‘Warehouses Along The Border Must Be Dismantled’ – The Week In Quotes

 

Here is what was said and who said what within the course of the passing week. 

  1. “We absolutely insist on the dismantling of all the warehouses along our common borders”

    A file photo of the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Geoffrey Onyeama.

    The Federal Government gives conditions that ECOWAS countries have to meet for Nigeria to reopen its borders.

    2. “No misunderstanding between Buhari and Osinbajo”

The Presidency debunks reports of a misunderstanding between the Office of the President and the Vice President.

3. “The Presidency wishes to confirm that there is, on-going, an unprecedented overhaul of the nation’s seat of government, arising from which a number of political appointments have either been revoked or not renewed in the second term.”

The Presidency confirms the sack of some political appointees in the office of the Vice President, Professor Yemi Osinbajo.

4. “There have been ‘Serial Assaults’ on the office of the Vice President”

Social Commentator, Yinka Odumakin, says there have been ‘serial assaults’ on the office of the Vice President.

5. “He should be arrested because there is no hate speech more than the one he was saying and was given wide publicity that governors who do not embrace cattle colony and RUGA will not know peace” 

Governor Samuel Ortom

Governor Samuel Ortom of Benue State explains why he called for the arrest of the President of Miyetti Allah Kautal Hore.

6. “My clients have fulfilled bail conditions, will be freed soon”

The Lawyer representing the detained convener of #RevolutionNow protest, Mr Omoyele Sowore, and his co-defendant, Olawale Bakare, says his clients have met the bail conditions imposed on them with regards to the charges of treasonable felony preferred against them by the Federal Government.

7.  “The office of the Governor has been celebrated as the paragon of excellence, a temple of perfection and a throne of purity. This demi-god mystique spreads over the entire machinery of the executive arm of the government, symbolising an authoritarian disposition on the governed”

Lagos State Governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu asks Lagosians to address him simply as ‘Mr Governor’, saying only God is the ‘Most Excellent’.

8. “We thought there should be drones all over the place properly deployed to ensure that kidnapping is tackled. We have to find the way to track phone conversations between kidnappers and the victims’ families.”

President of the Senate, Ahmad Lawan, asks security agents to come up with a plan on how to monitor conversations between kidnappers and families of victims.

9. “The team is playing well. We are not getting carried away and I’m not going to trap the players with any sort of pressure”

Leicester manager Brendan Rodgers says he will not put extra pressure on his players by publicly targeting a top four finish in the Premier League after a 2-0 win at Crystal Palace moved the Foxes up to third.

10. “I won’t do it”

President Donald Trump says he will not remove all the existing tariffs imposed on Chinese goods as part of a deal to resolve the longstanding trade war.

11. “What came so far and what was collected is a small amount of what was spilled”

Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro says that “the worst is yet to come” with an oil spill that has affected more than 200 beaches on the country’s coast.

12. “Too many children and young people, rich and poor alike, in all four corners of the world, are experiencing mental health conditions” 

With the alarmingly high rates of self-harm, suicide and anxiety among children and young people around the world, UNICEF and the World Health Organization are teaming up with some of the world’s leading minds to tackle this growing threat.

13. “The President’s trips are not sightseeing trips, they are justified by outcomes. In each of the trips, we try to let Nigerians know what the things the president has achieved; and so, we are making progress, the economy needs the trips because much of it actually comes on account of who the President is”

President Muhammadu Buhari’s foreign trips are not for ‘sightseeing’, but justified by outcomes. This is the position of his Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity, Garba Shehu.

Osinbajo Returns To Abuja After ECOWAS Summit

Osinbajo Proffers Solutions To Challenges Facing Legal Profession In Nigeria
A file photo of Professor Yemi Osinbajo

 

The Vice President, Yemi Osinbajo, has returned to Abuja, the nation’s capital after attending an extraordinary Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) Summit in Niamey, Niger Republic.

Spokesman to the Vice President, Laolu Akande confirmed his return in a tweet on Friday.

He said, “VP returns to Abuja & tonight he is attending the Abuja Special Holy Ghost Service as the RCCG continues its 30-day fasting programme called for this month.

“We continue to work very hard and pray fervently for God’s continued blessing on us, our leaders, and our country, Nigeria”.

The Vice President represented President Muhammadu Buhari at the summit which included other ECOWAS Heads of State and Government with the aim of reviewing the ongoing situation in Guinea Bissau.

President Buhari had earlier in September attended a one-day ECOWAS Heads of State and Government Extraordinary Summit on Counter-Terrorism, in Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso.

Given the growing threat of terrorism in the sub-region, the West African leaders had called for the Summit to review different initiatives taken so far, and redefine the priority intervention areas for the containment of the worrisome attacks in the area.

The decision to convene the Summit was reached at the 55th Ordinary Session of the ECOWAS Authority of Heads of State and Government in Abuja on June 29, 2019.

No Misunderstanding Between Buhari And Osinbajo – Presidency

 

The Presidency has debunked reports of a misunderstanding between the Office of the President and the Vice President.

