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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FG Committed To Speedy, Just Resolution Of Gbagyi-Army Land Dispute – Osinbajo Assures

Federal Government is committed and will adopt all necessary measures that will lead to the amicable and just resolution of the land dispute between indigenous people of Abuja and the Nigerian Army, according to Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, SAN.

Prof. Osinbajo stated this today during a meeting with a delegation of Gbagyi leaders comprising political office holders, traditional and youth leaders, at the Presidential Villa. He disclosed that a meeting with the military on the matter would also be held soon.

Last week Tuesday, on his way to the airport to launch the Homegrown School Feeding Programme in Ekiti state, the Vice President ran into some protesters at Goza village. The protesters who had mounted a road block were surprised when the Vice President came out of the car and abandoned his convoy to engage with the angry youths. It was during the interaction that the VP promised to meet the group and work on a resolution, culminating today’s meeting.

Prof. Osinbajo while noting that he had personally briefed President Muhammadu Buhari on the matter and his encounter with the protesters, also conveyed the President’s concern on the matter to the delegation with assurances for a just resolution.


According to the Vice President, “what is very important now is that we do not allow a situation where things are not done according to the law, that we do not allow a situation where due process is not followed. It is also important that this issue is resolved amicably and justly.”

The Vice President then directed officials of the Federal Capital Territory Administration (FCTA) present at the meeting to produce a comprehensive report on the disputed land.

Earlier, Sen. Philip Aduda, the Senator representing the FCT at the National Assembly, dismissed the claim by the Army authorities that the land was allocated to it and appreciated the intervention of the Vice President.

Also, the Secretary, Area Councils Services Secretariat, Sen. Isa Maina said the FCT authorities in an effort to address the issue has already proposed to allocate a n alternative plot of land to the Nigerian Army in Kwali.

He claimed that contrary to the directive by a Presidential Committee (set up to resolve the matter) that all parties involved in the matter maintain status quo, the Nigerian Army has proceeded to construct structures on the disputed land.

On his part, the Emir of Jiwa, His Royal Highness Idris Musa said the indigenous people of Abuja are not against the Nigerian Army in any way but want a just and amicable resolution of the matter.

In the same vein, the representative of the youths, Mr Dalhatu Musa who had spoken last week for the protesters when the Vice President interacted with them on his way to the airport noted that the youths wanted due process to be followed in the resolution of the land issue.

He commended the intervention of the Vice President and appealed to him to also look into other issues affecting the indigenous people of the FCT.

Those present at the meeting include the senator representing the FCT in the National Assembly, Sen. Philip Aduda; the Secretary, Area Councils Services Secretariat, Sen. Isa Maina; Chairmen of AMAC, Abdullahi Candido; Bwari Area Council, Mr. Shekwogaza Gabaya and Abaji Area Council, Abdulrahman Ajiya; Emir of Jiwa, HRH Idris Musa; the Ona of Abaji, Alhaji Yunusa Adamu and youth leaders from the affected communities.

The disputed land covers over 7,000 hectares cutting across Gwagwa, Idu, Zuba and Giri communities in the Federal Capital Territory.

Laolu Akande
Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity
Office of the Vice President
13th May, 2019

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Bauchi Agog As Osinbajo Commissions Projects, MSME Centre

Vice President Yemi Osinbajo on Saturday was in Bauchi, Northern Nigeria to commission projects built and completed by Governor Mohammed Abubakar.

Amongst other projects commissioned, the Vice President visited Barra, in Ningi Local Government Area of the state where he commissioned an electrification project that will power 22 villages in the environs.

He was accompanied by Governor Abubakar who stated that the contract for the project was awarded at the cost of N589.79 million.
Also present was Federal Inland Revenue Chairman, Mr. Babtunde Fowler.

Giving the vote of thanks, the Emir of Ningi, Alh Yunusa Danyaya, commended the federal and state governments for citing various projects in the area.
Danyaya called for the creation of Burra Local Government Area out of the present Ningi Local Government Area of the state.
He also called on the Federal Government to allocate more projects to the area, considering its high population.

The Vice President who was overwhelmed by the outpouring of joy and support from the Emir and people of Bauchi also commissioned a shared facility for Micro, Small & Medium Enterprises (MSME) and the Bauchi State Health Contributory scheme.

He also had his unique Family Chat in the home of Muhammed Musa Usman, one of the outstanding MSMEs entrepreneurs identified during the MSME Clinic organized in Bauchi State in October 2018.

During his chat, he lauded Mr. Usman who previously was a scrap collector, now makes Suya grilling machines from scrap metals.

He also makes belts and shoes using abandoned tires. He currently employs seven people on his books and is looking to expand his business to further support his community.

The Vice President assured the people of Bauchi that President Muhammadu Buhari will make good his promise on making Nigeria a better place for all.

He said the Federal Government will continue its people-oriented policies and will ensure that Nigeria works for Nigerians.

The visit coincides with a dusk to dawn curfew imposed on four communities located on the outskirts of Bauchi metropolis following breach of the peace in those areas.

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FG, NSE Collaboration Useful, Says Vice President Osinbajo

The Federal Government will welcome collaboration with the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) in key aspects of improving the economy including the Ease of Doing Business, the privatization of public enterprises, amongst others, according to Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, SAN.

Prof. Osinbajo stated this in Abuja today when a delegation from the Nigerian Stock Exchange led by the Chief Executive Officer, Mr Oscar Onyeama, paid him a courtesy visit at the Presidential Villa.

The Vice President said the proposed NSE collaboration with the Federal Government important programmes of the Buhari administration would enhance service delivery and improve transparency in public governance.

According to him, “The collaboration with the Federal Government in the Ease of Doing Business, government’s privatization programme and even in the innovation hubs programme is a good thing, and I think it will be very helpful.

“The NSE’s participation and collaboration in our Quarterly Business Forum and the competitiveness council will also be very useful. So, generally I think collaborating with the NSE in different initiatives is a good idea.”

Speaking further on the benefits derivable from such collaboration, the Vice President said, “the participation of the NSE will bring about more transparency and credibility in the sale of public enterprises, and we will look into that aspect”.

Prof. Osinbajo said the Federal Government would make efforts to further improve the ease of doing business environment and also key into any initiative that promotes innovation and creativity.

Earlier in his remarks, the Chief Executive Officer, Mr Oscar Onyeama briefed the Vice President on the proposed collaboration with the Federal Government in the operationalization of the Exchange’s innovation hub and other initiatives of the Federal Government, to which the NSE is willing to support.

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

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Osinbajo Averts Impending Unrest, Calms FCT Protesters

Vice President Yemi Osinbajo on Tuesday averted what was an impending civil unrest when he alighted from his convoy to assuage protesters in Abuja, Nigeria’s capital.

The Vice President who was headed to Ekiti state for the launch of the National Home Grown School Feeding scheme ran into the protesters who had barricaded the road, he alighted from his car and had a chat with the irate youths who began chanting his name soon as he was identified.

The protesters comprising mainly of young men and some women from Gbayi village were protesting at Gossa, the alleged invasion of their land by the Nigerian Military, urged the Vice President to intervene in the issue.

Responding to their plea, the Vice President assured them that he would meet with the village leaders to find lasting solution to the problem at hand.

He urged the youth to seek more diplomatic ways of solving issues. He assured them that President Muhammadu Buhari’s government is dedicated to the people and that the dividend of democracy will be enjoyed by all.

The protesters said if they had known that the Vice President was going to ply the road they would not have acted in the manner which they did.

Thereafter, the youths once again began to chant his name and then made way for the Vice President to proceed to the airport.

Speaking to the media, a protester who identified himself as Danlami Abdulgafar praised Prof. Osinbajo for his humane nature. He said the Vice President understands and relates with the plight of ordinary Nigerians.

“Imagine that all Nigerians politicians are like Prof. (Osinbajo), this country would have succeeded since the 70s. He came down from his vehicle and he addressed us, in fact we were happy that he accorded us so much respect.

Another protester, Gwatana Muktar said if it were to be any other politician they would not even listen to the person. “You know during campaign he visited almost all the villages and we saw him first hand. He is a very humble man and God will continue to bless him,” he said.

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Re: Osinbajo’s Crocodile Tears In Kigali, By Muhammad Gulani

Nigeria is an African power. It’s economy, its politics, its people and the character of these rare diverse heterogeneous society has easily made it the Giant of Africa. So there is no wonder that as a country, we were invited to the 25th National Commemoration of the Rwandan Genocide that held in Kigali, Rwanda. Representing Nigeria and its President was Vice President Professor Yemi Osinbajo – A pastor and an academician with depth of experience in law and governance.

So when the writer of “Osinbajos Crocodile Tears in Kigali” asked “What is the Situation in Osinbajos Nigeria? And answered with the word “pathetic” my first thought was that the writer either did not appreciate who the Vice President was, or did not appreciate Nigeria from a holistic point of view, or both – which is most likely.

It is surprising for one to think of the Nigerian state and the statements of the Vice President as a pun or as Casmir Igbokwe dubbed it in his article as“Crocodile Tears”, we all know that the Vice President has continuously shown that he is a man of Integrity, a man of God and would never disrespect the Nigerian people by playing politics with their lives.

As a country, I do believe that we are not yet where we should be – we are not yet at El-Dorado – but it is undeniable that progress is being made across board. Albeit slow and steady, nonetheless it is progress and that is what is key.

While speaking on the issues surrounding the NDIGBO people, the writer was quick to mislead his readers by pushing the narrative that the present government appointments were mostly Northern deliberately forgetting to take a broader look at appointments shared in the country. The Chief of Naval Staff, the Director General of NIMASA, the Chairman of the Federal Inland Revenue Service, the Governor of the Central Bank, the Head of Service among numerous others are all from the Southern parts of the country. Perhaps the writer willfully forgets that the Southern parts of the country is not limited to the South East alone, but also covers the South South and the South West – each clamoring for more representation as much as the other.

The southern parts of Nigeria is also as diverse in tribe and culture as the North.

The single narrative of the “Sidelined Igbos” deployed by the writer cannot stand the test of reality when one fact-checks the many benefits they enjoy in personnel and policies in this government.

Across the country are various construction projects, in every state of the Federation a federal project is ongoing. The President Buhari administration is working overdrive in terms of infrastructure deployment. Of key interest to any observer of the infrastructure being deployed across the country is the famous Second Niger Bridge. It finds itself in the heart of the South East and South South and has been an item clamored for by these people for decades.

The Buhari Administration has committed over N31Billion to the main works of the 2nd Niger Bridge. Work is over 51 percent completed. With little resources, President Buhari’s administration is doing quite a bogus lot for the people of the region.

The writer attempts to suggest tolerance of hate speech by the Buhari administration. Such a pedestal claim does not stand a place in reality. The President has been very categorical on this, and willingly signed the Peace Accord to enthrone sanity in the communications and campaigns during the electioneering periods.

It is so easy to dwell in the negatives of society forgetting the many good the world has to offer. That Nigeria has moved four places up in the Human Development Index and has also moved up in the Ease Of Doing Business Ranking are testaments to a country in upward motion. Nigeria today has attained self sufficient in rice production and has began even exportation. Foreing Direct Investments into the country has reached record levels; insecurity is being tackled ruthlessly and sincerely.

The various Social Investment Programs of this Administration prove that indeed better days for Nigerians are here. The programmes have reached a record 12 Million direct beneficiaries.

Terrorism is being fought day in day out in the areas of the North East and the Buhari administration can beat its chest to say it has recorded tangible achievements here. The banditry in Zamfara is being taken seriously. The full force of Nigeria’s military and other security arms have weighed in and are bombarding these criminals daily. The“Operation Sharan Daji”has been launched specifically to deal with the Zamfara bandits. Progress is being made.

The Vice President has also shown utmost sincerity and has never tried to downplay the killings in these areas. He has visited Benue, Plateau and Kaduna over killings that occurred in the areas – especially communal and inter-tribal clashes. He has advocated for forgiveness and offered pragmatic solutions towards peace building in these societies. He has seen to the facilitation of Peace and Reconciliation Committee in states like Kaduna, and Benue among many others.

It is not in the nature of the Vice President both as an academician and as a man of God to play politics with the life of the people. Security is everyones responsibility and the Vice President has emphasized that time and again.

He rightfully pointed out during his remarks to journalists in Kigali “We must not allow a repeat of what happened in Rwanda.” Statements like that of Casmir Igbokwe tell only a lopsided truth that fuel division, fuel hate and promote tension. These were the harbingers of the nasty events of the Rwandan genocide. Mr. Igbokwe has not learnt his lesson. It appears in fact, that Professor Osinbajo’s sermon was indeed for him.

The problem with the single story is that it shows a thing as a single thing, forgetting that there are two sides to a coin. Nigeria just like any other country is as diverse in its triumphs and problems and it is highly unfair to Igbokwe’s reader and Nigerians to view our complexities from only the negatives.

The Vice President, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo is a father and God fearing man, he has shown this time after time, will never play politics with his people.

Muhammad Gulani, is a political commentator and writes from Zaria, Kaduna

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