Why Countries Like Nigeria Will Always Have Brain Drain Problem – Osinbajo

A file photo of the Vice President, Professor Yemi Osinbajo.

 

Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo has expressed concern over the migration of Nigerian workers from Nigeria to countries like Canada, the United Kingdom and the United States.

Osinbajo said this in Ottawa, Canada on Monday evening during an interactive session with some leaders of Nigerian groups across different provinces in the North American country.

The Vice President acknowledged that “there’s concern around brain drain but the reality is that, there will always be that issue and huge countries like ours will always have it.”

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However, he explained that there are other countries with similar experiences, “which is why you have a huge Indian diaspora, huge Chinese diaspora.”

“What is important is that we train our people well so that wherever they go, they are able to get good paying jobs, so that they don’t get jobs well below their dignity wherever they find themselves,” Osinbajo said.

“That synergy is bound to happen; a lot of collaboration going on in the tech space, in medicine and science, that is always going to happen.

“We already have a reservoir of talent and experience in the diaspora everywhere and the more training we are able to do, the more collaboration we are able to have and the better for us all.”

See below the full statement issued on 22nd November, 2022

OSINBAJO COMMENDS NIGERIANS ABROAD, SAYS MAJORITY HONEST, HARDWORKING & THRIVING

**Nigeria’s High Commissioner in Canada gets accolades from Nigerians, Canadians alike

**10-year passport option now in UK, USA, coming to Canada

Although a few do damage to the reputation of the country, the vast majority of Nigerians abroad are honest, hardworking and straightforward people who are making positive impact all over, according to Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, SAN.

Prof. Osinbajo made this assertion in Ottawa on Monday evening during an interactive session with some leaders of Nigerian groups across different provinces in Canada.

He said, “the vast majority of Nigerians all over the place are honest, straightforward people trying to survive in those places and be responsible citizens wherever they find themselves. That is the story of the vast majority.”

However, the VP noted that “what you tend to find is that a few people do the damage,” and “there is a negative characterization that comes out of that.”

As a preventive measure on their part, Nigerians in the diaspora should “engage with our communities wherever they are to ensure that people see the damage that is being done to society.

“We can engage with our people and have a lot more conversations around trying to prevent people from committing offences and crimes, but more importantly, being able to self-regulate in our communities, talking about it frankly and openly.

“We must engage countries also so that Nigerians are not profiled. This is something that we have been doing, working with embassies in different countries to be sure that Nigerians are given a fair chance and that there is no negative profiling of Nigerians.

“Look at what is going on here (in Canada), there are so many Nigerians, professionals, and politicians who are in very serious positions of responsibility.”

In his response to the question of difficulty in processing court cases through the court system of Nigeria, Prof. Osinbajo noted that “there’s a lot of innovation in the legal sector in Nigeria.

“A lot of start-ups in the legal sector in Nigeria are using innovation. There are those who are case aggregators, those using some measure of Artificial Intelligence in being able to sort through materials and present opinions.

“There’s a lot more openness and we have a Chief Justice of the Federation who has pledged to be open to technology and quicker processing of cases.”

Regarding collaboration by Canadian universities providing training programmes for Nigerians, the Vice President noted that there is already a relationship “with some universities here like Carleton University, Ottawa, Queen’s University in Kingston already doing some work.”

In his remarks, the Nigerian High Commissioner, Ambassador Adeyinka Asekun noted that Nigerians living in Canada will soon be able to apply for 10-year passport leaflets, being the 3rd country to roll out the process after the United Kingdom and the United States of America.

In separate remarks during the interaction and other meetings of the VP so far in Ottawa, leaders of Nigerian communities and officials of the Canadian government have been pouring commendation on the Nigerian High Commissioner, some referring to him as a “father figure”, who is passionate about education and collaboration between Universities in Canada and Nigeria.

Others also commended the improvement in the passport renewal process and how Ambassador Asekun has managed to stay in touch with Nigerians across the large cross section of provinces in Canada.

Canadian government officials including the Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Foreign Affairs, the Honourable Rob Oliphant also praised the High Commissioner noting that he has been an effective representative of Nigeria who maintains very close links with members of the Canadian government.

Dignitaries present at the interactive meeting included the Canadian Minister of Housing, Diversity and Inclusion, Honourable Ahmed Hussein; Special Advisers – Economic Matters, Ambassador (Dr.) Adeyemi Dipeolu; Social Investment Programmes, Mrs. Mariam Uwais and Ease of Doing Business, Dr. Jumoke Oduwole.

