Nigeria is glad that the United States of America is fully back on board the climate change global agenda, in a commendable restoration of the U.S. government’s support for the Paris Agreement.
Vice President Yemi Osinbajo said this when he received a U.S. government delegation led by the White House Deputy National Security Advisor, Mr Jonathan Finer, at the Presidential Villa in Abuja.
“We are happy that the U.S. is fully on board with climate change and back to the table on this issue,” Osinbajo was quoted as saying in a statement on Tuesday by his media aide, Laolu Akande.
“I think one has to commend the drive that this U.S. administration has put behind climate change.”
Four years ago, the Trump administration announced the U.S. withdrawal from the Paris Agreement on climate change mitigation issues.
But on assumption to power earlier this year, the Joe Biden administration announced the restoration of America’s commitment to the Paris Agreement.
Reiterating Nigeria’s position regarding a just transition from fossil fuels to clean energy ahead of the Net-zero Emissions 2050 target, Osinbajo expressed Nigeria’s concerns on some issues.
“Among other things, (is) first about some of what has been going on, especially around gas as an effective transition fuel, and how many of the Development Finance Institutions (DFIs) and some countries are insisting that gas projects should be defunded,” he said at the meeting held on Monday.
“This is a principal concern to us; it is one that we have made central to our advocacy and it is one of the issues that we intend to promote at the COP26.”
The Vice President informed the U.S. delegation of Nigeria’s Energy Transition Plan.
“We have done the costing for it and all of what is required to be able to hit net-zero by 2050. Also, what the implications would be, given the constraints there, and how realistic it would be to get to net-zero by 2050 or not,” he added.
According to Osinbajo, Nigeria is looking forward to participating in the democracy summit to be hosted by U.S. President Joe Biden later this year.
He noted that “one of the things we have always spoken about is how to ensure that illicit financial flows are discouraged,” stressing that the international monetary and financial systems have a role in stopping it.
“Looking at what happened in the last few years, we have received quite a bit of support from the U.S. government, especially in terms of the repatriation of several of the looted funds, and we hope to continue to get the cooperation of the US.”
The Vice President further spoke about the security concerns in relation to the activities of ISWAP and ISIS.
He acknowledged the role of the global coalition to Defeat ISIS (D-ISIS) as a “very important initiative” sending the “right signals, especially in Iraq and Syria.”
“If you look at what is going on today in certain regions like the Lake Chad and the Sahel, it is very apparent that we need that kind of resolve in order to be able to deal with ISWAP and Boko Haram in Nigeria.”
On behalf of the Federal Government, Osinbajo thanked the U.S. government for donating over 3.5 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines to Nigeria.
Earlier in his address, Finer informed the Vice President of a potential partnership with Nigeria on a G-7 Infrastructure Programme – Build Back Better World, which the U.S. President has made a priority.
“It involves bringing together a range of funding sources, development finance, and private sector to work with key partner-countries to develop their infrastructure and fill the gap between infrastructure needs and the current state of infrastructure,” he explained.
Also in attendance at the meeting were the National Security Advisor, Major General Babagana Monguno (Rtd); the American Ambassador to Nigeria, Mary Beth Leonard; and other senior government officials in Nigeria and U.S..
2. “They are representatives of all journalists who stand up for this ideal in a world in which democracy and freedom of the press face increasingly adverse conditions.”
Chairwoman of the Norwegian Nobel Committee, Berit Reiss-Andersen speaks about the works of journalists Maria Ressa of the Philippines and Dmitry Muratov of Russia who won the Nobel Peace Prize.
3. “Good relations with Afghanistan are good for everyone. Nothing should be done to weaken the existing government in Afghanistan which can lead to problems for the people.”
Taliban warns the United States not to “destabilise” the regime during their first face-to-face talks since the US withdrawal as a deadly sectarian bombing raised further questions about their grip on power.
4. “Though he attempted putting up some resistance when troops made efforts to take him into custody, he was not assaulted or subjected to brutalization.”
5. “Where the president comes from has never been the problem of Nigeria, and I can cite examples; neither will it be the solution. There is no such thing as a president from Southern Nigeria or a president from Northern Nigeria.”
6. “It is unlikely that our recovery from these recessions would have been as fast without the sustained government expenditure funded partly by debt.”
The Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Zainab Ahmed, again defends recent borrowings by the Federal Government, insisting they were instrumental to the country’s exit from recessions.
7. “Why you are having separatist agitations everywhere today in the West, in the South, in the South-South, is that some people are unable to manage our diversity, that is just the fact.”
Senate Minority Leader, Senator Enyinnaya Abaribe, says there are dozens of separatist groups in the south-east region of the country because the ethnic divide has not been properly managed.
8. “We find the renewed desperation by the south to threaten [the] northern people’s right to franchise a deliberate attempt to bastardise democracy, cause greater instability in the guise of contentious undemocratic power shift arrangement and therefore unacceptable.”
The Coalition of Northern Groups (CNG) oppose the zoning arrangement by political parties, describing it as unconstitutional and a plot to intimidate the north from contesting for the presidency in 2023.
9. “We gave them the name bandit probably to just soft pedal because terrorism in the international arena is regarded as the most heinous crime that any group of people can engage in.”
10. “The conditions make a mockery of the case pending before the ECOWAS court, and create a risk that the course of justice will be seriously impeded or prejudiced in this case.”
The Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP), urges President Muhammadu Buhari to “urgently withdraw the impermissible conditions imposed on Twitter pending the final determination of the suit at the ECOWAS Court of Justice in Abuja.”
11. “We face a global recovery that remains ‘hobbled’ by the pandemic and its impact. We are unable to walk forward properly.”
The IMF predicts that global economic bounce back from the Covid-19 crisis will downshift this year as countries struggle with rising prices, high debt loads and divergent recoveries in which poor nations are slipping behind wealthier ones.
12. “In developing or Third World countries, it is the escalator of strife, pogroms and civil war, and has played a big role in countries torn to pieces by tribal war, such as it is playing out in Syria, which has become the hotbed of Captagon, and Afghanistan, which controls the opium trade.”
Chairman/Chief Executive of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) Brig. Gen. Mohammed Buba Marwa (Retd) says cannabis cannot be legalised in the country considering the current security challenges.
13. “Nigeria must go beyond a never-ending potential for becoming a great nation to an actually great one. Many presidents have said it. Shehu Shagari. Olusegun Obasanjo. Umaru Yar’Adua. Goodluck Jonathan. But here we are today, still just a country with potentials.”
Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, Femi Adesina, says the inherent potentials, which in the past have remained dormant in Nigeria, have started to be utilised.
14. “Some have expressed concern over our resort to borrowing to finance our fiscal gaps; they are right to be concerned.”
President Muhammadu Buhari says Nigerians have a right to be concerned about recent borrowings by the Federal Government.
15. “We believe that the debt level of the Federal Government is still within sustainable limits”.
16. “If you are going to get in, in the Nigerian system, in this system of ours, to walk through all that is required, I think you need some experience; a bit of it, you don’t have to be very old.”
Vice President Yemi Osinbajo says age should never be a barrier for young Nigerians to get involved in holding strategic positions, especially political offices.
17. “For the majority of our people, 1960 provided an opportunity to start all over again but, unfortunately, the nationalist politicians who took over the reins of power from the British colonial regime did not decolonise the country and the psyche of our people.”
Human rights activist and Senior Advocate of Nigeria, Femi Falana, insists that if Nigeria is to forge ahead in the right direction, then the citizens must be mobilised to take charge of their political destiny.
18. “I want to tell you that Mr President has the magic wand. His attitude, [and] language to the South-East; he has to change it.”
Vice President, ProfessorYemi Osinbajo has arrived in the United Kingdom to attend a United Nations High-Level event on the Energy Transition in Africa agenda with a special focus on Nigeria.
Professor Osinbajo will be representing President Muhammadu Buhari at the event which is set to hold at the Imperial College, organized by UN-Energy ahead of the UN Climate Conference COP26 which would be hosted by the United Kingdom in Glasgow, Scotland.
He was received by the Nigerian High Commissioner to the UK, Ambassador Sarafa Tunji Ishola amongst other dignitaries.
Vice President, Professor Yemi Osinbajo has asked Nigerians not to give up, adding that the challenges facing the country have solutions.
Prof. Osinbajo stated this on Monday during an event in Abuja.
He said that Nigeria’s problems are surmountable, but the solutions require the coming together of like minds especially the best hands because the nation’s generational challenges have solutions.
“Our generational challenges have the generational solutions, let’s just face the issues and solve them, whether we are in government or planning to get into government.
“We mustn’t give up and we mustn’t keep looking back. The challenges of today are meant for those of us who are here and alive today. And they are meant to be solved by young people, and as I always say, there is no better time to be alive. This is the best time in Nigeria to be young. Those who are young today have the best opportunity ever.”
According to him, “I think this country needs the best minds. If you look at the variety of talents that we have, we have everything that it takes for a great country but it is the coming together of like minds, coming together of people who agree on the same things, old or young.
“I don’t think we should divide ourselves along these lines because this country can be great but we need that coming together of the best minds whether male or female,” the VP added.
“For me, my central concern is how do we get the very best people to work in the interest of this country, how do we get the best people to project the image of the country?”
Prof. Osinbajo is of the opinion that we must continue to work at it, “We must continue to make the sacrifice that is required to be able to get our views across and we must continue to organise to do so. We can’t give up, we can’t say things are so difficult, it is so difficult to enter the space. If we keep at it, one day, we will get the right result, we will get the right mix.
“Every country deserves excellent leadership; it deserves the best it can get. But excellent leadership doesn’t come by accident. It doesn’t come by lack of effort; you just have to keep making the effort.”
Emphasizing the need for a level-playing field for all aspiring politicians, the Osinbajo said “I am very strongly of the view that everyone must be invited to the party. The important thing is that we have, as well as possible, a level playing field.
“The problem also with liberal politics is money. Who has the resources? Because resources will to a large extent determine who can play the game. So, there are barriers.
“I think what is important is to see how we can remove those barriers as much as possible so there is a level playing field. What I have experienced serving in the position as Vice President in the past few years and having the opportunity to bring on board young people, some elderly people in relative terms is that the quality of the contributions is not necessarily defined by age.”
He clarified the impression that a level playing field should be defined by age. He noted that the focus should be on the mind and a little more on what people bring to the table. “I don’t engage on the basis of age.”
Nigeria’s 61st Independence celebration was a major focus in the passing week.
