This restriction made some Nigerians looked for a way to circumnavigate the restrictions set by financial institutions..
Nigeria’s vice president Yemi Osinbajo Friday called for the regulation of cryptocurrencies in the country, as against the prohibition of digital currencies.
“There is a role for regulation here,” Osinbajo said at the Bankers Committee Vanguard in Lagos State.
“And it is in the place of both our monetary authorities and SEC to provide a robust regulatory regime that addresses these serious concerns without killing the goose that might lay the golden eggs.
“So it should be thoughtful and knowledge-based regulation, not prohibition,” he added.
The vice president is reacting to the recent clampdown on cryptocurrencies by the Central Bank of Nigeria.
CBN ordered commercial banks and other financial institutions to close down accounts associated with cryptocurrencies. The apex later clarified that the order was not a new order, but a reminder of a directive published in 2017.
In response, banks quickly cut ties with cryptocurrency companies, such as the Binance exchange and social payments app Bundle, which in turn stopped accepting deposits.
Since July 2020, Nigerian banks have reduced the amount customers can spend abroad using debit cards as Nigeria’s economy continued to face dollar shortages due to the sharp fall in oil prices. As of now, banks limit customers to withdraw less than $100.
This restriction made some Nigerians looked for a way to circumnavigate the restrictions set by financial institutions, hence, taking advantage of the digital currencies for their transactions.
Nigeria has since become the world’s second-largest Bitcoin market after the United States, Quartz Africa said in a December report.
Although, Osinbajo said he “fully appreciate the strong position of the CBN, SEC, and some of the anti-corruption agencies on the possible abuses of cryptocurrencies and their other well-articulated concerns, but I believe that their position should be the subject of further reflection.”
He said regulatory bodies must “act with knowledge and not fear” as the digital currencies disruption will only make “room for efficiency and progress.”
“The point I am making is that some of the exciting developments we see call for prudence and care in adopting them, but we must act with knowledge and not fear,” he said.
The board of Infra-Co will be chaired by the Central Bank Governor and include the Managing Director of NSIA, and President of the Africa Finance Corporation.
President Muhammadu Buhari has approved the establishment of a Public-Private Partnership (PPP) styled Infrastructure company named Infra-Co with an initial seed capital of one trillion naira.
Buhari has also asked Vice President Yemi Osinbajo to chair a Steering Committee tasked with setting up the company.
Osinbajo’s spokesman, Laolu Akande, in a statement on Friday in Abuja, said it was envisaged that over time, the entity would grow up to N15 trillion in assets and capital.
Infra-Co will be one of the premier infrastructure finance entities in Africa and will be wholly dedicated to Nigeria’s infrastructure development.
The entity has been developed with concept designs from the National Economic Council (NEC) and the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN).
The initial seed capital for the entity will come from the CBN, the Nigerian Sovereign Investment Authority (NSIA), and the Africa Finance Corporation.
The board of Infra-Co will be chaired by the Central Bank Governor and include the Managing Director of NSIA, and President of the Africa Finance Corporation.
Others in the board are representatives of the Nigerian Governors Forum, and the Ministry of Finance, Budget and National Planning.
The Board will also have three independent directors from the private sector.
To address the infrastructure deficit, the Federal Government continues to explore innovative options, including through financing initiatives such as the Presidential Infrastructure Development Fund (PIDF) designed to cater for the 2nd Niger Bridge, the Abuja-Kaduna-Zaria-Kano Expressway, among others.
There is also the Road Infrastructure Development and Refurbishment Investment Tax Credit Scheme which is being used for the funding of the Bodo-Bonny Bridges and Road (with the Nigeria Liquefied Natural Gas, NLNG).
The scheme is also used for funding of the Apapa-Oshodi-Oworonshoki Expressway (with Dangote Group), among others.
Infra-Co will finance public asset development, rehabilitation and reconstruction as well as invest in cutting edge infrastructure projects for roads, rail, power and other key sectors.
He urged Nigerians not to be hesitant on the vaccines when they arrive as key government officials like president, VP and the SGF will take it on live TV.