Others included the Minister in the Nigeria High Commission in Canada, Ambassador Obioma Nzwewuji; Chairman/CEO Nigeria-Canada Trade Investment Group, Chief Taiwo Odutola and the leaders of Nigeria-Canada Associations from all the provinces across Canada, among others.

Earlier Monday afternoon, the VP received two Nigerian-Canadians occupying top government positions; Kaycee Madu, the Deputy Premier of Alberta Province and Ako Ufodike, a Deputy Minister, also in Alberta.

Laolu Akande
Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media & Publicity
Office of the Vice President
22nd November, 2022

Osinbajo Foresees More Investments From Diaspora, Cites Progress In Ease Of Doing Business Reform

In this file photo, Vice President Yemi Osinbajo speaks at the combined convocation ceremony of the Federal University, Wukari, in Taraba State on February 12, 2022. Credit: State House.

 

 

Vice President Yemi Osinbajo has said that the Buhari administration will continue to push its business reform agenda for which the Presidential Enabling Business Environment Council (PEBEC) was established, so as to create an enabling environment for more investments in the country, including from Nigerians abroad. 

Prof. Osinbajo spoke at the Presidential Villa on Wednesday while receiving some of the participants at the ongoing Nigeria Diaspora Investment Summit, NDIS, led by Chairman/ CEO, Nigerians in Diaspora Commission, NiDCOM, Dr. Abike Dabiri-Erewa and the Acting Governor of Ondo State, Mr. Lucky Orimisan Ayedatiwa.

He noted the contributions of Nigerians in the diaspora to the economy, especially with the remittances sent into the country and said, “when you look at the role the diaspora has played in our economy, the remittances are wonderful and that is huge, relatively speaking.”

The VP then stated that while it is clear there is rising interest to invest at home by Nigerians abroad, what would bring more investments from those in the diaspora, “is to create the environment that ensures it is easy for them to invest.


READ ALSO: Osinbajo Offers Support For Proposed Ondo Deep Seaport Project


“It is now obvious that there are incredible opportunities that can be taken advantage of by our folks in the diaspora. They can see and recognize those advantages.”

The VP stressed the seriousness with which the administration is taking the Ease of Doing Business Initiative. He observed the challenges involved in working through a “bureaucracy that is accustomed to being more of an obstacle than a facilitator.”

But he added “we are breaking that – bureaucracy is everywhere and tends to be that way and after a while, regulators (of businesses) don’t recognize anymore that the reason they are there is to facilitate business. They are more policemen than facilitators.”

He also acknowledged that some regulators “are beginning to understand that the economy depends on how well they do their work and how easy it is for people to come through their gates and leave their gates with some success.

“There is a great deal more attention being paid to achieving something and we have had discussions with several of the regulators including the Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN and National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control, NAFDAC. We have seen substantial changes in their approach and attitude.

“For example, if you recall, if you were doing any sort of banking business, you need to take a banking license of N25billion. CBN in response to some of the work being done agreed that for many financial intermediary services, there was a need to create other licenses that were not that expensive.

“We have about 6 categories of licenses where, in some cases, you don’t pay up to a N100million. This is why we were able to get a lot of these FinTechs between 2015 and now, taking these cheaper licenses because a lot of them do financial intermediation on electronic platforms, doing payment processes. There are quite a few of them, but 5 of them are now considered unicorns, companies worth over $1billion.”

Reacting to the possibility of Venture Capitalists in the diaspora willing to invest in start-ups in Nigeria, Prof Osinbajo welcomed the idea.

His words: “the interesting thing is that there are a lot of Venture Capital firms involved, investors from different parts of the world investing in them (FinTechs and other businesses).

“I think that there is a lot to be said about how we make the environment easier for investors to come and not just bringing them in and leaving them to sort themselves out, but the handholding efforts (by NIDCOM) are so crucial so that those who want to invest don’t have too many obstacles, but we know that we are in with them for the long haul.”

A member of the delegation, Dr Chris Brooks, a Jamaican-Nigerian living in America expressed interest in investing in Nigeria. According to him, “there is growing excitement and energy in the Nigerian diaspora, especially in the United States. We have come to the conclusion that the best hope we have for black people globally is Nigeria. So, we intend to make investments in Nigeria and partner deeply with Nigeria.

“I work with a wide variety of Venture Capital Firms led by black people, to advance the cause of black people globally. I intend to bring other Venture Capital leaders who control an enormous amount of assets to have conversations with Nigeria about emerging opportunities for investments.”

