Osinbajo And A Proper Understanding Of The Restructuring Debate, By Chukwudi Enekwechi

The issues surrounding restructuring in Nigeria have remained topical at least since 1999, but it assumed a new level of resonance recently as the 2019 general elections approach. As expected, different pressure groups, socio-cultural associations and politicians have joined the fray. The most discernible motive for the high tempo in the resurgence of discourse about restructuring mainly centres around the ploy by some opposition politicians to take advantage of it to harangue the Buhari/Osinbajo administration as if all Nigeria’s problems will be solved with restructuring.

In their attempt to pull wool over our eyes on the topical issue and profit from it politically, they have tried to hinge the myriad of problems besetting Nigeria on restructuring, thereby insisting that the Buhari/Osinbajo administration must restructure Nigeria in their own terms and conditions.

As a responsible government, the Vice President, Professor Yemi Osinbajo made an intervention on the need to focus more on rebuilding the country for the benefit of all citizens which is evident in the administration’s programmes, and equally acceding to fiscal federalism as a restructuring model.

Some politicians who ab-initio had hoped to gain mileage with the advancement of a holistic restructuring will not listen or accept the Vice President’s line of argument rather they chose to pour invectives on him.

Being a gentleman and patriot, Professor Yemi Osinbajo further adduced reasons to justify his position for fiscal federalism, rather than geographical restructuring as being canvassed by some politicians. For any discerning mind, Professor Osinbajo’s postulations on fiscal federalism as a type of restructuring is not only patriotic but realistic and workable especially if we consider the heterogeneous nature of the country. As a country with divergent ethnic, cultural, religious and political backgrounds it will be chaotic and disruptive to embark on a geographical restructuring of the country at present, yet in a bid to benefit from the clamour of the crowded streets, some opportunistic politicians are insisting otherwise.

It is however important to remark that any long-lasting tinkering of the Nigerian political firmament as it is presently constituted must be weaned of the shout or plaudits of the throng, because in the end the essence of government is to guarantee the security of lives and properties of the citizens as well as cater to the needs of the people. I think it is within this prism that the Vice President, Professor Yemi Osinbajo tried to reason with the other schools of thought on the issue of restructuring. Unfortunately while as a statesman he is endeavouring to toe the patriotic line which will be acceptable to all the strata of society, his traducers chose to play to the gallery ostensibly for immediate political gains.

Therefore as the controversy over restructuring rages it important that Nigerians come to terms with the position of the Vice President, bearing in mind that this is one man who has never failed to stand shoulder to shoulder with Nigerians in their moments of need. There is no doubt that he has remained altruistic, devoted, committed and determined to sink and swim with Nigerians in the quest for an egalitarian society, and this is in line with the stand of President Muhammadu Buhari who has seen in him an undiluted level of patriotism and love for Nigeria, hence his decision to run again with him in the 2019 presidential election.

Nigerians must be wary of the later day restructuring converts to avoid any disappointment in the future. In the three and half years of the Buhari/Osinbajo administration it has become crystal clear that they have a clear focus of where to take the country, and using the three enablers of providing security, reviving the economy and tackling corruption Nigerians have seen the duo as partners in progress in whom they can entrust their future. As we approach the 2019 elections, we must distinguish mere rhetoric, deceitful political propaganda and realistic postulations as advanced by the Vice President of Nigeria Professor Yemi Osinbajo.

It is rather disappointing that some politicians in bid to gain momentarily from a prevailing situation will throw caution to the wind and condescend to the level of being impervious to reason. Lest we forget, Professor Osinbajo is not averse to restructuring as he has consistently promoted the creation of state police which is an aspect of restructuring, but he has always maintained the need for fiscal federalism which tends to devolve more powers to the sub-national governments rather than geographical restructuring.


By Chukwudi Enekwechi JP



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TraderMoni Beyond Petty Politics, Busy Body 2019 Elections,? By Akinloye James?

Some  Nigerians have wrongly claimed that the Trader Moni train travelling across the country is designed to induce voters ahead of the 2019 election, in some cases, like we saw in Osun, they believe that the scheme was designed to influence the governorship election holding on 22 September.

But a critical look at the scheme shows that all those politicizing the scheme got it wrong. Firstly, Trader Moni is a ‘Federal Government’ empowerment programme to alleviate poverty in Nigeria by empowering traders and artisans. It was conceived in 2016, three years before the general elections in 2019.