The Senior Special Assistant to the President on National Assembly Matters Senator Babajide Omowurare made this clarification while briefing journalists at the National Assembly.

READ ALSO: Buhari Signs Bill Amending Deep Offshore Act

Responding to critics who have questioned President Buhari’s decision to sign the amended deep offshore Act in London, Senator Omowurare insisted that the constitution permits the President to work from anywhere.

He explains that the scenario is different from that of former President Umaru YarAdua and Vice President Goodluck Jonathan where the former was at the time unable to discharge his duties because of ill health.

He was however silent on why the President did not transmit a letter to the National Assembly, handing over responsibilities to the Vice President.

Join Us In Calling The World To Take Action Against Boko Haram, Osinbajo Tells Egypt

Osinbajo Proffers Solutions To Challenges Facing Legal Profession In Nigeria

 

A concerted action by countries around the world is crucial towards tackling terrorism in the Sahel region, as well as the challenges posed by Boko Haram and ISWAP in Africa, according to Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, SAN.

Prof. Osinbajo made this call when he received a delegation of members of Egypt’s Parliament (House of Representatives), led by its Honourable Speaker, Dr. Ali Abdel-Aal Sayed Hamad. The delegation also included the Egyptian Ambassador to Nigeria, Assem Hanafy Elseify.

Similarly, speaking on behalf of the government of Egypt, Hamad said Egypt shared the same view as Nigeria that concerted efforts was needed to combat terrorism in the Sahel region.

Prof. Osinbajo, who welcomed the delegation on behalf of President Muhammadu Buhari, noted that Egypt and Nigeria have enjoyed very good relations over the years.

“Since Nigeria’s independence in 1960, we’ve always had friendly relations and cooperation with the Republic of Egypt. We know that this very friendly and brotherly relations will continue.”

On the issue of security challenges on the continent, the Vice President urged for more concerted global action to prevent similar escalating situations in some parts of the Middle East as related to ISIS.

READ ALSO: Minimum Wage: IGR To Drive States’ Payment, Says NGF

He said, “We would want to urge that Egypt joins us in calling upon the world, the international community, to immediately see the need for a concerted action against Boko Haram, Islamic State’s West Africa Province (ISWAP), and terrorist groups operating in the Sahel, in particular.

“We think that it is time for that kind of concerted action in the Sahel. And with such concerted action, we believe that we can prevent a situation as seen in some parts of the Middle East where damage to lives and livelihoods was done by ISIS.

The Vice President added that the world should not look away and hope that the problem would disappear, unless world powers come together to tackle it.

“Just as was done in Iraq, where the world powers came together to drive out ISIS, that is the sort of cooperation that we should have now to ensure that we’re able to deal with terrorism, especially terrorism in the Sahel,” he said.

Prof. Osinbajo also stated that Nigeria would continue to join hands with Egypt in promoting religious tolerance and tackling extreme poverty and challenges to social inclusion.

The Vice President further said Nigeria is open to Egypt for more investments, especially in the agri-business, agro-allied value chain, and also in light manufacturing and other such areas; just as he equally noted that Nigerian companies, particularly in the financial sector and industrial investments, are willing to do business in Egypt if given the opportunity.

In the same vein, the Egyptian Parliament speaker delivered a personal message from President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi to President Buhari and the VP, inviting him for the Africa Investment forum and the inaugural Forum for Sustainable Peace and Development in Egypt in November and December respectively.

The Vice President said he would convey the message to President Buhari. He also said President Buhari would be briefed on the request to mediate in the issue between Egypt and Ethiopia over the building of the Renaissance Dam project on the Blue Nile River.

“I would certainly ensure that I convey the strong feelings of the Egyptian government on this point to our president, President Muhammadu Buhari, and I believe that, within the auspices of the AU, we would be able to reach a just and fair conclusion. I’m sure that he would work within the AU to find a solution that is fair to all parties,” the VP stated.

Also, Hamad pledged the full support of the Egyptian government for the candidacy of Nigeria’s Dr. Akinwunmi Adesina, who is running for a second term as president of the African Development Bank (AfDB).

The Vice President had earlier stated that he (Adesina) has done quite well in the first team and that he would do better in the second term.

Speaking further, Hamad noted that, “Egypt and Nigeria are two big nations in Africa in terms of population and capabilities. We also pledge to put our expertise to foster and strengthen economic relations, especially in the economic and energy sector.”

We Must Not Allow Social Media Become An Instrument Of War – Osinbajo

Vice President Yemi Osinbajo

 

Vice President, Yemi Osinbajo, has called on religious leaders who are very active on social media not to allow it to become an instrument of war.

He urged them to use the social platform to promote peace and kindness.

“I want to say in particular about social media that we absolutely need to be careful with our use of social media.

“If we do not want to promote the kind of conflict that can completely go out of hand, we must be sure that we are policing ourselves and regulating ourselves on social media.