Responding the VP said, “I am excited that Dr. Brooks has a consortium of possible Venture Capital Firms and fund managers prepared to put some of their resources in Nigeria. I hope that we are able to actually get them to invest and we will do whatever we can to support that effort and support what is already going on. If you need a couple of doors open, we will do our best to ensure that we help.”

In her own remarks, Dr Dabiri-Erewa stated that through the intervention of the Nigeria Diaspora Investment Summit, “in the last 5 years, we have had investments, particularly in the area of Agriculture, Medicare, ICT and Education. For those in the diaspora, there is passion and interest to invest in Nigeria and the ease of doing business has improved tremendously under the leadership of the Vice President.”

The VP commended NiDCOM and the passion of its Chairman noting that she has brought a lot of zeal to the work of the Commission.

Others at the meeting included a delegation from Ondo and Ekiti States, who are also attending the summit, and officials from NIDS and NIDCOM.

PHOTOS: Osinbajo Chairs Inaugural Meeting of National Poverty Reduction Committee

 

 

Vice President Yemi Osinbajo on Friday chaired the first meeting of the National Poverty Reduction and Growth Strategy Committee.

The meeting, held at the State House in Abuja, comes 17 days after President Muhammadu Buhari inaugurated the committee, tasking it with the responsibility of helping his administration fulfil its promise of lifting 100 million Nigerians out of poverty. Details of what the committee discussed have yet to be disclosed.

 

 

 

 

Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Mr Boss Mustapha; Chief of Staff to the President, Ibrahim Gambari; and the governors of Ekiti (South-West), Delta (South-South), Sokoto (North-West), Borno (North-East), Nasarawa (North-Central), and Ebonyi states (South-East) are all members of the committee.

 

 

 

Other members of the committee are Ministers of Finance, Budget and National Planning; State for Budget and National Planning; Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development; Agriculture and Rural Development; Industry, Trade and Investments; Labour and Employment, Education and Health.

 

 

 

In inaugurating the committee, on June 22, the President had listed its responsibilities to include; anchoring collaborative efforts; providing oversight for the implementation of the strategy; providing guidance to Technical Working Group and federal ministries, extra ministerial departments and agencies, subnational governments and other stakeholders on meeting the objectives of the programme; as well as monitoring progress and any other effort that would enhance the attainment of the objective of lifting 100 million people out of poverty in 10 years.

 

 

“If India can lift 271 million people out of poverty between 2006 and 2016, Nigeria can surely lift 100 million out of poverty in 10 years. Fortunately, we have already started but we need to unlock the challenges of slow implementation, inappropriate targeting, and absence of adequate resources,” the President said.

FG Now Receiving Reports From #EndSARS Panels

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

 

The National Economic Council headed by Vice President Yemi Osinbajo has begun to receive reports from State judicial panels on #EndSARS.

The panels were set up by State Governors to resolve issues of police brutality after the #EndSARS protests that consumed the nation last year.

The NEC, during its 117th meeting held virtually on Thursday, said it will now convene a special session to review the panels’ reports.

“It will be recalled that the judicial panels were recommended after adoption of a resolution by NEC to address nationwide complaints of police brutality after the President dissolved the Police SARS unit,” a statement signed by spokesperson to the Vice-President, Mr Laolu Akande, said.

“Almost all States in the Federation set up the panels including the Federal Capital Territory.

“The Vice President at today’s meeting announced that a special session of NEC will soon be convened to consider all the reports that are ready from the judicial panels set up late last year to address the concerns of the Nigerian people on police brutality allegations and other related issues.

“That meeting would also consider the implementation of the reports including remedies, redress and compensations.”

 

Read Mr Akande’s complete Thursday’s statement below:

STATE HOUSE PRESS RELEASE

NEC NOW RECEIVING REPORTS FROM STATE JUDICIAL PANELS ON ENDSARS

*To convene Council session soon on implementation

*VP Osinbajo inaugurates 26-member National Road Safety Advisory Council

As judicial panels set up by State Governors to resolve issues of police brutality and related concerns across the country round up their assignments, the National Economic Council (NEC) is set to convene a special session to review reports of the panels that have now started coming to the Council.

This is among resolutions and conclusions reached today at the Council’s 117th meeting held virtually and presided over by Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, SAN with State governors, federal ministers, the Central Bank Governor and other top government officials in attendance.

It will be recalled that the judicial panels were recommended after adoption of a resolution by NEC to address nationwide complaints of police brutality after the President dissolved the Police SARS unit. Almost all States in the Federation set up the panels including the Federal Capital Territory.

The Vice President at today’s meeting announced that a special session of NEC will soon be convened to consider all the reports that are ready from the judicial panels set up late last year to address the concerns of the Nigerian people on police brutality allegations and other related issues. That meeting would also consider the implementation of the reports including remedies, redress and compensations.