Secondly, Permanent Voters Cards (PVCs) are not required to benefit from the scheme. This means it’s immature and poorly thought for anyone to describe it as vote buying. There’s no certainty that the beneficiaries have PVCs or will vote, so how does it translate to vote buying?

“The petty traders are not required to show PVC, or any document for that matter, they are only expected to show they are petty traders and this is why the enumeration is done in the markets and wherever the traders ply their trades,” said Laolu Akande, the spokesperson to Vice President Yemi Osinbajo.

Many of these people forget that Trader Moni is a loan. They often think its free money, but you can’t blame them, they are used to freebies from previous administration.

With this microcredit scheme, petty traders get LOANS that are interest and collateral free but not FREE money.Afterthe loans are repaid, they become eligible to access more loans.

Thirdly, talking of the train stopping by Osun, Trader Moni train has a timeline and that included Osun. The traders had been briefed and they were expectant and that is what government is all about, serving the people.

There are some that are of a different school of thought. They claim N10,000 is too small to start a business but they are totally naïve. For those who watch CNN, perhaps you might have had the chance to see Richard Quest’s advert, it simply says, “It Begins with ‘Just a Penny’ in CNN’s ‘Quest Means Business”.

We’ve heard stories of big businessmen and women who started very little and became household names. Take a second and look at hawkers on some of Nigeria’s major roads and you’ll realise that many of them require far less than N10,000, but still they jump onto the streets and start chasing after cars.

If these hawkers get N10,000 collateral and interest free loans, they will be off the street and on to better things. With N10,000 you could get a stall and start selling fruits, vegetables, food items, etc.

Here’s an interesting fact about microcredit scheme like Trader Moni. Globally, the Services sector contributes a whopping 75% of the global GDP and overall employment. In other words, the Services sector contributes more to world leading economies than oil and agriculture combined.

In India, microcredit schemes are the most powerful engine of the country’s growth, accounting for the swelling numbers in the Service sector but in Nigeria, it’s seen as a political tool.

Trader Moni has been launched in Kano, Abia, Akwa Ibom, Katsina, Osun, Abuja, FCT, Kogi and Cross River. Hopefully we will learn not to politicise issues that are of utmost importance to many who need them.

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Vice President Osinbajo Calls For Support For MSMEs

Vice-President, Prof. Yemi Osibanjo, (SAN), has called for the sustenance of the Business Support Services and financing of 15,000 Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT).

He made this known during the inauguration of the Federal Capital Territory MSME ”One Stop Shop’ in Abuja.

The Abuja Enterprises Agency (AEA) manages the MSMEs in the territory.

Osibanjo said the Abuja Enterprises Agency should be sustained and in line with government’s agenda to boost the sector.

The  Vice-President represented by the Minister of state Industry, Trade and Investment, Hajia Aisha Abubakar said that the initiative was designed to further facilitate the synergy between the MSMEs and Business Support and Regulatory bodies thereby eliminating bureaucratic bottlenecks facing the MEMEs in the country.

The sum of  20,000 naira grant each was disbursed to 223 Market Women to support their Businesses.

The Managing Director, Abuja Enterprises Agency [AEA], Muhammad Tukur Arabi said that over 8,500 businesses are being sensitized on regulatory issues, government support programmes and projects.

Earlier, the FCT Minister, Malam Muhammed Musa Bello Represented by the FCT Permanent Secretary, Sir Chinaka Ohaa, said that in the last 3 months, it has approved and inaugurated the MSMEs State Council.

The MSME clinic was inaugurated by the office of the VP last year to promote Small and medium businesses.

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Tradermoni Spreading: Vice President Osinbajo Launches N10,000 Collateral Free Loans To Petty Traders In Abuja

In line with its agenda to spread prosperity and reduce poverty, the Federal Government will continue to initiate and sustain programmes aimed at uplifting Nigerians at the bottom of the pyramid, especially petty traders regardless of socio-political background, according to Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, SAN.

The Vice President stated this earlier today at the formal launch of the FCT TraderMoni programme, a collateral and interest free loan scheme initiated by the Federal Government to assist petty traders across the country. The scheme is part of the Social Investment Programme of the Buhari administration.

So far, the programme has been launched in Lagos, Kano, Katsina, Abia and Osun states and would be extended, in quick succession, to traders in all the States of the federation by the end of 2018.

