OsborneGate: All Those Found Culpable Will Be Sanctioned, Says President Buhari

President Muhammadu Buhari, on Tuesday, in Abuja, said all those found culpable in the Osborne Towers scandal will be made to account and appropriately sanctioned.

Receiving a report of the panel established to review the operational, technical and administrative structure of the National Intelligence Agency (NIA), President Buhari described the discovery of monies in the flat at Osborne Towers, Ikoyi, Lagos, in April this year, as an ‘‘unfortunate incident which rightly aroused public interest and outcry.’’

‘‘All the circumstances surrounding the obtaining, keeping custody and disbursement of the funds have been examined by the Vice President’s Committee and all those found to be culpable will be made to account and appropriately sanctioned.

‘‘However, it must be understood that this cannot be done in a manner that jeopardises national security or exposes the operations of any intelligence Agency, which must, by nature be conducted in secrecy.

‘‘Suffice it for me to assure all that justice will be done consistent with our anti-corruption policies,’’ the President said.

President Buhari, while commending the Presidential Review Panel on NIA led by Amb. Babagana Kingibe, former Minister of Foreign Affairs, for completing their assignment expeditiously, expressed the hope that the recommendations of the panel and that of an earlier Committee headed by the Vice President to look into the Osborne matter will assist Government in improving the operations of the NIA and the overall National Security architecture.

‘‘Your Panel’s recommendation, informed as they are by your collective experience and expertise in this field, should in particular help to reposition the NIA to better perform its vital functions with greater professionalism.

‘‘The Osborne Tower incident and its aftermath has also brought to the fore the need to review the entire National Security Architecture, which has now been in operation as established 31 years ago.

‘‘Once again, I thank you very much for undertaking this national assignment, ’’ he said.

Vice President Yemi Osinbajo was present at the presentation of the report by the panel which has Chief Albert Horsfall, Amb. Zakari Ibrahim and Amb. Ezekiel Oladeji, as members.

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My Pay Is Not Commensurate With The Office I Occupy, Says Osinbajo

Vice President Yemi Osinbajo (SAN), has said that his income as the number two citizen of the country is low compared with the position he occupies.

Osinbajo said this at the end-of-year seminar of the State House Press Corps which held at the old Banquet Hall of the Presidential Villa in Abuja.

According to him, he earns about N1.5m as Vice-President, while President Muhammadu Buhari earns about N1.75 million monthly.

 

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Buhari Presidency Is On The Right Track, Says Vice President Osinbajo…Commissions 300million Litre Capacity Tank Farm In Ogun

Vice President Yemi Osinbajo (SAN), has assured Nigerians that the rise of private investments in different parts of the country is an indication that the Muhammadu Buhari-led administration is on the right track.

Osinbajo said this in Ogun State, on Tuesday, while commissioning the Petrolex Mega Oil facility with a capacity to store 300 million litres of petroleum products in Ibefun area of the state.

According to the Vice President, the facility will substantially improve retail distribution in Nigeria and increase domestic storage capacity for petroleum products and the cargo coming in on barges from larger vessels for now will be stored and loaded from the gantry right here, this will decongest the Apapa and Ibafo tanker traffic and facilitate distribution from here to practically anywhere in the country.

In his speech, Osinbajo noted that the launch of the facility send the strongest possible signal to foreign investors that not only is government saying that Nigeria is the investment destination in Africa, local smart money like Petrolex is also saying the same thing.

His words: “And may I also say that there is credible independent third party evidence that we are on the right track. A month and half ago the World Bank adjudged us to be one of the ten most improved economies in the world this year, from the point of view of our business and investment climate.

“This facility also represents jobs – 10,000 direct and indirect ones. Each of these jobs will support not just the workers, but also their dependents, aside from the significant impact on the local economy here – by way of increased incomes traders, farmers, artisans, and landowners. There is of course the fact that economic activities moved to a place where no economic activity was hitherto.

“The Federal Government is absolutely clear in its belief that industrialization is the key to achieving sustainable economic growth and creating jobs for millions of young people. The petrochemical industry is a logical and crucial component of this plan and we are doing all we can to provide an incentive regime that will drive investments in this sector. And we certainly would like to see credible investors like Petrolex prominently in this crucial space as well. And speaking to Mr Adebutu, already, there is a plan for a fertilizer facility here and also for the production of several other elements of the petrochemical industry.

