FG To Exploit Local Resources, Create Jobs In COVID-19 Recovery Plan: Osinbajo

 

Vice President Yemi Osinbajo on Saturday said the federal government plans to take advantage of local resources and create jobs, in order to reposition the economy as the country grapples with the ripple effects of the coronavirus pandemic.

Vice President Osinbajo made the comment during his appearance – via video-conferencing – at the Platform, an annual event organised by the Covenant Nation.

Nigeria has recorded 2,170 cases of the deadly coronavirus and 68 deaths, according to the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC).

To tackle the virus spread, the federal government has implemented lockdowns in three regions – Lagos, Ogun and the FCT – while state governments have instituted varying levels of restrictions that have affected economic activities.

The coronavirus pandemic has also contributed to the drastic fall of international oil prices, crippling Nigeria’s main source of revenue.

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

 

The country has turned to the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the homegrown Sovereign Wealth Fund to keep foreign reserves and expenditure capacity afloat.

“Mr President, as you’ve noticed has done a lot of things,” Osinbajo said, of the government’s response to the economic implications of the pandemic.

“The first thing, of course, was to constitute a meeting of the principal Ministers concerned with the economy and thereafter he set up the Economic Sustainability Committee which is meant to look at what to do, during and post-Covid, and what sort of economic plans may be required in order to weather the storm.

“And I think that some of what has transpired, some of what we are seeing, is that we need to do two crucial things, just speaking broadly. One is focusing on the use of our local resources. The second is in the creation of jobs, of decent jobs that will make a difference in the lives of people.”

The Platform was conceptualised by Pastor Poju Oyemade and is designed to generate conversations about nation-building, governance, democracy and personal development.

This year’s edition was devoted to the coronavirus pandemic and guests – which included six state governors – appeared via teleconferencing.

Osinbajo Sympathises With Kyari’s Family

A file photo of Vice President Yemi Osinbajo.

 

Vice President Yemi Osinbajo has extended his sympathies to the wife, children and family members of the late Abba Kyari.

Mr Kyari was the Chief of Staff to President Muhammadu Buhari before his demise was announced early Saturday by presidential spokesman, Femi Adesina.

He had been diagnosed with the deadly COVID-19 before he passed away.

“Dolapo and I express our sympathies to the President, Mrs Kulu Kyari, the children, and members of the family on the passing of Mallam Abba Kyari, Chief of Staff to the President,” the Vice President said on Twitter. “May the Lord comfort and be with you all in Jesus name, amen.”

 

In compliance with Muslim rites, Kyari was buried on Saturday, less than 24 hours after his death was announced.

National Health Insurance Will Ramp Up Funding For Healthcare – Osinbajo

 

 

Increasing funding towards improving the healthcare sector and ensuring the well-being of Nigerians remain a priority for the Buhari administration, even as it continues to ramp up efforts to effectively tackle non-communicable diseases and Tuberculosis and safeguard the lives of Nigerians.

Prof. Osinbajo stated this when he received at the Presidential Villa on Friday a delegation of the Joint United Nations Programming Mission on Non-Communicable Diseases (NCDs) and Tuberculosis, who are on a visit to Nigeria.

The UN delegation was led by the Acting Representative (in Nigeria) of the World Health Organisation (WHO), Dr. Rex Mpazanje.

Speaking during the meeting, on behalf of President Muhammadu Buhari, the Vice President noted that in its resolve to improve healthcare delivery and increase funding for the sector, the Federal Government has committed one per cent of the Consolidated Revenue Fund for basic health care provision fund, in line with the National Health Act.

READ ALSO: Coronavirus: 10 Critical Things WHO Wants Everyone To Know

“The one per cent is significant for us. One of the very important things for us is actually how to look at funding outside of government, and this really is one of the critical issues that we’ve been considering, how do we fund outside the budget? We think that the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS) will help us to pool some resources, and we’ve been working on that, and also encouraging the states to do same in terms of health insurance,” Prof. Osinbajo said.

Thanking the UN team for their mission to Nigeria, the Vice President said Nigeria would ensure that it implements national action plans to deal with the issues of NCDs, Tuberculosis and improved healthcare for Nigerians generally.

According to the VP, “President Buhari has made the point recently, that we should be able to tackle our health and education concerns; essentially, that the health of our citizens is one of the most important responsibilities of government, along with security.”