Speaking to traders at the Utako market shortly after witnessing the disbursement of funds to beneficiaries, the Vice President said every petty trader was eligible to benefit from the scheme and urged petty traders across the country to take advantage of the scheme to improve their businesses.

According to him, “This programme is for the petty traders selling in the markets, it is not for bigger traders. It is for the petty traders to improve their businesses. For now, we are giving you N10, 000, if you pay back in six months or less, you will get another N15, 000. We want to encourage petty traders, so that they can have sufficient amount to improve their businesses.”

He assured beneficiaries that the amount given to them would be increased if they paid back their loans within the stipulated period, adding that President Muhammadu Buhari himself was interested in the welfare of the traders.

According to the Vice President, “The one we did before was for big traders under the GEEP programme, we gave them as much as N100, 000. If you do well with this one we are giving you now, we will increase the amount.

“Everybody can benefit from this scheme, the President himself has said that he wants to make sure that those who are selling small items in the markets benefit from this programme.

“When we give you this money, we want you to pay back and no interest is involved.”

Earlier on arrival at the market, Prof. Osinbajo went round interacting with petty traders before he proceeded to address traders who had thronged access roads around the market to receive him.

The Vice President was accompanied to the programme by two Ministers of State: Industry Trade and Investment, Hajiya Aisha Abubakar and Zainab Ahmed among other top government officials.

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Technology Is The Future Of Business In Nigeria – Osinbajo

Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, SAN, has said that technology hubs and start-up businesses because are the future of Nigeria.

Professor Osinbajo stated this when he visited the Ventures Park, Abuja, with the UK Minister for Africa, Harriet Baldwin.

“Technology, especially the startups that we are seeing, is the future of business in Nigeria and will lead us to the Nigerian business revolution,” the vice president said.

He said technology is the way to go and noted that most of the start-ups at the Ventures Park began during the period Nigeria was in recession and proved by the number of jobs they created that the “it is the future starting today.”

He said one of the ways the President Muhammadu Buhari administration has encouraged technology companies was by setting up the Creativity and Technology Advisory Group as part of the Industrial Council.

He said: “Many of these young start ups are members of that creativity and advisory group, where they help to formulate policies with federal government policy makers.  They help us to formulate policies, especially in these new areas like in Fintech, where we need to formulate new policies.”

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FG Set To Commit N500bn Into Wealth Creation And Poverty Alleviation – Osinbajo

Vice-President Professor Yemi Osinbajo (SAN), has said that the Federal Government is putting the sum of N500 billion into wealth creation and poverty alleviation,

Professor Osinbajo stated this at the question and answer session of the 58th Annual General Conference of the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA).

He said it was in  recognition of the menace of poverty that the Federal Government rolled out the National Social Investment Programmes (NSIP) aimed at improving capacity and alleviating poverty.

He explained that the Federal Government targeted 5 million poor people but was hindered by scarce resources.

The vice-president said that 500,000 graduates had been employed under the N-Power which was a part of NSIP for providing jobs to graduates.

He also listed TraderMoni scheme which was a micro-credit scheme aimed at the empowering 2 million petty traders.

According to Professor Osinbajo, one way of checking poverty is to incrementally improve capacity and put money in the hands of the poorest which is what NSIP is doing.

Professor Osinbajo said that there was need for a strong institutions in order to make justice system effective.

He said that the stakeholder should not allow a situation where the administration of justice system became ineffective because if it did, building a moral society would be undermined almost entirely.

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Acting President Osinbajo In A Familiar Terrain, By Chukwudi Enekwechi

Professor Yemi Osinbajo has recently been announced as the acting president of Nigeria as President Muhammadu Buhari proceeded on a ten day’ vacation to the United Kingdom. He had on other occasions discharged the same responsibility in very satisfactory ways, and to the admiration of most Nigerians.

Of course, his principal, President Buhari, continues to repose full confidence in him, mostly based on his competence and sincerity of purpose. Professor Yemi Osinbajo is a man of genteel disposition and his ability to proffer solutions to some very knotty national issues has continued to endear him to Nigerians. He has under the auspices of the Federal Government spearheaded various assignments that have elevated Nigeria at the international fora.

