VP Osinbajo Submits Post COVID-19 Job Creation Policy To President Buhari

VP Yemi Osinbajo submits the post-COVID-19 Economic Sustainability Plan to President Muhammadu Buhari at the Aso Villa Chambers on Thursday, June 11th, 2020. Photo: Twitter/akandeoj


Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo on Thursday submitted the post COVID-19 Economic Sustainability Plan to President Muhammadu Buhari.

Laolu Akande, the Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity, revealed this in a tweet on his official handle.

“Plan ready sir, as VP hands over the Sustainability Plan to Mr. President this morning at the Aso Villa Chambers,” he tweeted.

“According to the President, with the kind of wide consultations, (including NASS, Govs & co) that went into developing the plan, it is actually a “National Plan.”

The plan has steps and strategies that could lead to the creation of jobs and aid in reducing the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the country’s economy.

FG, States To Work Together On Forthcoming Economic Stability Plan


Members of the National Economic Council rose from their first virtual meeting today with a resolution to ensure a more effective synergy between the Federal Government and the sub-nationals especially in matters related to the fallouts of the COVID-19 pandemic, including how to effectively and efficiently reopen the Nigerian economy after the lockdowns and shutdowns across the country.

Chaired by Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, SAN, the Council, composed of all the 36 State Governors, the FCT Minister, Central Bank Governor and other top officials of the Federal Government, specifically decided today to set up a lean committee of seven to work with the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19. The Committee to be led by Delta State Governor, Dr. Ifeanyi Okowa, also includes the Governors of Lagos, Kano, Bauchi, Anambra, Plateau, and the FCT Minister.

According to the Vice President, the Committee will ensure that there would be an even more effective collaboration and coordination between the Federal Government’s Presidential Task Force and the States of the Federation including the FCT.

Besides, NEC also resolved to cooperate with the Economic Sustainability Committee set up by the President and chaired by the Vice President in the development of a national Economic Sustainability Plan.

Such a plan is expected to introduce a substantial stimulus package running into a couple trillion Naira, ensure that Nigeria as a country gets through the COVID-19 economic challenges and in fact chart a path of growth and development for the Nigerian economy by ensuring massive productivity in several sectors including agriculture, power, infrastructure, technology and several others.

To this end the NEC resolved to hold a meeting next week with the ESC. The Council would be represented at the meeting by its earlier constituted Special COVID-19 Committee. This was resolved after the Finance Minister made a presentation at the NEC meeting regarding the ESC and related issues.

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Below are the other highlights of today’s NEC meeting:


The Hounorable Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning gave Council an update on the under listed accounts as follows:

Balance as at 21st May 2020 – $72,406,791.52

Balance as at 21st May, 2020 – N39, 337,123,485.30

Balance as at 21st May, 2020 – N125, 190,251,907.47



The Minister stated that Nigeria is faced with perhaps the most challenging economic challenge in its history. The global economy is also facing its sharpest reversal since the great depression and these have health and economic implications.

On Economy, she noted that COVID-19 has resulted in the collapse in oil prices, stressing that this will impact negatively on Federation revenues and Foreign exchange earnings.

The Minister said the net oil and gas revenue inflows to the federation account in Q1 2020 amounted to N940.91 billion. This represents a shortfall of N425.52 billion (or 31.1% of the prorated amount).

To prevent a deep recession arising from the COVID-19 economic crisis, the orthodox approach all over the world, which is also in the works in Nigeria, is to deploy a stimulus package, according to the Finance Minister


The President established a number of structures to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic in Nigeria. These were the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19, the Crisis Management Committee and the Economic Sustainability Committee.

The Federal Government is committed to supporting the financial viability of States including the suspension of payments in respect of ISPO and moratorium on deductions in respect of bailout loans, with effect from April 2020.

The Economic Sustainability Committee is responsible for providing overall strategic vision, policy direction and general oversight of implementation, amongst others.