On the need for increased public awareness on NCDs and TB, he noted that the government would work with partners to ensure the message is amplified, especially among young people who make up a large percentage of the Nigerian population.

In his remarks, the Minister of Health, Dr. Osagie Ehanire, said the UN team’s joint mission to Nigeria would help promote integration and identify opportunities for joint programming for optimal efficiency and impact.

According to him, “This mission promises to yield considerable benefits for Nigeria, given the high political commitment that has been accorded it. It is expected that the mission will x-ray our country’s efforts in addressing NCDs and TB, identify impediments to progress and come up with recommendations and suggestions.”

In the same vein, Diana Weil, the Coordinator, Policy, Strategy, and Innovations Unit, Global TB Programme, WHO commended the Federal Government for its “bold targets and commitments” towards eradicating NCDs and TB, and integrating more responses to the different health challenges.

Weil said, “We are all committed to tackling NCDs, ending the TB epidemic, and ensuring that we can help all countries, particularly Nigeria, reach its goals.

“We believe that you are very much on the right track of strategic planning. You also have undertaken tremendous efforts in reviving, revitalising and strengthening primary health care under the Minister of Health and your leadership at all levels.”

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.”

READ ALSO: Abdullahi, Abaribe, Others Inaugurated Into Senate Committee On Security Challenges

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.

Nigeria’s Markets Avails Great Opportunities For US Investors – Osinbajo

 

Nigeria’s Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, SAN, and his American counterpart, Mike Pence, held discussions yesterday in the White House, with both leaders affirming the mutual benefit inherent in a deeper bilateral relationship between both countries.

At a meeting on Wednesday, both Vice Presidents in their discussion on economy, military assistance and other issues, affirmed the need for continuous observation of the rule of law, while also noting Nigeria’s pride of place on the African continent and America’s reputed global leadership.

According to a statement by his special aide, Laolu Akande, the Vice President said issues discussed at the nearly hour-long meeting & interaction between the two leaders include how to counter extremism, the threat of global terrorism, and the continuous observation of the rule of law, among others.

While both leaders agreed on the need to strengthen the economy and markets generally, Prof. Osinbajo added that, “The US is a natural ally of Nigeria, as Nigeria and US have many things in common.”

He noted that with Nigeria being the largest economy in Africa, its market offers great opportunities to US investors.

The Nigerian VP stated that his visit to the White House is to further deepen the relationship between the two nations and their people.

READ ALSO: Osinbajo Discusses Economic Ties With US Vice President Pence

In their discussions on economic matters, Mr. Pence said, “Nigeria is a great country, rich history, with a population of 200 million people, that’s a great nation. We want to see Nigeria prospering more.”

US VP Pence then told his Nigerian counterpart that, “I am grateful that you reached out, the door is open for more dialogue.”

He said Nigeria should continue to pursue market reforms in the economy and encourage an independent judiciary, adding that the rule of law will contribute to Nigeria’s future.

Both leaders also discussed Nigeria’s economic diversification efforts, during which Prof. Osinbajo spoke on how Nigeria is deepening the manufacturing industry and trying to reform the power sector to allow for more investors.

He appreciated the support of USAID through its Power Africa initiative that is helping Nigeria to further open the space in the power sector.

On the issue of security challenges and military assistance, the Nigerian VP thanked the Trump administration for its support on the purchase order for the Tucano aircrafts, stressing that such military equipment will help the Federal Government in the battle against terrorism and insurgency.

Discussing government’s efforts to secure the release of Leah Sharibu, Prof. Osinbajo expressed the commitment of the Buhari administration to continue to negotiate for her release and that of the remaining abducted Chibok girls.

“Over 100 of the Chibok girls that were abducted even before President Muhammadu Buhari came into government, have been released under the Buhari administration,” the VP explained adding that most of the Chibok girls, 90% of them, were also Christians.

The American VP appreciated the efforts of the Nigerian government and offered US’ support in ensuring the release of others still abducted. Mr. Pence said he “appreciates the perspective on Leah Sharibu,” adding that, “I am aware of the sensitive nature of her plight,” while also noting that most of the girls that were released in the Chibok abduction were Christians.

Recalling how President Muhammadu Buhari was himself attacked by Boko Haram terrorists in 2014, the Nigerian Vice President said it is the firm and often publicly stated view of President Buhari that anyone who kills an innocent person and then says “God is great” is either insane or simply does not understand what he is saying.