Also at the meeting, the VP inaugurated the National Road Safety Advisory Council as a demonstration of government’s continued commitment to addressing the challenges of road safety in the country. The Advisory Council is a critical aspect of the updated National Road Safety Strategy adopted by NEC and approved by the Federal Executive Council late last year.

The Road Safety Advisory Council is chaired by Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, with the Corps Marshal of the Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC), Mr Boboye Oyeyemi as Secretary. Other members of the 29-member Advisory Council include:
Six governors representing the six geo-political zones as follows:

1.Chief Willie Obiano, FCA, Governor of Anambra State, representing the South-East zone.

2.Sen. (Dr.) Ifeanyi Okowa, Governor of Delta State, representing the South-South zone.

3.Mr. Babajide Sanwo-Olu, Governor of Lagos State, representing the South-West zone.

4.Alh. Muhammad Inuwa Yahaya, Governor of Gombe State representing the North-East zone.

5.Mallam Nasir El-Rufai, Governor of Kaduna State representing North-West.

6.Mr. Abdulrahman AbdulRasaq, Governor of Kwara State, representing the North-Central zone.

7.Secretary to the Government of the Federation – Member

8.Honourable of Ministry of Transport – Member

9.Honourable Minister of Works – Member

10.Honourable Minister of Health – Member

11.Honourable Minister of Justice – Member

12.Honourable Minister of Education – Member

13.Honourable Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning – Member

14.Honourable Minister of Environment – Member

15.Honourable Minister of Labour and Employment – Member

16.Honourable Minister of Police Affairs – Member

17.Honourable Minister of Interior – Member

18.Honourable Minister of State, Finance, Budget and National Planning – Member

19. Honourable Minister of the Federal Capital Territory – Member

20.National Security Adviser – Member

21.President, Association of Local Government of Nigeria (ALGON) – Member

22.President, Nigeria Association of Chambers of Commerce, Industry, Mines and Agriculture (NACCIMA) – Member

23.President, Nigerian Society of Engineers – Member

24.Board Chairman, Federal Road Safety Commission (FRSC) – Member

Today’s Council meeting also received a report from the Ministry of Petroleum Resources and the NNPC on the issue of the terminated “Strategic Alliance Agreements” with solution options. Deliberations on this will continue at another meeting of the Council, it was resolved so as to give members the opportunity to properly review and consider the presentation from the NNPC.

The Council also received a presentation from the Minister of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management & Social Development, Hajiya Sadiya Umar Farouq, on the establishment of Sexual Assault Referral Centres (SARCs) to address the problem of sexual and gender-based violence.

She said the Centres which will operate as One-Stop-Shops will help to limit the physical and mental health consequences of rape and sexual assault by providing free, accessible, multi-agency, forensically secured service for survivors.

According to the Minister, “sexual assault can have a devastating impact on every aspect of survivor’s lives which can make them vulnerable to further episodes of sexual abuse or violence. There can be long-term physical and psychological impacts and this includes post-traumatic stress disorder, depression, anxiety, inability to sleep, etc. People who have experienced sexual assault have three main care needs: medical care; psychosocial care and assistance; and support from the criminal justice system.”

Some other highlights:

FINANCIAL UPDATES:

The Honorable Minister of State for Budget and National Planning gave the Council an update on the under listed accounts balances as follows:

1. EXCESS CRUDE ACCOUNT (ECA)

Balance as at 16 June 2021 – $60,850,975.92

2. STABILIZATION ACCOUNT

Balance as at 16th June, 2021 – N 24,802,716,416.22

3. DEVELOPMENT OF NATURAL RESOURCES ACCOUNT

Balance as at 16th June, 2021 – N28,215,689,963.31.

Laolu Akande
Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media & Publicity
Office of the Vice President
17th June 2021

 

Osinbajo Visits Ajimobi Family

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

 

The Vice-President, Professor Yemi Osinbajo has described late Senator Abiola Ajimobi as a major bridge builder who mediated every situation with impact, humor, and unrivaled intelligence.

Osinbajo made these comments during a condolence visit to the family of the late former governor at his residence in Oluyole Estate, Ibadan.

He noted that Ajimobi was considered as one of those who could mediate practically any dispute in any situation. Adding that his demise was a significant one to the All Progressives Congress and very unfortunate at a time when the party is trying to build the party.

Accompanied by his wife, Dolapo, and the Oyo state Deputy Governor, Rauf Olaniyan, the Vice President added that Ajimobi’s memory and all that he achieved while on earth and the ideas that he proffered, the spirit of brotherhood, and compromise would remain with all who knew him.