The Presentation focused on channels of the impact of COVID-19 on the Nigerian Economy and the current response from Government and Partners, especially the proposed World Bank Support.
The presentation commended the Government of Nigeria for taking important measures in response to the COVID -19 impact.
These measures included a fiscal stimulus package- COVID-19 intervention fund of N500 billion (US$1.4 billion)- supports healthcare facilities, provide relief for taxpayers and incentives employers to retain and recruit staff during the lockdown; increase of Social register by 1 million households to 3.6million for cash transfer program and palliatives and social Safety Net Program.
The Word Bank planned a proposed Support package for immediate Fiscal Relief for the Federal Government. This would involve policy-based budget support for the Federal Government focusing on measures to maintain macro-financial stability and create the fiscal space for a pro-poor stimulus package.
The World Bank’s package also proposed financial support to the Government of Nigeria. This support is dedicated to State governments’ budgeted program of expenditures and interventions.


Council received an update on Polio Eradication and Support to Community Transmission of COVID-19 from the NPHCDA, presented by the Honourable Minister of Health.

The update indicated that Nigeria is edging towards Polio eradication and is on course to be certified as Wild- Polio free by the WHO African Region next month, June 2020. It also reported that no WPV cases was reported in Nigeria for 44 months.

State Governors were urged to facilitate the establishment of structures to coordinate efforts to stop community transmission of COVID-19.


There was a presentation on NEC Ad-hoc Committee to review status of the ownership structure of the Electricity Power Distribution Companies (Discos) by Governor of Kaduna State.

The report has been delivered, adopted and now being implemented especially through the composition by the President of a Power Sector Reform Working Group headed by the Vice President.

How FG Is Backing MSMEs Through COVID-19 Pandemic Disruptions – Osinbajo


The Federal Government has issued a set of palliatives to help MSMEs wade through the current economic fallouts of the COVID-19 pandemic.

According to Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, SAN, these palliatives reflect the Buhari administration’s determination to support MSMEs and the priority the Federal Government places on small businesses.

The palliatives are:

E-Registration of MSMEs/products at 80% discounted rate over a period of six months.

Zero tariffs for the first 200 micro and small businesses to register on the E-platform.

Waiver on administrative charges for overdue late renewal of expired licenses of micro/small businesses products for a period of 90 days.

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According to the VP, as businesses across the world confront the disruptions caused by the Coronavirus pandemic, the Federal Government will continue to adopt and implement practical measures to ensure that the projected growth in the Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) sector is not seriously affected by the development.

He gave the assurance in Abuja at the virtual launch of palliatives for MSMEs by the National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC).

Continuing, Prof. Osinbajo added that “of importance to the government’s response was to find ways of not just giving succour and assistance to existing MSMEs but also ensuring that there is practical and active fillip to new MSMEs so that the growth of this sector is not discouraged by the current economic trauma.

“This is our moment and the government of Nigeria and its regulatory agencies are prepared to back MSMEs and other businesses that are prepared for the innovative and interesting times that lie ahead of us.”

Speaking specifically about some of the steps taken by the Federal Government to protect private investments especially small businesses in the country, Prof. Osinbajo said, President Muhammadu Buhari had from the onset of the health cum economic crisis taken strategic decisions aimed at insulating businesses from imminent collapse.

According to him, “just after the first index case of the disease was discovered in Nigeria and before the lockdowns began, Mr. President put together strategic teams to immediately determine the impact of the disruptions likely to be caused to the economy and what our immediate and medium to long term approach should be.

“The vulnerability of MSMEs to the severe shocks that were to follow was priority at every consideration of the issues. But perhaps even our best projections could hardly have predicted the massive economic disruptions, the unprecedented number of business failures, job losses of what began as a health challenge and the ensuing lockdowns would cause especially to MSMEs, who, of course as you know, are the backbone of our entire economy.

“As the President has repeatedly urged, we have no excuse not to be one of the most productive and prolific economies in the world. Our hope is to achieve this aim in the incredible numbers of MSMEs that we have,” the VP noted.

