N’Delta Crisis: APC Group Commends Buhari’s Intervention

N'Delta Crisis: APC Group Commends Buhari's InterventionA political group, the Coalition of All Progressives Congress (APC) Support Groups, has commended President Muhammadu Buhari for his initiative and intervention to end the lingering crisis in the Niger Delta.

The group, in a statement by its National Publicity Secretary, Ambassador Sokari Afiesimama, noted that the Federal Government’s move to end the crisis in the Niger Delta was a clear indication that the government was poised to develop the region.

The group stated that the recent move by the Vice-President, Yemi Osinbajo, on behalf of his boss, was attracting wider acceptance and applaud across the region.

”We observed that the process is getting quicker acceptance for collaboration and intervention to end the over prolonged crisis in the region.

”We, therefore, commend the Vice President to have led a team of rescue missioners such as Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Dr. Ibe Kachukwu; the Minister of the Niger Delta, Pastor Uguru O. Uguru; Special Adviser to the President on Amnesty, Brig.-Gen. Paul Boro (retd.), on rescue parade to meet the grassroots people.

“The development has no other implication but to truly end youth restiveness and militancy.

”We hereby urge all indigenes of the region to explore the concept to discourage those factors that have caused gross damage to the environment and the oil and gas sector. We advise Niger Delta indigenes to see the opportunity as one to build good pleasantries to reciprocate President Buhari’s good gesture.

”We are urging all Niger Delta citizens to now rise above bigotry and regional sentiments, and report unscrupulous and treacherous activities to the government for the realisation of development, peace and security in the region.”

The coalition also said that their national chairmen would soon engage in a tour of the Niger Delta in order to directly meet with stakeholder at the states and local government areas for participation at the 2019 general elections.

”No better time than now for us to embark on the tour in order to harness the opportunity to build improvement. It is our prayer that all stakeholders would quickly key into the activities and realise the promise of engaging 1,000 youths from the oil producing states.

”Thank God for Buhari and Osinbajo; quintessential leaders who are taking keen interest to factor out major pressing issues for remedy and to proffer lasting remedy to achieve the reasons for voting APC into power.

”The National Chairman of the APC, Chief John Odigie-Oyegun, mandated the National Deputy Chairman, North, Senator Lawal Shaibu, to re-inaugurate the steering national committee of the Coalition of APC Support Groups, having shown good conduct, discipline and vision for good governance.”

Bayelsa Govt. Urges Residents To Receive Osinbajo Warmly

Bayelsa Govt. Urges State Residents To Receive VP Osibanjo WarmlyThe Bayelsa State Government has issued a statement saying it is looking forward to receiving the Vice President of Nigeria, Yemi Osinbajo, when he visits the state, as part of his tour to some states in the Niger Delta region.

The government statement released in Yenagoa on Thursday, urged residents in the state to come out en masse to welcome the nation’s number two citizen.

It also assured the Vice President of the hospitality of people of the state and urged him to use the occasion of his visit to experience same for himself.

Furthermore, it called on him to access critical areas of the state that need prompt intervention by the Federal Government, stating that Bayelsa is the epic centre of all the issues as the home land of the Ijaw ethnic nationality.

Also, the government has asked Mr Osinbajo to resist every attempt by some persons to use his visit to score cheap political points by advancing their selfish interests which he believes is capable of truncating the commencement of a sustained peace process in the Niger Delta.

We Will Do All To Support Local Producers, Manufacturers – Osinbajo

We Will Do All To Support Local Producers, Manufacturers – Osinbajo The Vice President of Nigeria, Professor Yemi Osibanjo, has again said that the quest for development of local capacity is a panacea for rapid economic growth.

He made this assertion during the Southeast maiden edition of Nationwide Micro Small and Medium Enterprise Clinic held at Aba, after the media launch in Abuja on Tuesday.

Using as an analogy, the story President Muhammadu Buhari once told him about the importance of taking care of people “who do the things that make us comfortable”, the Vice President observed “it is important to pay attention to MSMES”.

“We will spend time to ensure that we give those who produce locally all the support that we can give, and that is why we are doing this clinics,” he said.

The Vice President went round the stands of all the agencies at the Aba MSMES Clinic and also those of several businesses and local manufacturers, all of whom were obviously elated at the Federal Government’s gesture to re-orient the relationship between them and the agencies.

He said that “you can’t do much for manufacturing without coming to Aba,” and adding that Aba traders, artisans, tailors, shoemakers and others “are the bedrock of our economy.”