He had in line with the Federal Government Economic Recovery and Growth Plan embarked on an investment drive to the United States of America where he diligently showcased the information and communication technology potentials in Nigeria. He succeeded largely in winning the goodwill of Google, the world’s largest search engine firm towards Nigeria, especially as it relates to the efforts of the Federal Government in the diversification of the economy using technology as an enabler for more foreign exchange earnings.

He also extended the support of the Buhari administration to Google’s Next Billion users plan which is aimed at guaranteeing greater digital access in Nigeria and globally. This approach will afford millions of Nigerians access to the internet and enhance content distribution during his recent visit to Silicon Valley in the United States. In totality his recently-concluded trip to the United States was a win-win for Nigeria. The vice president had also embarked on an investment road show to the United States which took him to San Francisco and Los Angeles.

The major reason for the renewed interest on Nigeria by leading global information technology giants like Google and Facebook cannot be far-fetched considering the emergence of a new generation of internet users and the future potentials. Three key ways Nigerians are keying into the new technology are through the use of smart phones to access the internet, an instinct for universal computing and a demand for localised content. As he ascends the mantle of leadership at the highest level, Professor Yemi Osinbajo will surely not disappoint as he has an uncanny way of mobilising mass support for the administration especially as their many achievements in security, economy and fight against corruption are daily becoming manifest.

For the first time in Nigeria’s history there are noticeable improvements in the infrastructural development of the country. There is also a consciousness among Nigerians today that corruption is a cankerworm that does not do anyone good hence the unalloyed support for its reduction or outright eradication. The Buhari/Osinbajo administration has given a good account of itself in this sector. It is needless to restate that corruption has contributed to underdevelop us as a people, and with the undaunted commitment of the administration there is hope that Nigeria will soon heave a sigh of relief.

As a conscientious leader, acting President Yemi Osinbajo never fails to galvanise the collective goodwill of Nigerians and rally them at critical moments for the overall development of the country. In doing this his sincere disposition while tackling some intractable national problems is not lost on Nigerians and this was demonstrated in his past engagements with the Niger Delta stakeholders. On the whole Nigerians are expectant that the next ten days of acting President Yemi Osinbajo will not be a dull moment, and will be used to consolidate on numerous achievements of President Muhammadu Buhari and his humble self.

As a testimony to his proactive leadership qualities, acting President Yemi Osinbajo had, in the aftermath of the security siege at the National Assembly, queried the former director general of Department of State Security, Mr. Lawal Daura, on the rationale and authority for the unlawful action.

Based on the unsatisfactory response and public outcry, Osinbajo sacked  Daura as the boss of the DSS and the action  immediately restored calm and peace to a country gripped by anxiety. Many Nigerians including the opposition also lauded Osinbajo for punishing the erring official and promoting the  rule of law.

Of course this is not the first time will play a pivotal role in seeing that Nigerians ‘yearning for the full observance of the rule of law is given full expression and the result is the unquantifiable applause and support Nigerians have continued to give to the Buhari/Osinbajo administration. Enekwechi (JP) is an Abuja-based journalist and politician Kwechis19@yahoo.com

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Managing Resources Better Will Move Nigeria Forward – Osinbajo

Vice President, Yemi Osinbajo, SAN, has said that managing resources better and providing for the people will move the country forward.

Osinbajo stated this on Monday while answering questions from a cross-section of Nigerians at a town hall meeting in Minnesota, the United States of America, where he spoke on a wide range of issues covering the economy, anti-corruption, health, agriculture among others.

Read Full Statement Below.

In contrast to the simple geographical restructuring of the country, prudent management of national resources and providing for the people properly, are better ideas for Nigeria’s development challenges, according to Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, SAN.

Prof. Osinbajo who stated this while fielding questions from a cross-section of Nigerians at a town hall meeting in Minnesota, the United States of America on Sunday, spoke on a wide range of issues covering the economy, anti-corruption, health, agriculture among others.

According to the Vice President, “the problem with our country is not a matter of restructuring and we must not allow ourselves to be drawn into the argument that our problems stem from some geographical restructuring. It is about managing resources properly and providing for the people properly, that is what it is all about.”

“I served for eight years as Attorney General in Lagos State and one of the chief issues that we fought for in Lagos state was what you call fiscal federalism. We felt that there was a need for the states to be stronger, for states to more or less determine their fortunes.