The events highlighted the journey so far, questioning what has been achieved and what needs to give way for the attainment of the nation’s desired goal.
Here are quotes made by politicians, leaders of thought and experts in various fields, within the passing week; through their words, we feel the world’s pulse as the globe’s heart beats in diverse yet similar rhythms, from one little corner to the next.
1. “I am here to tell you that just as I am certain that the United States will emerge from the struggle with our democracy, I am equally certain that Nigeria will emerge, in this century, as a model democratic country not just for Africa but for the entire world.”
2. “As far as I am concerned, there is no country on earth like Nigeria, and I know every patriotic Nigerian holds this view.”
Speaker of the House of Representatives, Honourable Femi Gbajabiamila, calls on Nigerians to be more united for the common purpose of building a country that meets the best expectations of all Nigerians.
3. “Declaration of all bandits as terrorists may also encourage other countries to do same and help create a global consensus around dealing with transnational factors that feed the domestic activities of such proscribed organizations and individuals.”
Chairman of the House Committee on Defence, Babajimi Benson, raises a motion on the floor, seeking to have President Buhari declare all bandits as terrorists.
4. “If the husband and wife have just adopted a baby of less than four months, then the man is entitled to paternity leave of about 14 days.”
Head of Civil Service of the Federation, Mrs Folasade Yemi-Esan, announces the Federal Government’s approval of a 14-day paternity leave for fathers with newborn babies in the country.
5. “We urge the president and commander-in-chief to declare the bandits as terrorists and urge total war against them.”
8. “Fellow Nigerians, the past eighteen months have been some of the most difficult periods in the history of Nigeria. Since the civil war, I doubt whether we have seen a period of more heightened challenges than what we have witnessed in this period”.
12. “I am saddened when I see people not protecting themselves against COVID-19. We are not making vaccination compulsory, but for now, it is the best way to protect yourselves and protect the people around you. It is so sad to see people making it a political issue.”
13. “Even in the face of the many challenges confronting us as a people and as a nation, my message to every Nigerian at this time is that we have no reason to lose hope. There is enough evidence around us of the fact that while we are not yet where we would like to be as a country and as a people, we are also no longer where we used to be.”
14. “NADECO implores the United Nations, its Security Council and other global bodies concerned with peaceful co-existence of the world to urgently fast-track their preparations to conduct variously demanded referendum to ascertain the wishes and aspirations for self-determination of the entrapped indigenous ethnic nationalities of Nigeria.”
The National Democratic Coalition (NADECO) condemns the Nigerian Constitution and ask the United Nations and other international bodies to conduct a referendum in the country.
15. “Following the extensive engagements, the issues are being addressed and I have directed that the suspension be lifted but only if the conditions are met to allow our citizens continue the use of the platform for business and positive engagements.”
President Muhammadu Buhari on Friday says he had given his approval for the suspension of microblogging site Twitter to be lifted once the conditions set by the Federal Government are met.
16. “The recent arrests of Nnamdi Kanu and Sunday Adeyemo, and the ongoing investigations being conducted have revealed certain high-profile financiers behind these individuals. We are vigorously pursuing these financiers, including one identified as a serving member of the National Assembly.”
Buhari reveals that a member of the National Assembly is among the high-profile individuals sponsoring the leaders of secessionist groups in the country.
17. “Where there is no confidence in the electoral management body (in our case – INEC), people will reject the results even before they are announced.”
Former President Goodluck Jonathan says the reason politicians run to the courts after elections is because they have no confidence in the electoral management body.
18. “Transmission of election results has been one of the key areas in which reckless, unpatriotic, and self-serving politicians have undermined the integrity of the Nigerian electoral process.”
22. “There is no excuse that 61 years after independence, extreme poverty is still staring the ordinary citizen in the face.”
Former Vice President Atiku Abubakar says there is no reason the masses in Nigeria are battling extreme poverty when the country is blessed with an abundance of resources.
23. “Our current trials cannot draw the curtains on our story, because the vision is for an appointed time and because this country is greater than the sum of its parts and the sum of its mistakes; and because the God we serve is greater than the sum of our collective hopes and imagination, our nation will surmount our current travails and emerge in victory.”
Vice President Yemi Osinbajo (SAN) states that even though there are security, economic, religious, and ethnic challenges, the collective vision of a united, peaceful and prosperous Nigeria, where righteousness abounds, still abides.
In pursuit of a more united and peaceful society, Christian groups and leaders of faith in Nigeria must preach fairness and equity at all times and be relentless advocates of freedom of worship, justice, and the rule of law, according to Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, (SAN).
Prof. Osinbajo, who was honoured on Saturday evening in Abuja with the Christian Association of Nigeria’s Award of Excellence at a Dinner and Awards night organized to mark the 45th anniversary of the association, also delivered President Muhammadu Buhari and the Federal Government’s felicitations to the foremost Christian body on the milestone.
Also, in his remarks after receiving the award, alongside other honourees, the VP noted that “fairness, equity and respect for the rights of others are fundamental to peace and security,” hence Christian leaders at all levels must strive to promote those virtues despite the challenges.
“We must continue to let the important truth be known that Christ did not come to establish a religion or to condemn men, but to show all men that his own righteousness, not our righteousness or performance, is the qualification for eternal life.
“That the gospel commands consideration for the views of others, treating them as we would wish to be treated; non-violent communication, that our words must be words of grace seasoned with salt.