“I don’t think that government regulation is necessarily the way to go, but I believe that we as persons of faith, as leaders and those of us who use social media actively, owe a responsibility to our society and to everyone else to ensure that we don’t allow it to become an instrument of conflict and war”

READ ALSO: NJC Recommends Appointment Of Four Supreme Court Judges, Other Officers

The Vice President stated this during a religious gathering in Abuja, the nation’s capital.

Read Full Statement Below:

“I don’t think that government regulation is necessarily the way to go, but I believe that we as persons of faith, as leaders and those of us who use social media actively, owe a responsibility to our society and to everyone else to ensure that we don’t allow it to become an instrument of conflict and war.”

REMARKS BY HIS EXCELLENCY, PROF. YEMI OSINBAJO, SAN, GCON, VICE PRESIDENT OF THE FEDERAL REPUBLIC OF NIGERIA, AT THE INTERFAITH RELIGIOUS DIALOGUE ON PROMOTING RELIGIOUS TOLERANCE AND ACCEPTANCE ORGANIZED BY THE UAE EMBASSY ON THE 24TH OF OCTOBER, 2019

Protocols

This has been a very enlightening morning and I would like to commend the discussants for the richness of the panel conversations and the invaluable insights that they have brought to our attention. I am struck by the common threads in all the discussions; empathy, love, justice and fairness.

A great deal of inter-religious dialogue tends to focus on mediating the differences between our various religions, creeds and our various positions and this is absolutely necessary.

However, I do feel sometimes that we do not speak enough about these common threads and things that bind us; that all human beings regardless of faith or ethnicity, desire much the same things, to be valued, loved, treated with dignity and fairness, to possess at least the basics of life – food, shelter and clothing sufficient for self and family.

As we have heard, the Golden Rule is “love thy neighbour as thyself” or “do unto others as you
would have them do to you.” This rule occurs in every major religion and even in some iterations of secular constitutions. This is a common thought.

It is significant that there is a truth which all adherents of different faiths and even those who say they do not believe in God can confidently claim belong specifically to their creed or to their own way of thinking, or collectively as people of faith, or as those who even have no faith.

Treating people the way we would like to be treated imposes a moral obligation on us to put ourselves in the other person’s shoes before we act. This is the very definition of empathy.

For those of us who are Christians, an understanding of the gospel of Jesus Christ, for example, reveals that Christianity is not in fact, a religion. It is the establishment of a relationship of love, forgiveness and reconciliation between God and man.

Central to that message is that we are required to love God and then love our neighbours as ourselves, but the gospel goes on to say that it is a liar who says he loves God but hates his neighbour. So, the whole essence of the love of God itself is demonstrated in the love of one’s neighbour.

Love is a sacrificial act, it requires self-sacrifice, which is why what Imam Abubakar Abdullahi did is deeply exemplary. When “a band of herdsmen” as they were described, came into his village to kill Christians, he put them in his home and in the mosque. When the “herdsmen” insisted on killing the Christians, he said they had to kill him first if they wanted to kill the Christians. He put his life on the line for what he believed.

Our religious leaders must accept that this is the true demonstration of leadership. We must go beyond rhetoric, beyond talking about tolerance, we must make the sacrifices required. This is the real challenge of leadership, leading rather than following.

Preaching hate and suspicion attracts more attention and more popularity. So, you don’t need great leadership for that. You need great leadership to tell people to love those who hate them and pray for those who curse them, to respond to hate with love, and to show compassion and understanding to people of other faiths. That is what we need great leadership for and what we need our religious leaders to do. The easiest thing to do in the world is to bring suspicion. There is already enough suspicion, the fact that you belong to different beliefs, already creates the basis for suspicion. If we make it easy for those fault lines to be perpetrated, then we can’t describe ourselves as true leaders.

Recently, I had the privilege of addressing young Muslims and Christians in an event quite similar to this event. I submitted to them that the great conflict of our time is not a clash of civilizations, between Islam and Christianity, but between extremism and human solidarity; between the forces of hate and intolerance and those of empathy and peace. We have heard every side talk about the essence of faith, the essence of faith is peace, compassion and love. But the conflicts that we have are between those who belong to several religions who preach conflict, hate and intolerance.

As practitioners of empathy, it is our responsibility to build bridges and to seek common ground as a basis for national progress.

In every diverse society, a measure of conflict and discord is inevitable. This is the natural social consequence of our differences brushing up against each other. Whether these tensions become teachable moments for learning more about ourselves or they snowball into implacable hostilities, depends on how we address these tensions.

As gatekeepers of the public mind, the media, and now especially social media, play a very crucial role in shaping our perception of these differences.

Do we report tragedies and incidents of conflict in ways that promote the sanctity of human life? Or are we simply driven by the need to drive lucrative sales and clicks by promoting shock value, sensations, gratuitous violence and the cynical coverage of carnage? Are we using our platforms to amplify measured voices of reason or are we using them to amplify the voices of divisive hate-mongers? What are we using our platforms for?