“So, for example, we went to court to contest the idea that every state should control, to a certain extent, its own resources (the so-called resource control debate). We were in court at that time up to the Supreme Court and the court ruled that oil-producing states should continue to get 13% derivation.

“While we were at the Supreme Court only the oil-producing states and Lagos were interested in resource control, everybody else was not interested in resource control for obvious reasons. Now, that is the way the argument has always gone, those who have the resources want to take all of it, while those who do not have want to share from others.”

Continuing, Prof. Osinbajo said, “My view is that we must create the environment that allows for people to realise themselves economically because that truly is what the challenge is with our country.”

The Vice President added that Buhari-led Federal Government has put in place an economic structure that is able to function properly despite previous challenges, particularly corruption that led to a slowdown in the economy.

On the impact of corruption on the economy and the solution adopted by the Buhari administration, Prof. Osinbajo noted that “Unless we are able to deal with the fundamental questions especially around corruption, our economic circumstance will keep going one step forward, two steps backwards”.

According to him, “When you talk about corruption in Nigeria, the truth is stranger than fiction. It is the kind of thing that would cripple an economy anywhere because you simply don’t have the resources for the graft and the greed of the numbers of people who want to steal the resources.

“All that we have been able to deal with is grand corruption. When we started the TSA, the whole point was to aggregate all of the funds of government that were in private banks. So we put all of the money in the central bank so that we could at least see the movement of money and by doing so, we were able to save 50% of the corruption that was going on then.”

He assured Nigerians in the US that the government of President Muhammadu Buhari could be trusted, noting that “we can say for sure that the President is not going to sign off money and just bring it out to share.”

Relying on OPEC statistics on oil revenues accruable to Nigeria under successive administrations between 1990 and 2014, the Vice President said not much had been done in terms of infrastructure development despite the huge oil revenues realized by the country.

According to him, “Under the IBB / Abacha administrations (1990 – 1998) Nigeria realized $199.8 billion; under the Obasanjo / Yar’Adua governments (1999 – 2009), the country got $401.1 billion; and during the Jonathan administration (2010 – 2014), Nigeria got $381.9 billion from oil revenues.”

“The question that we must all ask is that what exactly happened to resources? The question that I asked is that where is the infrastructure.

“One of the critical things that we must bear in mind and see is that this government despite earning $94 billion, up until 2017, we are spending more on infrastructure and capital than any previous government, so we are spending N1.5 trillion on capital, that is the highest we have spent since 1990,” he added.

Responding to concerns on how the government is utilizing recovered funds, the Vice President disclosed that the Buhari administration is committed to a transparent use of the funds in providing infrastructure.

He said: “What we are doing with the proceeds of corruption is by making it a line in the budget so that it can be accounted for properly; it is not a special fund somewhere that is just being used in any way, but as a single line in the budget for infrastructure which is our major spend.”

In the area of agriculture, Prof. Osinbajo said, the target was to attain self-sufficiency in the production of rice, tomato etc.

According to him, “We are doing a lot of work in agriculture. Take rice, for instance, we are doing a lot in rice production and we have increased local production such that we are no longer spending $5 million daily on rice import.

“Today, we are doing 11 million metric tons of paddy rice and are now importing only 2 per cent of what we used to import.”

On Nigeria’s rise on the World Bank’s ease of doing business index, Prof. Osinbajo said though the challenges are daunting, the government was committed to going beyond the 24 places it moved up to in the last rankings.

The Vice President added that reforming Nigeria’s port system was top on the agenda of government as
efforts were underway to improve the turnaround time for cargo clearance at the ports.

According to him, “If you look at the port issue, for example, we must be able to clear our port system; people must be able to import and export their goods in hours not weeks and months.

“So, we have to work our port system and one of the things we have been able to do is what we call the National Trading Platform or the single window. We are getting to the point where we are going to launch the national trading platform where the whole port system is integrated into one.”

On improving the health budget at both the state and federal levels, the Vice President said the focus is on trying to do National Health Insurance because funding health care through budgeting has proved to be practically impossible.

According to him, “We simply do not have the resources, the states and Federal Government cannot do enough. So, the National Health Insurance is a very basic part of it and we are currently working now with the World Bank and with the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to establish a proper National Health Insurance Scheme.”

Nigeria’s Ambassador to the U.S., Mr Sylvanus Adiewere Nsofor led other Nigerians within and outside the state of Minnesota to the meeting held in Minneapolis.