“We must, as an organisation and as individuals remain constant and relentless advocates of freedom of worship, respect for human rights, fairness, justice, and the rule of law,” special media aide, Laolu Akande, quoted his principal as saying.
Commending the works of current and past leadership of CAN in promoting religious tolerance, Prof. Osinbajo said “CAN has not only been continually faithful to its founding vision, but it has also become a veritable force for peace, unity and social justice.”
According to him, “pursuant to the gospel, CAN has consistently spoken up on behalf of the “least of these” in our society.
“Importantly, the current and past leadership of CAN have acted in full realization and recognition of their roles as pivotal stakeholders alongside the Government, private sector in nation-building.
“We are proud of the role of the moral compass of society and interlocutor for peace among the different faiths that CAN has played and continues to play in our nation.”
Continuing, the VP noted that “we are also proud of the enormous work that the current executive of CAN, ably led by His Eminence, Rev. Supo Ayokunle, has done.
“I am aware of your collaboration with the leadership of the Islamic and other faiths, to reconcile where there are conflicts, to pacify where there has been offence, and to reprimand where there have been misdeeds. Well done and congratulations.”
Speaking on dousing religious and ethnic tensions in the society, the VP said “as we have seen in the past few years not just in Nigeria but all over the world, there is a growing religious and ethnic chauvinism.
“An almost intemperate, vehement and often violent dismissal of the views of people of other persuasions without adequate consideration. At the same time there is the rise of identity and cultural politics. Brethren, the answer to hate, intolerance and conflict is the gospel of Jesus Christ.”
On the call by CAN for the renovation of the National Christian Centre, Prof. Osinbajo gave a short presentation on renovation plans for the Centre, assuring that Christian groups and individuals would be mobilized to provide resources and complete the project.
Responding personally and also on behalf of other award recipients, Prof. Osinbajo said “I accept the award with great humility, being mindful that we are not necessarily the most deserving of Christians to be given any recognition. But that because of the special grace of God, by which we have been chosen to serve in the high capacities that we serve, we are in the advantageous position that our contributions will be more easily noticed.”
The VP dedicated the award to “the many who, daily, in different locations, distant and near, propagate this message of the love and reconciliation of the gospel of Jesus Christ in sometimes difficult, even life-threatening situations. And to the many who have suffered deprivation, and the families of those who have lost their lives by reason of their belief.”
Presenting the Award of Excellence to the VP, CAN President, Rev. Supo Ayokunle, said the honour was in recognition of Prof. Osinbajo’s outstanding performance in public service over the past years, both at state and national levels.
He said: “This Award of Excellence is conferred on you today in recognition of your invaluable contributions as an ideal Christian in the Nigerian political space and governance.”
Other award recipients include former President of Nigeria, Olusegun Obasanjo; former Imo State Governor, Sen. Rochas Okorocha; former Speaker of the House of Representatives, Rt. Hon. Yakubu Dogara; several State governors; faith leaders, including past Presidents and General Secretary of CAN.
The Imam that saved the lives of over 200 Christians in Barkin Ladi, Plateau State, Abdullahi Abubakar, also received a special CAN recognition. It would be recalled that the VP had received the Imam at the Presidential Villa in May 2019 and praised him severally in public for his acts of courage, sacrifice, and tolerance when he stuck out his neck to protect Christians who were being pursued to be attacked during a conflict situation in Barkin Ladi on June 23, 2018.
Earlier on Saturday morning, the Vice President participated virtually in the 6th edition finals of the SimmonsCooper Advocacy Development (SCAD) Programme organized by SimmonsCooper Partners (SCP).
Speaking briefly during the event which was held live in Lagos, the VP congratulated the finalists of the SCAD competition as being among the best in Nigeria and anywhere in the world.
“Knowledge is so critical, and today, it is almost as if a completely new vista of knowledge has been opened, especially with technology and all of its various implications,” he said.
The event was attended by members of the Nigerian Bar Association, students of law and other disciplines from Nigerian universities, members of the Nigerian business community, among others.
Vice President Yemi Osinbajo (SAN) has observed that even though there are security, economic, religious, and ethnic challenges, the collective vision of a united, peaceful and prosperous Nigeria, where righteousness abounds, still abides.
This was the summation of his remark at Nigeria’s 61st Independence Anniversary inter-denominational church service and the 45th anniversary service of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN), held at the National Ecumenical Centre, Abuja on Sunday.
Osinbajo said: “we have since become the most educated and most entrepreneurial nation in Africa. Ten of our 36 States have larger economies than at least 15 African countries. From our ranks, we have the most accomplished men and women, in the arts, the sciences, in sports, in technology and commerce.”
“Our current trials cannot draw the curtains on our story, because the vision is for an appointed time and because this country is greater than the sum of its parts and the sum of its mistakes; and because the God we serve is greater than the sum of our collective hopes and imagination, our nation will surmount our current travails and emerge in victory,” the VP added.
The event tagged ‘Together, Come Let Us build’, was attended by several dignitaries, especially representatives of the National Assembly, judiciary, and members of the Federal Executive Council including the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Boss Mustapha.
There were also eminent religious leaders, including the General Overseer of the Redeemed Christian Church of God (RCCG), Pastor E.A Adeboye; CAN President, Rev. Supo Ayokunle; among others.