He described the launch of NAFDAC palliatives for MSMEs as “a thoughtful and strategic response to the devastation caused by the COVID-19 pandemic”.

According to the Vice President, “This is why the e-registration assistance for MSMEs through the Automated Product Administration and Monitoring System (NAPAMS) is so timely.

“These are all indicators of the new spirit of NAFDAC and foretaste of the support MSMEs stand to enjoy in wading through these trying times.  But this is not a new undertaking for us. It is merely an extension or intensification of the Federal Government’s long-standing commitment to MSMEs.”

The VP urged regulatory agencies involved in the MSMEs sector to improve on their service delivery noting that “we expect to see from them in terms of innovation, adaptability in the next few months and through the challenges that we will be seeing in business environment.”

He then added that “I am sure that NAFDAC, SMEDAN, BOI and all of our MDAs concerned with the MSMEs see this period as one when we must work with the MSMEs, identify with them, and must be quick on the job to ensure we are able to resolve all of the problems that they have.”

Other participants at the event include the Director General of NAFDAC, Prof. Moji Adeyeye and representatives of federal regulatory agencies in the MSMEs sector.

Vice President Osinbajo, Ministers Discuss Buhari’s Forthcoming Sustainability Plan

A file photo of Vice President Yemi Osinbajo
A file photo of Vice President Yemi Osinbajo


In furtherance of the work of the Economic Sustainability Committee, the Vice President Yemi Osinbajo met today with a group of Ministers who were directed by the President to jointly develop a comprehensive policy for a Nigerian Economy functioning with COVID – 19.

The President had asked that the Economic Sustainability Committee should support the said Ministers in executing the directive.

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Today, the Vice President proceeded with the Ministers of Industry, Trade and Investment; Communication and Digital Economy; Science and Technology; Transportation; Aviation; Interior; Health; Works and Housing; Labour and Employment; and Education on the work of coordinating the efforts in order to produce a comprehensive Economic Sustainability Plan that will turn the current economic challenges into opportunities for the Nigerian people as envisioned by the President.

Next week, the Economic Sustainability Committee will also be meeting with the Presidential Economic Advisory Council ahead of the completion and submission of its report to the President.

Osinbajo Chairs Economic Sustainability Committee Meeting

A file photo of Vice President Yemi Osinbajo.


Vice President, Yemi Osinbajo, has chaired the 3rd Economic Sustainability Committee meeting.

The meeting was held on Thursday at the presidential villa in Abuja.

President Muhammadu Buhari in March inaugurated the committee with the aim of tackling the economic challenges and fallouts of the COVID-19 pandemic.

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The committee was also asked to come up with palliatives for the populace and create a sustainability plan to reposition the economy.

Although no details of today’s agenda have been given, however, the meeting is timely considering the calls in different quarters for palliatives to reach a wider number of Nigerians.

Among those present at the meeting are the Ministers of Finance, Works and Housing, Humanitarian Affairs and the Minister of State for Petroleum Resources.



Osinbajo Defends Buhari, Says Lockdown Order Is Backed By Law

Vice President Yemi Osinbajo addresses Nigerians in New York on June 23, 2019.


Vice President Yemi Osinbajo has defended President Muhammadu Buhari over the lockdown on the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Lagos and Ogun States.

In a statement issued by the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Laolu Akande, Osinbajo said the order restricting movements is quite unnecessary as the action taken is not only important but very well backed by the Nigerian laws.

“Regarding the legality of the shutdowns announced by the President (on Sunday), I think it is entirely legal. These steps are proactive, very relevant, important and backed by law,” he stated.

The Vice President believes that questioning the legality of the President’s order is unnecessary because it is backed by an act of the National Assembly.

He said under the Quarantine Act, the President Buhari has powers to make regulations of any kind that would curb infectious diseases.

“I am not so sure some of the people who have commented on the issue have come across the Quarantine Act.

“There is a Quarantine Act of 1926, it’s been published in all of the Laws of Nigeria, every edition of the Laws of Nigeria, it is there,” he stressed.