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Vice President Osinbajo Holds Private Meeting With Senator Ayogu Eze

Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, SAN, on Monday held a private meeting with Senator Ayogu Eze.

Senator Eze, who was accompanied by Senior Special Assistant to the President on National Assembly Matters, Senator Ita Enang, arrived at the Villa at about 2pm Nigerian time and was ushered into the vice president’s office.

His visit to the Villa followed his defection to the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC).

Ayogu Eze was the People’s Democratic, PDP, Senator, representing Enugu North from 2007 to 2015.

He also aspired for the ticket of the PDP to run for the governorship position in Enugu State in 2015 but lost.

The former lawmaker sought reprieve at the courts, claiming that due process was not followed in the primaries that produced Ugwuanyi.

He lost the protracted legal battle at the Supreme Court in July this year.

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Premium Times Asks Osinbajo To Intervene In Its Reporter’s Arrest #FreeSamuelOgundipe

Online newspaper Premium Times has called on Acting President Yemi Osinbajo to intervene in the arrest of its reporter, Mr Samuel Ogundipe, by the police.

The media outfit made the call on Tuesday in a statement by its Publisher, Mr Dapo Olorunyomi.

“We call on Acting President Yemi Osinbajo to direct the police to release Mr Ogundipe immediately and unconditionally,” it said hours after the reporter was arrested in Abuja.

According to Premium Times, Ogundipe was arrested and detained by the police, through the Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS).

“On the day the Nigerian presidency was complaining about the excesses of a unit in the police, the same unit was forcing a Premium Times journalist to disclose his source,” it said. “Apart from Mr Ogundipe, this newspaper’s Editor-in-Chief, Musikilu Mojeed, and its education correspondent, Azeezat Adedigba, were also briefly detained by the police at the SARS headquarters in Abuja.”

“Ms Adedigba was later released after about three hours of detention. Mr Mojeed and Mr Ogundipe were driven from the SARS headquarters in Abuja to the IGP Monitoring Unit at Force Headquarters, where Mr Ogundipe was made to write a statement,” the newspaper added.

At the Force headquarters, it said the journalist was repeatedly asked to disclose his source for a story published by the media outfit.

The newspaper noted that the said story, which was also published in some other media, revealed a letter purportedly written by the Inspector General of Police (IGP), Ibrahim Idris, to Professor Osinbajo on the blockade of the National Assembly by security officials.

It said the police had yet to offer a coherent reason for their denial of the reporter his freedom and demanded his immediate and unconditional release.

Premium Times condemned the arrest, stressing that Ogundipe’s detention was in gross violation of his rights, the Nigerian laws and all democratic tenets.

“This heavy-handed treatment of a journalist against whom no case of violation of the law has been made is an embarrassment to Nigeria and advertises the country as disdainful of its own laws and democratic practice,” it said.

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FG Achieved More With 60% Less Resources, Says Acting President Osinbajo

Acting President Yemi Osinbajo (SAN), on Thursday, said the President Muhammadu Buhari-led administration has achieved more with 60 percent less resources than the immediate past government.

Osinbajo said this at a senatorial election campaign rally at President Buhari’s hometown in Daura, Katsina state.

Osinbajo, in his address, assured Nigerians of progress with the Federal Government, saying, “The work we have started since 2015 is on course and Nigeria will never remain the same.

“The purpose of the APC and President Buhari is to uphold the common man, adding that FG is doing more with 60% less earnings than previous administrations.” Osinbajo added.

Though there have been some allegations of violations of human rights by the opposition People’s Democratic Party (PDP), Osinbajo believes Nigeria is on the path of progress.

In response to the acting president, the Emir of Daura, Farouk Umar Farouk praised Osinbajo as a loyal deputy after stating that the people of Daura are 100% behind the President Buhari, Osinbajo and their actions.

Recall that President Buhari is on a 10-day holiday in London, and has since transfered power to his Vice to act in capacity of Acting President.

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How Osinbajo Saved Nigeria’s Democracy With Daura’s Sack

On Tuesday, armed Department of State Service, DSS barricaded the National Assembly blocking members of the hallowed chambers from seating until later in the morning.

Even though the lawmakers were later granted entrance, they were not allowed to enter the chambers neither were  staff of the National Assembly.

In recent times, the DSS has come under intense criticism over some political activities it has involved itself in.