Vice President Osinbajo returned to Abuja this morning.

Osinbajo, Soyinka Warn Nigerians About Dangers Of Fake News

 

Vice President, Prof Yemi Osinbajo, and Nobel Laureate Wole Soyinka have raised concerns regarding fake news and its devastating effects at this time in our history. 

Prof Osinbajo said fake news is capable of discrediting public information and causing fatal damage and violence in the country.

Delivering a keynote address at the BBC conference on fake news in Abuja, Prof. Osinbajo warned that, if fake news is not checked, we might come to a point when nothing will be believable.

He said the issue of fake news becomes more troubling owing to the ability to manipulate news items through technology.

Aside from the damage done to the credibility and integrity of Public information,  Osinbajo said the capacity of fake news to cause alarm and fear and even fatal violence, has been demonstrated again and again.

READ ALSO: Buhari’s Government Is Corrupt, Says Saraki

“One of the great worries for us should be what harm is done to public information. I think that the time may come where if nothing is done, nothing will be believed or be believable because as technology improves its capacity to manipulate, after a while there would be perfect videos using artificial intelligence and all of the other tools of digital technology,” the Vice President said.

Speaking also at the event, Prof Wole Soyinka warned about the adverse effects of fake news, noting that it is capable of causing a 3rd world war.

The Nobel Laureate alongside other panelists at the event unanimously agreed that fake news needs to be criminalized as a way of curbing the menace.

He said, “People do not understand what is like to have things attributed to you which you know nothing about.

“Apart from the fact that I have been killed on social media several times. These last years I had telephone calls asking me where are you and I said I am in a hall. And I said I know why you are calling because you thought I was dead.

“Imagine waking up one day and finding a statement attributed to you and in a kind of language which you never used. For example, during former President Good luck Jonathan, there were statements that I said why did Jonathan marry an illiterate woman. I never made comments like that whatsoever”.

“And I made a statement that if people are not careful world war 3 may quickly be started by fake news and that fake news probably will be generated by a Nigerian. We have a system where fake news can multiply in a second. Many of the fake news carriers use it for Business.

“I have someone whom we have tracked down in Poland, using a fake Facebook page of my name and my picture. And I give him a deadline to pull down the page. He lives in the United States of America but lives in Poland. He is a member of an organization called some AIESEC which actually encourages young businessmen and women.

“The first thing is to accept the fact that fake news is real and people should stop rushing to the fake sites. Individuals who have no voice before have been empowered suddenly. Every individual is now a journalist, editor promoter and most of all a publisher. There is competition to be the first to comment. So the ‘419’ individuals sleep in cafes doing all sorts of things. Fake news should be treated as a crime. When you pin down one of such criminals it should be a case of INTERPOL because they move all over the place. They should be advertised as criminals and get the police to arrest them.

“I had complained about this to a former inspector general of police that this has to do with personal security, community security. I had expected him to reply but there was no response. Not even acknowledgment.

“This should be a collective responsibility. Above all, we should treat it like a crime”.

Buhari Meets With Service Chiefs Before Leaving On Vacation

Buhari Meets With Service Chiefs Before Leaving On VacationNigeria’s President, Muhammadu Buhari, on Thursday held a meeting with his service chiefs behind closed doors at the presidential wing of the Nnamdi Azikiwe Airport.

This was before proceeding on his ten-day vacation.

On his official Twitter handle, the President tweeted: “Before leaving I met with the Security Chiefs. We will continue to work to fulfill our promise to confront all security challenges head-on.”

The Chief of Defense Staff, General Abayomi Olanishakin, who spoke to journalists, said that the meeting was to give the President an update on the movement of a stand-by troop to The Gambia.

The president has been a mediator in the political crisis in the West African country and the briefing lasted for about one hour.

Also speaking, presidential spokesman, Femi Adesina, gave the assurance that there is nothing to worry about the President’s routine medical checkup while on his vacation.

The President himself also made it clear that there is nothing wrong with going on vacation, just before stepping into the presidential jet.

The President is expected to resume work on February 6, 2017.

While away, the Vice President, Prof Yemi Osinbajo, will perform the functions of the Office of the President.