“We have recently published through the NIPC, Nigeria’s full list of business incentives and barely two weeks ago the President asked that I chair a committee to look into how to provide lower interest rates for the manufacturing industry. We understand clearly that without some kind of preferential interest rates for the manufacturing industry in Nigeria, we will not be able to make much progress and for that reason we are now looking very closely into how we can provide cheap credit for the local industries and I hope we will be able to achieve this in a short period of time.

“Let me again express the Federal Government’s full support for this project and our pledge is that we will be with you every step of the way, supporting in every way we can.

“I must congratulate the patriarch of the Adebutu business dynasty, Sir Kensington Adebutu on this special day, where you have seen the future of your progeny in your lifetime. This is a great blessing indeed for which we join you in giving thanks to the Almighty God.”

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Vice President Yemi Osinbajo Meets Traditional Leaders To Find Lasting Solution To Farmers-Herders Conflict

In a bid to put an end to find a lasting solution to the farmers-herders conflict in parts of the country, Vice President Yemi Osinbajo (SAN), on Monday, held a meeting with the Emir of Kano, Muhammadu Sanusi II; the Lamido of Adamawa, Muhammadu Barkindo Aliyu Musdafa; elder statesman, Mallam Ahmed Joda; and other leaders of the Fulani communities at the Presidential Villa, in Abuja.

In a statement signed by his spokesman, Mr. Laolu Akande, the meeting is a follow up on the Vice President visit to Adamawa State on the 5th of December 2017, to commence consultations with all relevant groups with a view to ending the incessant crisis.

At the meeting, previous reports on the conflict were presented by the delegation and causes of the conflict were analysed. The meeting unequivocally condemned the acts of violence that has occurred, especially the killing of children and women, and highlighted the need for Law Enforcement and other Government Agencies to dutifully and objectively perform their Constitutional roles.

The Vice President assured the delegation of the Federal Government’s resolve and commitment to the entrenchment of lasting peace in all communities across the country and the resolution of all legitimate grievances.

He said “There is nothing much more important now, in showing our leadership, beyond preventing tragedy and destruction of everything we have built as a nation. The entire Nigeria enterprise is bigger than other interests. The overall objective is ensuring that our nation is not enveloped by another crisis.”

According to the Vice President, “We now have an opportunity to do something. We have the opportunity to resolve the issues and to build a nation where we and our children can live in peace.”

Already, following the Vice President’s visit to Adamawa State last week, several food items and relief materials have been distributed to all the affected communities in the State, including Shafaron, Kodomti, Tullum, Mzoruwe and Mararraban Bare in Numan Local Government Area. Others communities that have received relief materials are Dong, Lawaru and Kukumso in Demsa Local Government Area of the State.

In the next series of meetings, the Vice President will meet with the Batta, Bachama and other groups from Adamawa State; while meetings with stakeholders from other conflict-affected States would follow.

Also at the meeting were Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), Boss Mustapha, and the Minister of the Federal Capital Territory, Mohammed Musa Bello.

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‘We Have Clear Pathway On Power Sector Reform,’ Says Vice President Yemi Osinbajo

Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, (SAN), has said that the President Muhammadu Buhari administration has devised a clear pathway to achieving its power sector reform objectives.

Osinbajo stated this on Monday, when he met with a delegation of officials from the World Bank, and the International Finance Corporation (IFC) led by Mr. Riccardo Puliti, Senior Director of the Bank’s Global Energy Practice at the State House in Abuja.
Speaking to the delegation at the meeting which had in attendance the Minister of Power, Works and Housing, Mr Babatunde Fashola and the Minister of Finance, Mrs Kemi Adeosun, the Vice President  “we are completely committed to ensuring that we play our part in the arrangement and we think that this possibly one of the clearest pathways in a long time”
He lauded the partnership between the Federal Government and the World Bank team for the commitment and support shown to the implementation of the Power sector recovery programme.
Prof. Osinbajo noted that the partnership with the World Bank has “helped us a great deal with the timelines and milestones that have to be achieved and also a great deal in refining our own approach to the entire reform process”.
During his remarks, the leader of the delegation and a Senior Director on Global Energy Practice at the World Bank, Mr Riccardo Puliti expressed satisfaction with Federal Government’s cooperation and commitment to the reform of the power sector. He noted that the partnership between the World Bank and the Federal Government is a model which would add great value to the power sector in Nigeria.
Mr Puliti equally praised the Buhari Presidency for the remarkable feat achieved in the ease of business ranking released recently by the World Bank, noting that it is a major milestone for the country’s economic reform programme.
Meanwhile, the Minister of Power, Works and Housing, Mr. Fashola told journalists after the meeting, that the delegation was in the State House to brief the Vice President on the progress made by the Federal Government working with the World Bank on the Power Sector Recovery Programme. He assured that the reform programme is intended to solve various problems confronting the sector and would make the sector effective, as well as make it responsive to consumers and customers who will be ultimate beneficiaries of the on-going reform programme.