Two weeks ago, the DSS was alleged to have been used to orchestrate the planned impeachment of Benue State governor by 8 out of 30 members. The DSS allowed the 8 lawmakers of the state House of Assembly alleged to be President Buhari’s supporters entrance into the chamber but refused other 22 lawmakers alleged to be sympathetic to the governor access to the cambers.

On the 23rd of July, the DSS was illegally deployed to the Nigeria Football Federation’s office Abuja to eject the President, Chris Giwa out of office. The security men, as has become their trademark, said they were acting on others “from above.”

However, the Minister of Youth and Sports, Solomon Dalung, denied involvement of the President, Mohammadu Buhari in the sordid and illegal invasion and stated that the President cannot disobey the judgment of the Supreme Court that returned Giwa as the NFF president.

In April, some hoodlums, from nowhere invaded the hallowed chamber of the Senate, grabbed the mace and went away with it with the security details of the National Assembly deeply compromised.

The event on Tuesday, many believed, was tantamount to coup against Nigeria’s democracy. And acting in a manner characteristic of a true democrat and leader, Acting President Yemi Osinbajo swiftly terminated the appointment of the DSS Director-general, Lawal Daura.

Upon the announcement of the sacking, the DSS personnel at the National Assembly retreated.

Announcing the sack on his Twitter handle, the Acting President said; “As a start, I have directed that the appointment of the DG of the DSS, Mr. Lawal Daura be terminated. He has been directed to hand over to the most Senior Officer in the State Security Service.

“The unauthorized takeover of the NASS complex today is a gross violation of the rule of law and all acceptable notions of law and order.

“Persons within the law enforcement apparatus who participated in this travesty will be identified and subjected to disciplinary action,” Osinbajo twitted.

The Acting President in a later press release signed by his Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity, Laolu Akande, described the unlawful act which was done without the knowledge of the Presidency, as condemnable and completely unacceptable.

This is not the first time the professor of law is ascending the number one office in the land in acting capacity amidst challenges. In the third time he has become the Acting President of the country, Professor Yemi Osinbajo has distinguished himself with remarkable strides.

Professor Yemi Osinbajo as Nigeria’s Acting President has gained some good popularity among the Nigerian people due to his leadership sagacity.

In his first sojourn as the Acting President he appointed Justice Walter Onnoghen as the Chief justice of Nigeria, CJN and forwarded his name to the Senate for confirmation. The appointment received the National Assembly’s blessings.

On February 8, 2017, he chaired the FEC and gave approval of N21 billion for the construction of the Ilorin-Omu Aran-Kabba Road, Section I. Also on February 15, he approved the award of N126 billion road projects spread across Kano, Bauchi, Adamawa, Kwara, Gombe, Enugu an Kaduna states.

On February 16, he presided over the first National Economic Council meeting of the year and directed the CBN to review the foreign exchange policy. The meeting also resolved that fresh $250 million be injected into the Sovereign Wealth Fund (SWF). The CBN subsequently released about $500 million through the interbank market, where the 23 banks bought $371m.

Still on his FIRSTS, on February 17 2017, Professor Osinbajo signed seven bills into law. The bills were: Oaths (Amendment) Act 2017; Defence Space Administration Act 2017; Veterinary Surgeons (Amendment) Act 2017; and others. He then paid an unscheduled visit to the Murtala Muhammed International Airport, Lagos, as part of the 60-day action plan for business reforms in the country.

The visit took many airport workers by surprise. Osinbajo inspected facilities and interacted with airport officials. Less than 24 hours after his unscheduled visit to Lagos airport, the federal government announced the sack of 10 directors of the Nigeria Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA). Three new directors and a general manager were also appointed for the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN).

The FEC meeting, Osinbajo chaired on February 22 approved N32 billion for the resuscitation and completion of the 50km dual carriage Kaduna eastern bypass highway. The Council also approved $39.9 for the construction of the Cameroon-Nigeria border link bridge at Ikot Efiem. The council also approved the Revised National Policy on Environment.

To those who know the Acting President very well, what he did on Tuesday is a tip of the iceberg as more are to come. His vow to fish out the perpetrators of the Tuesday’s National Assembly siege and bring them to justice should not be taken with levity.

Indeed, by removing the former DSS boss, Daura from office, Acting President Osinbajo has saved Nigeria’s democracy.

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