According to him, the Nigerian government agenda is to create sustainable platform through its relevant agencies that would ensure that businesses in the country that produce locally made goods are given adequate support and wider spectrum to grow.

Vice President Yemi Osinbajo examining some footwears made in Aba

He urged the relevant government agencies to see themselves as facilitators of the businesses and remove bottlenecks that are often reported when enterprises have something to do with the agencies.

Commenting at the Clinic, the Abia State Governor, Dr. Okpezie Ikpeazu, who accompanied the Vice President said “with the visit of the Acting President to Abia today, the story of Aba traders will change. The visit of the Acting President is a testimony that something new is happening here.”

Professor Osinbajo who has since returned to Abuja, was also accompanied by the Industry, Trade and Investment Minister, Dr. Okey Enelamah, among several other senior government officials.

The Office of the Special Adviser on Economic Matters in the Presidency devised the idea of a Clinic to bridge the gap between medium and small scale businesses and government agencies such as Corporate Affairs Commission, CAC; Standards Organisation of Nigeria, SON; National Agency for Food & Drug Administration and Control, NAFDAC; Bank of Industry, BOI; Federal Inland Revenue Services, FIRS; Nigerian Export Promotion Council, NEPC; and others.

The Clinic is meant to bring together all those agencies in one spot and at appointed times across the country to attend to the needs, questions and requests of people doing business.

Osinbajo Advocates Care And Respect For Migrants

Yemi Osinbajo, MigrantsVice President of Nigeria, Professor Yemi Osinbajo, has stressed the need to treat migrants with some form of care and respect, as most of them were forced to leave their ancestral homes.

Professor Osinbajo made the emphasis on Tuesday while addressing experts on migration issues at the Annual National Migration Dialogue in Abuja, the Federal Capital Territory.

He said the internal conflicts and terrorist activities in some countries were largely responsible for cases of forced migration.

Professor Osinbajo, therefore, advised the International Organisation for Migration (IOM) to ensure proper documentation of migrants across the world.

Also addressing the gathering, the Federal Commissioner of the National Commission For Refugees, Migrants and Internally Displaced Persons, Sadiya Farouq, stressed the need for a holistic approach to issues of migration.

In his remark, the Swiss Ambassador to Nigeria, Eric Mayoraz, pledged to support Nigeria in addressing challenges of migration.

IOM Chief of Mission, Nigeria Country Office, Enira Krdzalic, gave an analysis of the statistics of migrants who die daily trying to pass through illegal routes.

Experts at the event noted that migration enhances regional and global integration and called for policy coherence in migration governance.

Atiku Abubakar Recommends Restructuring Of Nigeria’s Federalism

Atiku Abubakar Calls For Restructuring Of Nigeria's FederalismFormer Vice President of Nigeria, Atiku Abubakar, believes restructuring the country’s federalism is the way forward to a more vibrant and prosperous nation.

Mr Atiku, who made the recommendation on Monday at an event on Nigeria’s federalism, said secession and resource control was not the antidote for a better Nigeria.

He noted that while the current system being practiced in Nigeria might be working for some elites, it was not in the overall interest of the populace.

The former presidential aspirant added that although Nigeria’s federalism was due for restructuring, it was not the way small groups in the country clamoured for it.

He emphasised the importance to change, minimize or possibly stop some of the agitations.

Atiku further noted that the way forward was for every part of the country, every arm of government and the Nigerian people to be involved in negotiating the country’s future.

He explained that a better federalism would have a ripple effect on every aspect the life of the country.

The former vice president warned that doing otherwise would only continue to increase the negativity that has become the order of the day in Nigeria.

Oil Facility Attacks Destroy People’s Livelihood And Future – Osinbajo

Yemi Osinbajo on attacks on Oil Facility in Niger Delta
Nigeria’s Vice President, Professor Yemi Osinbajo

Nigeria’s Vice President, Professor Yemi Osinbajo, on Tuesday expressed displeasure with attacks on oil facilities in the Niger Delta region, saying that such damages are a destruction of facilities meant to help the people of the region.

Professor Osinbajo made the observation at a meeting with a delegation of Urhobo leaders at the Presidential Villa.

He said: “So much damage is being done. Governments will come and go, but this damages will ultimately destroy people’s livelihoods, aspirations and their future.

“Nobody else anywhere in the world will destroy the facilities meant to help them, there is no benefit whatsoever from the destruction”.

While maintaining that the Buhari administration would continue its outreach to leaders and groups in the Niger Delta in seeking peaceful solution to the crisis, Vice President Osinbajo called for understanding, especially on the part of the leaders of the region stressing that destruction and damage “does not lead to anything good”.

What Happened To The Monies?

Regarding the opened channels of communication and negotiation with the Niger Delta leaders and representatives, the Vice President assured them that President Muhammadu Buhari had shown exemplary leadership and was someone that could be trusted once he gave his word.

“He is quiet, but fiercely determined, once he makes up his mind and gives his word,” the VP observed, encouraging the Niger Delta people to work with the President.

Professor Osinbajo commended the leadership and understanding of the Urhobo Leaders of Thought led by its president, Mr Tuesday Onoge and the APC’s Gubernatorial Candidate in the 2015 elections, Olorogun Ortega Emerhor.

Earlier in his comments, Mr Onoge lamented that if the money sent to the Niger Delta in the last 16 years were judiciously spent, the people of the region would have benefitted. He then asked rhetorically “What happened to these monies?”.

Pledging support to the Federal Government, the leader of the delegation said the group had condemned oil and gas installations vandalism in the Niger Delta in its entirety and offered to assist in furthering peace in the area.

He also stated that the group supported the anti-corruption efforts of the Buhari administration.

Militancy had re-surged in the Niger Delta last year, with several attacks on oil facilities claimed by a group that calls itself the Niger Delta Avengers.

The are pushing for the emancipation of the region and more control of the natural resources in the region.

Recently, some leaders from the region presented a list of what the government should pursue in the region to regain the residents confidence and calm agitations.

African Heads Of State Sign Charter On Maritime Security

Heads of State in Africa sign Charter on maritime safety African leaders have adopted and signed a draft Charter on Maritime Safety, Security and Development.

The agreement is aimed at establishing a roadmap on maritime security in Africa and causing development and economic growth through Africa’s oceans and seas.

At a summit in Lome, the capital of Togo, the African leaders signed the charter which is the culmination of previous summits, to provide peace, security and stability on Africa’s blue economy.

Over 90 per cent of Africa’s trade is maritime-based.

Prior to the signing of the charter, series of discussions were held by international maritime specialists and experts who met for five days.

They examined maritime piracy, trafficking, illegal fishing, development of the blue economy and protection of marine ecosystem.

These discussions culminated in a charter the Chairperson of African Union (AU), Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma and President Idriss Deby of Chad referred to as an uncommon feat.

Chairperson of African Union, Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma

Channels Television’s correspondent, Omelogo Nnadi, says nearly 3,000 delegates from 54 African countries and and outside the continent were in Lome for the African Union Extraordinary Summit on maritime security and development.

The summit had focused on mapping out an African strategy for the protection of the continent’s seas.

A Very Major Step

For the development of the continent’s blue economy to happen, Africa needs to run like a cheetah, UN Economic Commission Executive Secretary, Dr Carlos Lopes, says.

“What we need is a much deeper understanding of the transformation that is required by the continent and that transformation can be represented by the fastest moving animal on earth which happens to be in Africa – the cheetah,” he pointed out.

He said Africa must prepare for the worst while expecting the best.

The Chairperson of the AU Commission had listed major challenges facing the continent’s maritime development.

She says Africa needs to have its own products being transported out of the continent with its own vessels.

Nigeria’s Vice President Professor Yemi Osinbajo says the charter is a major step

After the signing of the Charter on Maritime Safety, Security and Development, the President of Chad, Mr Deby and the Vice President of Nigeria, Professor Yemi Osinbajo, said the agreement was a big achievement for Africa’s development.

“One of the critical things here is that we have been able to get everyone to agree, which by itself, is a very major step. It, of course, enjoins every African country to provide certain services and armed services in their own locality,” Professor Osinbajo stressed.

Before now, vast potentials of Africa’s blue economy have been infiltrated by criminals, pirates and smugglers, but the leaders have made a strong commitment to the monitoring and coordinating of activities in the continent’s waters through the charter.

Part of what the leaders plan to achieve with the new charter are job creation and revenue increase that could run into billions of dollars.

Nigerian Government Launches 30 Start-up Businesses By Youths

Economic CouncilThe Nigerian government on Friday launched 30 start-up businesses by youths under the Villa Demo Day platform for technology, innovation and entrepreneurship.

Vice President Yemi Osinbajo launched the businesses at an event attended by the founder of Facebook, Mark Zuckerberg.

Professor Osinbajo also announced plans to collaborate with Facebook in coming months, expressing the belief that it will enhance entrepreneurial and innovative connectivity for Nigerian youths across Africa.

Villa Demo Day

The Vice President said young people were being included in governance because of the quest for inclusion by the youths.

He told the gathering that the Villa Demo Day platform would be expanded to ensure more youths creativity and talents were put to use.

The Facebook founder’s first port of call at the Presidential Villa in Abuja is the office of the President, where he held a closed-door meeting with President Muhammadu Buhari, the Vice President and some ministers.

Mr Zuckerberg proceeded to the launch of businesses owned by 30 winners selected from over 4,000 business presentations under the recently introduced Villa Demo Day.

It is a platform established by the Federal Government to boost industrialisation and encourage entrepreneurship among youths in Nigeria.

The Vice President told the gathering that Mr Zuckerberg’s visit was both energising and exciting for Nigeria’s youths who he said were now included in governance by such opportunities.

For Mr Zuckerberg, the creative innovations are refreshing, for which he told the gathering that he would follow up on the innovative businesses to see how they would turn out.

Three outstanding businesses selected from the 30 winning businesses are to be given 3.5 million Naira each as support for their start up.

According to the government, plans are on to support the rest of the businesses, which cover agriculture, power generation, recycling and information technology among others, towards significant growth.

Osinbajo Lists Plans To Revive Nigeria’s Economy

Economic TeamThe Vice President of Nigeria, Professor Yemi Osinbajo, on Thursday reeled out tasks set by the present administration to achieve its economic objectives.

Professor Osinbajo told reporters in Lagos on Thursday that the government strongly believed in public-private dialogue that would enhance the nation’s dwindling economy.

“Our immediate tasks to achieve our economic objectives are: Reduce fiscal and forex imbalances, boost dollar liquidity, curb inflation, lower interest rate and ensure lending to the real sector (as well as) increase FDIs and FPI by sustaining enabling policies,” he said.

The Vice President also expressed sadness at the present economic challenges which had resulted to inflation and the depreciation of the Nigerian Naira among others.

He also lamented the drop in power output which he said was the outcome of the attacks on gas pipelines in Nigeria’s Niger Delta region mostly carried out by a militant group that calls itself the Niger Delta Avengers.

“Earnings from oil declined in the past eight months due to pipeline vandalism and export assets in the Niger Delta.

“Power output fell from 5,000MW in February to about 2,500MW recently on account of over 60% loss in gas production due to pipeline vandalism,” he said.

Steps Taken To Revive The Economy

After stating the problems facing Nigeria’s economy, Osinbajo highlighted steps the government was taking to revive it.

“In order to tackle these problems, permit me to elaborate on some of the steps taken in this regard.

“Priority attention was given to assist the states and local governments pay the salaries of workers, which were several months in arrears.

“We have had three such interventions, including the latest loan of 90 billion Naira, as part of a fiscal responsibility plan for states,” he explained while addressing the Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry.

He said that these interventions had helped to boost household spending, which were key steps to prevent the economy from falling into deep recession.

“We have pledged to keep capital spending in the budget at a minimum of 30%.

“Accordingly, we have already made capital releases of 332 billion Naira, with another 100 billion Naira set to be released in the next few days.

“Other policy instruments used in this regard include the TSA [Treasury Single Account], which has brought transparency into inflows & outflows of government monies.

“A great effort has been made to improve non-oil revenues. This includes bringing an additional 700,000 companies into the tax net as compared to the targeted 500,000 set at the beginning of the year.

“FIRS has achieved 73.17% of its target for the first half of the year. Similarly, milled rice capacity is being increased from three million tons annually to 10 million tons of paddy annually,” Osinbajo added.

FG Introduces Portal To Check Corruption, Sharp Practices At Nigerian Ports

Yemi Osinbajo, KPMGThe Federal Government of Nigeria has launched a harmonised standard operating procedures and port services support portal that will serve as a guideline for operations at all ports around the country.

Vice President of Nigeria, Professor Yemi Osinbajo, said that the procedures, policies and automated service portal will cause enhanced port administration, which will bring greater investment into Nigeria.

The portal is also expected to enhance trade and increase business for small and medium enterprises.

In line with the current economy diversification plans of the country, the Vice President expects that an easier business environment starting from the ports would encourage the importation of the components for domestic production and check unwanted imports.

He believes with a better-regulated administration, the ports will play vital roles in the diversification of the economy.

The three priority areas set to tackle about 19 major challenges of port services in Nigeria, require strong collaboration of all government port agencies in what the Minister of Transport, Rotimi Ameachi and other key players guarantee will have far reaching effects on the nation’s economy.

Nigeria Urges ACP To Focus On Trade, Investment And Technology

Yemi Osinbajo, Nigeria, ACPNigeria has urged the African, Caribbean and Pacific Group of States (ACP) to focus its future around areas of comparative advantage including trade, investment and technology.

The Vice President of Nigeria, Professor Yemi Osinbajo, made the appeal on Wednesday while representing President Muhammadu Buhari at the just concluded ACP Summit of Heads of States in Papua, New Guinea.

While the ACP Group has done well, “I would like to emphasise the point that the Federal Government of Nigeria supports the view that the ACP should not stretch itself further but rather, focus on areas of comparative advantage”, he said.

Professor Osinbajo listed the three areas which he described as the ‘future pillars’ for the group to include: Trade and Investment, Government Development Cooperation through Technology, as well as Political Dialogue and Advocacy.

Considering the challenges that most countries of the ACP face, he stressed the need to focus on development cooperation and building capacity in trade and investment with science and technology.

Cutting Edge Of Technology
In the area of technology, the Vice President while presenting Nigeria’s statement at the summit said efforts should be focused on job creation.

He added that young people should be encouraged to go into areas of science, technology, engineering, mathematics and education.

Professor Osinbajo emphasised that technology in particular areas such as computer application, programming, lighting and software applications amongst others should be explored to engage young people in ACP countries to ensure that they were in the cutting edge of technology.

Responding to the report on the future of the ACP, which was presented to the summit by the Eminent Persons Group (EPG), led by former President Olusegun Obasanjo, the Vice President acknowledged the important suggestions and recommendations in the report and assured the summit of Nigeria’s continued support.

He also promised that Nigeria would continue its active engagement with and in the group while he described the report of the EPG as excellent, saying that it had set the tone for future negotiations.

Vice President Osinbajo described the meeting as ‘a crucial one, endeavouring to re-position the ACP towards 2020 and beyond’, when the strategic relationship between the ACP and the European Union is expected to move to a new level.

The ACP is an organisation formed in 1975 with the Cotonou Agreement, and composed of 79 African, Caribbean and Pacific states.

According to the Vice President, since the creation of the ACP, there had been so many changes and dynamics, necessitating the need to re-strategise.

Regarding the expiration of the agreement in 2020, Professor Osinbajo stated that the countries seemed to have made up their minds to continue to work together beyond 2020, noting that the most important thing is how the ACP would engage with the European Union, as the organisations are vastly different from what they were in 1975.

African Leaders Put Development Ahead Of Climate Change

Yemi Osinbajo Nigeria VP on Africa's development and climate changeAfrican leaders at the African Development Bank meeting in Lusaka, Zambia, have agreed to prioritise the development of energy sources, with the maximum use of fossil fuel and coal, even as they advance important issues around climate change.

The leaders say the African continent cannot afford to miss out on the fourth industrial revolution, having missed out of industrial development in the past.

Light Up Africa

They observed that the greatest hitch to Africa’s development was lack of energy to power its growth and that the continent was tired of living in the dark.

An Anglo meeting they call it, with discussions focused on energy to light up Africa over the next decade and the impact of climate change on Africa.

Heads of government from all 54 African countries and beyond are interested in accelerated growth in the continent which has been hinged on energy, the absence of which Africa has remained behind in global development.

Amidst the need for development, climate change is a major concern.

Africa is said to be the continent that will continue to be affected as the global warming effects worsen, but the Vice President of Nigeria, Professor Yemi Osinbajo, said development must come first with Africa’s natural resources harnessed.

“For us here, development must come first.

“What we really need is for our fossil fuel solutions – coal fired plants, hydro-power- and that is why we are saying at this conference that you can’t de-emphasise our natural resource endowments, especially if we want to advance in technology.

“We must prioritise development because poverty kills thousands of people just as climate change does,” Professor Osinbajo said.

The Prime Minister of Tanzania, Kassim Majaliwa, stressed that there were also other needs that must be tackled to light up Africa and stem the impact of climate change.

Discussions so far at the meeting showed that African leaders will put steam to development on the continent with energy on the frontline, but they also have the task of persuading the rest of the world for more support in climate finance, expertise and technology.

That way development in Africa will go hand in hand with stemmed environmental impact.