Curbing Spread Of COVID-19 Is A Joint Effort, Says Osinbajo


Vice President Yemi Osinbajo has asked all Nigerians to collectively work together to curb the spread coronavirus in the country.

The Vice President stated this on Monday at a Google Hangout organised by the HACK COVID-19 Call Centre in Abuja, the nation’s capital.

Osinbajo wants the masses to join hands together to defeat the pandemic, stressing that he is impressed with the response of the masses and governments at all levels.

“We must see this as a joint effort, everyone is involved in this, it really is an all-Nigeria effort and I am happy that everyone is responding,” a statement from Osinbajo’s spokesman, Laolu Akande quoted the Vice President as saying.

Reacting to how the Federal Government plans to support vulnerable Nigerians amid the restriction of movement imposed by President Muhammadu Buhari, Osinbajo replied saying: “The President has actually just established the Economic Sustainability Committee, which he has asked me to chair.”

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The Committee is to take care of the economic challenges and fallouts of the pandemic and movement restrictions in the FCT, Lagos and Ogun States.

According to the Vice President, the committee will develop further palliatives, and a sustainability plan to reposition the economy and grow the non-oil sector.

“First of all we must admit that there is very little precedent for what we are doing today, this is not the sort of situation that anyone necessarily prepares for. But fortunately for us, we have, in the past few years, designed a social investment programme that tries to address some of these types of concerns.

“Part of the work of the Economic Sustainability Committee that has been constituted is to look at some of the concerns that affect the poor, especially in the context of what has already been done and the data that we already have on informal workers and informal traders and how to implement some strategy that will be able to alleviate the sufferings of the poor (and the informal workforce) at this time. And how to integrate some of the data that we have in other respects.

“So, we have data of the poorest of the poor, with the assistance of the World Bank, we have developed what is called the National Social Register where we mapped out, in practically all Local Government Areas in Nigeria, those who are considered the most vulnerable. Already, some of them get conditional cash transfers but, again, compared to the numbers, it is not large enough.

“But now we have an opportunity of doing much more in terms of giving the poor and vulnerable some kind of assistance,” he said.

Speaking further, Osinbajo said the N-power has provided “Opportunities for young Nigerians who have no jobs at the moment. Again, the President has asked that we take a look at that and see how we can enhance that and do more. This provides yet another opportunity to widen the scope and provide more.”

Buhari Congratulates Vice President Osinbajo At 63


President Muhammadu Buhari congratulates most heartily the Vice-President, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo, SAN, as he celebrates his 63rd birthday anniversary.

In a telephone call Sunday afternoon to his deputy, the President commended Prof. Osinbajo’s loyalty and dedication to the administration.

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President Buhari noted that the intellectual capacity of the Vice-President has impacted positively on the overall accomplishments of the Federal Government, most notably, in the economic and social intervention programmes.

The President joined family members, friends and associates of Prof. Osinbajo in wishing him joyous birthday celebrations.

He also prayed that the Almighty God will endow the Vice-President with greater wisdom and long life to continue to serve the nation and humanity.

Nigeria’s Policy Elites Should Speak Up On National Unity – Osinbajo



Vice President Yemi Osinbajo (SAN) says there is a need for Nigeria’s policy elites to raise their voices loud enough in matters of national concern and public discourse, especially regarding issues of national unity.

According to Prof. Osinbajo, while politicians will be in office for a time, the policy and intellectual elites would always be around and should not leave public discourse to politicians.

The Vice President stated this on Tuesday when the Executive Council of the Alumni Association of the National Institute for Policy and Strategic Studies paid him a courtesy visit at the Presidential Villa.

According to Prof. Osinbajo, “I think that this question of national unity is one that we must look at very carefully and must proffer ideas and solutions to issues.”

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The Vice President, who is also the Chairman of the NIPSS Governing Council, was emphatic on the need for the contributions of the nation’s policy elites to raging debates on issues of national development.