Osinbajo, Fayose Agree On Need For Airport In Ekiti

Osinbajo, Ekiti, Fayose, Ekiti Airport, Corruption, Insurgency WarNigeria’s Vice President, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo says he shares the same view with the people and government of Ekiti state on the need for the federal government to establish an airport in Ado-Ekiti, the state capital.

He explained that this has become a necessary project in wake of the ongoing development across the state.

The Vice President was speaking on Friday at a forum in Ado Ekiti, the Ekiti state capital, where he stated that the establishment of an airport in the state will boost the states’s socioeconomic development.

Governor Ayodele Fayose had earlier in his speech asked the federal government to include funds for the airport project in its 2017 budget.

He added that his administration was ready to provide all the necessary support required to achieve the project.

Past administrations in Ekiti state have attempted to ensure the establishment of an airport project, but none has been successful.

Full Text: President Buhari’s Speech At Ministerial Retreat On The Economy

ADDRESS BY HIS EXCELLENCY, MUHAMMADU BUHARI, PRESIDENT AND COMMANDER-IN-CHIEF OF THE ARMED FORCES OF THE FEDERAL REPUBLIC OF NIGERIA AT THE MINISTERIAL RETREAT ON THE ECONOMY AND THE BUDGET AT THE STATE HOUSE BANQUET HALL, ABUJA, SEPTEMBER 15, 2016.

PROTOCOLS:

I am delighted to be here with you at this Ministerial Retreat on the Economy and the Budget.  The theme of the Retreat which is “Building Inter-ministerial Synergy for Effective Planning and Budgeting in Nigeria” is very apt and timely, especially as we are in the process of developing the 2017 Budget.

  1. Over the years, there has been a mismatch between planned targets and budgetary outcomes at the National and sectorial levels. The Federal MDAs have not also benefited significantly from working together and building consensus around common national objectives.  This has impeded growth and development of the country.
  2. It is in this context that this Retreat has been designed to discuss issues around the State of the Economy and build consensus amongst Cabinet Members and top Government officials. The Retreat will also serve as an opportunity to have a general overview of the economy and discuss the framework for the 2017 Budget, its key priorities and deliverables.
  3. This Retreat is coming at a critical time in our economic history, when the Nigerian economy is in a recession, with significant downturn in performance in various sectors. It is with regard to the importance of this Retreat that I decided to sit through the first part of the session to listen to the views from experienced economists and development experts on how best to implement our plans to rid the country of its oil dependence and to diversify the economy and bring the country out of the current economic recession.
  4. This is in line with our Administration’s determination to lay a solid foundation for growth and development as outlined in the Strategic Implementation Plan (SIP) of our Change Agenda.
  5. Given that this Retreat is a lead-up to the 2017 Budget, my expectation is that we will come out of the these sessions with a determination and common position on how to have improved synergy amongst the various Ministries and Departments for the effective formulation and implementation of the 2017 Budget.
  6. I also trust that the breakout sessions will enable you to discuss extensively amongst yourselves, the details of the four sub-themes and come up with practical solutions on the way forward in order to come out with a set of prioritized projects and programmes that will fit into the 2017 Budget.
  7. In this regard, let me inform you that because of the need to focus on our key priorities, some Ministries may get significantly less capital allocation than they received in 2016, while others may get significantly more.
  8. You may notice that some key non-spending agencies, such as the Infrastructure Concession Regulatory Commission (ICRC), the Bureau of Public Enterprises (BPE), the National Sovereign Investment Authority (NSIA) and the National Pension Commission (PENCOM), are participants at this Retreat.
  9. This deliberate inclusion underscores the commitment of this Administration to leverage on private sector resources, through Public Private Partnerships (PPP) and other arrangements, in order to augment the scarce budgetary resources at our disposal and to accelerate investments in building critical infrastructure.
  10. Indeed, the challenges we face in the current recession require ‘out-of-the-box’ thinking, to deploy strategies that involve engaging meaningfully with the private sector, to raise the level of private sector investment in the economy as a whole.
  11. We are confident that the level of private investment will grow as we are determined to make it easier to do business in Nigeria by the reforms we are introducing under the auspices of the Presidential Committee on Ease of Doing Business.
  12. Let me reiterate that this Government will continue to strategize on how we can turn the current challenges into opportunities for our nation and especially for our vibrant youth on whose shoulders lies the future of this nation. This is why we have embarked on measures and actions that will open up the opportunities we have seen in the Power, Housing, Agriculture, Mining, Trade and Investment, Information Communication Technology (ICT) Sectors, Tourism, Transport and other sectors.
  13. I wish to reassure its teeming youth that this Government would remain steadfast in its effort to ensure greater progress and prosperity for you.
  14. While Government is taking the lead in the task of repositioning our economy for Change, we cannot achieve this completely by ourselves. We will need, and we ask for the support and cooperation of the private sector’s domestic and foreign investors, the States and Local Governments, the National Assembly and the Judiciary as well as all well-meaning Nigerians in this important task. We are confident that working together, we shall succeed.
  15. Finally, I trust that the cabinet members will learn from the experiences of the Resource persons and facilitators to prioritise their sector programmes and projects to bring the country out of the current economic recession and place it on the path of growth and development.
  16. I therefore urge the Honourable Ministers and other senior government officials here present, to actively participate in the Second Technical Session, which I believe will provide you with deeper insight into the complex issues that will open opportunities for you to identify critical priority projects and programmes for the 2017 Budget.
  17. At this juncture, may I formally recognize and acknowledge the presence of the array of experts invited to serve as resource persons and facilitators at this Retreat. I am confident that Ministers and Senior Government officials will benefit immensely from your expertise and wealth of experience.
  18. I wish you all fruitful deliberations and look forward to receiving the report of the Retreat.
  19. Thank you.