Below is the full speech of the Vice President titled “Nigeria: The Vision Undefeated”, as released by Laolu Akande, the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media & Publicity.
SPEECH DELIVERED BY HIS EXCELLENCY, PROF YEMI OSINBAJO, SAN, GCON, VICE PRESIDENT OF THE FEDERAL REPUBLIC OF NIGERIA AT THE 61st INDEPENDENCE ANNIVERSARY INTER-DENOMINATIONAL CHURCH SERVICE AND THE 45TH ANNIVERSARY SERVICE OF THE CHRISTIAN ASSOCIATION OF NIGERIA (CAN) ON THE 26TH OF SEPTEMBER, 2021 PROTOCOLS
Let me begin by delivering to the Christian Association of Nigeria, the warm felicitations of Mr. President, President Muhammadu Buhari on this occasion of the 45th anniversary of the Association.
He has asked me to commend the work of CAN especially within Nigeria Inter-Religious Council, NIREC, to ensure brotherliness and peace amongst all Nigerians regardless of faith. Congratulations today on behalf of Mr. President.
I have titled my remarks today – The Vision Undefeated.61 years ago, our founding fathers laid out a vision, that the many nations and ethnicities, North and South of the Niger, 300 languages or more, differing tribes, and religions, would by the grace of God become one Nation.
That their diverse strengths and gifts would coalesce into a formidable economic and regional force. And that these united nations may become the largest aggregation of black people on earth. A beacon of hope to all peoples of African descent, long bruised by the afflictions of slavery and colonial exploitation. Nigeria will be the reaffirmation of their dignity and a tonic to their spirits.
The Lord blessed the vision and prospered the land with richness in oil, in gas, in minerals of every hue. In fruit trees, in palm trees, in crops of every kind, in savannahs and forests, arable land, seas, rivers, and the riches embedded in them.
That vision of our forebears inheres in the words of our National Motto: Unity and Faith, Peace and Progress.
Through the years, we worked that vision, through thick and thin. From subjection to colonial monarchy, to a sovereign republic, to civil rule to military rule. We fought a bitter war amongst brothers that cost millions of lives, and though we still wear the deep scars of those wounds, the Lord preserved the Republic.
We have since become the most educated and most entrepreneurial nation in Africa. 10 of our 36 States have larger economies than at least 15 African countries. From our ranks, we have the most accomplished men and women, in the arts, the sciences, sports, technology, and commerce.
But today, yet again, our path has been dogged by conflict; religious and ethnic, economic challenges, insurgencies and banditry, much darkness, many valleys, and many thorns. And so many ask, “can the vision of the nation united, the nation peaceful, the nation righteous and the nation prosperous yet abide?”
But the vision is not destroyed because of the many trials and tribulations, nor is the vision denied by the days when the fig tree does not blossom, or when there is no fruit on the vines; nor is the vision nullified when the labor of the olive fails, neither is the vision defeated because the flock is cut off from the fold, leaving no herd in the stalls.
The Lord God, our strength, He will yet make our feet like the feet of the deer, and we, who had been in the valley, He will make us walk on our high hills (Habakkuk 3:17-19)
Neither hailstones nor hellfire can destroy the vision because the Creator of the universe is the visioner, the One who gave the vision is the Lord of dreams. And indeed even after we have suffered for a while, this God of all grace, who called us to His eternal glory by Christ Jesus, will perfect, establish, strengthen and settle us. (1 Peter 5:10)
Our current trials cannot draw the curtains on our story, because the vision is for an appointed time. Our today is not our tomorrow because the vision is for an appointed time.
This country is greater than the sum of its parts and the sum of its mistakes, and because the God we serve is greater than the sum of our collective hopes and imagination, our nation will surmount our current travails and emerge in victory.
(Habakkuk 2:3) For indeed the vision is yet for an appointed time; though it tarries. But at the end, it will speak, and it will not lie. We will wait for it; because it will surely come, it will not tarry.
May the Lord prosper this land, and its peoples forever, Amen. Congratulations to CAN at 45 and happy anniversary Nigeria at 61. God bless the Federal Republic of Nigeria. God bless you all.
Vice President Yemi Osinbajo says there is a need to improve the pace of cases in courts across the country.
Professor Osinbajo stated this on Tuesday when six Attorneys-General from the South-West States visited him at the Presidential Villa in Abuja.
The attorneys during their visit briefed the Vice President on the progress of justice reforms in their various States, many of which they said was inspired by the successes recorded during his stint as Lagos State Attorney-General.
In a statement by his Special Media Aide, Laolu Akande, commending the efforts made so far, Prof Osinbajo said that it is important that the judiciary devotes some time to ensure that cases do not linger too long in the courts anymore.
“I think there is a need for us (especially at the state level), to ensure that prosecutions move quickly,” Akande quoted his principal as saying.
The Vice President who expressed delight at the visit commended the Attorneys-General for the “great work” that has been done in the States, observing the wide range of areas being covered by the Justice Sector Reforms.
He urged the States’ chief law officers to leverage their network and individual positions to effect the desired changes in the justice sector.
The Attorneys-General in separate remarks during the courtesy call praised the VP’s efforts as Lagos State Attorney- General, attributing some of the gains recorded in their states to his innovative ideas.