He said, “even if we are not in government, we as intellectual elites, are supposed to ensure that, in terms of direction, we are heard. It is up to us to advise and to be as vocal as possible, and we have so many channels to give advice.”

Speaking further on how members of the NIPSS alumni association can lead discussions on national unity, the Vice President stated that “if you look at the quality of debates or sometimes the acrimony with which debates on national unity are proffered, you will find that unless something is done, a time will come when it will be impossible to have any kind of decent debate and those who are extremists, will take over the public space because those who have a stake in ensuring that the country is united are not saying anything.

“So, I think it is very important that we (as policy elites) develop a position. Because there is no question at all that if we keep quiet and nothing is said, the space will be taken over by those who have not had the chance of seriously considering the issues.”

Applauding the role played by the institute and its alumni in policy formation and contributions to reforms across sectors of the economy, Prof. Osinbajo said the absence of enlightened contributions to important public debates about what government has done and should do was worrisome.

“If you look at some of the work that has been done in NIPSS, you will see that a lot of thinking through have been done and you will know that issues are not just always white and black.

“You know all the contours, all the problems, the issues and all that, so you are able to approach issues from a much more nuanced and seasoned point of view.

“So, I think the institute especially the alumni association has a very crucial role to play in moderating public discourse and also in proffering ideas to solving problems,” he added.

The Vice President also spoke about efforts made by the Buhari administration to address poverty, insecurity and other issues confronting Nigerians.

He said a lot of the initiatives undertaken by the present administration especially under the Social Investment Programmes comprising the school feeding, the cash transfers, and others, are all geared towards addressing the issue of poverty in the country.

Earlier in his remarks, President of the NIPSS alumni association, and former Inspector General of Police, Mohammed Dikko Abubakar commended the Vice President’s interest in the progress of the institute and appealed for more support to enable the institute to proffer more solutions to the nation’s challenges.

Helicopter Crash Greatly Strengthened My Faith, Says Osinbajo

Vice President, Professor Yemi Osinbajo, has said that the helicopter crash which he was involved in last year has greatly strengthened his faith.

Professor Osinbajo stated this during the thanksgiving service at the villa chapel in Abuja, celebrating his survival and 11 others from tragedy a year ago.

The Agusta Westland W 139 helicopter conveying 12 of them crashed in the Kabba area of Kogi State during the 2019 presidential election campaign.

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Professor Osinbajo was accompanied by his wife, Dolapo, family members and his aides, including some of those who were with him when the accident occurred.

He explained that the incident was so miraculous and despite the crash, none of the occupants had a scratch.

“What happened on that occasion was so amazing, so miraculous; 12 of us in the helicopter, the helicopter crashed and not one scratch on one of us, that’s just incredible.

“So we can only continue to thank God and to praise the Lord Jesus Christ for the awesome deliverance of so many of us.”

He asked “can you imagine a situation where you survive a helicopter crash? Adding that he thinks it “just demonstrates that God is merciful, God is awesome, he is able to do all things and he is able to do everything.

“I think it just greatly strengthened my faith and the faith of all of us who were there,” he stated.

The chopper managed by Caverton helicopter had managed to land at the township stadium before its propeller suddenly pulled off to the surprise of supporters of the All Progressives Congress (APC) who had gathered to welcome the Vice President.

According to the Caverton Helicopters, the crash was caused by unusual weather conditions.

Also, the Accident Investigation Bureau (AIB) in its preliminary report after carrying out an investigation into the crash, said the crew lost visual contact with the ground at about 50 feet owing to a brownout – (dust generated when landing on a sandy area) – that enveloped the helicopter.

It added that the helicopter experienced a hard landing and consequently rolled over.

Finance Act 2019: 20 Basic Food Items And Sanitary Pads Make VAT Exemption List



In a bid to ensure that the cost of living does not rise for Nigerians because of the changes in the Value-Added Tax, several basic food items, locally manufactured sanitary towels, pads and tuition relating to nursery, primary, secondary and tertiary education have been added to the exemption list of goods and services on the VAT under the Finance Bill 2019, signed by President Muhammadu Buhari last week, on the 13th January 2020.