Overcoming Recession Requires ‘Out-Of-The-Box’ Thinking – Buhari

Ministerial Retreat, Recession, BuhariNigeria’s President, Muhammadu Buhari, has promised to continue to partner with key stakeholders including the private sector, the state and local governments, the National Assembly and the judiciary to turn the current challenges into opportunities for the country.

President Muhammadu Buhari made this promise at a retreat in Abuja which focused on building inter-ministerial synergy for effective planning and budgeting in Nigeria and had in attendance ministers, economic consultants and development experts.

With the Vice President, Prof Yemi Osinbajo in attendance, how to get Nigeria’s economy out of recession formed the core of the dialogue.

According to President Buhari, “the challenges we face in the current recession require ‘out-of-the-box’ thinking, to deploy strategies that involve engaging meaningfully with the private sector.”

He added, “we are confident that the level of private investment will grow as we are determined to make it easier to do business in Nigeria.”

Ministerial Retreat, Recession, Buhari

The retreat also served as an opportunity to have a general overview of the economy and discuss the framework for the 2017 budget, its key priorities and deliverables.

President Buhari addressed the meeting stating guidelines on the 2017 budget process.

The meeting also reviewed prioritised projects and programmes of ministries to fit into the medium term plan and 2017 budget.

Private sector facilitators and some experts on economics also provided perspectives during the technical sessions at the retreat.

Also in attendance were ministers and heads of relevant federal ministries, departments and agencies as well as economic consultants, including some technocrats.

The full text of President Buhari’s address at the meeting has been published on Channels TV website.

Ministerial Retreat, Recession, Buhari

Corruption Threatens Nigeria’s Future – Osinbajo

Osinbajo, corruptionThere is a direct link between corruption and the current economic difficulties facing Nigeria.

These words sum up the thoughts of the Vice President, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo, who has described corruption as an existential threat to the nation.

The Vice President made this remark in Abuja during the public presentation of a book, “Anatomy of Corruption in Nigeria: Issues, Challenges and Solutions.”

According to Prof. Osinbajo, Nigeria squandered the opportunity to save for the future at a time it was convenient to do so.

Stealing The Future

“When we look at corruption and its deleterious consequences, we must relate it directly to what we are experiencing at this time,” he said.

“Most of the states, since February 2015, many have been owing, some up to 6 months. When we came into office we tried to settle many of those debts but the Federation Account is lower and we are unable to find the resources to shore up the Federation Account.”

Driving home the point about the consequences of corruption, the Vice President said “When you consider that today, Nigeria’s reserves stands at about $27billion and we are investigating $15billion from one sector alone. That is over half of the entire reserves of the country.

“We are investigating cases which shows that over $15billion was lost in one type of contracts alone. We are not talking of oil contracts, we are talking of security related contracts alone. We have not talked at all about oil contracts, several billions.

“How we dimension the problem must be different. We cannot look at it the same way as if it is just petty stealing. This is not just stealing the resource of the country, it is stealing the future as well.