The Federal Government has said President Muhammadu Buhari, Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, the Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), Boss Mustapha and other prominent Nigerians will be among the first set of Nigerians to receive the COVID-19 vaccine on live television.
The Executive Director/CEO, National Primary Health Care Development Agency (NPHCDA), Dr. Faisal Shuaib, said this on Thursday in Abuja at the joint national briefing of the Presidential Task Force (PTF) on COVID-19.
According to him, “this is to help drive awareness on the virus and the vaccine administration in the country when it finally arrived.
“So, we have to make provisions for them.
“Even in developed countries, what we have seen is that apart from the prioritisation of health workers, you have to also identify with critical leaders that you don’t want to be wiped off by the virus.
“For example, in warfare, if you want to destroy your enemies, you look for specific leaders, captains, the generals; once you decapitate them, then the soldiers will become weak.
“So, as much as possible, you do not want to also leave your leaders vulnerable to COVID-19, it doesn’t mean you want to prioritise politicians, that is not correct,” he said.
Noble Reporters Media reports that Nigeria intends to get 42 million COVID-19 vaccines to cover one fifth of its population through the global COVAX scheme.
The initial vaccines would come as part of Nigeria’s plan to inoculate 40 per cent of the population in 2021 and another 30 per cent in 2022, with 100,000 doses of the Pfizer vaccine arriving by the end of January 2021.
Speaking with newsmen, the group’s National Coordinator Usman Ibrahim cautioned party members against threatening the committee over planned tenure extension.
Supporters of President Muhammadu Buhari and Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, yesterday, stormed the national secretariat of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) in Abuja, to demand the extension of the tenure of the Governor Mai Mala Buni-led APC Caretaker/Extraordinary Convention Planning Committee.
Under the platform of Buhari/Osinbajo Dynamic Support Group, the group took the solidarity walk to the secretariat bearing placards with various inscriptions in support of the Caretaker Committee.
The committee was inaugurated in June, 2020, and saddled with the responsibility of administering the party’s affairs and to organise a national convention within six months following the dissolution of the Adams Oshiomhole led National Working Committee (NWC).
APC Director of Administration, Suleiman Abubakar, who received the group on behalf of the party, promised that the Caretaker Committee would not disappoint the party assuring that it will prepare the party for victory ahead of the 2023 general elections
Wizkid in a statement on his Twitter handle on Wednesday, said the leaders have failed Nigerians in their expected duties and responsibilities, describing them as incompetent.
Nigerian music star, Ayo Balogun more popularly known by his stage name, Wizkid has called for the resignation of President Muhammadu Buhari over the #EndSARS rocking Nigeria.
The entertainer said the Nigerian leader has failed the people of the country and called on him, the Vice President, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo as well as the Inspector-General of Police, Mohammed Adamu to resign.
He accused them of incapability to handle and respond adequately to the #EndSARS protests which has continued to spread across the country.
He tweeted: “@MBuhari you are a failure! Old and incompetent! Step down! We don’t want you, your Vice President and your IG! Resign!
Meanwhile, the presidency has appealed for calm and understanding from Nigerians as regards the shootings by security operatives on peaceful protesters at the Lekki Toll Gate plaza in Lagos State.
Many young Nigerians recounted their sad experiences in the hands of the police unit.
The Vice President, Yemi Osinbajo, has expressed ‘anger’ at the activities of police officers who harass, assault and sometimes kill innocent Nigerians.
Mr Osinbajo stated this Sunday when questioned by journalists in Abuja, according to his spokesperson, Laolu Akande, in a statement.
“I am very concerned, in fact, very angry about what I see, happening to young men and women who are arrested, in some cases maimed or killed by men of the police force,” Mr Osinbajo was quoted as saying.
Mr Osinbajo’s reaction was announced hours after the Inspector General of Police, Mohammed Adamu, banned some police units from operating on the roads following a public outcry of their activities.
Noble Reporters Media reported how Nigerians lamented the activities of the police unit, FSARS, using the #EndSARS code on social media.
Many young Nigerians recounted their sad experiences in the hands of the police unit.
UNLAWFUL AND ILLEGAL In his statement Sunday, Mr Osinbajo vowed that culpable police officers will be punished and prosecuted.