This is according to a statement by Laolu Akande the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity Office of the Vice President.

In his statement on Sunday, Professor Osinbajo said amongst other benefits, the law will consolidate efforts already made in creating the enabling environment for improved private sector participation and contribution to the economy as well as boost states’ revenues.

Professor Osinbajo also noted that according to the President, “the Finance Bill will support the funding and implementation of the 2020 Budget. We shall sustain this tradition by ensuring that subsequent budgets are also accompanied by a Finance Bill.”

Below is a breakdown of the Finance Bill as detailed in Mr Laolu’s communique.

The Finance Bill, 2019 was submitted to the National Assembly by President Muhammadu Buhari alongside the 2020 Appropriation Bill, and signed into law by the President on January 13, 2020.

The Bill, now an Act, has the following objectives:

Promoting fiscal equity by mitigating instances of regressive taxation;
Reforming domestic tax laws to align with global best practices;
Introducing tax incentives for investments in infrastructure and capital markets;
Supporting Micro, Small and Medium-sized businesses in line with the administration’s Ease of Doing Business Reforms;
Raising Revenues for Federal, State and Local Governments.


The new Act is the first legislation created to accompany an Appropriation Act since the return of democracy in 1999.

The new Act raises VAT from 5% to 7.5%.

To allay fears that low-income persons and companies will be marginalized by the new law, reduce the burden of taxation on vulnerable segments, and promote equitable taxation, the Finance Act 2019 has extended the list of goods and services exempted from VAT. The additional exemptions include the following:

Basic food items – Additives (honey), bread, cereals, cooking oils, culinary herbs, fish, flour and starch, fruits (fresh or dried), live or raw meat and poultry, milk, nuts, pulses, roots, salt, vegetables, water (natural water and table water)

Locally manufactured sanitary towels, pads or tampons.

Services rendered by microfinance banks

Tuition relating to nursery, primary, secondary and tertiary education.
Nigeria’s increased new VAT rate of 7.5% is still the lowest in Africa, and one of the lowest anywhere in the world. (South Africa VAT: 15%; Ghana: 12.5%; Kenya: 16%; Egypt: 14%; Rwanda: 18%; Senegal: 18%)

Under Nigeria’s revenue sharing formula, 85% of collected VAT goes to States and Local Governments. This means that the bulk of additional VAT revenues accruing from the increase will go towards enabling States and Local Governments meet their obligations to citizens, including the new minimum wage as already noted by State Governors. Before now, the Buhari administration had firmly resisted previous suggestions to raise VAT.
The new Finance Act exempts Businesses with turnover below 25 million from VAT payments.

Companies Income Tax (CIT)

Under the new law small companies – companies with less than N25 million in annual turnover are charged Zero CIT.

CIT for Companies with revenues between N25 and N100m (described in the Act as “medium-sized” companies) has been reduced from 30% to 20%

Large companies – with annual turnover greater than N100m – will continue to pay the standard 30% CIT

The new Act includes a provision that grants to all companies “engaged in agricultural production” in Nigeria “an initial tax-free period of five years”, renewable for an additional three years.

The new Act also provides incentives to promote tax compliance through bonus reductions in CIT for early remittance:
*2% bonus for medium-size companies
*1% bonus for other companies.

Personal Income Tax Act

The new Act now includes “electronic mail” as an acceptable form of correspondence for persons disputing assessments by the Tax Authorities.

Contributions to Pension and Retirement Funds, Societies and Schemes are now unconditionally tax-deductible.

Stamp Duty Act

With the new Act, the N50 Stamp duty charge is now applicable only to transactions amounting to N10, 000 and above, a significant increase on the former threshold of N1,000.

The new Act also expands the list of items exempted from stamp duty.

Customs and Excise Tariff

To reduce unfair advantages previously conferred on imported goods at the expense of locally manufactured ones, certain imported goods are now subject to excise duties similar to locally manufactured goods.