One key lesson in terms of media reportage of conflicts is that we must avoid the temptation to demonize whole groups by judging them by their most extreme fringes. We must resist the urge to portray communities in caricatures. I think it is important to stress that when an individual commits a crime, he or she does so as an individual and not as a representative of an ethnic or religious community.

Neither journalistic best practice nor legal convention subscribes to the idea of holding communities responsible for the actions of individuals. This cycles back to the Golden Rule. Are we portraying the subjects of our reportage as demons? Are we portraying people in the way we want to be portrayed?

The people in the media and opinion moulders have a responsibility to inspire us to think deeply about the complexity of our society. You have a responsibility to help us see the bigger picture, to rise above our prejudices and to apprehend the nuances that characterize inter-group relations in a plural society such as ours.

As the conversations that we have just witnessed have shown, we have voices of reason and empathy in our religious communities. I urge the media and social media which involves every one of us as gatekeepers of the public mind, to lend their platforms to advocates of peace and mutual understanding and therefore amplify our potential for harmonious co-existence.

At the same time, we must ensure that we intentionally marginalize the agents of intolerance and hatred and deny them the ability to influence impressionable hearts and minds.

As religious leaders, media personalities and people of faith in general, we share a common calling to apprehend the truth. One truth that our diverse moral traditions agree on is the Golden Rule. It is, in many respects, the primary ethic and as we commit to practically living it out, we will bring in a kinder, safer and more peaceful world into being.

I want to say in particular about social media that we absolutely need to be careful with our use of social media. If we do not want to promote the kind of conflict that can completely go out of hand, we must be sure that we are policing ourselves and regulating ourselves on social media. I don’t think that government regulation is necessarily the way to go, but I believe that we as persons of faith, as leaders and those of us who use social media actively, owe a responsibility to our society and to everyone else to ensure that we don’t allow it to become an instrument of conflict and war.

Recently, I was sharing at a gathering about my aunty, an 81-year-old lady who thought I had resigned. Sometime before the elections, the news went round that I had resigned my appointment as Vice President, the news went round on social media and WhatsApp. My aunt insisted that I had resigned because the news was on WhatsApp. I had to explain to her that I didn’t resign even if the news was on WhatsApp.

It was Rev. Sister Agatha who mentioned (in one of the panel discussions today) that if we are not careful, most people are not discerning enough to tell fact from fiction. Depending on what it is that you are spreading, if you choose to spread the sort of news that can create real conflict and religious misinformation which is the worst sort, it can create the kind of conflict that can completely get out of hand and jeopardize all of our lives, livelihood and property.

It is important that we keep self-regulating and ensuring that we don’t lend our platforms to those who would promote conflict.

I would also like to join others in commending His Excellency, Ambassador Fahad Obaid Mohammed Altaffag, a true believer in peace and tolerance, for hosting this dialogue. A few weeks ago in Lagos, he hosted the UAE – Nigeria Cultural Day, where we celebrated the brotherhood of our countries through the Arts. In you and the good people of the United Arab Emirates, we are delighted to say that we have true partners for peace.

I thank you all for listening and participating in this dialogue.

God bless you!

FEC Approves Change Of Name For Ministry Of Communications

 

The Federal Executive Council has approved the change of name for Ministry of Communications.

At the meeting on Wednesday, FEC says the ministry is now to be called Ministry of Communications and Digital Economy.

Vice President Yemi Osinbajo chaired the meeting in the absence of President Muhammadu Buhari who is away on official duty in Russia.

READ ALSO: NASS Tasks MDAs To Provide Targets For 2020 Budget Implementation

FG’s Ease Of Doing Business Will Bring Change To Economy, Says Osinbajo

Vice President Yemi Osinbajo

 

The Buhari administration will continue its determined pursuit of reforming Nigeria’s business environment until the full attainment of the objectives, which will bring dramatic changes in the country’s economy, according to Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, (SAN).

Prof. Osinbajo made the assertion while receiving at the Presidential Villa earlier today, the 2019 Compliance Report of the Presidential Executive Order 001 which was on the promotion of transparency and efficiency in the business environment.

The report was presented by the Minister of State on Industry, Trade and Investment Mariam Katagum and the Special Adviser to the President on Ease of Doing Business, Dr. Jumoke Oduwole during the meeting of the Presidential Enabling Business Environment Council, PEBEC attended by a representative of the Speaker of the Federal House of Representatives, Honourable Dolapo Badru, who is the House Committee Chairman on Industry, nine federal ministers, the Ag. Head of Service, Mrs. Folasade Yemi-Esan, and several heads of government agencies.

Besides, the Minister of State for Industry, Trade and Investment, other Ministers at the meeting included the Attorney-General of the Federation, Abubakar Malami, SAN; Works and Housing Minister, Babatunde Fashola, SAN; Interior Minister, Rauf Aregbesola; Information Minister, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, and the Federal Capital Territory Minister, Mohammed Bello. Others are Police Affairs Minister, Mohammed Dangadi; Transport Minister of State, Gbemisola Saraki; and the Minister of State for Power, Godwin Agba.