According to the vice president, such violations are “completely unacceptable” because the law enforcement officers are individuals who are meant to protect Nigerians.
”The arrest, maiming or killing of young people or anyone at all, is completely wrong. It is unlawful and illegal, and anyone involved in this act ought to be investigated and prosecuted.”
“Today, I had a meeting with the Inspector General of Police, we reviewed several of these issues. The President and I have had discussions on this, he is very concerned about it. He wants to see a reform.
“You are probably aware that the IGP has issued a statement looking at all these issues, in particular, the warning against the use of these tactical units such as SARS for purposes of doing anything other than anti-robbery.
“For example, and I think in his statement, he specifically said that you cannot have a situation where SARS says, they are investigating Cybercrime by arresting young men and women carrying their laptops and phones. Cybercrime is an electronic crime. I don’t see how you can investigate that by seizing people’s phones in a taxi or in their cars,” he said.
He blamed the harassment on ”a few bad eggs” in the police force who are causing all of the problems, adding that there is a need to take serious action.
“The IG’s statement today, is a good first step. He has said clearly that policemen must wear police uniforms. You cannot say that because you belong to a tactical unit, you can dress in your casual clothing and be armed, because people can’t even tell the difference between robbers and the police, if you are not properly dressed in police uniform. So, clearly, a reform is in the offing.
“So, I will like to encourage civil society activists, young men and women, who bring this regularly, by the way, to the attention of government and the police. And I think that activism is important because they have been able to bring a lot of these issues to the attention of the police and government, and that is an important part of the process of the reform.”
“I think that we all have to work together to ensure that the police and law enforcement agents, do what their duty is and their duty is to protect us, protect our society and livelihoods and homes,” he said.
The SARS unit has been accused of several human rights violations especially of young Nigerians who are seen carrying laptop computers.
The call for the abolition of the unit grew louder on Sunday with the police in Lagos, Nigeria’s commercial capital, pledging to cleanse its ranks of officials found culpable of improper acts.
The latest #EndSARS campaign is not the first. A previous one last year led to the formation of a presidential panel to review the activities of the police unit.
Noble Reporters Media had reported how President Buhari last year ordered the implementation of the report of the panel. However, nothing seems to have changed since then until the Sunday directive.
Vice President, Professor Yemi Osinbajo, has said that the major concern of religious leaders with the recently enacted Companies and Allied Matters Act (CAMA) 2020 is the fear that the processes are not abused in a way that compromises the entire structure and operation of the organisation
Professor Osinbajo who spoke during the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) Annual General Conference on Thursday stated that these leaders want to be accountable, contrary to views based on reactions to a section of the act.
He maintained that the CAMA 2020 is massive legislation that covers a wide range of issues on companies and if a section is contentious, what the aggrieved parties can do is to approach the National Assembly and propose an amendment.
“As a general position, I do not think it will be right to say that pastors don’t want to be accountable. I believe that several Christian organizations and pastors are willing to be accountable. The problem that they may have is ensuring that processes are not abused in such a way as to compromise the entire organization. And I think that if all that is required is some process of accountability, I think it will be easier for organizations to accept that.
“The concern of the Churches is that it could lead to a situation where practically anybody could be appointed as a trustee to oversee the Church and a Church or a Mosque is a spiritual organization and if you do not share the same faith with the Church or Mosque, you may be the wrong person and if a wrong is appointed, you may create more trouble for the organization.
“What can be done is that, whatever the proposal for amendment may be, whatever the views of the leadership of the church may be, regarding the question of how the trustees, whether they are interim trustees or not, can be put in the form of a proposal that will be taken to the National Assembly for consideration for an amendment to the law, that is the process which is entirely opened and ought to be pursued,” the Vice President added.
CAMA Fears President Muhammadu Buhari signed the CAMA bill into law in August, repealing and replacing the extant 1990 act, with the aim that the new legislation will be the most significant in three decades, promoting the ease of doing business, while reducing regulatory hurdles in the country.
However, a portion of the legislative piece tagged Incorporated Trustees, states that religious bodies and charity organisations will now be strictly regulated by the Registrar-General of the Corporate Affairs Commission and the supervising minister.