The guests detailed different initiatives being implemented in their states centering around reforms on the administration of the justice systems such as alternative dispute resolution, access to justice, capacity building for judicial officers, digitization, and general infrastructure upgrade.
The presentations also included social protection objectives and improving the legal framework for enhancing the business environment in the states.
The Attorneys-General and Justice Commissioners were led on the visit by the Ekiti State Attorney-General, Mr. Olawale Fapohunda.
Others were Lagos State Attorney-General, Mr. Moyosore Onigbanjo SAN; Ondo State Attorney-General, Sir Charles Titiloye; Oyo State Attorney-General, Prof. Oyelowo Oyewo; Ogun State Attorney-General, Mr. Akingbolahan Adeniran; and his Osun State counterpart, Mr. Olufemi Akande.
Referring specifically to ongoing reform efforts in Lagos and other states, Lagos State Attorney General, Mr. Onigbanjo, SAN said “Your Excellency, you laid a solid foundation upon which we are building on today. The reforms initiated by you as AG have been the basis for what we are doing and have done in Lagos.”
In the same vein, the Oyo State AG, Prof. Oyewo noted that “we are proud of your achievements and contributions to the development of the judiciary and this great country.”
On his part, the leader of the delegation and Justice Commissioner of Ekiti State, Mr. Fapohunda said the reform process in the States including in Ekiti is focused on law reform, institutional reform, and general reviews in areas that have a direct impact on the administration of justice system.
He also praised the foundational justice reform works of Prof. Osinbajo in Lagos State.
“I align myself to what has been said, we are proud of what you did as AG in Lagos, some of the things being done today are based on your foundational works,” he concluded.
Vice President Yemi Osinbajo (SAN) has urged Nigerian elites to work in consonance for the nation.
In a speech at the Leadership Conference and Awards in Abuja on Thursday, Professor Osinbajo stated that despite the nation’s current challenges, citizens must avoid drifting towards vices that appeal to darker impulses but instead counter fear and foster solidarity.
He challenged the elites to act in solidarity and build a consensus to settle contending issues in the nation and enlarge the circle of opportunity, especially for the young people.
“As with all countries, newer realities keep fostering situations that could lead to misunderstanding and conflict.
“These contingencies challenge citizens and governments to build consensus around which resolutions of these conflicts can be promoted.
“The question that arises for us is whether as the elite, we are public-spirited and historically responsible enough to engage in the arduous process of consensus building and be conscientious custodians of our national institutions,” Osinbajo stated.
Earlier in the course of his keynote address, the VP explained that “the external reasons we cite for our problems cannot thrive without severe internal weaknesses in our society”.
According to him, “the chief weakness is a human one – our elite, our political, economic, and religious elite”.
He believes insecurity is being promoted in the country through ethnic and regional sentiments, activities, and utterances by an elite that has so far proved to be socially irresponsible.
For Osinbajo, the irresponsibility of the upper-class borders on their selfishness, negligence or ignorance or a lack of self-awareness which has “been unable to build the institutions and more importantly, the social and political consensus upon which a just and orderly society can stand”.
“And because dominance must be premised on some consensus, the elite depends on a dubious one, promotion of tribal and religious fault lines for legitimacy,” he stressed.
Prof Osinbajo claimed that the elite’s criticism of the activities of government without consideration has become a basis for insurrection and insurgency.
The Vice President also stated that the nation’s political, economic, and religious leaders must shun divisive narratives in a bid to bring all Nigerians together, heal rifts between communities and build bridges across divides.
“We must be able to say to the young men and women who say secession is the only way or that we should break up into little nations that that is the way of extinction, not development.
“We must, as religious leaders, be able to tell our adherents that people of other religions are not their enemies, they are brothers and sisters and that they must not allow those who will benefit by division and strife to tell them differently,” Osinbajo added.
The VP stated further that all Nigerians must endeavour to promote civilized values – including affirming the value and sanctity of human life, rather than violence, ethnic and religious fault lines to drive national change.
While he emphasized the need to reform institutions for law and order to thrive, the VP noted the importance of building consensus and mediating elite competition and conflict in “finding an acceptable ‘middle ground’ among contesting options to the resolution of issues.”
Emphasizing the importance of “corporate social responsibility, good corporate citizenship” and what he termed ‘transformational elitism’ in nation-building, the VP stated that, “in times of crisis, the elite must broaden its horizons beyond their specific disciplines and sectors.
“Accordingly, business leaders understand that it is not enough to focus on making profits; businesses need a healthy society within which to operate and make profits. This is why there are now such concepts as corporate social responsibility and good corporate citizenship,” he said.
Addressing how elites can drive national transformation, the Vice President added: “the media elite must recognize that they have a responsibility to exercise discernment in the deployment of their platforms and must reflect upon whether they are amplifying the most insensate, intemperate, and incendiary voices in our midst while marginalizing voices of reason.
“The political elite must accept through policies and actions, that the purpose of power must be to better the lives of those we serve and give the young great hope for the future. Once we put on the lens of social responsibility, different and higher imperatives come into play. This is what transformational elitism looks like.”
While calling for compromise and broad-based constructive engagements on national issues, the VP reiterated the need for Nigerians, regardless of tribe, ethnicity, or religion, to come together for nation-building purposes, stating that, “the recognition that the system is not working optimally for many of our people should inspire a broad-based movement for reform that works to recalibrate the present order and attune it more to the aspirations of our people.”