Ajimobi died from COVID-19 complications in June.

SERAP Asks Osinbajo To Improve Safety Of EFCC Officials

Alleged Corruption: SERAP Writes Buhari Over SGF's Case

The Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP) has urged the Acting President Professor Yemi Osinbajo to “direct the Inspector General of Police, Ibrahim Kpotun Idris to lead the investigation of Wednesday’s attack by gunmen on the headquarters of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) in Abuja.

SERAP is also asking the government to bring anyone suspected to be responsible for the act to justice without delay.

The appeal follows an attack on the EFCC premises and a death threat to its official Ishaku Sharu, who heads the Foreign Exchange Malpractices Fraud Section and oversees corruption investigation involving several politically exposed persons.

Read Also: Gunmen Attack EFCC Headquarters, Leave Death Threat

The incident is said to be coming after an earlier attack on EFCC investigator, Austin Okwor, who was said to have been shot and wounded by unknown assailants in Port Harcourt, Rivers State.

This was disclosed in a statement on Friday by SERAP Deputy Director, Timothy Adewale.

“We stand with the EFCC as it works to carry out its mandates to prevent and combat grand corruption. We condemn any attacks against the agency and its officials which are clearly aimed at harassing, intimidating and stopping them from prosecuting grand corruption cases. We urge the EFCC to remain steadfast to its mandates and not be intimidated by these attacks and threats.

“SERAP urges Professor Osinbajo to instruct the Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice Abubakar Malami (SAN) and the Inspector General of Police Ibrahim Kpotun Idris to immediately improve the system of protection for the officials of EFCC and other anti-corruption agencies. Promoting and ensuring the safety and security of those in the frontline of the fight against corruption is the surest way to demonstrate the government’s commitment to combat the problem and end impunity of perpetrators.

“The protection, safety and security of anti-corruption agencies and their officials is absolutely critical to fighting grand corruption and holding those in power to account. The absence of enhanced protection and security for the EFCC and other anti-corruption agencies could ruin the government’s anti-corruption efforts and weaken citizens’ trust and confidence in its ability to effectively and successfully prosecute grand corruption cases,” the statement read.

Photos: Osinbajo At Enugu Airport

Acting President, Professor Yemi Osinbajo on Monday, embarked on his trip to Anambra state where he is expected to attend the Law Teachers Conference.

Osinbajo, however, made a stop at the Enugu Airport where he was received warmly by the State Governor, Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi and some top Government officials.

Updates shortly…

FG Welcomes Swiss Offer To Repatriate $321m Abacha Loot

Yemi-OsinbajoThe Federal Government has welcomed an offer of the Swiss government to return $321m stolen funds from Nigeria under the Abacha government.

This was contained in a statement by the Senior Special Assistant Media and Publicity to the Vice President, Laolu Akande.

The statement added that the Federal Government “is now developing a framework that will aid the repatriation of such stolen assets starched abroad by those who have looted from the country’s resources in the past”.

Vice President, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo (SAN), made this disclosure today at the Presidential Villa, Abuja during a meeting with a Swiss delegation led by the country’s Federal Councillor and Head of its Foreign Affairs Department, Mr. Didier Burkhalter and the Swiss Ambassador to Nigeria, Mr. Eric Mayoruz.

“We guarantee that recovered assets would be put to uses for which they have been intended,” according to the Vice President who explained that the framework being developed would ensure exactly that.

Prof. Osinbajo said the framework once finalized will be made available publicly, and it would cover the whole spectrum from the source of the stolen asset to how it would be managed once recovered.

He said “the framework will guarantee that returned assets will be used in the interest of the people of this country.”

Commending the Swiss government on its assistance in repatriating the country’s stolen assets, the Vice President said the federal government appreciates the Swiss government for their very laudable efforts, noting that the “Swiss has always been at the forefront of returning stolen assets and ensuring that the people of Nigeria gets the benefit.”

Later the Attorney-General of the Federation and Justice Minister, Mr. Abubakar Malami (SAN), signed an agreement described as a “Letter of Intent” between the Swiss government and the Nigerian government on the restitution of illegally-acquired assets forfeited in Switzerland.

Mr. Burkhalter signed the letter for the Swiss government.

Under the agreement the Swiss government will award to Nigeria $321m “of funds illicitly acquired by the Abacha family, initially deposited in Luxembourg and confiscated by the Judiciary of the Republic and Canton of Geneva pursuant to a Forfeiture order dated 11th December 2014.”