According to the Vice President, “we will keep updating ourselves on the progress of the ease of doing business reforms,” while noting some of the progress already recorded in the last three years since the commencement of the ease of doing business reforms.

For instance, in 2017, in the World Bank Doing Business Ranking, Nigeria moved up 24 places and was also listed among the top ten reforming economies in the world. This year the World Bank also named Nigeria one of the top-20 improvers in doing business out of 190 countries.

Among the notable results of the reforms, besides the better ranking by the World Bank Doing Business Rankings and commendations include that the Federal Inland Revenue Service, FIRS, launched a centralized e-payment channels contributing to a 20% reduction in time businesses spent on documentation and payment of taxes, the launching by the Immigration authorities of a fully digitized e-visa process guaranteeing visa approvals in 48 hours, how the National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control, NAFDAC, re-engineered registration processes and reduced processing time from 12 to less than 3 months, and how the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria, FAAN, improved user experience at airports by eliminating passenger service charge stickers and manual check-in bag searches.

Some of the other results recorded include how the Corporate Affairs Commission, CAC, simplified company registration processes, resulting in 50% reduction in processing time and the passage by the National Assembly of the Credit Reporting Act 2017, among others.

Commending the collaboration with the National Assembly on driving the reforms, and urging for the eventual attainment of all the other outstanding reform objectives, the Vice President noted that, “if we can clean up our business environment, the difference would be dramatic.”

Togetherness Is A Nigerian Story Of Hope, Osinbajo Says In Nasarawa

Vice President Yemi Osinbajo

 

The Vice President, Yemi Osinbajo, has told Nasarawa residents that togetherness is a Nigerian story of hope.

He said the coming together of communities in Hadari Emirate district in Kokona LGA of Nasarawa State to form a farming settlement for the production of livestock and crop products, under the auspices of the Nigerian Farmers Group and Cooperative Society (NFGCS), is a true Nigerian story of honesty, hard work and cooperation regardless of ethnic differences and social background.

The Vice President was accompanied by the State Governor, Engr. Abdullahi Sule, stated this on Thursday during a visit to the NFGCS Farms Centre located in Gaa’te village, Kokona LGA, Nasarawa State.

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According to Prof. Osinbajo, “just going around today, I have seen a lot of hope that indeed this country can work and work very well again.

“If the people of this community can do all of what we are seeing here today, growing rice, other grains and also selling the products, I am very sure they will soon start exporting it; I think this is how it should really be.”

The NFGCS farm, which was founded by an ex-Niger Delta militant, Mr. Reston Tedheke, started with three hectares and N1.5m in 2017, now occupies 3,000 hectares and is worth about a billion naira, with over 300 people employed. Tedheke was inspired by the Buhari administration’s focus on Agricultural diversification of the Nigerian economy. The components of the farm include a ranch, crop farm, poultry and a rice mill, amongst others.

“You can see that Mr. Retson Tedheke left Delta State with his family to live here, and they can feel safe here and enjoy everything that the indigenes of this State enjoy. In fact, he tells me he is now officially an indigene of the State; this is the story of a great nation,” the Vice President noted.

Continuing, Prof. Osinbajo stated that what the youth in Kokona LGA are doing is the real revolution that Nigeria requires.

He said: “I think what we are seeing here today is the revolution that we have been talking about, the real revolution; of ideas, the revolution of technology, the revolution of young Nigerians who are determined to ensure that in this country, they make money (legitimately); and they can produce what they eat. This is the story of great nations.

“Every nation that has been great, nations that have been economically successful, have done so on the back of their young men and women who are determined to make an honest living, who are determined to become entrepreneurs.”

Speaking about the resilience of the Nigeria Farmers Group and Cooperative Society and their promoters, the Vice President urged other youth groups to emulate their doggedness to succeed even under what sometimes could be difficult conditions.

According to him, “I was also quite fascinated by the way that they have been able to get credit. Just like he (Tedheke) pointed out, the banks had not been too willing to lend to farming start-ups.

“Small agricultural enterprises don’t necessarily attract the best credits from our banks. But I have been told that “Kiakia”, a FinTech company, also a mobile payment company that also gives credit to farming communities, has supported this project.”

On his part, Governor Sule commended the efforts of Tedheke for the courage to invest in a community different from his own.

He said the investment in the agricultural project was not by accident, noting that the State government under his watch is putting in place policies that would attract investments to the state, especially in areas where it has comparative advantage.

He also commended the traditional council of Kokona Local Government Area for their support and efforts in ensuring peaceful co-existence amongst the different ethnic groups in the area.

Earlier in his remark, the coordinator of the NFGCS Farms Centre, Mr. Tedheke, thanked the Vice President for personally visiting the farm, and the Nasarawa State Governor, for the support in actualizing the dream of building the farm.

He, however, appealed for more support from the State and Federal Government in the areas of infrastructure, especially road and power.

The NFGCS is an organization established in 2017 under a partnership with farming communities in Hadari Emirate District in the Kokona LGA, especially in Gaa’te, Marke, Mante, and Sabon Gida villages.

FG Committed To Expanding Opportunities For Investments In Energy, Tech – Osinbajo

Vice President Yemi Osinbajo 

 

The administration of President Muhammadu Buhari, in consolidating efforts made in its first term, is committed to expanding opportunities for investments in renewable energy, technology and other sectors of the Nigerian economy, according to Vice President Yemi Osinbajo.

The Vice President stated this on Tuesday while responding to questions from a cross-section of Norwegian investors at a round-table event at the Nordic-African Business Summit holding in Oslo, Norway.

Making specific reference to the gains made in reforming the energy sector, the Vice President said, “some of the issues around the power sector have been around the whole question of trying to open up for more willing buyer, willing seller arrangement as opposed to selling to the grid.

“I think what has happened is that some of the contractors would prefer to sell wholesale power to the national grid; of course, that gives more certainty with regards to their revenues. But what we have tried to encourage now is more of the willing buyer, willing seller arrangement.”

Citing an example of the progress made with the Energizing Economy programme in Sabon Gari, Ariaria and other markets across the country, Prof. Osinbajo said, “what is sustainable, long-term, is actually the situation where a private power company can supply whole areas, going through the whole metering process”.

Continuing, the Vice President said, “We have found that it has been successful. It worked in Lagos and other places. Azuri power is supplying power in Wuna, a place just outside Abuja; they are in Lagos and other places. Everybody would rather have a guarantee for payment linked with government, but that isn’t sustainable.

“There are millions of households waiting to be served with power; we think that simply opening the market and ensuring that people are able to build their contacts and realise profits from their supplies is really what government would rather do.”

In creating the enabling environment for youths to leverage technology, Prof. Osinbajo said, “our focus has been on trying to encourage young people actualize their dreams within the Nigerian space.”

Citing the work done by the Creativity and Technology Group of the Industrial Policy and Competitiveness Advisory Council, the Vice President said the efforts of the group is expanding the horizon for local Fintech companies, run by young Nigerians, to grow and undertake bigger tasks.

According to him, “the first thing is to democratize that space, which is what we are doing so that there is adequate competition. There are progressive stuffs going on even without any of the reforms yet, but the reforms are major. Digitizing Nigeria Drive, that is really what this is all about. The whole idea is to open the space up for competition.

“I think one of the most important things to bear in mind is that we intend to open up the space; we don’t intend to control the space. We don’t think that it should be government run; it should be opened up for everyone. The question really is how to do so in a way that it is not abused.

“As a matter of fact, the whole point of all of these is lowering the barriers so that ISPs can function in a competitive atmosphere.”

Speaking further on how some of the programmes have impacted young Nigerian entrepreneurs, the Vice President said most of the services required for the implementation of components of the Social Investment Programmes were provided by Nigerian technology companies.

He said: “If you look at some of the opportunities that have opened up; the N-Power programme where we engaged 500,000 graduates, all of the electronic platforms and infrastructure for doing that, not just engaging the young people who are on the programme, but paying them, regulating in various ways. These are local technology companies that set up the back ends, and all of the electronic platforms for that.

“Even for purposes of giving out micro-credit loans to 2 million petty traders across the country; from enumeration to building the platforms for payments, are young Nigerian companies that have done these – Softcom to GDM etc. These are all major government projects and we ensured that we gave out technology contracts to local companies.

“So, I think the space is opening up, I think that there are more opportunities. There is an intentional approach in ensuring that young people have more access to credit and an environment where they can function.”

In the oil and gas sector, Prof. Osinbajo said that Nigeria now had better regulations; and there is greater clarity in all that is being done within the sector.

According to him, “the new regulations will hopefully be fair and just, and create an atmosphere of fairness and equity.

“The other thing I think we should bear in mind is that the deep offshore space is an area where because of new technology, we should see more activities and revenues for both government and investors.”

On the closure of Nigerian land borders, the Vice President said with the signing of the African Continental Free Trade Agreement, it was important for Nigeria to take important steps to address issues bothering on smuggling and dumping of products imported though neighbouring countries.

He urged Nordic investors to take advantage of the friendly business climate in Nigeria to invest in key sectors of the economy, noting that the recent rating of the economy by the World Bank reinforces his claim that the country is the investment destination in Africa.

The Vice President had earlier participated in the plenary session of the Nordic-African Business Summit.

States Must Have More Powers, Rights – Osinbajo

Vice President Yemi Osinbajo 

 

The Vice President, Yemi Osinbajo, has said that Nigeria can become a stronger and more prosperous nation if states have more powers.

Prof. Osinbajo stated this while speaking at the 59th Independence Anniversary Lecture at the Island Club, Lagos, on Friday.

The Vice President, who titled his lecture “the whole is only as great as the sum of its parts,” said Nigeria’s population and diverse ethnic groups have necessitated that states in the country be strengthened to enable them to contribute more to national productivity and development.