Additional clauses in the act show that the commission can suspend the trustees of an association and appoint an interim manager to run the affairs of the organisation
But Vice President Osinbajo clarified that the section will affect these organisations; “Churches, Mosques, and church organizations are regarded as charities. It is the Incorporated Trustees Section of the Companies and Allied Matters Act that has become controversial. And because churches are charities, the provisions in the incorporated trustees’ section obviously affect the churches.
“What the Churches are concerned about is a provision that says that in the event that some wrong-doing is found to be perpetrated by the trustees of the particular organization or Church, the Registrar-General of the Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC) can go to court and get an order to appoint interim administrators or interim trustees for the Church or whichever charity organization and manage the organization.”
C.A.N Talks Tough Meanwhile, the leadership of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) kicked against the act and called on President Buhari to suspend the law in the interest of the country.
“While we are not against the government fighting corruption wherever it may be found, yet we completely reject the idea of bringing the Church, which is technically grouped among the NGOs, under control of the government. The Church cannot be controlled by the government because of its spiritual responsibilities and obligations. This is why we are calling on the Federal government to stop the implementation of the obnoxious and ungodly law until the religious institutions are exempted from it.
“How can the government sack the trustee of a church which it contributed no dime to establish? How can a secular and political minister be the final authority on the affairs and management of another institution which is not political? For example, how can a non-Christian head of Government Ministry be the one to determine the running of the church? It is an invitation to the trouble that the government does not have the power to manage. Let the government face the business of providing infrastructure for the people.”
The Muhammadu Buhari administration will not sweep the major issues underlying the crisis in Southern Kaduna under the carpet, Vice President Yemi Osinbajo has said.
Professor Osinbajo gave the assurance on Thursday during a special conversation featuring him and the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Femi Gbajabiamila, at the ongoing Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) Annual General Conference.
He listed the issues to include ensuring justice, fixing economic marginalisation and the prosecution of persons responsible for the murders.
The Vice President who stated that the government would ensure that the impunity does not worsen urged those who have concerns about the recently signed CAMA legislation to approach the National Assembly for possible amendments.
“I have been involved since 2001 through the work of the Macedonian initiative, an NGO that focused on providing relief materials to displaced persons in Southern Kaduna and several other places, especially in the north-central part of Nigeria,” he said on the way forward in the Southern Kaduna conflict and making reference to his personal experience.
Professor Osinbajo added, “There have been judicial commissions and all sorts, but the problem remains. So, there is the need to address the underlying issues. You can’t sweep under the carpet, justice and the cries of economic marginalisation.
“The fact is that we must prosecute persons responsible for these murders or otherwise impunity will worsen, and also support those who have lost their breadwinners.”
According to the Vice President, the mindless callous killings in Southern Kaduna are heart-breaking and unacceptable as they are avoidable.
He stressed the need to condole those who lost loved ones and those injured or who have suffered loss of property in the crisis.
Possible Peace-Making Efforts Professor Osinbajo highlighted what the Federal Government has done and was doing to deal with the situation.
He said, “First is the improvement of security in Southern Kaduna. Now, we have a military base there, for the first time. We also have a lot of Air Force surveillance.
“We have about 500 conventional and Mobile Policemen in Zangon-Kataff and Kaura Local Government Areas and then, the combined military team of the army and the navy who are also on ground 24 hours. This is basically to just take care of the volatile situation there.”
The Vice President noted that President Buhari had several security council meetings where the issues were discussed, and the possibilities of engagement have also been discussed.
On a personal note, he revealed that he has engaged community leaders in Southern Kaduna and the state governor to look at what peace-making efforts were possible.
Professor Osinbajo was optimistic that the issues would be resolved, noting that some of the peace-making efforts have been fairly successful.
“But there is also a lot of work going on to ensure that some of these fundamental issues are being addressed and it’s an evolving situation, but it’s something we can’t afford to ignore and it’s gone on for far too long and it’s redressable and possible for us to resolve,” he stated.
On his part, Gbajabiamila spoke about the collaboration between the Executive and the Legislature under the present administration in addressing some of the critical issues facing the country.
He said the actions of the lawmakers would continue to be guided by the legislative agenda adopted by the House at its inauguration in 2019, in line with the vision of the President.
