the impact of illicit financial flows (IFFs) on African Development.

According to Prof. Osinbajo, “the enormity of efforts required to tackle illicit financial flows is evident in the many dimensions the scourge presents itself. It manifests through harmful tax policies and practices, abusive transfer pricing, trade mispricing, and mis-invoicing illegal exploitation of natural resources as well as official corruption, and organized crimes. We have to pay particular attention to efforts to reform the international tax system.”

Continuing on the need for effective reform of the system, the Vice President said “…the commercial form of illicit financial flows especially tax evasion and aggressive tax avoidance accounts for up to 65% of illicit financial flows. This means that we must pay particular attention to these issues which are aided by things such as tax treaties, tax havens, and financial secrecy jurisdictions and indeed tax competition which leads to a ‘race to the bottom’ in terms of tax rates amongst developing countries.”

Calling for urgent global action, the Vice President said leaders of destination countries of illicit funds and their proceeds must demonstrate the will to tackle the menace.

He said “another important issue that we must pay attention to is the identification and return of proceeds of illicit financial flows back to countries of origin as an effective deterrent to the scourge of illicit financial flows. Certainly, exposing those involved in practices that facilitate illicit financial flows, and retrieving proceeds of illicit funds are efficacious in deterring perpetrators, rebuilding the confidence of the citizenry, and compensating for the damage caused by such crimes.

“I encourage all leaders, whose countries are considered absolute outliers for illicit financial flows, to join forces and take the responsibility of combating the scourge by insisting on the repatriation of illicit funds and their proceeds.

“Let me also avail myself of this opportunity to call on leaders, whose countries are the main destinations for illicit financial flows, to take concrete steps to prevent and stop the receipt of illicit funds into their countries, and to assist in freezing, seizing, and returning such funds and its proceeds already in their countries”.

On the way forward, the Vice President called for cooperation and synergy among “the private sector, civil society, trade unions and professional groups to work with governments in tackling illicit financial flows.”

His words: “The private sector must support our efforts by adhering to international best practices in their operations and by ensuring that their tax and trade practices comply with local laws while professional bodies, including those for lawyers, accountants, auditors, and bankers must observe ethical professional standards and hold their members to account if they abet tax evasion and aggressive tax avoidance.”

While appreciating the immediate past President of the United Nations General Assembly, Prof. Tijjani Muhammad-Bande, and Amb. Mona Jul of the Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC), for taking the initiative to establish the first global Financial Accountability, Transparency and Integrity Panel (FACTI Panel), Prof. Osinbajo called on the United Nations system to facilitate the establishment of clear rules and enforcement mechanisms on all aspects of illicit financial flows.

Making reference to the Mbeki report on Illicit Financial Flows during an interactive session with journalists at the event, the Vice President called for concerted efforts among African leaders and cooperation between Africa and multilateral organizations to end the scourge of Illicit Financial Flow from the continent.

Answering a question on the proposal on combating Illicit Financial Flows by the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), the Vice President said there is a need for adequate representation of Africa during negotiations about illicit funds and their proceeds.

In his remarks at the event, the Secretary-General of UNCTAD, Dr Mukhisa Kituyi said the determination of political authorities in Africa to address issues relating to abuse of tax practices, among others would be crucial in tackling the illicit flow of resources to havens outside the continent.

While commending Nigeria for its leadership on the subject matter, Kituyi said sharing data on trade among African countries and adopting best practices such as the Open Governance Initiative as well as the Extractive Industry Transparency Initiative, would help in tackling the scourge of Illicit Financial Flows.

The publication by the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) on the impact of illicit financial flows (IFFs) on development in Africa is designed to broaden the awareness of the scale, scope, and cost of illicit financial flows.

PHOTOS: Obaseki Visits Osinbajo In Abuja

Governor Godwin Obaseki and Vice President Yemi Osinbajo

 

Governor Godwin Obaseki on Friday paid a courtesy visit to Vice President Yemi Osinbajo in Abuja

Governor Obaseki was accompanied by his Deputy Philip Shaibu following his re-election into the office for the second term.

See Photos Below:

Osinbajo Becomes Granddad As Daughter Damilola, Hubby Welcome Baby

Vice President Osinbajo’s daughter Damilola and her husband Seun. Photo: [email protected] Yemi Osinbajo.

 

Vice President Yemi Osinbajo is now a grandfather after his daughter, Oluwadamilola, welcomed a baby boy with her husband, Oluseun Bakare. 

“All glory to GOD!” he tweeted on his handle Monday. “I am now a granddad! My daughter, Oludamilola and her husband Oluseun became parents to a wonderful baby boy this morning!”

READ ALSO: Buhari, Governors Attend Osinbajo’s Daughter’s Wedding

Mrs Dolapo Osinbajo, the Vice President’s Vice equally shared the news on her Instagram page Monday.

“Behold, children are a heritage from the Lord.” Psalm 127:3,” she posted alongside a photo of her daughter and the husband.

“All thanks and praise to God for His precious gift of a baby boy delivered today, to our children, Seun and Damilola Bakare. All glory to God.”