“Let me just state one clear example. All through the period when Nigeria was earning over 100 – 115 dollars in proceeds of oil for a period of almost 5 years, the external reserves of Nigeria remained much the same. It did not (significantly) increase at all despite the very high earnings.

“And that is why we have the situation that we find ourselves today. It is the external reserves that a country resorts to as a last resort in protecting its currency.”

Existential Threat

Prof. Osinbajo also compared Nigeria with another oil-producing country. He said, “When countries were experiencing these high prices, some countries were putting money aside, Saudi Arabia saved over $700billion, (as at last year) so when their currency began to suffer, of course they were able to shore up their currency with their reserves.”

In the case of Nigeria however, Prof Osinbajo lamented, “We are unable to do so. And the reason is because the reserves have been depleted. It is the same reason why it is difficult to do very many other things that we should be doing as a nation.”

He then declared that corruption poses an existential threat to the country.

“I want to just very quickly say that corruption has no label. It is not just a social evil, it is an existential threat to our country. There is no doubt at all that this is unlike other countries, (where) people say that there is corruption everywhere, which is true.

“But I think the one distinguishing feature for Nigeria and for many other countries like ours is that it is a threat that directly affects the lives and livelihoods of everyone.

“It is not just an evil, it is not just an immorality, it is an existential threat because it could truly destroy lives and it has destroyed many lives and has continued to destroy the Nigerian economy.”

Determined Effort

Prof. Osinbajo then declared that “unless there is a determined effort to fight corruption at all levels, unless that effort is determined, unless we have the political, the judicial, even the religious will, we would find ourselves in a continuous cycle of corruption, economic adversity, more corruption, and more economic adversity.”

“As I observed at another event, when you look at those who are accused of corruption in Nigeria, look at any typical case of fraud or corruption, you will never find three Igbo men (by themselves alone) or three Yoruba men or three Hausa speaking men, (by themselves alone). No, you will find federal character, well-represented.

“You find the Yoruba man, you find the Igbo man, you find the Hausa man, the Fulani man. All different groups are very well-represented. Amongst them you will find Christians and you will find Muslims.

“All of the defenses that people put forward, that, oh! It is the Igbo man, oh! It is the Hausa man, it is Yorubas, and so on, none of that is demonstrated by the facts.

“That is why it is important that as a Nigerian elite, we have the special privilege of education, we have a special privilege of position. It is the responsibility of that privilege that we must fight everything that normally hinder and distorts our economy and kill our people as well.

“That is why we must as an elite in leadership fight corruption. Some people suggest it is a matter of religion, it is not a matter of religion, I pastor a church. I pastor churches, so I know. What is important is that we must recognize corruption for what it is. Make no excuses for it and fight it with determination.

“I want to assure you that the government of President Buhari is determined to fight corruption, and that despite whatever those naysayers may say, we would fight it with everything that we have and we will leave a legacy in this nation of at least a government that chose to stand by principle and chose to stand by doing things right.”

Osinbajo Calls For Increased Private Investment In Steel Sector

policeThe Vice President, Prof Yemi Osinbajo, has called for increased private investment in the steel and solid minerals sector to shore up Nigeria’s manufacturing base and save the country $4.5 billion spent on steel importation annually.

Prof Osinbajo said 6.5 million metric tonnes production capacity per annum from 18 out of 30 existing steel rolling mills fall far short of the country’s requirements and is yet to meet global standards.

He said the Federal Government is working on the appropriate funding as well as provision of critical infrastructure and better business environment to encourage local and foreign investors.

Vice President Osinbajo said about 70 percent of Nigeria’s known iron ore deposits were yet to be proven to be viable and the government was considering options, which included working with private companies, “for certifying existing deposits”.

“We must be extremely ambitious in our industrialisation efforts,” Osinbajo said during a visit to a steel plant in Ilorin, Kwara State.

He added that Nigeria had about 2 billion metric tonnes of known iron ore reserves in total.

The Vice President also said steel played an important role in the government’s economic plan and that the administration wanted Nigeria to become “a net exporter of steel within the shortest possible time”.

Meanwhile, indigenous investors are asking for a minimum of 1 trillion naira intervention fund for steel development and solid minerals processing to empower local industries.

The government, led by President Muhammadu Buhari, has said it wants to diversify the economy by boosting agricultural, mineral and other non-energy sectors.