He urged Nigerians to resist temptations of being led astray by those with ulterior motives in pushing particular agitations.
Vice President Yemi Osinbajo on Thursday said Nigeria’s elite play a major role in aggravating the security challenges besetting the nation.
Professor Osinbajo stated this in his keynote address at the Leadership Conference and Awards – with the theme National and Regional Insecurity: The Role of Political and Non-Political Actors in Stabilization and Consensus Building – held in Abuja.
The Vice President believes “the external reasons we cite as reasons for our problems cannot thrive without severe internal weaknesses in our society”.
He added that “the chief weakness is a human one – our elite, our political, economic, and religious elite”.
According to him, insecurity in the country is promoted through ethnic and regional sentiments, activities, and utterances of the elites that have so far proved to be socially irresponsible.
Prof Osinbajo said the elite’s criticism of the activities of government without consideration has become a basis for insurrection and insurgency.
“So, where are we today? On a nationwide and region-wide scale, we are seeing challenges to national order driven by a profound and pervasive sense of exclusion and marginalisation.
“And I do not speak of ethnic or religious marginalisation which is really another elite dog whisper to acquire more for themselves in the contest for booty. I speak of a division between the have- nots who have no hope and the haves who seem to have it all.
“So, the attacks we see on law and order are themselves symptomatic and they are driven by emergent critiques of the fabric of order itself.
“These critiques are manifesting as insurrections and insurgencies along various axes of identity. These rejections of formal institutions may be driven by conceptions of religious obligations, ethnic identity and generational antipathies but that is only superficial.
“What they have in common is that they are patterns of solidarity of those who have no stake in an orderly society because such society offers them nothing, and are fundamentally violent and implacable opposition to a system that appears to favour only a few,” he submitted.
While proffering solutions, Osinbajo said Nigeria’s elite must reach a consensus with other citizens and act in solidarity to settle contending issues in the nation and enlarge the circle of opportunity, especially for the young people.
He also argued that to tackle insecurity, the nation’s political, economic, and religious leaders must shun divisive narratives so as to bring all Nigerians together, heal rifts between communities and build bridges across divides.
Compromise Not Forced Silence
Although he acknowledged that the country is going through times of trial and testing, he said it is understandable for discontent to emerge and inspire agitation.
He explained that in a democracy, agitation as an act of making a peoples’ voice to be heard is entirely legitimate. But he stated that what is profoundly problematic is when “we employ destructive and illicit means in pursuing agitation”.
Osinbajo warned that the people must resist the temptation to see their sympathy with legitimate causes blind them to the destructive and illegitimate means employed by those that pursue the causes.
Prof Osinbajo encouraged the citizens to continue in the tradition of understanding like the founding fathers who forged the national union through dialogue and negotiation, and traded compromises in the process of making the country.
The former Lagos State commissioner, however, warned that that the call to continue this tradition does not suggest that people should be lulled into a forced silence or a passive acceptance of whatever they find unacceptable.
“I mean that their discontent and energy can be channeled towards constructive and positive action. For instance, communities can be mobilised to participate more fully in civil life and drive movements that seek greater accountability across all levels of government.
“While there is indeed a serious contention for the future and a battle for the soul of this nation raging, the weapons of our warfare are necessarily different. The tools with which we will build a new country and the weapons with which we will fight for her posterity are of a different order,” Osinbajo stressed.
Quoting the famous words of Reverend Martin Luther King Jr, he added: “Destructive means cannot bring about constructive ends,” urging Nigerians to contend for the soul of the country by promoting civilised values.
He asked them to uphold a culture of life and refuse violence in any guise even by those who claim to be using it in response to attacks.
According to him, the nation needs an inter-generational, ecumenical, and pan-Nigerian coalition willing to uphold the value and sanctity of life above and beyond all causes and differences.
Vice President Yemi Osinbajo has said that despite the activities of those with a divisive agenda, Nigeria will prevail over her tribulations due to the resilience, faith, hope, and strength of its people.
According to a communique by his spokesman, Laolu Akande, Prof. Osinbajo stated this at the National Social Cohesion Dialogue organized by the Africa Polling Institute held at the Shehu Musa Yar’Adua Centre iin Abuja on Thursday.
Describing Nigerians as “an unbreakable people”, the VP noted that the country’s diversity can be used to drive further economic growth.
“Despite the divisive rhetoric of demagogues and the utterances of those who profit from disharmony, Nigerians do not hate each other,” Osinbajo stated.
“Every day, millions of Nigerians of different ethnicities and creeds commingle, make common cause and forge friendships across our fabled fault lines. While we have our share of such acrimony, the situation does not support the narrative that we are a nation of fragments condemned to be perpetually at each other’s throats.”
While advocating for unity despite sundry differences, the VP warned against “polarising identity politics”.
“Politicians who continue to traffic in division and discord are behind the times and have failed to take note of how much more integrated our society has become,” he added, stressing that those calling for the separation of the country will not succeed.
According to the Vice President, “an abiding feature of being a Nigerian is our optimism… Our capacity for hope is a creative optimism… Every day, millions of our people armed with their faith, skills, determination and wits take their destinies into their hands, working hard to forge a better life for themselves and their families.
