Africa, Europe Must Collaborate To Advance Benefit Of Digital Economy – Osinbajo

 

Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, SAN. has said that Africa and Europe must work together to advance and harvest the economic benefits of digital economy, and at the same time prevent a counter-productive widening of the digital gap.

Prof Osinbajo stated this today at the Africa-Europe High-Level Forum in Vienna, Austria, which had in attendance other African and European Heads of States or Government.

The meeting organized by the European Union and African Union, held in Vienna, Austria on Monday, December 17, and Tuesday, December 18.

Speaking on the forum’s theme ‘Taking cooperation to the digital age’, the Vice President noted that investments in digital technology can make an important contribution to growth and development by fostering productivity gains from continuous innovation.

He said, “Given our fast-growing population in Africa, we are, of course, keen to work together to boost the job creation potential of new technologies rather than concentrating on jobs destined to disappear in the digital age. Faster growth, sustainable development, and job creation are also vital for reducing irregular migration from Africa to Europe. In our globalized world, people can see disparities in standards of living across regions quite easily. This means there must be increasing openings for entrepreneurship and jobs in home countries for those who would otherwise embark on risk journeys in search of opportunities. In Nigeria, we are taking urgent and practical steps to provide such opportunities for our rapidly increasing youth population.”

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Prof. Osinbajo also highlighted the strides made by the Buhari administration in developing Nigeria’s technology sector through supporting public-private sector initiatives and the advisory group on technology and creativity.

Noting that the advisory group has been working to build an ecosystem for funding, training, infrastructure and intellectual property protection, the Vice President added that the country’s Social Investment Programme has been leveraging on technology tools to drive it in its bid to improve the economy and lives of Nigerians.

He said, “Under our social investment programme, 75,000 young people are being trained in coding, software development, hardware maintenance, animation, and data management, and we’re set to train another 200,000 young men and women. Similarly, we have established 8 technology hubs to support tech startups across our six geopolitical zones and two major cities of Abuja and Lagos.

“We’ve encouraged partnership to establish venture funds to support innovation and are now engaged in talks to establish a $500 million innovation funds with bilateral and multilateral partners.

“We’ll be deploying digital methods and tools on a larger scale to expand learning opportunities for younger Nigerians, as conventional education through brick and mortar institution can no longer be viable given the huge numbers and limited resources. Already, 200,000 out of our 500,000 young graduates in our N-Power scheme have tablet devices, which we use for on-the-job training and further skills acquisition. This experience will guide our efforts as we seek to expand digital literacy at earlier stages of education.

“Similarly, our education curriculum is being reworked to emphasize Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Mathematics. The Arts have been included because of the growing recognition of the strengths of our country, especially in the arts, music, film, and literature.”

Prof. Osinbajo also highlighted the growth in e-commerce in Nigeria, with references to leading e-commerce platforms that have leveraged on technology to grow their businesses.

He said, “Financial technology is being used in our efforts to rapidly scale up financial inclusion. Working with our banks, TELCOs and FinTech companies, we’ve used digital tools and platforms to provide interest-free microloans to up to 1.3 million Nigerians and about 300,000 received Conditional Cash Transfers by the same means. We hire, pay and train online 500,000 young men and women in the largest post-tertiary direct jobs programme in Africa. Through participation in this scheme, present and future beneficiaries would be brought into databases for unique biometric identification.

The Vice president also thanked European countries for their support, while calling on other EU member states to partner with Nigeria and Africa to impart skills, raise resources, promote investment and provide infrastructure to build a digital economy.

“I’m optimistic that our efforts would attract strong support and active engagement of our partners in the European Union. Indeed, already, we have some good examples of that in the African Digital leaders Training programme, which is a partnership between Ventures Platform of Nigeria and Enterprise Lithuania with funding from the European Union. This innovative programme would provide digital skills training for 50 young Nigerians in Lithuania, while at the same time, relieving temporary labour shortage in that country. A reintegration component is also built into the package.

“We have a moment in the history of Europe-Africa relations that can yield tremendous mutual benefits. Let us seize this moment,” he said.

Several African and European Heads of Government attended the High-Level forum. They include the Austrian Federal Chancellor, Sebastian Kurz; the Prime Ministers of Netherlands, Mark Rutte; Poland, Mateusz Morawiecki; Hungary, Viktor Orban; Czech Republic, Andrej Babis; and deputy Prime Minister of Ireland. African Heads of Government at the meeting include the President of Rwanda, who is also the Chairperson of the African Union, Paul Kagame; President of Ghana, Nana Akufo-Addo; Egypt’s Abdel-Fattah Al-Sisi; Kenya’s Uhuru Kenyatta; and Prime Minister of Mauritius, Pravind Kumar, among others.

Earlier on Monday night, Prof. Osinbajo had an interactive session with the Nigerian community in Austria during a town hall meeting.

At the meeting attended by leading members of the Nigerian community in Vienna, the Vice President commended the work of Nigerians in Diaspora, noting that that the Nigerian community was adding value to the country.

Prof Osinbajo said, “We very strongly believe that our country can do much better than where we are, we have practically everything that it takes to make the country work. In fact, we have more than what it takes to make the country do exceedingly well; there is no question about that. But corruption has been a major problem in the country.

Adding that Nigeria must tackle “the monster of corruption,”, the Vice President added, “there is no country in the world that can survive when its resources are stolen the way our resources were stolen. It doesn’t really matter how you slice it or describe it, so long as a few people can take government or public resources and do with it as they like, they are not likely to be able to do the basic.”

He also urged Nigerians to continue to support the work of the administration in making the country better through the provision of more infrastructure and tackling grand corruption, among other development initiatives.

“Today our country earns 60 percent less than it earned five years ago, but we have spent N2.7 trillion in two budget cycle in infrastructure, that is the highest in the history of our country,” he said.

In attendance at the town hall meeting was the Nigerian Ambassador to Austria, Amb. Vivian Okeke; the Nigerian Ambassador to Hungary, Dr. Eniola Ajayi; leaders of Nigerian communities in Austria, and other senior government officials.

 Osinbajo Presides Over Extended National Economic Council Meeting

Vice President Yemi Osinbajo on Friday presided over the extended National Economic Council (NEC) meeting at the presidential villa in Abuja.

The Vice President at the meeting called on state governments to resist playing politics with issues of human capital development.

He asked for more concerted collaboration between states and the federal government and not trade blames to avoid repeating the mistakes of the past. He asked the state governments to get the job done through improved data, transparency and accountability.

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The NEC meeting according to a statement from the office of the Vice-President is in line with the Buhari administration’s Economic Recovery and Growth Plan (ERGP) for inclusive growth human development nationwide.

Governors of all the States of the Federation including the governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria are expected to in attendance at the meeting.

The meeting also focuses on the Human Capital Development hinged on three main thematic areas; namely health and nutrition, education and labour force participation.

PHOTOS: Vice President Osinbajo Takes Door-To-Door Campaign To Lagos

In preparation for the 2019 elections, Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, on Saturday took a door-to-door campaign to residents of Lagos State.

The Vice-President during the campaign visited families in Ogba Oluwole, Ikeja.

He discussing the Next Level campaign theme of the President Muhammadu Buhari administration and exchanged views with the residents.

He later held a town hall meeting with members of the All Progressives Congress (APC) across the 57 LCDAs in Lagos State.

See photos below…

Osinbajo Calls For Increased Respect Of Traditional Institutions

Vice President Yemi Osinbajo says increased respect and regards should be given to traditional institutions and traditional rulers as they play vital roles in ensuring peace and security in the country.

According to a statement signed by the Senior Special Assistant to the Vice President on Media and Publicity, Laolu Akande, Osinbajo said this on Sunday during a visit to the Emir of Keffi, Shehu Chindo Yamusu III at his palace in Nasarawa State.

The Vice President noted that traditional rulers have earned their place as mediators in many aspects of national life and proved that they are important in the scheme of things.

“I feel very strongly that there should be a role, legal and constitutional role, for traditional rulers. I think it’s a very good idea and l believe that for the peace and security of our country, the respect and regards for traditional institutions must continue, and that has accounted for the stability of our polity for so many years.

“l believe that traditional rulership in our country has earned their place as arbiters in so many different ways, in security and justice at the local level and even politically.

“Regarding the matter of the constitutional role of traditional rulers l happened to take the view also that there should be a much more defined role, whether that law is constitutional or merely by legislation,” he said.

The Vice President also appreciated the Emir for the warm reception and assured of Federal Government’s support in ensuring stability in the state.

Osinbajo was also a special guest of honour at the Keffi Polo tournament at the Keffi Polo Ranch in the state.

Later at the polo game at the Keffi Polo Ranch, the Vice President presented the President Cup to the winners of the Keffi Polo Ranch Open Tournament, Imani club.

The Vice President was accompanied to the Emir of Keffi’s palace by Governor of Nasarawa State, Umar Tanko Al- Makura; Deputy Governor of Kano State, Nasiru Yusuf Guwuna; Minister of Transportation, Rotimi Amaechi; and spokesperson of Buhari Campaign Organisation, Festus Keyamo.

Opposition Politicians Plotting To Tarnish Osinbajo’s Image With Corruption Allegation – Presidency

Flood: Change The Habits Of Blocking Drainages, FG Tells Nigerians
Vice President Yemi Osinbajo

 

The Presidency on Thursday raised the alarm that the fund mismanagement allegation raised against Vice President Yemi Osinbajo is aimed at tarnishing his image and paralysing the President Muhammadu-led administration.

Presidential Political Adviser, Babafemi Ojodu, in a statement on Thursday said there is nowhere in the House of Representative Committee on Emergency and Disaster Preparedness report where there is an allegation of corruption against the Vice President.

He said claims against him from some quarters regarding the report are mere political contrivances intended to distract him.

“It is evident that the opposition are in search of a company for their acts of grand corruption which brought Nigeria to its knees as of May 2015. They cannot find that company in the Vice President.

“First, there is nowhere in the politicised House of Reps report where the VP was accused of corruption or embezzlement of funds. I challenge them to quote any word or sentence that makes such an accusation.

“It is now evident through the NEMA report, that the opposition is indeed making frantic efforts to tarnish the image of the Vice President,” Ojodu said.

He explained further that even after Honourable Ali Isa, the Chairman of the House of Representatives Committee had admitted that the Vice President was not mentioned in the report, the opposition still found it expedient to continue, to attack the reputation of Professor Osinbajo.

“Even the House Committee Chairman has said there was no allegation of corruption against him. The only allegation is that he approved funds for the emergency operations in the North East from the Consolidated Revenue Fund not budgeted funds. This conclusion we have proved to be false. The funds approved were from budgeted funds, specifically the Rice Levy.

“Let us remember that the approval granted by Prof. Osinbajo was in response to the threat of hunger and starvation based on information received from the United Nation World Food Programme in April, 2017.

“The organization had issued a warning that it would be reducing its vital support to about 1.8 million IDPs by as much as 85%, due to the corresponding reduction in funding by the donor countries. Around the same time, the United Nations Commission for Refugees in Geneva also warned of the growing risk of mass deaths from starvation among people living in the conflict areas.

“Besides, it is also important to note that the procurement process was not ignored in the release of funds, as alleged. Section 43 of the Public Procurement Act makes provision for emergency procurement, in which case the procuring entity is allowed to engage in direct contracting for goods and file a report thereafter with the Bureau of Public Procurement,” he explained.

Senator Ojudu, however, promised that the administration will not be distracted and will continue to cater for Nigerians.

PHOTOS: Osinbajo, Ambode Extend ‘TraderMoni’ Scheme To Lagos Markets

Vice President Yemi Osinbajo and Lagos State Governor Akinwumi Ambode on Monday extended the Tradermoni Scheme to three markets in Lagos State.

Osinbajo and Ambode during the process visited the markets which include Ikotun, Igando, and Ile Epo Market.

They were also accompanied by the All Progressives Congress (APC) Lagos State Governorship Candidate, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, among others.

TraderMoni, according to Osinbajo’s media aide, Laolu Akande, is a Social Investment Programmes (SIPs) and micro-credit scheme of President Muhammadu Buhari-led administration designed to assist the bottom of the pyramid petty traders nationwide.

See photos below…

Social Investment Programme: FG Has Disbursed N15bn To Over 300,000 Nigerians – Osinbajo

Vice President Yemi Osinbajo on Monday said the Federal Government has spent the sum of N15 billion to give interest-free loans to over 300,000 artisans, traders and farmers across the country.

The Vice President said this at the 9th presidential quarterly Business Forum at the State House in Abuja.

He added that less than N250 billion of the budgeted N500 billion for the Federal Government’s social investment programme has been spent so far which is allocated in two cycles.

“We spend under N250 billion in the two cycles. We have not spent N500 billion because we have not been able to allocate that much revenue to it and yet the results are so obvious.

“So far, we have spent N15billion on interest-free loans ranging from N50,000 to N350,000 and this has been disbursed to over 300,000 market women, traders artisans, farmers across all states of the country and FCT,” he said.

Osinbajo added that the Federal Government is working with eight banks who are committed to the trader money scheme in the disbursement.

He also stressed that 56% of the beneficiaries of the free-interest loan are women.

Osinbajo Holds Town Hall Meeting With Nigerians Based In U.S.

Vice President Yemi Osinbajo over the weekend held a town hall meeting with Nigerians based in the United States of American (USA).

The town hall meeting was held on Sunday, in Minnesota, Minneapolis.

The Vice President after the meeting also welcomed questions and interacted with the people on various subjects of interests.

See photos below…

If We Obey God, Our Nation Will Change – Osinbajo

Vice President Yemi Osinbajo while addressing the congregation during a special Sunday Service at the Commonwealth of Zion Assembly in Abuja on Sunday, May 20.

 

Vice President Yemi Osinbajo has emphasised the importance of obedience to God’s word and instruction noting that they are essential for successful nation-building.

According to him, the church has its role to play in nation building. Creativity, innovation and hard work, according to him are also vital instruments which the church needs to focus on to move the nation forward.

He made this remark during a special Sunday Service at the Commonwealth of Zion Assembly in Abuja.

“It is the church that transforms everywhere. That creativity that God commanded us to do everywhere is what will change our nation. Our creativity, innovation and hard work, and this is a command. So if we obey God, our nation will change.

“There are many countries all over the world with huge resources and many other countries that have no resources. It is creativity that makes the difference,” he said.

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Professor Osinbajo also asked the church to continue to emphasise the virtues of hard work and diligence particularly at a time when young Nigerians need guidance on understanding the meaning of true success.

“Sometimes when we hear what is being preached in churches it’s almost as if life is to be lived by miracles and that people don’t really need to put in any work.

“The reality is that true success is line by line, precept by precept, building block upon building block, hard work innovation, character, that’s the measure of true success and somebody has to teach that because that is what the church has always been known for.”

Osinbajo Visits Enugu, Launches N-Power Build

The Vice President Yemi Osinbajo on Friday visited Akanu Ibiam airport in Enugu State to launch the N-Power Build, a programme aimed at reviving Nigeria’s apprenticeship culture.

Osinbajo was received at the airport by Enugu State Governor Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi who led other top officials in the state.

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N-Power Build programme is a training and certification – skills to job – programme intended to engage and train 75,000 young unemployed Nigerians in order to build a new crop of skilled and highly competent workforce of technicians, artisans and service professionals.

Osinbajo In Benue On Two-Day Working Visit

Vice president Yemi Osinbajo on arrival at the airport in Makurdi, Benue State capital on Tuesday, May 15.

 

Vice president Yemi Osinbajo has arrived Makurdi, Benue State capital for a two-day working visit.

The Vice President is in Benue State to access the state which has been faced with a humanitarian crisis which is a sequel to incessant attacks that has resulted in the killings of many.

He was received at the airport by Governor Samuel Ortom and accompanied by Agriculture Minister, Audu Ogbeh, the Director General of the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA), Mustapha Maihaja and other Federal Government officials.

Osinbajo is expected to visit the Abagana, Gbajimba and Anyii Internally Displaced Persons (IDP) camp.

He is also expected to hold a stakeholders’ meeting with residents of the state.

‘All Of Us Deserve Some Accolades’, Osinbajo Praises Nigerian Youths

Vice President Yemi Osinbajo has heaped praises on Nigerian youths sharing stories of young business owners, innovative and tech-driven youths, entertainment giants, among others.

He spoke on Tuesday at The Platform, a programme organised by the Covenant Christian Centre in Lagos. According to him, these young Nigerians have remained focused despite challenges and increased the nation’s national pride and confidence.

The Vice-President also called for joint support for successful nation building.

“What we can do together to ensure that we don’t spend the rest of our days looking forward to path frozen by inaction and resolve to do the same things over and over again while hoping for a different results. I believe the solution is building back Nigerian bridge.

“The bridge will not be one that is built of steel or bricks; this bridge will be built with the wisdom of the elderly and the strength of the youths. All of us deserve some accolades,” he said.

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Osinbajo reeled out names of Nigerian celebrities in entertainment industry applauding their contribution to Nollywood, stand-up comedy, among others.

“And then there is the entertainment industry whose main advantage lies in how it transcend tribe, tongue and location to bring joy to the springs of many Nigerians.

“Think how much bliss, the music videos of Clarence Peters and the best-selling comedies of Ayo Makun, Basketmouth, Akpororo, Chigul, Falz D Bahd Guy, Funke Akindele, Jenifa and the talented singer comedian Kenny Black have brought to audiences home and abroad,” he said.

The vice president also said it is the role of the government to create enabling environment for young Nigerians to thrive and nation building.

Nation building, according to him cannot only be achieved from political landscape but by every individual contributing their quota to Nigeria.

“Nation building in its classical sense really just refers to the formal and informal processes by which political leadership attempt to build a national identity, especially in ethnically and religiously diverse societies.

“It is my own thesis that while government’s role is enhancing the vision and creating the environment for nationhood, the real building of nations is done and best seen through the accomplishments of many outside of political leadership.

“Men and women in business in agriculture, in education, in entertainment and the art, who by just doing their business diligently or serving faithfully or making sacrifices contribute to building the economies and social systems, that ultimately build the nation.”

He urged everyone to learn from these young Nigerians who by just doing their own work have faithfully contributed to the building Nigeria’s economy and the building our nation.

“They have increased our nation pride and confidence and inspired others to be the best that they can be,” Osinbajo added.