 

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Vice President Yemi Osinbajo To Represent Nigeria At Kenya’s Presidential Inauguration

President Muhammadu Buhari would be represented by his Vice, Professor Yemi Osinbajo, (SAN), at the  second term inauguration of Kenya’s President, Uhuru Kenyatta in Nairobi.

Prof. Osinbajo would be joining several other heads of State and Government from Africa and beyond who are expected at the swearing-in ceremony holding at the Kasarani Sports Complex in the country’s capital city.

The Vice President who left Abuja on Monday night was accompanied by Foreign Affairs Minister of State, Mrs. Khadija Bukar Abba Ibrahim, and he is expected back in Abuja on Tuesday.

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Smuggling: A Serious Threat To Nigeria’s Economy, Says Osinbajo

Vice President Yemi Osinbajo (SAN), has said that Nigeria will no longer the act of smuggling contraband goods from neighboring countries into Nigeria.

The Vice President said this on Monday, at the 6th presidential quartely business forum for private sector stakeholders, at the Old Banquet Hall, State House, Abuja.

Osinbajo noted that President Muhamma du Buhari, in an effort to bring smuggling activities to an end, has ordered him to head a team to work out what needs to be done.

“We are making the point to our neighbors, that smuggling is an existential threat, we can’t permit the level of smuggling going on.

“Last year, there was over 500,000 metric tonnes of rice around Christmas, which the Minister of Agriculture told us about and how it came in through one of our neighbours, but we blocked it.

“Now, three shiploads of rice have left Thailand, 120,000 metric tonnes, going to this same neighbour of ours who have very large warehouses where they store this rice. It is very clear that this rice is for us because our neighbours don’t consume parboiled rice, they consume the white broken rice. It is clear that our neighbours do excellent business, with allowing rice to come into Nigeria and other products including poultry

“I think it is important for us as a country, to make the point clear, that we are not going to accept that. We are all within the same economic zone and work together, so we go in a friendly and polite manner as possible, to ensure that this practice stops,” Osinbajo said.

The Vice President further mentioned that the duty in some of these neighboring countries, especially for rice, is deliberately set lower than that of Nigeria, about a fourth of ours.

“We have increased duty tax so as to discourage importation but they would naturally drop duty to encourage import and then it would come to Nigeria,” Osinbajo stressed. 

 

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FG To Provide Independent Power In Lagos, Kano, And Abia Markets

Vice President Yemi Osinbajo (SAN), has said that the federal government will provide independent power in certain markets in Nigeria to encourage small businesses.

Osinbajo said this at the 2017 graduation ceremony of the Nigerian Institute of Policy and Strategic Studies (NIPSS), Kuru, Plateau State on Saturday.

The Vice President identified the selected markets as the Ariaria Market in Abia State, the Somolu Printing Community in Lagos State, the Muhammadu Abubakar Rimi (Sabon Gari) Market in Kano State.

The plan, according to the Vice President is part of President Muhammadu Buhari’s effort to ensure year 2018 is recorded as a year of consolidation of the economic recovery. He also noted that the federal government’s  forthcoming actions in the year ahead include diversifying its options in power supply.

“Also we have provided in both the 2017 and 2018 budgets, funds for what we have described as the energizing education project. This involves providing independent power in the following universities in the first batch; the Abubakar Tafawa Balewa University in Bauchi, Bayero University in Kano, Usumanu Danfodiyo University in Sokoto, Federal University of Agriculture in Makurdi, Federal University, Ndufu Alike, and Nnamdi Azikwe University in Anambra, University of Lagos, Obafemi Awolowo University and Teaching Hospital, Federal University of Petroleum in Delta State,” Osinbajo noted.

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FG Announces Plan To Integrate Niger Delta Youths In Social Investment Programmes

The Buhari administration, in line with its New Vision for the Niger Delta to develop it, will integrate more youths in the region in its Social Investment Programmes, particularly the N-Power and the Government Enterprise Empowerment Programme (GEEP), Vice President Yemi Osinbajo (SAN), has said.

