We Will Use ‘Common Sense Approach’ To Lift 100 Million Nigerians Out Of Poverty – Osinbajo

FILE: Vice President Yemi Osinbajo speaks during the coronation of the Emir of Kano, Alhaji Aminu Ado Bayero at the Sani Abacha Stadium in Kano State on July 3, 2021. Photo: State House.

 

Vice President Yemi Osinbajo on Friday said the Federal Government’s goal of lifting 100 million Nigerians out of poverty will be achieved with a simple, common sense strategy.

According to a statement signed by his spokesperson Laolu Akande, the Vice President made the remark while chairing the inaugural meeting of the National Steering Committee on Poverty Reduction with Growth Strategy.

President Muhammadu Buhari in 2019 had pledged to lift 100 million Nigerians out of poverty in 10 years.

On June 12, the President said his administration had lifted 10.5 million Nigerians out of poverty in two years, despite worsening unemployment statistics and increasingly high food prices.

 

Read Mr Akande’s full statement below:

STATE HOUSE PRESS RELEASE

LIFTING 100M NIGERIANS OUT OF POVERTY:

WHAT WE NEED IS A SIMPLE, COMMON SENSE APPROACH, SAYS OSINBAJO

*VP chairs inaugural meeting of National Steering Committee on Poverty Reduction with Growth Strategy

*Governors, Ministers in attendance

How the Buhari administration plans to lift 100 million Nigerians out of poverty in ten years will not be based on a business as usual approach, but a very simple, common sense strategy that will deliver the results as the President promised, according to Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, SAN.

Expressing the strong hope that this way, the Committee will be able to achieve rapid progress, Prof. Osinbajo said “in order not to make this merely, another of those high-sounding committees that eventually achieve nothing, we have to be very intentional about our objectives and how to achieve them.”

Prof. Osinbajo stated this in Abuja on Friday at the inaugural meeting of the National Poverty Reduction with Growth Strategy Steering Committee held at the Presidential Villa.

Addressing members of the committee, Prof. Osinbajo said government would adopt a different and more effective approach in actualizing the objective of eradicating poverty in the country for the sake of delivering results.

According to him, “I really want us to approach this as much as possible, commonsensically, so that we are able to resolve all the issues and focus on the real progress.

“I want us to look beyond all of what we are going to be doing, there is going to be a considerable amount of paper work, but a lot of common sense is what grows economies. It’s what other countries have done, not really reinventing the wheel. So, I want us to focus on those commonsensical things, so that we can actually move forward.”

Citing the example of Bangladesh where a poverty reduction strategy was also implemented, the VP noted how the country’s manufacturing sector was key.

“Bangladesh actually exports more garment than we export oil,” the VP said.

According to him, “countries that have managed to get out of poverty have created a lot of jobs through industries, and they have developed intentional strategies.

“We must look at what others have done, the smart things that other people have done, and adopt.”

He also spoke about agriculture. “We really have to think smartly about how we are funding agriculture,” he said.

“I think we really need to take a deep dive because governments have made several efforts at poverty alleviation but generally speaking, they have not yielded the sort of results they should yield, and I think it’s because there is a lot of focus on documentation and paper work and very little commonsense approaches,” the VP added.

Prof. Osinbajo explained that National Poverty Reduction with Growth Strategy is meant to be a national strategy, not just a federal effort and it is aimed at taking 100 million people, nationally, out of poverty within a target time-frame of 10 years.

His words: “I just want to emphasize that it is a national strategy as opposed to a federal strategy which is why the steering committee is made up of federal as well as state officials.”

While also emphasizing the role of the private sector, the VP said “essentially, this effort must also be directed at how to facilitate private sector creation of jobs. The fact is that there is no way that the Federal Government or the State Governments can create the number of jobs that we need.

“We need to take a few broad looks at the features of what constitutes our present predicaments in terms of job losses and unemployment.”

Continuing, Prof. Osinbajo said efforts will be made to focus attention on creating opportunities for Nigerians to earn decent livelihoods in addition to equipping them with the necessary vocational skills.

At the meeting today, members in attendance included Governor Kayode Fayemi of Ekiti State, who is also Nigeria Governors Forum Chairman, Governor Babagana Zulum of Borno State and Governor Abdullahi Sule of Nasarawa State.

The Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Mr Boss Mustapha; Ministers of Agriculture, Muhammad Nanono; Industry, Trade and Investment, Niyi Adebayo, and Labour and Employment, Dr Chris Ngige also attended, while the Minister of State for Budget and National Planning, Prince Clem Agba joined the meeting virtually.

Later at the end of the inaugural meeting, and while fielding questions from journalists, Governor Sule of Nasarawa State said “the whole essence of the committee is for the government to be able to take 100 million Nigerians out of poverty in the next 10 years.”

He said that having reviewed the Terms of Reference (TOR), the Steering Committee is now constituting the technical working group and the National Social Protection Network and then resume its meeting after the Sallah break.

Laolu Akande
Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media & Publicity
Office of the Vice President
9th July 2021

Buhari, Osinbajo Decorate Farouk Yahaya As Chief Of Army Staff

President Buhari and Vice President Osinbajo decorating the newly appointed Chief of Army Staff, Farouk Yahaya on Wednesday, July 7, 2021 in Abuja.

 

President Muhammadu Buhari and Vice President Yemi Osinbajo have decorated the newly appointed Chief of Army Staff, Farouk Yahaya.

He was also decorated with a new rank of Lieutenant General.

The ceremony which was held on Wednesday before the commencement of the Federal Executive Council (FEC) meeting had in attendance, the Chief of Defence Staff, General Lucky Irabor; Chief of Air Staff, Air Marshal Isiaka Amao; Chief of Defence Intelligence, Major General Sunday Adebayo; Director-General, Department of State Service (DSS), Yusuf Bichi and the Inspector General of Police, Usman Alkali Baba.

The event was also witnessed by members of the Cabinet as well as the Chairmen of Senate and House of Representatives Committee on Army.

READ ALSO: Buhari Praises Security Agencies For Dealing With Nnamdi Kanu, Igboho

The newly appointed COAS, Lieutenant General Yahaya takes over from late Lieutenant General Ibrahim Attahiru, who died in a military plane crash on May 21, alongside ten other army officers.

Prior to his appointment, the new army Chief served as the Theatre Commander of Operation Hadin Kai, a counter-insurgency operation in the northeast.

After his decoration, the Chief of Army staff vowed that the war would continue to intensify against insurgents, many of whom have already been killed.

See more photos from the event below…

Kano Is Home To All Nigerians –  Osinbajo

Vice President Yemi Osinbajo speaks during the coronation of the Emir of Kano, Alhaji Aminu Ado Bayero at the Sani Abacha Stadium in Kano State on July 3, 2021. Photo: State House.

 

Vice President Yemi Osinbajo on Saturday said Kano State is home to all Nigerians and a place where they can co-exist peacefully regardless of differences.

Osinbajo stated this in Kano during the coronation of Alhaji Aminu Ado Bayero as the 15th Emir of Kano, where he represented President Muhammadu Buhari.

The event which drew dignitaries from far and wide featured, besides the administration of the oath, and the formal presentation of the Staff of Office to the Emir, traditional rites, prayers, recitals and speeches.

While conveying the President’s warm felicitations and personal good wishes to the State government and people of Kano, Osinbajo described the coronation as ‘historic’, while noting that Kano is revered as a major commercial and economic centre in sub-Saharan Africa.

Vice President Yemi Osinbajo addresses the crowd during the coronation of the Emir of Kano, Alhaji Aminu Ado Bayero at the Sani Abacha Stadium in Kano State on July 3, 2021. Photo: State House.

 

“We are all proud of this city; proud of its legacy of tolerance and warmth and very proud that it indeed remains home to all and for all Nigerians, regardless of tribe and ethnicity, and the melting pot of diverse tribes and cultures assimilated into a robust, vibrant and cohesive whole,” he said.

“It is only the tolerance of the culture of Kano, where opposite ideas can co-exist peacefully, that you could have a thriving free-market economy, with several millionaires and yet also be the base of the radical left of Centre political ideas.  This is after all the city of the socialist man of the masses, Mallam Aminu Kano, and many of his disciples.  Kano is also the home of the richest man in Africa, Alhaji Aliko Dangote.”

READ ALSO: Buhari Lauds Late Ado Bayero As Son Wears Emir Of Kano Crown

Congratulating the Emir of Kano on his coronation, the Vice President said: “Your Royal Highness, it is this great city over which God has given you the good fortune of being Monarch, a privilege which you know comes with the obligation of preserving these rich traditions of the brotherhood of all tribes and tongues.

Kano State Governor, Umar Ganduje presents the Staff of Office to the Emir of Kano, Alhaji Aminu Ado Bayero during his coronation at the Sani Abacha Stadium in Kano State on July 3, 2021. Photo: State House.

 

“You inherit not only one of the most revered thrones in Africa, but on a more personal level, your great father was known for his wisdom, courage and integrity. He loved his people and served them with honor and complete commitment. You have a goodly heritage but a particularly difficult act to follow. But we are confident that by the grace of God you will exceed the reputation of your illustrious forebears.

“So today, as you ascend the throne of your fathers, carrying with you the love and trust of your people, I can only offer you a prayer: I pray that this land will prosper in your reign, I pray that the Almighty God will be merciful to you and to the people of this land and that his hand will be upon you to guide and direct you daily. Your family and tribe will increase, your days will be long, and as your days so shall your strength, your wisdom and your favour with God in Jesus name. Amen.”

Vice President Yemi Osinbajo speaks to the new Emir of Kano, Alhaji Aminu Ado Bayero during his coronation at the Sani Abacha Stadium in Kano State on July 3, 2021. Photo: State House.

 

Osinbajo also congratulated Kano State Governor, Umar Ganduje for “midwifing a generational change of guards that only a few will experience in their lifetimes,” adding that “the swearing-in and handing over of the Staff of Office to the new Emir of Kano is in fulfillment of the extant law and practice of the installation of Emirs.”

The event was attended by the Senate President, Ahmed Lawan; Chief of Staff to the President, Prof. Ibrahim Gambari; governors of Katsina, Aminu Bello Masari; Kebbi, Abubakar Atiku Bagudu; Bauchi, Bala Mohammed; Jigawa, Mohammed Badaru Abubakar; Kogi, Yahaya Bello; Lagos, Babajide Sanwo-Olu; Sokoto, Aminu Tambuwal; Zamfara, Bello Matawalle.

Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, Kano State Governor, Umar Ganduje and the new Emir of Kano, Alhaji Aminu Ado Bayero pose for a group photograph during the coronation at the Sani Abacha Stadium in Kano State on July 3, 2021. Photo: State House.

 

Also present were the Ministers of Aviation, Hadi Sirika; Defence, Maj Gen Bashir Salihi Magashi (Retd.); and Agriculture and Rural Development, Sabo Nanono; as well as the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Boss Mustapha; the Sultan of Sokoto, Muhammadu Abubakar III, and other traditional rulers.

How FG Will Tax Profits Made By Global Tech Giants In Nigeria – Osinbajo

Vice President Yemi Osinbajo SAN receives in a meeting with members of the Chartered Institute of Taxation at the State House, Abuja. 25th June, 2021. Photos; Tolani Alli

 

Nigeria is set to utilise its legal provisions that empower the Federal Government to collect taxes on profits made in the country by global technology and digital firms not based in the country, but with a significant economic presence here.

Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, (SAN) made this known on Friday, while interacting with a delegation of the Chartered Institute of Taxation of Nigeria (CITN), led by its President, Mr Adesina Adedayo who visited him at the Presidential Villa.

While noting that the Federal Government will not be raising tax rates at this time, based on the Finance Act 2019, the Vice President said it is already empowered to widen the tax net, including through the collection of taxes on the Nigerian income of global tech giants with significant economic presence here, even if they have not established an office or permanent establishment and are currently not paying taxes in Nigeria.

In this regard, Section 4 of the Finance Act 2019, provides that “the Minister (Finance) may by order (of the President) determine what constitutes the significant economic presence of a company other than a Nigerian company,” the VP said.

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According to Prof. Osinbajo, “we have had severe economic downturns which of course implies that we may not be able to collect taxes with the aggressiveness that would ordinarily be expected.