 

Osinbajo’s media aide, Laolu Akande had congratulated his principal on the arrival of his grandchild, while also wishing the new parents and the Vice President’s family well.

Seun and Damilola married in March 2018 at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.

The event brought together leaders from different political backgrounds including President Muhammadu Buhari, Akwa Ibom State Governor, Udom Emmanuel among others.

 

Others included Kashim Shettima, Rochas Okorocha, Tanko Al-Makura and Ibikunle Amosun.

The church wedding took place at the National Christian Centre, Abuja, on Saturday, March 17.

“With joy and praise to the Lord, Dolly and I announce the betrothal of our daughter Oludamilola Osinbajo to Oluseun Bakare,” the Vice President said on February 14th while announcing the wedding.

30 Years Of Love

Osinbajo and his wife celebrated their 30th wedding anniversary on November 25th, 2019.

 

“Hand in hand on the 25th November 1989,” the Vice President’s wife, Dolapo wrote on her Instagram handle alongside a series of photos. “It’s our 30th wedding anniversary to the glory of God.”

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#30years #HoldingHands #ByGraceAlone

A post shared by H.E. Mrs. Oludolapo Osinbajo (@dolapoosinbajo) on

PHOTOS: Osinbajo Virtually Delivers Keynote Address To UNN Students

Osinbajo at a virtual conference

 

The Vice President Yemi Osinbajo on Monday delivered a keynote address at the virtual conference of the Centre for Lion Gadgets & Technologies (University of Nigeria, Nsukka) themed “Technological Innovation for Holistic Sustainable Development”.

The event featured a virtual interaction between the Vice President and students both from the university and the secondary school in the UNN campus.

See Photos Below:

Teaching Young People Integrity, Innovation Is The Foundation Of A Good Society – Osinbajo

File Photo: The Vice President, Professor Yemi Osinbajo.

 

Teaching young people that there are huge rewards from creativity, innovation with a culture of integrity in business and personal life, coupled with hardwork and diligence, is the foundation of a good and prosperous society.

Vice President Osinbajo, SAN stated this today while delivering the keynote address at the 111th Founders’ Day Lecture of King’s College, Lagos.

According to Prof. Osinbajo “when people are nurtured in the notion that rent seeking or the prebendal capture of wealth or benefit by access to power is the path to success, then the society will not prosper. A few will capture all the resources, everyone else will be poor or on their way there.”

He stated that Nigerians are gifted with attributes of confidence, resilience, and mental acuity that is by any standard exceptional, adding that this is best demonstrated in how “we excel even in other countries in sciences, medicine, and even politics.”

Referring to Edward Banfield, an American Political Scientist, the Vice President explained further that those exceptional attributes do not free us from what Banfield describes as “the moral basis of a backward society”, which is the self- interested, family-centric society where often the public good is sacrificed for personal or parochial benefit.

Whilst receiving an education, the mind of a young person must be lifted up beyond self, the education “must teach the primacy of community, of the good and the well-being of the collective over self,” Prof. Osinbajo submitted

The Vice President said that the educational design and content must take into account, the current moral and social circumstances, as well as the physical and mental constraints we face as a people.

According to him “there must be, as a rule, a prevailing moral standard, corruption or deviance must be the exception, not the rule.”

Prof Osinbajo added that the national conversation on education will be futile unless it also addresses the “concerns faced at the lower levels of our society; the problems of out-of-school children and the huge deficit in the education of girls.”

He noted that there are challenges of government investment in education, arguing that public funding alone cannot be enough to deal with the sector. The Vice President then proposed that such challenges can be tackled head-on when associations such as King’s College Old Boys’ Association (KCOBA), private individuals, and corporations put their resources together to change the narrative.

Prof Osinbajo highlighted other points in his remarks such as the need to recognize that Nigeria’s main endowment as a country “is neither crude oil nor any other mineral resource, rather our people.”

He also noted that the country’s economic aspirations and capacity to compete in the global economy depend on “how effectively we empower our people to fulfil their potential.”

Thirdly, the VP observed that of utmost importance, is the need to focus on productivity, character and civic education. Finally, he also listed the need to “change both the substance of education and the methods of educating our children.”

In her own contribution, the Deputy Secretary-General of the United Nations, Ms. Amina Mohammed, the guest speaker who also joined the event virtually, commended the Federal Government’s response to COVID-19 through the Economic Sustainability Plan which allocated resources to boosting broadband for education and minimizing the disruption caused by the pandemic.

Mohammed further stated that “scaling up infrastructure for connectivity will be crucial” as well as “access to digitalized curricula, digital skills training for teachers and students, and methods to protect privacy.”

Other dignitaries at the event include the Chief of Staff to the President, Prof Ibrahim Gambari, who virtually delivered a goodwill message from President Muhammadu Buhari; the National Security Adviser, retired Major-General Babagana Monguno; Minister of State for Education, Chukwuemeka Nwajiuba; Lagos State Commissioner for Education, Mrs Folashade Adefisayo; and the former Emir of Kano, His Highness, Sanusi Lamido II, among others.

Laolu Akande

Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity

Office of the Vice President

20th September, 2020