“Nigerians of this ilk are everywhere repairing, healing, building, trading, and doing business. They believe that tomorrow will yield a greater harvest than that of today and that as long as they have breath in them they can change their material conditions.
“It is this capacity for hope that makes us resilient in the face of incredible odds and even in the teeth of adversity. This is who we are as a people and it is why I believe that we will prevail over today’s tribulations.”
The former Lagos commissioner admitted that in many parts of Nigeria, there is a feeling of alienation and exclusion.
“We see this whenever Nigerians are denied opportunity on the basis of their state of origin or because they are “non-indigenes”’ he added.
“We see it when a Nigerian that has been resident in a state all his life is suddenly excluded from admission into an educational institution or an employment opportunity because he is not considered an “indigene.”
The VP explained that Nigerians have the right to stay in any part of the country, stressing that “the classification of Nigerians as ‘indigenes’ and ‘non-indigenes’ is a form of apartheid and contradicts our declared aspirations towards equality and unity.”
Osinbajo noted that the fair, swift and equitable dispensation of justice to address both everyday grievances is essential for fostering social cohesion, adding that “we must strengthen institutions which at every level can deliver justice, inclusion, and mutual security”.
He cautioned the citizens against linking criminality to an ethnic group, and called for cooperation in the fight against security challenges facing the country.
“We must ensure that we see it for what it is – a criminal act which must be punished according to the law and not an ethnic conflict. Criminals must not be seen or treated as anything other than criminals and certainly not as representatives of any ethnic or religious group,” he explained.
“We will not defeat crime by dividing ourselves. We can only overcome it by uniting against our common enemy – the criminals who terrorize our people.”
Vice President Yemi Osinbajo has said that the passage of the Petroleum Industry Bill, and Nigeria’s gas initiatives, will transform the nation into a gas-based industrialized country.
He explained that they will create a better-managed petroleum industry with more value addition for both investors and Nigerians alike.
According to a communique by the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Laolu Akande, Professor Osinbajo stated this on Monday during a virtual event to mark the 25th anniversary of Sahara (Energy) Group.
Prof. Osinbajo said, “the main goal of the passage of the Petroleum Industry Bill and the gas initiatives aforementioned is to transform Nigeria not only into a gas-based industrialized nation through enhanced accelerated gas revolution, but also to help create a better-managed petroleum industry where both the people of Nigeria and investors alike can extract value”.
“Locally, we launch into the brave new world for the oil and gas industry with the Petroleum Industry Act 2021,” he added.
“And this happily converges with the launch of the Year 2020 to 2030 as the ‘Decade of Gas Development for Nigeria’. This is a follow-up to the highly successful initiative of the Year 2020 as the Year of Gas”.
He explained that the next 25 years will be defining for the energy industry.
The Vice President, again reiterated the need for a just transition to zero-emission, and more advocacy to stop the defunding of gas and fossil fuel projects in developing countries
According to him, “the wealthier nations and their institutions have banned all public investments in certain fossil projects, including natural gas. Examples include the European Union (EU), the United Kingdom, Germany and Denmark, as well as specific institutions such as the Swedfund from Sweden, Norway’s Sovereign Wealth Fund, the largest in the world, CDC, the development finance institution from the UK, the European Investment Bank, and the Investment Fund for Developing Countries from Denmark.
“The World Bank and other multilateral development banks are being urged by their shareholders to do the same. The AfDB is increasingly unable to support large natural gas projects in the face of shareholder pressure from their European members.
“Barely two weeks ago, the UN Secretary-General made a strong call, that ‘Countries should end all new fossil fuel exploration and production, and shift fossil fuel subsidies into renewable energy.'”
The VP said that the Federal Government is partnering with affected countries, but urged “indigenous energy companies such as yourselves [Sahara Group] to join in the urgent advocacy that is required to prevent the disaster that would result from defunding oil and gas projects”.
Prof. Osinbajo noted that the last two decades have brought significant growth to the country’s oil firms “from the days when Nigerian companies were mainly invested in the downstream sector to a situation now where we have Nigerian companies in the downstream, midstream and the upstream”.
“Nigerian companies have shown capacity in operations and financing of oil and gas assets. Within this group of patriotic local investors, Sahara has consistently blazed the trail as industry leaders in not just the Petroleum sector, but in the Power sector as well,” he added.
While commending Sahara Group for being “a great ambassador for the Nigerian entrepreneurial brand”, the VP noted that the group has demonstrated “bold, innovative, knowledge-driven business models that are designed to seize opportunities in other countries and have done so with remarkable success in many African countries”.
President Muhammadu Buhari signed the Petroleum Industry Bill 2021 into law last week, and has also approved a steering committee to oversee the process of implementation of the newly signed Petroleum Industry Act (PIA).
Also, the gas initiatives of the Federal Government include the drive to encourage investments in gas production and optimize the nation’s enormous gas potential.
In addition, Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) is being developed into an alternative automobile fuel to give Nigerians cheaper, cleaner and additional fuel. This is expected to reduce the ecological and economic costs of energy.
There is also the Gas Master Plan which provides for investment in the necessary infrastructure for gas transportation across the nation.
Experts believe these will help reduce local crude oil dependency, whilst strengthening the drive for cleaner sources of energy as a nation.
In November, the National Gas Expansion Programme was launched. It focuses on the distribution of Compressed Natural Gas and Liquefied Petroleum Gas across gas stations operated by the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC).