Nigeria Will Be Peaceful As FG, States Tackling Security Challenges – Osinbajo

The Federal Government is making concerted efforts to tackle the country’s security challenges to ensure protection of lives and property, Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, SAN, said today in Ondo during a condolence visit to Pa Reuben Fasoranti, whose daughter, Mrs. Funke Olakunrin, was killed by gunmen a few days ago in the State.

Condemning the killing, Prof. Osinbajo prayed for God to comfort the family, noting that Government and security agencies will ensure the killers are brought to book.

The Vice President who was accosted by journalists after condoling with the Fasoranti and Olakunrin families in Ondo stated that “this is a massive tragedy as you can imagine, and we have seen it precipitated here and there, kidnappings and death. By and large, we are looking at the whole security architecture and trying to upscale the security architecture, to ensure that we are able to protect the lives and property of Nigerians.”

“We can be hopeful that we will see peace and calm as some of the steps we are taking come into fruition. As you all know, I have met with the Governors in the Southwest and Governors in the different zones, everybody is coming together to look at what to do to ensure that security is adequate and that everyone feels safe and secure.”

Speaking further, the Vice President emphasized the importance of community policing to prevent the occurrence of such dastardly crimes.

He said, “As you know, the President, very recently, met with the Service Chiefs, and also with the Inspector General of Police, and they have laid out a new policy on Community Policing. One of the most important things in these sorts of crimes, because they are largely economic crimes, is that people are trying to make money by kidnappings.

“One of the most important things is gathering intelligence and that is why we have Community Policing; where policemen will be trained in their own local governments and remain there. This is as close as we can get to the Community Policing structure that we expect to have.

“The other thing is that we are also engaging the Army, so there will be a bit more military presence, especially along the roads and as you’ve heard, the Inspector General of Police has committed to full coverage with even helicopters, first in the search for the killers, and also to ensure adequate presence to deter this kind of terrible situation from recurring.”

While noting the challenges of security in a hugely populated and dynamic country like Nigeria, the Vice President said the government will continue to take dynamic measures to tackle the challenges to secure lives and property.

Laolu Akande

Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity

Office of the Vice President

14th July, 2019

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A Communique Of A Meeting By The NEC Committee On Farmers/Herders Crisis

  1. The NEC Committee on the Farmers/Herders Crisis under the chairmanship of Mr. Vice President, His Excellency, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo met today, 3rd July, 2019.
  2. Members that were present were Mr. Vice President who presided over the meeting, Governor David Umahi of Ebonyi State who is the Chairman of the NEC-Sub Technical Committee on Farmers/Herders crisis, Governor of Kebi State who is the Vice Chairman of Food Security Council, Governor of Plateau State, Deputy Governor of Adamawa State, Deputy Chief of Staff to the President; office of the Vice President, Permanent Secretary; Ministry of Agriculture and Natural Resources, Dr. Andrew Kwasali-Secretary of the NEC-Sub Technical Committee on Farmers/Herders Crisis and Director in the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Natural Resources.
  3. Members deliberated on the NEC and Federal Government approved programme of the National Livestock Transformation Plan (NLTP).
  4. Members are aware that Mr. President has suspended the implementation of RUGA programme initiated and implemented alone by the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Natural Resources because it is not consistent with the NEC and FGN approved NLTP which has programmes of rehabilitation of displaced IDPs within crisis States and development of Ranching in any willing State of the federation.
  5. The beauty of NLTP is that what NEC and FGN approved is only voluntary to all the 36 States who may like to participate.
  6. That any state that is interested in NLTP is required to bring development plan in line with NLTP for implementation in his State which will be unique to the State based on the challenges of the State.
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Osinbajo’s Rise And Climb: Through The Hearts Of Nigerians, And Through Our Rough Political Waters, By Richard Ogundiya

For most of the country’s democratic sovereignty, there’s been enough disparagement about the weakness of the nation’s second office. However, one gripping fact from the 2019 general elections is the rising power of the Vice President Yemi Osinbajo and the public’s increased interest for his job more than in other election cycles.

Six years ago I sat in a room filled with young professionals and graduates who claimed to be interested in national politics, only 3 people knew who the Vice President of Nigeria was at the time, Namadi Sambo. It wasn’t so strange, the same goes for Atiku Abubakar, President Buhari’s strongest contender in the 2019 general elections; not a lot of people can point out to his deeds and accomplishments as the Vice President of Nigeria between 1999 to 2007, save allegations that haunt him to this day. By his own conduct, Professor-turned-Politician, Yemi Osinbajo, a central across-the-board figure, exercising his shrewdness and mild suaveness in his service as Buhari’s deputy provoked this sudden outburst for credo. While many argue that the VP office is like the human appendix, a vestigial organ on the body politic – unnecessary, Prof as he is fondly called has broken the jinx; he is arguably Nigeria’s most industrious VP on record. Since assuming office in 2015, he has worked with relevant departments and agencies to identify problems and recommend solutions regarding economic development, healthcare, foreign exchange policies, poverty alleviation and food security.

With vast experience in international law practice and academia, the VP has served in several positions of authority and contributes to the national discourse even before his foray into active politics. As Attorney General of Lagos State, he is credited with undertaking far-reaching significant judicial reforms, addressing critical areas as judges’ recruitment, remuneration, training and discipline as well as access to justice for the poor by establishing appropriate institutions in the Office of the Public Defender (OPD) and the Citizens Mediation Centre (CMC). He solitarily founded the Orderly Society Trust (OST), an excel literacy programme that aims to provide children in public primary schools with the same level of training in English as is available to their counterparts in private schools. His drive for getting the average Nigerian child quality education doesn’t stop at that, he organized the Liberty Schools Project that still provides free primary school education with free school lunches to poor children. The Project currently has three sites, one very close to where I live in Lagos.

In 2016, when the nation’s economy hit a nosedive, the VP alongside the National Economic Council which he chairs presented ‘59 strategies for implementing the Economic Recovery and Growth Plan (ERGP). The efforts of the NEC were instrumental in defining Nigeria’s policy direction and prudence that saw Nigeria ushered out of a recession quicker than economists predicted. Policies such as the unpopular ban of FOREX provisions to 41 items made significant impact in managing our scarce Dollars at that time.

On the President’s directive, he plays a significant role in the ‘Niger Delta New Vision’ plan – a set of promises, solutions and initiatives the President Buhari administration has set in place for the restoration of peace and ensuring the region benefits maximally from the nation’s oil wealth. The programme has fostered security in the creeks and enabled an increase in production and hitch-free flow of crude to the international market. Along with 12 Federal Ministries and state governments, Professor Osinbajo launched the Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises Clinic (MSME), a scheme addressing the plethora of challenges affecting the growth and productivity of growing businesses to bring about significant and sustainable GDP growth, employment generation and increase in local productivity.

Osinbajo’s claim to fame can be traced back to May 2017 when he was conferred the Acting President of the Federation during President Buhari’s medical leave. Unlike his predecessors, President Buhari vested all legal powers to him in accordance with the constitution. As Acting President, Osinbajo exhibited fearlessness and charisma, taking decisive and perhaps dramatic actions. He ordered the overhaul of SARS – the Police’s notorious anti-robbery squad and demanded quick investigation of numerous allegations of assaults by the unit. He sacked Daura, the DSS Chief, describing his actions as ‘unacceptable and a gross violation of constitutional order, rule of law and all accepted notions of law and order’. Indeed, he knows his stuff. In that interlude, when he wasn’t leading FEC meetings, he was engaging the 36 states with a keen interest in grassroots politics, women affairs, agriculture and young people. He has shown a mastery of communication and responsibility; like President Buhari, he is still actively engaged in the fight for the return of kidnapped girls and the welfare of their families; during the campaigns, he held numerous town hall meetings across the country and participated in youth-led initiatives clamouring for change. In less than 5 years on the national scene, he has gained good popularity among the Nigerian people for his achievements and dexterity in handling national issues.

In the cyberspace, the Vice President Yemi Osinbajo has gathered the most likes, comments and engagements, grossing over 500,000 likes on Facebook, 2 million followers on Twitter and 500,000 Instagram subscribers and social strength of 16 million, he is the second most-followed Nigerian politician after his boss President Muhammadu Buhari. For the first time in a long time we are witnessing a proactive and dynamic 62-year-old man – petite, eloquent, tech-savvy, and an unassuming leader.

While a vice presidential pick has never been solely credited with swinging an election, it can leave an indelible impression about the judgment of a would-be president or help address something that is lacking at the top of the ticket; whether it be a regional appeal, ideological purity, religious sentiments or a gap in their resume. Sometimes, it’s all of the above.

His role in the country’s technological ecosystem cannot be easily undermined. From being part of a tech tour around hubs and start-ups across Nigeria to facilitating the 2016 Aso Villa Demo day, a platform meant to promote innovation and provide opportunities for entrepreneurs and start-ups solving local problems. Interestingly, Facebook’s CEO Mark Zuckerberg made his first trip to Africa and was also part of the pitch competition to which the VP played host. At the Google For Nigeria 2018 event, Osinbajo assured that Nigeria will partner with Google to boost internet connectivity nationwide. You’ll also catch the VP at creative events and spaces where Nigeria’s new age is being celebrated. Whether it’s at the Ake Book Festival, Art Summits or Fashion Week, he appeals as a desirable model of what a progressive leader should be.

Many also love him for his religious ties, prior to his role as VP, Professor Osinbajo served as a top pastor in the Redeemed Christian church of God, Nigeria’s largest Pentecostal Church body, but beyond this, his sheer honesty, intellectual acuity and genuine delight has caused him to be loved by all and sundry. His rise to the heart of the Nigerian people has been an easy climb.

Richard Ogundiya is a Journalist covering technology, politics, development and culture in Africa.

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We’re Committed To The Release Of Leah Sharibu, Osinbajo Tells Pence

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 laced with friendly banter, cordial exchange of pleasantries and sharing of faith values, 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.

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 its people.

In their discussions on economic matters, Mr. Pence said, “Nigeria is a great country with a history of 200 million people, that’s a great nation. I 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.

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For The Records: What Vice President Yemi Osinbajo Said On Kidnapping

Our attention has been drawn to misleading reports in a section of the media purportedly made by and attributed to Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, SAN, on the security situation in Nigeria, in New York.

For the purpose of clarity, and the records it is pertinent to state that Prof. Osinbajo was entirely misquoted and his words taken out of context in the said media reports especially those that quoted him as saying that “Kidnapping in Nigeria is exaggerated and not entirely new”

Nowhere in the Vice President’s remarks at the townhall meeting with the Nigerian community did he use the word “exaggerated,” not even by implication.

His remarks about the social media being hysterical was a general response to comments made by participants at the meeting about information on happenings in Nigeria especially as they relate to security being shared on social media platforms by unverified sources.

WHAT THE VP SAID

According to the Vice President “I really will urge that you don’t rely entirely for information on social media. I think that the social media tends to be hysterical about practically everything.

“I think there is also a lot of politics involved in some of the information as it comes up. I think it is also important to point out that this new wave of issues of security came immediately after the elections. And there is always a connection between this issue of security and elections because many times, politicians’ arm several of these individuals during the electioneering period, and immediately after an election cycle, many of them, having nothing to do and with arms all over the place, resort to the fastest way of making money which is to abduct somebody and ask for a ransom. And that is just one side of the problem.

“But let me dimension it so that you can really understand it better.

“When people say there is security problem here and there, it is not one thing, it is several different things but if it is described as one thing then it will look bigger than it really is. And I am deeply worried about the fact that we might find ourselves unable to resolve these problems unless we drill down to see what the problems are.”

“With respect to general kidnapping which we have seen in certain parts of the country, again this is not entirely new. When you listen to some of the stories, some of them are simply not true anyway. Some are fueled by politics, but there are cases of kidnapping, there is no question at all about that….and every story we try to track and trace. When you track them, you find out that people just tell some stories, but the truth anyway is that there is kidnapping in places where it has taken place. The way to check it is the work we are doing with State governments namely using technology to track cases. These are economic crimes; if people know that they will be caught, and they will not be allowed to get away with their loot, it will stop in the places where it is taking place. That is really the work we are doing with the State governments. We are doing this in the various zones where we see that there are a rash of incidents. We are trying to put in place trackers and all sorts of other equipment that can be used to locate these criminals.

“I am not so sure how many follow the number of arrests that have been made in different state police commands, several have been made. I don’t think the problem is as massive as that, I think we can deal with the question of kidnapping quite easily. I am sure that not so long a time, the news will be a lot better in terms of kidnapping and we will feel more comfortable about life at home.”

Laolu Akande
Senior Special Assistant to the President (Media & Publicity)
Office of the Vice President

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Vice President Osinbajo Reassures Nigerians In Diaspora Of Buhari Administration’s Determination To Secure Country & Prosper The People

Taking more than 40 questions from the Nigerian community in New York Sunday night, Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, SAN, has reassured Nigerians in Diaspora about the determination of the Buhari administration to secure the country and prosper the people.

Prof. Osinbajo stated this while responding to questions during a townhall meeting with some members of the Nigerian community in New York.

The forum with Nigerians in the Diaspora was one of the activities lined up for the Vice President’s visit to the United States.

According to him, “there is really nothing serious to worry about because we are taking the necessary steps to address issues relating to herders/farmers clashes, kidnappings and others.”

While highlighting different aspects of the Federal Government’s agenda at the townhall meeting in midtown Manhattan, Prof. Osinbajo said the whole essence of the policies and programmes on social welfare, health care and others is to take majority of Nigerians out of poverty.

He said “the reason why we decided to have what we call the Social Investment Programmes is basically because it is one of the ways to address the problem of poverty in Nigeria.

“Nigeria has never systematically addressed the poverty problem in the way that India, which used to have the largest population of poor people, have done.

“As at 2010, Nigeria had a population of about 112.7 million people living in extreme poverty and there was nothing in place to address the problem, no social investment programme, no social security, no way of getting people out of poverty.

“So, the National Social Investment Programme was to address questions of how to get our people out of poverty and to address the major concerns of poverty.”

Continuing, Prof. Osinbajo said “some people are so poor that they cannot afford the basics of life, so the disbursement of N5,000 monthly stipends to such people under the Conditional Cash Transfer has gone a long way in helping them.”

“Dealing with the problem of poverty is so huge that we also came up with the Government Enterprise and Empowerment Programme (GEEP) where we give interest-free loans to petty traders under what we call the TraderMoni scheme.

“These are traders at the bottom of pyramid in our economic value chain, those whose inventory are sometimes not more than N5,000. They are given N10,000 and when they pay back, they get higher amounts up to N100,000.

“The same thing we are doing with the Homegrown School Feeding Programme where we give children in public schools a free meal every day, and we are feeding about 9.5 million children in 31 states. This initiative is key to addressing one of the issues associated with poverty, which is malnutrition. And we have found that as a result of this programme, school enrolment figures have gone up significantly.

“Also, part of the reasons why we are doing this is first the multiplier, because it is homegrown; the entire value chain is serviced locally, including the cooks who are picked from the locality of the school,” Prof. Osinbajo added.

On measuring the impact of the schemes, Prof. Osinbajo said an impact assessment report on the cash transfer and the microcredit schemes would be released before the end of September 2019.

According to the Vice President “we are trying to measure the impact and we have put together a team with the World Bank assisting us. We also have one or two organizations who are trying to do this measurement for us and I believe that in the next two months we should have at least the first report looking at some of the impact of the microcredit schemes and the conditional cash transfers.

“But a lot of these things are intuitive. I don’t think that there is any great difficulty in knowing that when people are enabled it makes things easier for them and people can see the results.”

On health care funding, the Vice President said the Federal Government was committed to addressing the challenge of inadequate funding through an innovative approach that takes care of the poor in the society.

According to him, “what we have done is to follow the provision of the Health Act which says that 1% of our Consolidated Revenue Fund (CRF) must go to health care and that is what we have done. For the first time, for the 2018 budget, we have set aside the 1 % of the CRF for health.

“Aside from that we also have the basic health care provision fund which we are running in all of the states. This is the Federal Government contribution which is matched by the states to deal with primary health care issues.

“The challenge is that you cannot deal with health care from government budget alone. This is the reason why the National Health Insurance is very important for us. An amendment has been effected to make contributory health insurance compulsory.

“For us, one of the problems to address is the large numbers of poor people. So, in determining what that premium will be, we decided that government will pay 35% of the premium so that those who cannot afford to pay are taken care of by government.”

On pensions, Prof. Osinbajo said the Buhari administration had through several interventions resolved some issues with pensioners in different organisations and sectors including the Nigerian Airways, military and paramilitary organisations, civil service and parastatals, amongst others.

He added that the bailout funds released to some states by the Buhari administration were, in many instances, meant to pay arrears of pensions and salaries.

On leveraging human capital in the Diaspora to complement development efforts in Nigeria, the Vice President said the establishment of the Diaspora Commission by the Buhari administration was one of the ways to show government’s commitment to work with Nigerian professionals in the Diaspora.

He said “the reason why the Diaspora Commission was set up is to address all the various concerns that the Diasporan have and that we also have as government and in some cases as institutions.

“We believe very strongly that the Diaspora is an important partner in all the things that we are doing. You can talk about their remittances and all that. So, they are an important component in what we are doing, as you have heard in GDP, and their remittances.”

Prof. Osinbajo also urged them to work closely with the Diaspora Commission to identify ways of contributing to the development of the country.

Also present at the event was Hon. Justice Sylvanus Nsofor, Nigeria’s Ambassador to the United States; Prof. Tijjani Bade, Nigeria’s Permanent Representative at the United Nations and President of the UN General Assembly, amongst others.

Laolu Akande
Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity
Office of the Vice President
25 June, 2019

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Technology: Nigeria & Nigerians Will Surprise The World, Says Osinbajo

The potential, effort and impact being made by Nigerians in technology can enable the country roll out indigenous technology solutions that can transform the global space according to Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, SAN.

Prof. Osinbajo stated this Monday while interacting with interested investors and foreign policy experts on Nigeria’s economic prospects and related matters at the Council on Foreign Relations in New York City.

In a question and answer session after his opening remarks at the event, Prof Osinbajo was asked about the ongoing international dispute regarding some global technology firms and the issue of 5G.

He explained that even though Nigeria is yet to roll out 5G, “we do not have those complications (comparatively) in taking decisions in that regard. But, we practically welcome every company that wants to do business with us in Nigeria. Huawei is in Nigeria and so are all the other technology companies.

“We haven’t gone through any kind of decision making for rolling out the 5G technology; as a matter of fact we are going to roll out 5G ourselves. Talking about the equipment and technology; how did the Chinese get it? How did anyone else get the technology? We will do it ourselves.”

Speaking further, the Vice President who was optimistic about the possibility to developing homegrown capacity in the technology space said government would leverage the efforts and resourcefulness of youths to actualize its potentials in the sector.

“Our potential in technology and entertainment has been attracting huge attention. First is the market, at 174 million GSM phones, we are among the top ten telephone users in the world, and we have the highest percentage of people who use internet on their phones in the world,” Prof Osinbajo added.

Continuing he said “we are also number two in mobile internet banking in the world, and 17 million Nigerians are on Facebook. Microsoft has announced that it will establish a 100 million dollar African Development Centre in Nigeria.

“Second is the ever-growing number of technology startups, young digital entrepreneurs who are creating solutions to value chain and logistics challenges and creating thousands of jobs in the process. Andela, a software company training software developers for many Fortune 500 companies received a $24m dollar investment from Facebook.”

In the other sectors of the economy, the Vice President told the American audience that Nigeria remained the best place to invest given its market and enterprising population.

He said “now, we are opening up our power sector. We are asking power firms to come in and invest in end to end power supply. Power Africa – a USAID project has made a commitment of $110m over five years (2018 – 2023) to provide transaction support to the entire value-chain covering gas supply, distribution, transmission and generation activities with our population, and a market-driven power sector, so the next few years promise exciting prospects.

“This is also the case with other infrastructure. We are embarking on the largest investment in infrastructure in our history, welcoming private investments in concessions and projects rail, roads, airports, and other infrastructure.”

On agriculture, Prof. Osinbajo said “Nigeria has the 9th largest stock of arable land in the world. We have become world leaders in cassava, yams, sorghum, and millet, and we are on the threshold of self-sufficiency in paddy rice production.

“Seeing greater interest in agriculture and the agro-allied value chain, there is no question that aside from the export market, our population presents a massive and lucrative local market.”

Speaking specifically about what government was doing to revive manufacturing in the country, the Vice President said the Federal Government’s Project Made In Nigeria for Export, titled Project MINE was conceived to drive the country’s industrialization agenda.

According to him, “we are investing at the moment in the creation of special economic zones. Our Project MINE is designed to attract sunset industries from more advanced manufacturing economies, in search of affordable well-trained labor in Nigeria.

“At the moment we are focusing on industries for local manufacture of goods for which Nigeria has a comparative advantage. These include cotton, garments, leather, and light industrial manufacturing.”

Speaking further on efforts to improve domestic manufacturing, the Vice President said “the Nigerian Special Economic Zones Investment company is a public-private partnership established as the delivery vehicle for the project.

“Investors for the project include AFDB, Afroexim Bank, and AFC. Already work has begun in three locations. The Enyimba Economic City in Aba, Abia State, covers over 9500 hectares. Three international anchor tenants have been secured for phase one of the project. The city will be served by an existing IPP for power and will create 625,000 jobs when it is fully built.

“There is also the Lekki Model Industrial Park in partnership with the Lagos State Government in Lagos. It is set on 1000 hectares in the northeast cluster of Lekki Free Zone. It has already attracted world-class anchor tenants for textiles and garments, agro-processing and light industrial manufacturing including the number 1 Chinese and number 9 global textiles and garment group, (RUYI Group).

“The third project in its early stages is the Funtua Cotton Cluster in Katsina State which is in North West Nigeria. Funtua has the largest aggregation of cotton ginneries in Nigeria. The cluster will aggregate cotton from 800,000 farmers in Northern Nigeria and become the largest integrated cotton ginning, spinning and weaving complex in Sub Saharan Africa,” the Vice President noted.

In renewable energy, Prof. Osinbajo said “huge prospects also exist in investments in renewable energy, energy-efficient-processes and clean technology.”

According to him “gas had been flared for almost 60 years by major oil companies but in 2017 government approved the Nigerian Gas Flare Commercialisation Programme, designed to eliminate gas flaring through technically and commercially sustainable gas utilization projects. The Programme offers flared gas for sale through a transparent and competitive bidding process.”

After his interaction at the CFR, the Vice President was received at the United Nations by a team of top officials of the world body led by Deputy Secretary-General Amina Mohammed at the UN headquarters.

Prof. Osinbajo and the UN officials discussed ways Nigeria and the UN can further collaborate on national, regional and global issues.

The Vice President would be meeting his American counterpart tomorrow Wednesday at the White House before heading back to Abuja.

Laolu Akande
Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity
Office of the Vice President
25 June 2019
Copyright © 2019, Office of the Vice President, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo, SAN, All rights reserved.

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Where Nigeria Is Heading In The Next 10 Years – Osinbajo

The Federal Government’s vision for Nigeria in the next 10 years and more is to transform the economy into an industrialized one with a strong middle class and a place where the majority of the people are living above the poverty line, according to Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, SAN.

Prof. Osinbajo stated this at a Dinner and Interactive Session with some visiting Faculty Members from the Harvard Business School (HBS) led by Prof. Srikant Datar, a Professor of Business Administration, alongside a select group of Nigerian business executives, on Tuesday evening in Lagos.

The Vice President featured alongside Srikant Datar and Mr. Bayo Ogunlesi, a Nigerian Investment banker in the United States of America, in a panel discussion moderated by Mr. Hakeem Belo- Osagie, Chairman of Metis Capital Partners and addressed several issues on power, the economy and climate change, amongst others.

According to the Vice President, “I will like to see Nigeria become an industrialized nation in the next 10 years; with a very strong middle class and most people living above poverty line. Our policies and programmes are directed at achieving this objective.”

He said the Federal Government had put in place measures that will kick-start the industrialization drive of the country, citing the example of the creation of Special Economic Zones (SEZ) and small manufacturing clusters across the country as some of the steps taken by government.

He said “practically everything we are doing is to ensure that there is a conducive environment for businesses to thrive.

“The Federal Government is looking at natural economic clusters. We have done a lot of work in five of them, we are looking at 23 others, and we have already set up shared facilities in designated locations to address some of the concerns in production.

“What we plan for the Special Economic Zones is also unique and geared towards that drive to industrialize our economy.”

Speaking on efforts to alleviate poverty, the Vice President said it is being addressed by government.

When asked what keeps him up at night, Prof. Osinbajo said it is the problem of “extreme poverty; the issue is that the largest number of those who vote for us are the very poor.

“The promises that government makes to them is that their lives will be better and obviously they are looking at their lives being better in the shortest possible time.”

He explained that a number of government policies and programmes were focused on people at the bottom of the pyramid, especially in agriculture and trade, and getting credit facilities to people in order to enable them improve in whatever they are doing.

He said that many farmers had been lifted out of poverty as a result of some of the initiatives, adding nonetheless that the scale needs to be improved.

According to him, “First, the focus of our government was on agriculture which has the potential to take many out of poverty. We are supporting farmers operating through the out-grower programme and our focus is to attain sufficiency in Rice, Sorghum and Millet production.

“A lot of attention has also been given to the Social Investment Programmes (SIPs) which factored the provision of cheap credit to petty traders—at the bottom of the pyramid. We have given out cheap credits through our TraderMoni and MarketMoni initiatives and this has also proven to be largely successful.”

On Power, the Vice President said the government is committed to finding lasting solutions to issues militating against the improvements that ought to have been witnessed in the sector.

“The issues are enormous but what we really need to do is to re-write regulations and encourage more people to invest in the sector.

“In the next few months, we will unveil a plan that deals with most of the critical issues in the power sector,’’ he said.

Addressing concerns raised about climate change, Prof Osinbajo said Nigeria would not act differently as “the momentum, globally, is in favour of renewable energy and recycling”.

He cited examples of what the Federal Government in partnership with the private sector have so far done, through the solar power programme in selected markets in Kano, Abia and Lagos States as well as the Federal Government Green Bond Initiative.

On improving trade among countries in Africa, the Vice President said Intra-African trade is important and is “the way to go” but that there is the need to address concerns around dumping and protection of local manufacturers, amongst others before the endorsement of any agreements.

Addressing the issue of brain drain and efforts to curb it, the Vice President expressed optimism that the steps being taken by government to improve the business environment in Nigeria will address the menace.

According to him, “As people see that the environment is getting better for business, they will come back, the opportunities for making huge profits are here.”

He also noted that Nigeria was open to business as it has a lot of potential and urged Nigerian investors abroad to look homewards.

“If you are going to do business anywhere in Africa, it has to be Nigeria. This is where you have the energy, you have the drive.

“We are already seeing that kind of activity, business people will always be driven by profit,” Prof. Osinbajo added.

On his part, Datar said he was particularly proud of Osinbajo as an academic in governance, stressing that academics do well in governance.

He pledged HBS’s readiness in providing needed support for human capital development in Nigeria and proffering solutions to tackling Nigeria’s infrastructure challenge.

Also speaking at the event, Ogunlesi said that the era of depending on government for infrastructure was gone, adding the Federal Government had no business running infrastructure in Nigeria, especially the airports.

In a vote of thanks, Emir of Kano, Muhammadu Sanusi II, regretted the high poverty rate in Nigeria especially in the North West and called for urgent action to address it, advocating for a committee on girl-child education to be set up to address issues surrounding early marriage and family planning.

The event also attracted Lagos State Governor, Mr. Babajide Sanwo-Olu, the US Ambassador to Nigeria, Mr. Stuart Symington, immediate past Minister of Trade and Investment, Dr. Okechukwu Enelamah, immediate past Minister of Budget and National Planning, Senator Udo Udoma amongst others.

Laolu Akande
Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity
Office of the Vice President
19th June 2019

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Osinbajo Pitches Nigeria To Havard Business School, US Investors

Vice President Yemi Osinbajo is as good as they come, he’s the perfect salesman for Nigeria and whenever he is presented the opportunity to pitch an idea, he takes it with full embrace.

On many occasions, foreign investors are whipping out their fat check books and ordering that their Business Managers start thinking of how and where to invest in Nigeria even before Prof. Osinbajo is done with his speech.

It was no different on Tuesday June 18 in Lagos when he had an interactive session with the Havard Business School and some 32 professors. By all standards, professors are difficult to sway but when you have a suave and confident maestro handling this session then someone was always going to give in.

First, they were impressed that the Vice President had a Resume that was not commonplace in politics but more impressive was his knowledge for almost everything, from energy to economy, not to mention law.

But most importantly was the premium he placed on the Nigerian people and how the Buhari administration wanted millions to be out of the ‘extreme poverty’ line. He spoke about Human Per Capital index and the efforts of the government in improving the quality of lives of the average Nigerian.

He spoke and everyone listened. The room was quiet and the emotions from his speech, contagious. You could hear the hearts of the audience beat faster and their heads calculating how investments would benefit Nigeria and their brands.

The Senior Advocate of Nigeria said he would like to see Nigeria being an industrialised nation in the next 10 years with a very strong middle class and most people living above poverty line.

His oratory alongside his gesticulation made the audience turn their heads from left to right as they grasped every point made by Professor Osinbajo.

Osinbajo then explained that a lot of government policies were taking into account people at the bottom of the pyramid with a focus on agriculture and getting credit facilities to farmers in order to achieve self sufficiency.

He stressed that many farmers in Nigeria had been lifted out of poverty by the Buhari administration but that much more can be achieved with the partnership from investors.

He said a lot of attention has been given to the Social Intervention Programmes (SIPs) which factored the provision of cheap credit to petty traders at the bottom rung of the economic ladder.

It didn’t take long for the magic wand of the Vice President to start producing results. As also present at the interactive session was Adebayo Ogunlesi, a global investor and one-time economic advisor to President Donald Trump.

Catching the vibes, Ogunlesi said that the era of depending on government for infrastructure was gone, he said the Federal Government had no business running infrastructure in Nigeria, especially the airports.

Srikant Datar, Professor of Business Administration, Havard Business School (HBS) pledged HBS’s support in providing needed support for human capital development in Nigeria and proffering solutions to tackling Nigeria’s infrastructure challenges.

For Prof. Osinbajo, it’s just another opportunity to sell Nigeria to the world, it’s another shot at taking Nigeria to where it rightfully belongs, it’s another chance to showcase the glorious Green-White-Green but more importantly an opportunity to prove that the Nigerian people matter the most.

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Extreme Poverty In Nigeria Give Me Sleepless Nights – Osinbajo

Vice President Yemi Osinbajo says the problem of extreme poverty in Nigeria keeps him up at night.

Osinbajo disclosed this at a dinner and Interactive Session with Faculty Members, Harvard Business School (HBS) on Tuesday in Lagos.

The vice president featured alongside Srikant Datar, Professor of Business Administration (HBS), and Bayo Ogunlesi, a Nigerian investment banker at a question and answer session moderated by Hakeem Bello-Osagie, Chairman of Metis Capital Partners.

“I think what keeps me up at night has to do with extreme poverty; the issue is that the largest number of those who vote for us are the very poor.

“The promises that government makes to them is that their lives will be better and obviously they are looking at their lives being better in the shortest possible time.

“I will like to see Nigeria being an industrialised nation in the next 10 years; a very strong middle class and most people living above poverty line.’’

Osinbajo said that a lot of government policies were taking into account people at the bottom of the pyramid with a focus on agriculture and getting credit facilities to farmers in order to achieve self-sufficiency.

He said that many farmers in the country had been lifted out of poverty by this administration.

According to him, a lot of attention had also been given to the Social Intervention Programmes (SIPs) which factored the provision of cheap credit to petty traders at the bottom of the pyramid.

The vice president told the HBS that Nigeria was open to business with its various potentials and urged Nigerian investors abroad to look homewards.

“If you are going to do business anywhere in Africa, it has to be Nigeria.

“This is where you have the energy; you have the drive.

“We are already seeing that kind of activity; business people will always be driven by profit.

“Talent will always go in the direction where it is best rewarded; one can’t afford to be sentimental about that.

As people see that the environment is getting better for business, they will come back; the opportunities for making huge profits are here.

“Practically everything we are doing in to ensure that there is environment for business to thrive. People are leaving but people are coming back.’’

He said that the Federal Government, through the Special Economic Zones (SEZ) was encouraging the manufacturers.

The vice president said that the government was looking at natural economic clusters and had set up shared facilities and power.

He said a lot was going on the agro-allied sector and of course, resolving the power challenges.

“In the next few months, we will unveil a plan that deals with most of the critical issues in the power sector,’’ he said.

On climate change, Osinbajo said that the momentum was in favour of renewable energy and Nigeria was doing a lot of investment in renewable energy; solar power and opening up opportunities.

On his part, Datar said he was particularly proud of Osinbajo as an academic in governance, adding that academics provide enabling environment for good governance.

He pledged HBS’s support in providing needed support for human capital development in Nigeria and proffering solutions to tackling Nigeria’s infrastructure challenges.

Speaking, Ogunlesi said that the era of depending on government for infrastructure was gone, adding that the Federal Government had no business running infrastructure in Nigeria, especially the airports.

In a vote of thanks, Emir of Kano, Alhaji Muhammadu Sanusi 11, called for urgent action to address the high poverty rate in Nigeria especially in the North West.

He also advocated for a committee on girl-child education to boost enrolment in schools and uplift their living standards.

The event also attracted Lagos State Governor, Mr Babajide Sanwo-Olu, US Ambassador to Nigeria, Mr Stuart Symington, immediate past Minister of Trade and Investment, Mr Okechukwu Enelamah, immediate past Minister of Budget and National Planning, Sen. Udoma Udo Udoma among others.

(NAN)

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Men Must Honour Women, Treat Them As Equals, Says Vice President Osinbajo

The responsibility of fatherhood in families and society is very crucial in setting good examples for future generations, as it would guide them in the right path to lead exemplary lives, according to Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, SAN.

Prof. Osinbajo stated this on Sunday after a special Father’s Day service at the Aso Villa Chapel, Abuja.

On the Next Level agenda of the Buhari administration, the VP said power and infrastructure would improve, and there will be progress in the economy, security, and in the fight against corruption.

Speaking to the press, the Vice President wished every father in the country a Happy Father’s Day.

While noting that men should honour and love their wives and recognize their roles as partners, not just in families but in society, he said that it was equally important for them to teach young men to also honour and respect all women.

The Vice President said, “Fathers, as you know, have very important role to play in any human society or setting. I think it was (former US) President Barack Obama who said that it’s not the ability to father a child, or the ability to have a child that makes you a father, it is the courage to raise one. That’s really what makes you a father.

“I think that the responsibility of fatherhood is absolutely immense, whether one is a biological father to children or one who wants to take care of other children. All of us have a role to play, not just in the lives of our children, but so many others; those who have no fathers, even some who have fathers; to whom we have a responsibility to set examples to lead exemplary lives. And to bring them up, as the scriptures says, in the way of the Lord.

“So, the responsibility of the father is incredible indeed. One of the most important things is to teach our young men growing up that they must honour women, not just their wives. Of course, you must honour and love your wife, but I think it is also very important that we honour women. We shouldn’t treat them as subordinates; they are not. They are created equal to men. But most importantly, we must honour them and recognize their roles as partners, not just in families, but in society as well.”

Also present at the Father’s Day service at the Aso Villa Chapel were the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Boss Mustapha; Deputy Senate President, Ovie Omo-Agege; other senior government officials and private sector chieftains, including the President/Chief Executive Officer, Coscharis Group of Companies, Dr. Cosmas Maduka.


Laolu Akande
Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity
Office of the Vice President
16th June, 2019

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Presidency Issues Directive To Clear Apapa Port Congestion Within 2 Weeks

A Presidential directive has been issued for the immediate clearing up of the Apapa gridlock and the restoration of law and order to Apapa and its environs within 2 weeks. The directive mandates the immediate removal of all trucks from the bridges and roads within Apapa and all adjoining streets leading into the Apapa axis.

To facilitate this important assignment, operators of trucks and tankers have also been directed to vacate the Port Access Roads within the next 72 hours.

This directive follows an emergency meeting convened by President Muhammadu Buhari and chaired by Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, SAN, on the 25th of April, 2019. The meeting proffered lasting solutions to the gridlock around the Lagos Ports, as the traffic congestion has continued to restrict all operations and livelihood in the area.

At the meeting were key heads and representatives of relevant Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) of government, including the Honourable Minister of Power, Works and Housing, Mr. Babatunde Raji Fashola; Inspector General of Police, Mr. Mohammed Adamu; representative of the Chief of Naval Staff, Rear Admiral B.E.E Ibe-Enwo; Permanent Secretary, Lagos State Ministry of Transportation, Dr. Salaam Taiwo Olufemi; and the Executive Director, Marine and Operations, Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA), Dr. Sokonte Davies, among others.

Consequently, a Presidential Taskforce, chaired by Vice President Osinbajo was established to restore law and order to the area within 2 weeks. The Taskforce, which will report directly to the President, has included on its Terms of Reference the development of an efficient and effective management plan for the entire port area traffic, including the cargo, fuel distribution and business district traffic; enforcing the permanent removal of all stationary trucks on the highway, and the development of an effective manual truck call-up system, pending the introduction of the electronic truck call-up system. It also includes the implementation of a workable Empty Container Return and Export Container Truck Handling Policy, amongst others.

Members of the taskforce include Mr. Kayode Opeifa, former Commissioner of Transport in Lagos State, as the Executive Vice Chairman; a representative of the Presidential Enabling Business Environment Council (PEBEC); the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA); and the Nigerian Shippers’ Council (NSC).

Other members include a special unit of the Nigeria Police Force led by a Commissioner of Police, representatives of the Truck Transport Union, the Lagos State Government through the Lagos State Traffic Management Authority (LASTMA), and other relevant MDAs.

The Nigerian Navy and all other military formations have also been mandated to withdraw from traffic management duties in and around the Apapa axis, while military and paramilitary checkpoints in front of the ports and environs are to be dismantled.

In addition, LASTMA has been authorised to move into Apapa as the lead traffic management agency, while the NPA is to commence the immediate use of the Lilypond Terminal and Trailer Park A as a truck transit park. The directive further mandates compliance by all security personnel and MDAs, while heads of the Nigerian Ports Authority, Nigeria Customs Service, Federal Ministry of Power, Works and Housing, and all other security operatives are to ensure their officers’ adherence to the new directives.

Laolu Akande
Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity
Office of the Vice President
22nd May 2019

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