“I think the most important thing is that we must widen our tax net so that more people who are eligible to pay tax are paying. Several efforts have been made, and I am sure you are aware of the initiatives including the Voluntary Assets and Income Declaration Scheme (VAIDS) which was also an attempt to bring more people into the tax net, including those who have foreign assets.”

Continuing, the VP said: “we have also recently taken a step with respect to a lot of the technology companies that are not represented here but who do huge volumes of business here.

“The Finance Act has shown that we are very prepared to ensure that these big technology companies do not escape without paying their fair share of taxation in Nigeria. Many of them do incredible volumes here in Nigeria and in several other parts of the region.

“We have drawn up the regulations and we are prepared to go, and I think that we are at least in a good place to tap into some of the tax resources we can get from some of these companies.”

 

Vice President Yemi Osinbajo SAN receives in audience a delegation from Chartered Institute of Taxation led by the CITN President, Mr. Adesina Adedayo at the State House, Abuja. 25th June 2021. Photos; Tolani Alli

 

Indeed, besides the FG, a recent Bloomberg news article reported that “governments around the world are grappling with how to modernize their legal frameworks to account for the global reach of the digital economy, reshaping how policymakers think about issues as varied as monopoly power, taxation and workers’ rights.”

Also, international talks are currently ongoing in Paris on global standard rules for governments to receive taxes from such digital and technology firms with significant economic presence in foreign countries.

In Nigeria, according to the Finance Act 2019, a company will pay taxes if it “transmits, emits or receives signals, sounds, messages, images or data of any kind by cable, radio, electromagnetic systems, or any other electronic or wireless apparatus to Nigeria in respect of any activity, including electronic commerce, application store, high-frequency trading, electronic data storage, online adverts, participative network platform, online payments and so on, to the extent that the company has significant economic presence in Nigeria and profit can be attributable to such activity.

“If the trade or business comprises the furnishing of technical, management, consultancy or professional services outside of Nigeria to a person resident in Nigeria to the extent that the company has significant economic presence in Nigeria”

Speaking further, Prof. Osinbajo noted that while the Federal Government has no plans to raise taxes now, there are those who argue that “our tax rates are too low, comparing us to other places in the region where the rates are much higher.”

“So we have had to balance all of these issues because clearly, higher tax rates can be a disincentive to businesses and investments. In terms of domestic resource mobilization, we are trying to do the best we can, given the present circumstances and I believe that there is room for improvement.”

Actually, under the Finance Act 2019, the Buhari administration has reduced taxes for small companies – companies with less than N25 million in annual turnover are charged Zero Company Income Tax, CIT. Also CIT for companies with revenues between N25 and N100m (described in the Act as “medium-sized” companies) has been reduced from 30% to 20%. Besides, Nigerians making minimum wage income are not to pay tax at all.

Under the 2020 Finance Act there is also an exemption of small companies from payment of education tax under the Tertiary Education Trust fund (TETFUND)-meaning companies with less than N25m turnover are eligible

Similarly, there is a 50% per cent reduction in minimum tax; from 0.5 per cent to 0.25 per cent for gross turnover for financial years ending between January 1st, 2020 and December 31st, 2021

Welcoming the delegation, the Vice President emphasized the need for regular interaction between the council and government to address issues bothering on tax legislation, noting that “there is need for continuous engagement with the National Assembly because engagement with government cannot be a one-off thing.”

Prof. Osinbajo added that the Federal Government has over the past few years, initiated programmes aimed at improving the growth of small businesses including the formalization of many of them. Under the Economic Sustainability Plan (ESP), there is a formalization of 250,000 businesses.

He said the ongoing MSME Week has encouraged many businesses to register with regulatory authorities in order for them to benefit from the numerous programmes earmarked by the government for their growth.

 

The meeting comes in the wake of the recent suspension of operations of social media platform, Twitter in Nigeria and talks to regulate their operations in the country.

 

In his remarks, the President of the CITN, Mr Adesina Adedayo, commended the leadership of the Vice President in the implementation of key government interventions in the economy, stating that “we acknowledge your great zeal and commitment to Nigeria project.”

He said the visit became necessary given the enormous work the Buhari administration has done towards addressing the huge fiscal challenges in the polity, public financing reforms, and sustained efforts towards addressing infrastructural deficit across the country.

Read Also: Falana Faults FG, Says Decision To Meet With Twitter Should Have Come Earlier

“The Nigerian Economic Sustainability Plan (NESP) and other measures implemented was a right response to the challenges posed by COVID-19 pandemic and were largely instrumental to creating buffers for the government at all levels in withstanding the pressures and waves created during the peak period and the aftermath of COVID-19,” Adebayo said.

“It is important that we sustain measures already being implemented to improve tax collection at all levels.”

Other members of the delegation included the Vice President of the Institute, Barrister Samuel Olushola Agbeluyi, past Presidents of the institute, Dame Gladys Simplice, and Dr. James Naiyeju, and Council members Prof. Muhammad Mainoma and Hon. Babangida Ibrahim. Mr. Adefisayo Awogbade, CITN Registrar/Chief Executive was also in attendance.

Soon, Insecurity Will Be A Thing Of The Past – Osinbajo

The Vice President, Professor Yemi Osinbajo, at a meeting with the Oluyin of Iyin Ekiti, Oba Adeola Ajakaiye, and others in Abuja on June 23, 2021.

 

The Federal Government is making concerted efforts to beef up its response to the nation’s security challenges, the Vice President, Professor Yemi Osinbajo, has said.

He listed the recent supplementary budget sent to the National Assembly on enhancing the capacity of the military and other security agencies as part of such moves.

Professor Osinbajo stated this when he received the Oluyin of Iyin Ekiti, Oba Adeola Ajakaiye, in company with the Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment, Niyi Adebayo, and Senator Opeyemi Bamidele at the Presidential Villa in Abuja.

He stressed the need for traditional rulers, as well as local and state governments to collaborate with the Federal Government in tackling insecurity in the land.

“The President has recently constituted a committee that will look at the whole security infrastructure with a view to looking at the needs of the military, as well as the police and security agencies,” the Vice President told his guests on Wednesday.

He added, “The result of that is a bill before the National Assembly, a supplementary bill. The purpose of that bill is to present some of the needs of the military, as well as of security agencies in order to be able to beef up our response to the security challenges.

“We have to keep looking at how to support our (security) services to ensure that our country is safe. I can assure you that soon, the issue of insecurity will be a thing of the past and that we will all live in peace and prosperity in this country.”

Professor Osinbajo noted that the Federal Government was very concerned and would continue to ramp up efforts towards improving security nationwide, but community effort was also vital in tackling the issue from the roots.

He explained that it was important to take decisive action at the community level because most of the problems occur there.

“Any country with this number of security challenges must respond as robustly as possible.

“But it is also important to bear in mind that it takes a combined effort of all of us, at the local government level, state and federal levels; all of the levels; we need to come together to tackle this issue of insecurity,” the Vice President said.

He gave an assurance that the Federal Government would provide the necessary support to the community in tackling its challenges, adding that they were working with the Ekiti State government on dealing with insecurity, as well as various issues.

In his remarks, Oba Ajakaiye thanked the Vice President for granting them an audience and listening to their demands, including support for the establishment of a Federal University of Medical and Health Sciences in the community.

“Again, as a community, we have come to appreciate you for your diligence, hard work, commitment, and loyalty; and that, we from the South West, are very proud of you.

“We want to assure you that we are very much in support of you. From our own end, we are doing a lot to ensure that the menace of insecurity will not remain in our domain,” the monarch told his host.

Those Waiting For Nigeria To Break Will Be Sorely Disappointed – Osinbajo

 

The Vice President, Professor Yemi Osinbajo, is confident that Nigeria will remain united as a strong nation to the frustration of those waiting to see the country broken into pieces.

He made the remark on Monday in Abuja at the maiden edition of the All Progressives Congress (APC) Progressives Youth Conference.

“In the area of disruption and disruptive innovation, the principle that we are stronger together than in little part is a sound principle and it is my respectful view that those who advocate the breaking up of the country are terribly wrong,” Professor Osinbajo told a crowd of youths and party chieftains at the International Conference Centre in the nation’s capital.

He added, “Our size is crucial for geopolitical and economic relevance. Our people will be better served by a large populous and diverse country. As with all big and diverse countries, our business is to make this union work; it is to give everybody a sense of belonging.

“All of those waiting on the sidelines, hoping that this big country called Nigeria will break up into bits so that they can pick up the pieces, will be very sorely disappointed and I am very sure that those of you who are seated here today will prevent that from happening.”

The Vice President, Professor Yemi Osinbajo, addresses a crowd of APC youths at the International Conference Centre in Abuja on June 21, 2021.

 

The Vice President acknowledged the need for all Nigerians to be guaranteed a fair chance at improving their human condition and urged the youth to be a part of conversations that will ensure this.

He asked the young generation not just to say it was time for them and for the older people to give way, stressing that such was unlikely to happen.

Professor Osinbajo, however, stated that it was the strength of the ideas and the depth of the youths’ organisation and not age that would retire those ahead of them.

“I am also frankly not very impressed with the notion that the role and power of young people are somehow postponed until elders have gone, or that there’s some kind of generational queue that to which we all must subscribe.

“Even if that was true at some point, today, that notion stands on very weak legs indeed,” he said.

An aerial photo of Professor Yemi Osinbajo addressing a crowd at the International Conference Centre in Abuja on June 21, 2021.

 

The event had in attendance APC youth leaders and older party leaders from various parts of the country, as well as top government officials.

Conversations at the conference centred on more youth inclusiveness in party politics and the positioning of young people for the 2023 general elections.

World Albinism Day: Osinbajo Calls For Aggressive Reversal Of Negative Mindsets Towards Albinos

Vice President Yemi Osinbajo virtually delivers a keynote address at the Albinism Conference in honour of International World Albinism Day on Sunday, June 13, 2021.

 

Vice President Yemi Osinbajo has called for an aggressive reversal of negative mindsets towards albinos.

The Vice-President said it is paramount to have conversations around the safety and enablement of our citizens who live with Albinism.

He said this on Sunday during a virtual event, attended by personalities including diplomats such as the American Ambassador to Nigeria, Mary Beth Leonard, marking the World Albinism Day.

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“Interventions made must be designed to improve the lives of people living with Albinism. The time is now to do more to reverse negative mindsets and socio-cultural stereotypes about albinism in our society.

“We must also go further to take deliberate steps as private individuals and public servants by giving them equal opportunity in the workplace and in social settings as well”, according to Prof Osinbajo.

He added that there is a need to see albinism for what it is, a genetic difference not a contagious disease or a public health problem.

In dealing with the various challenges faced by the albinism community, Osinbajo stated the need to “have frank and robust conversations around the protection and empowerment of our compatriots that live with albinism.”

“These conversations will drive change on two levels – in the public domain, where sociocultural perceptions of Albinism that are rooted in ignorance and superstition can finally be laid to rest.”

The Vice President admitted that “this is not going to be an easy task because superstition and sociocultural issues take a while to deal with, but we must aggressively begin to present counter-narratives to the socio-cultural misconceptions about albinism.”

Osinbajo Has Not Declared Interest In 2023 Presidential Race – Aide

Vice President Yemi Osinbajo

 

The Vice President, Professor Yemi Osinbajo has not yet declared interest to run for the 2023 presidential election.

This is according to his media aide, Laolu Akande, who disclosed this via a statement issued on Monday.

“Prof. Osinbajo has not declared any interest whatsoever in the 2023 election, but he is rather focused on working in his capacity as Vice President in the current administration to address all the compelling issues in the country and concerns of Nigerians, including finding effective and lasting solutions to the security challenges,” he said.

“Therefore, we ask that people desist from such unhelpful permutations while we all deal together with the challenges confronting us as Nigerians, and resolve them for the benefit of our people, peace, and prosperity in the land.”

Akande’s reaction followed a volunteer group mobilising support for Osinbajo ahead of the 2023 presidential election.

The vice president’s spokesman said Osinbajo “is not in any way connected to this website or the group behind it and considers such an enterprise an unnecessary distraction.”

READ ALSO: Makinde Hosts Wike, Tambuwal, 12 Other PDP Governors In Oyo

Osinbajo is one of the politicians rumoured to be nursing a presidential ambition as Nigerians gear up for the next election cycle which is about two years from now.

The vice president, a lecturer and pastor, was a running mate to the then APC presidential candidate, Muhammadu Buhari in 2015.

President Buhari will complete his constitutionally permissible two terms of eight years in office in 2023.

The APC will likely hand its presidential ticket to the south of Nigeria–a region where Osinbajo and former Lagos State Governor, Bola Tinubu come from.

Working Together, Nigeria Will Realise Its True Potential – Osinbajo

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

 

Vice President Yemi Osinbajo is confident that Nigeria will overcome its diverse challenges and realise its potentials.

He believes this can be achieved if people who share progressive views continue to work together in the interest of the country.

Professor Osinbajo made the remarks on Wednesday when he received members of a South West Think-Tank, known as IMODOYE (knowledge is valuable), led by a former governor of Ogun State, Gbenga Daniel, at the Presidential Villa in Abuja.

“I am very hopeful that this country will truly realise its potentials and I believe that all of us working together can make that happen; if the progressive ideas are put forward and we focus, then this country indeed will work,” he said.

The Vice President added, “The country is ours; we should make it happen, there will be many challenges, but I think that we must be prepared to face it until progressive views of improved welfare for the citizens that we represent, eventually prevail.”

He highlighted the efforts of the Muhammadu Buhari administration to address some of the challenges confronting Nigerians.

Professor Osinbajo noted that the best way out of the country’s present situation was to have a massive plan for investment.

“That is really how to create opportunities for jobs, which is what we are hoping to achieve with the Economic Sustainability Plan, creating opportunities through the solar investments with five million connections, the Farms for Jobs Project and the Social Housing Scheme,” he added.

The Vice President reiterated that the welfare of the people and the progress of the country have always been and would remain the priority of the All Progressives Congress (APC) and the present administration.

In his remarks, Daniel said the visit was to identify with and support the cause of the Vice President whom he described as “intelligent, hardworking, articulate” and a very proud son of the south-west region.

“We want to let you know that you are appreciated, we are proud of you and the work that you are doing, we know it is not an easy job.

“We also want to let you know that we want to join you in nation-building, if there is anything, any assignment you want us to undertake, we are at your service, that is why we are here,” he said.

We Cannot Afford A War In This Country – Osinbajo

The Vice President, Professor Yemi Osinbajo, speaks at a meeting with APC leaders from the South East in Abuja on April 27, 2021.

 

The Vice President, Professor Yemi Osinbajo, has called on the elites to rise up and speak the truth against forces of division in the country.

He explained that this has become necessary to preserve the unity of the nation as Nigeria cannot afford a war.

“We cannot afford a war in this country … it is the political elite that will determine what will take place,” the Vice President was quoted as saying in a statement on Wednesday by his spokesman, Laolu Akande.

He warned, “If we keep quiet, if we say nothing and hope that things will just normalise, we may be wrong; and we may find ourselves heading for something much worse than we are seeing today.

“If the political elite does not speak up, if we don’t see anything wrong in what is going on, if we allow it to continue to slide, we will endanger ourselves and endanger the future of our country.”

Professor Osinbajo made the remarks on Tuesday in Abuja at a meeting with leaders of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in the South-East, particularly chieftains and members from Anambra State.

He stated that every conflict was a result of the elite’s failure to speak up and tell the truth to their communities.

 

‘A War Without End’

The Vice President urged the leaders to speak up, saying there was greater danger in keeping quiet than to stand against any wrongdoing.

“The thing about the kinds of conflicts in these parts of the world is that it is usually a war without end. Everyone who thinks that they have some money stored up somewhere is wrong, you will eventually run out,” he said.

Professor Osinbajo recalled a personal experience he observed in Somalia in the 90s when he went there to work with the United Nations, saying he saw a Supreme Court justice whom he had known before queuing up for food in the aftermath of civil conflicts in the country.

“Everyone who thinks they can go and hide somewhere; you won’t even find a place. In the end, everyone will suffer. Parents, children, young people, old people, will suffer,” he warned.

On the forthcoming primaries for the governorship election in Anambra, the Vice President said a fair process or fairness of justice would be fundamental in ensuring victory for the party at the polls.

Party chieftains present at the meeting included former Senate President, Ken Nnamani; Minister of State for Mines and Steel Development, Uche Ogah, and the Minister of State for Labour and Productivity, Festus Keyamo, among others.

FG Approves Strategy To Combat Poverty, Osinbajo To Chair Implementation Committee

President Muhammadu Buhari presides over the Federal Executive Council meeting at the Presidential Villa in Abuja on April 28, 2021.

 

The Federal Government has approved a strategy to address the worsening rate of poverty in the country.

President Buhari’s Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Femi Adesina, informed State House correspondents that the issue of poverty was debated on Wednesday at the Federal Executive Council meeting.

He said the Muhammadu Buhari administration acknowledged that there was poverty in the country and has put measures in place to fight the scourge.

Part of the measures to address the situation was the approval of a National Poverty Reduction with Growth Strategy presented at the meeting held at the Presidential Villa in Abuja, the nation’s capital.

The President’s spokesman stated that the Vice President, Professor Yemi Osinbajo, who heads the Presidential Economic Advisory Council (PEAC), would chair the steering committee to provide overall guidance for the implementation of the strategy.

The council also noted the Federal Government’s promise to lift 100 million Nigerians out of poverty and observed that June 12 would make it two years since the promise was made, Adesina said.

According to him, the council concludes that the effort is a work in progress and the government stands by its promise and will play its own part until the expiration of the tenure of the current administration.

Some ministers attend the Federal Executive Council meeting at the Presidential Villa in Abuja on April 28, 2021.

 

Adesina disclosed that the council equally approved the implementation of the strategy and its incorporation into A Medium-Term National Development Plan 2021-2025 and Agenda 2050.

President Buhari, he said, has directed the Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami, to prepare a bill for submission to the National Assembly to enable sustainable implementation of the strategy.

The meeting presided by President Buhari was physically attended by the Vice President, as well as the Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), Boss Mustapha; and the President’s Chief of Staff, Professor Ibrahim Gambari.

Some of those who were physically present included the National Security Adviser, Babagana Monguno, Malami, Timipre Sylva (Minister of State for Petroleum Resources), Geoffrey Onyeama (Minister of Foreign Affairs), Zainab Ahmed (Minister of Finance, Budget, and National Planning), and Lai Mohammed (Minister of Information and Culture).

Medical Trip: Buhari Resumes, Receives Briefings From Osinbajo

Yemi Osinbajo and President Muhammadu Buhari

 

President Muhammadu Buhari on Monday resumed office after spending 16 days in the United Kingdom on medical vacation.

Upon his resumption on Monday, Vice President, Yemi Osinbajo briefed the President on the state of the nation.

President Buhari left Nigeria on Tuesday, March 30, briefly after a security meeting with defense and intelligence chiefs, as well as other security sector managers.

He arrived in the country on April 15 via the Nnamdi Azikiwe international airport from the United Kingdom where he went on medical vacation for two weeks.

Before his departure, the Presidency had explained that Buhari’s travel to the UK was not on an emergency case and that the Nigerian leader was not sick, dousing insinuations from critics who raised the alarm that the 78-year-old was not feeling well.

“It is a routine medical check-up; the President has undertaken this with a set of doctors that he has retained over many years,” said Garba Shehu, Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity.

He also explained that Buhari did not transmit power to Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, noting that the President will not be away for so long to contravene the law.

“The requirement of the law is that the President is going to be absent in the country for 21 days and more, then that transmission is warranted. In this particular instance, it is not warranted,” the presidential aide said when he featured as a guest on Channels Television’s Politics Today.

Buhari’s departure was also widely criticised by the opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) which described the move as an indictment of his government.

“It is indeed worrisome that under President Buhari, even the hitherto highly rated State House Clinic, has become so moribund that it cannot provide a simple medical checkup service for Mr. President,” the PDP said in a statement in which it also accused the Buhari government of wasting taxpayers’ money.