Prof. Osinbajo said this on Thursday when a delegation of ambassadors from the US, UK and the European Union (EU), led by Mr. Ketil Karlsen, paid him a courtesy call on Thursday at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.

According to Osinbajo, “this will help reduce unemployment by creating more jobs for young graduates, as well as providing additional assistance for entrepreneurs and artisans in the region.”

The take-off of the Maritime University, Okerenkoko, Delta State, ongoing process of licencing for modular refineries and the Ogoni clean-up are indications of the Federal Government’s resolve to ensure the long-term development of the region, while it will also continue to engage with stakeholders to ensure continuous peace and security in the region, the Vice President added.

The Vice President noted that the Federal Government has made a lot of efforts in engaging the communities and towards improving peace and security in the region since President Muhammadu Buhari first met with Pan-Niger Delta Elders Forum, PANDEF, and stakeholders in the region last year November.

Prof. Osinbajo further emphasised that the Buhari administration’s New Vision for the Niger Delta is aimed at developing the region through its partnership with state governments, the local communities and private sector.

The Vice President noted that the vast majority of people in the region want sustained peace and security.

He said, “Our engagements with PANDEF and various groups in the Niger Delta is a continuous one; an Inter-Ministerial Committee was set up for this. Practically every other week, we are in some form of engagement or the other. The overriding motive is that of those who wish to see progress in the region. What we have been doing so far is to ensure that we meet the demands of the people for development.

“The Maritime University has practically taken off, we have placed advertisement for staff; the sum of N1 billion has been given by the Federal Government, and there is N5bn allocation for the University included in the 2018 budget. Also, a lot has been done in the ongoing Ogoni clean-up process.”

In his remarks, the Ambassador/Head of the EU Delegation, Mr. Ketil Karlsen, commended the Vice President for his personal leadership in driving engagements and the Buhari administration for its efforts in promoting peace, security and development in the region.

“We acknowledge that significant progress has been made, in the Ogoni clean-up process, Maritime University, and the development of a Strategic Implementation Work Plan for the Niger Delta. We are also encouraged by the peace-making efforts,” Karlsen said.

While adding that the EU will look at ways of providing support for the Maritime University, Karlsen noted that it was important for the Federal Government to sustain its long–term commitment in order to build trust with people in the region.

Also present were the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Geoffrey Onyeama and Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Usani Uguru Usani.

Other representatives of the EU at the meeting include the French Ambassador, Denys Gaver; Italian Ambassador, Stefano Pontesilli; Netherlands Ambassador, Robert Petri; German Deputy Ambassador, Regina Hess; EU Deputy Head of Delegation, Richard Young; as well as British High Commissioner to Nigeria, Paul Arkwright; and the US Ambassador to Nigeria, Stuart Symington.

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5 Million School Children Benefits From FG’s School Feeding Programme

No fewer than five million school children across the country are currently benefiting from the federal government school feeding programme, Vice President Yemi Osinbajo (SAN), has said.

Osinbajo, revealed this at the inauguration of the National Council on Nutrition and the Nigeria launch of the 2017 Global Nutrition Report at the state house, Abuja, on Wednesday.

The school feeding programme is one of the major planks of the Buhari administration’s social investment programmes, (SIP) in catering for the needs of the most vulnerable of Nigeria’s population.

According to him, the programme, which directly seeks to improve the nutrition of primary school children, is now active in 19 States of the country, and providing one meal a day to 5 million.

“Our target is 5.5million children before the end of the year. At the beginning of December, we intend to carry out a mass deworming exercise on the back of the School Feeding Programme,” Vice President Osinbajo was quoted in a statement signed by his spokesperson, Mr. Olaolu Akande.

 

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Osinbajo Urges D8 Countries To Leverage On Economic Cooperation

Vice President Prof, Yemi Osinbajo, has urged developing eight countries, (D8), to leverage on its economic cooperation to improve the lives of its citizens.

Osinbajo stated this while addressing the sixth D8 ministerial meeting on industrial cooperation in Abuja.

The Vice President, in his address, challenged them to create new opportunities for trade relations among member states.

As a member of the developing eight countries, Nigeria’s hosting of the D8 ministerial meeting on industrial cooperation comes barely a month after the D8 heads of government meeting in Istanbul, turkey which president Muhammadu Buhari attended.

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