Prof. Osinbajo stated that this can be achieved with “stronger, more autonomous States that are able to generate and control more of their resources.”

According to the Vice President, the current administration of President Muhammadu Buhari is ensuring that states collaborate more with the Federal Government on different initiatives to improve visionary governance in the country.

“The most important transformative change we can make in Nigeria is to lift the majority of our people out of deprivation by speedily creating wealth and opportunity leading to the eradication of poverty,” he said.

He further said that “The nation cannot be wealthy when its component parts – the states – are poor. The standard of living of the federation depends on the standard of living of people who live in the states.

In other words, the federation can only be as rich as its richest state and as strong as its strongest state. Our national indices merely aggregate the realities of our weaknesses and strengths as present in all our constituent units. Consequently, we can only build a stronger and more prosperous nation by building stronger and more prosperous states.”

He said, “Building stronger states means ensuring the devolution of more power to the states, enabling them to control more of their resources and make more of their own administrative decisions such as the creation of Local Governments, the establishment of state and community police forces as well as state correctional facilities; creation of special courts and tribunals of equivalent jurisdiction to high courts.

“The point I am making is that states must have more powers and more rights.”

The Vice President stated that, “The challenges confronting us now are about strengthening internal coherence and cohesion. It is about moving from affirmations of unity to the achievement of synergy in which the sum of our strengths exceeds the totality of our constituent parts.”

He noted that, “Opportunities for smart and visionary governance abound. So, for example, while states may not be able to right now establish their police forces, they can collaborate with the federal government on initiatives such as community policing which also revolves around the idea of localized law enforcement. Our administration is currently pursuing this option. When we set our minds to solving problems, we will find that what is truly possible is not as distant from the ideal that we seek.”

The Vice President further noted that Nigerians, despite differences, must draw inspiration from its history of a common shared belief, in order to attain the quest for collective progress and continued unity.

He said, “In order to do so, we must draw inspiration from the deep wells of our history. The founding fathers of our republic – Nnamdi Azikiwe, Obafemi Awolowo and Ahmadu Bello. These three differed on many things but shared a clear belief in Nigeria’s boundless capacity as a united country. Regardless of their keen rivalry, they agreed on the crucial necessity of Nigeria staying united despite the many centrifugal pressures that buffeted the young nation. On this matter of unity, their differences were those of degree rather than category.

“Each of them occupied different niches on the spectrum of national integration but they all shared the view that the ideal situation was one in which a united and prosperous Nigeria took its rightful place in the world as the most populous black nation on Earth and as the foremost black power.

“From the foregoing, it is clear that the founding fathers were of one mind as far as Nigeria’s world-historic significance was concerned. They also recognized that her ability to fulfill her destiny was dependent on her continued unity.”

The Vice President added that “The point of this excursion into history is to show that strong sub nationals led by visionary leadership is what it takes to develop the Nation. What we require today is stronger, more autonomous States able to generate and control more of their resources and visionary leadership.”

Speaking during a Q&A session, Prof. Osinbajo added that the Buhari administration will continue its fight against corruption.

“Two governors have been convicted of corruption, and they are in jail today. It took almost 10 years because our legal system is extremely slow, but we achieved it,” he said.

“The other thing I think we have to take note of is the fact that corruption fights back, and we also as citizens have too much more up and doing because corruption fights back. They throw mud at everybody, give the impression that “everybody is corrupt.”

“If we don’t control corruption, it’s the worst possible cancer that any nation can have, and as we can see from anything else, it just destroys a country by installments.”

Prof. Osinbajo stated that he will continue to give his best in service to the country under the Buhari administration.

“I intend to do everything that is necessary, everything that I can to ensure that we achieve the promises that we made and to ensure that we achieve the kind of country that we want to achieve. And I will do that every day, every minute, for as long and God gives me life and opportunity,” he said.

Osinbajo Must Not Be Disgraced Out Of Office – Bakare

 

Lagos based preacher, and senior pastor of the Latter Rain Assembly, Tunde Bakare, has reacted to the recent allegations against the Vice President, Professor Yemi Osinbajo.

Pastor Bakare, in a sermon on Sunday at his church in the Ogba area of Lagos, said he found it difficult to believe the corruption claims against Professor Osinbajo.

“Every man will care about what bothers him most or bites him hardest,” said the clergyman.

He added, “My concern presently is that come rain come shine, the Vice President, Professor Yemi Osinbajo, must not be disgraced and humiliated out of office, except he has truly violated his oath of office which I find difficult to believe.”

READ ALSO: Nigeria At 59: ‘Our Day Of Freedom Is At The Door’ – Osinbajo

 

 

Recall that the Vice President recently denied claims made by a former chieftain of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Mr Timi Frank, that the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) provided N90 billion as campaign funds for him during the 2019 elections.

To further prove that the allegations were false, Professor Osinbajo vowed to waive his constitutional immunity and take legal action against his accuser while Mr Frank said he was not scared of going to court.

Speaking about the recent travails of the Vice President, Pastor Bakare said that Prof Osinbajo will have the last laugh over his present predicaments in the presidency.

He also cleared the air over the widely spread notion deduced from an old message he preached about his ambition of becoming Nigeria’s next president.

Pastor Bakare said the online video was an old message he preached which is now being used to drive an agenda about the current situation surrounding Professor Osinbajo.

The preacher explained that God recently showed him a vision about Nigeria of a rainbow indicating a reset across the land.

Bakare, 64, has always spoken about his desire to lead Nigeria someday.

He was President Muhammadu Buhari’s running mate in the 2011 presidential election on the platform of the then Congress for Progressive Change (CPC).

Buhari polled second, garnering 12, 214,853 votes behind eventual winner and then-incumbent President Goodluck Jonathan who polled 22,495,187.

Thereafter, the duo of Bakare and Buhari fell apart, with the clergyman recently dismissing President Buhari’s anti-corruption war as a selective endeavor and faulting his handling of the economy as shabby.

Nigeria At 59: ‘Our Day Of Freedom Is At The Door’ – Osinbajo

 

It is less than forty-eight hours to Nigeria’s 59th independence anniversary and an interdenominational service has been held to mark the event in Abuja.

Speaking at the service, Vice President, Professor Yemi Osinbajo says citizens should begin to expect a new Nigeria as God has taken away power and protection from the enemies of the nation.

Professor Osinbajo also gave an assurance that there is hope for the country as the dark days are coming to an end and Nigerians will surmount all the existing challenges.

READ ALSO: Bakare Speaks On Osinbajo, Clears Air On Presidential Ambition

Below is the Vice President’s full speech.

“OFFICE OF THE VICE PRESIDENT

PRESS RELEASE

NIGERIA’S DAY OF FREEDOM IS AT THE DOOR, SAYS VP OSINBAJO

*Says: the noise we hear are last gasps of our nation’s defeated foe

REMARKS BY HIS EXCELLENCY, PROF. YEMI OSINBAJO, SAN, GCON, VICE PRESIDENT OF THE FEDERAL REPUBLIC OF NIGERIA, AT THE 59TH INDEPENDENCE DAY INTERDENOMINATIONAL CHURCH SERVICE, AT THE NATIONAL CHRISTIAN CENTRE, ON THE 29TH OF SEPTEMBER, 2019

PROTOCOLS

God had promised, through the mouths of His trusted prophets, that He is giving us a New Nigeria! May I announce to you today that God is ready to take us into the Promised Land, the new Nigeria.

And we must remember that God, the Almighty God is the builder of nations, that God controls the destinies of nations and its people. Psalms 24:1 says, “The earth is the Lord’s, and all its fullness. The world and those who dwell therein.”

God promised the children of Israel that He would take them from bondage, suffering and slavery into the Promised Land, a land flowing with milk and honey.

By the hand of Joshua, God brought His promise to pass. They got to the Jordan and as their feet touched the water, the Jordan was separated and they walked on dry land all across the Jordan.

They got to Jericho, a well-fortified city and they did not fire a shot, they brought down the walls of Jericho by a shout. Thereafter, when they were about to take the Promised Land, after Moses had asked that some go and spy out the land, some of those who went to spy said that it would be impossible to take the city, impossible to enter the Promised Land. However, Caleb and Joshua had a different spirit, and they said that because God had promised and because He could do it, all the problems were just bread, mere bread to be eaten by the children of Israel.

God has promised us a new Nigeria, a peaceful Nigeria, a prosperous Nigeria, a Nigeria where justice and equity shall prevail, a united Nigeria, where the different tribes and tongues are not wedges of separation, but the joyful textures of our togetherness. God is ready to fulfill His promise.

We stand outside the new city, the Promised Land, the new Nigeria; like the spies sent by Moses to spy out the Promised Land, some are saying, “Ha! It is impossible, Nigeria cannot change, the ethnic and religious divisions are too deep, corruption cannot end, politicians are too selfish and mischievous.”

Yet, like Caleb and Joshua, we declare that these problems are merely bread for us, we will enter the Promised Land!

The new Nigeria is here, and each and every one of us, our families, our friends, all of us, will eat the pleasant fruits of this land.

God Almighty has taken away the protection of the enemies of this nation. He has taken away their powers, the noise we hear, the turbulence we experience, are the last gasps of a defeated foe. The day of freedom is at the door.

As with Abraham, we in the words of Hebrews 11:10 wait for the new Nigeria, which has foundations, whose builder and maker is God.

As we wait, we declare in the words of Psalms 46:8-11 -“Come, behold the works of the Lord, who has made desolations in the earth. He makes wars cease to the end of the earth; He breaks the bow and cuts the spear in two; He burns the chariot in the fire. Be still and know that I am God! I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth! The Lord of hosts is with us; the God of Jacob is our refuge.”

Amen!

Happy 59th Independence Day Anniversary!

God bless Nigeria!”