The Vice President, Professor Yemi Osinbajo, has challenged the Nigeria Bar Association to work towards reforming the Nigerian judicial processes to ensure the speedy dispensation of justice in the country.
Professor Osinbajo posed the challenge on Wednesday when he virtually declared open the Annual National Conference of the Nigerian Bar Association in Lagos, where he represented President Muhammadu Buhari.
The vice president wants to see judicial reforms that will fast track all court cases so that the longest will be a maximum of 15 months.
Besides speedy dispensation of court case, Osinbajo noted that multiple and conflicting court orders are making a mockery of the judicial process, while highlighting the need for reforms in that area.
“Reform is urgent because the fabric of our society is stitched together by our system of justice and law enforcement.
“We cannot afford to have the stitches come undone. The first issue I would like to commend to your consideration is the terribly slow pace of trials in our courts.
“My question then is that why can’t we have timeliness on all cases? Why can’t we put in place the rules that will state that a criminal trial all the way to the Supreme Court must not exceed 12 months in duration?
“Why can’t we do the same for civil cases even if we say it that civil cases must not go beyond 15 months – between 12 and 15 months? I think that for me will be stepping forward.
“The question of speed raises a related concern in the context of a competitive global economy, a speed of our legal institutions and processes must match up with the global pace of transactions,” he said.
Vice President Yemi Osinbajo has called for collaboration among the three arms of government to help reform the justice sector.
He said an effective synergy among the three arms of government including representatives of the legal profession would be a useful approach to confront the urgently required reform of Nigeria’s administration of justice system.
The Vice President stated this on Saturday at the virtual edition of the Wole Olanipekun & Co (WOC) Justice Summit.
The summit themed “Developing an Institutional Concept of Justice in Nigeria” featured prominent speakers including, the convener, Chief Wole Olanipekun, SAN; Prof. Fidelis Oditah, QC, SAN; Mr Yemi Candide-Johnson, SAN; notable economist, Prof. Pat Utomi; and a prominent lawyer from the UK, Brie Stevens-Hoare, QC, among others.
According to the Vice President, “I think it is important for us to sit together – the leadership of the profession, the executive, the judiciary and the legislature, to take a second look at some of these issues.”
He said the collaboration to get the reform going should also include states, saying, “working together, the sub-nationals and the federal government and their judiciaries, we can make a fundamental change. This is obviously a matter that we must take seriously and address, not just as professionals but we must involve all the arms of government.
“Because of the kind of system that we run, the reform of the Justice System is many-sided. It can’t be done by one segment. It cannot be done by the executive alone, it cannot be done by the judiciary alone, and it certainly cannot be done by the legislature alone.
“There is a need for us to appreciate that it is a many-sided thing, complicated and we have to simply look for ways to work together. I am seeing that critical mass of individuals in the legal profession, in the executive and also in the judiciary who are willing to reform. We are working quite hard to see how we can all come together to make a real change”, he stated.
Osinbajo questioned the relevance of Nigeria’s paradigms of justice to the major socio-economic circumstances that confront the nation.
He explained that the law is a social construct and makes sense only within a social context. To treat the law as something apart from society, or as a body of technical abstractions is to strip it of meaning and to alienate the legal order from the very people it is meant to serve.
“Consequently, a definition of justice that focuses on the social and economic rights of the people is not only more meaningful, it is more just. These rights include the right to food, shelter, employment, education, and a reasonable national standard of living, care for the elderly, pensions, unemployment benefits and welfare for the physically challenged.
“Our progress in the observance of socio-economic rights must also be prosecuted in terms of the struggle to reduce the basic problems of ill-health, malnutrition, illiteracy, and famine which daily afflict our people.
“Where social and economic rights are unsecured, people are unable to fully maximize their civil and political rights. For instance, access to qualitative education enhances and enriches the freedoms of expression, thought, and conscience”, he added.
VP Osinbajo is of the opinion that pervasive illiteracy can nullify the entire idea of the freedom of the expression, in the progressive vision, political rights and socio-economic rights are mutually reinforcing.
On the concept of justice that addresses the socio-economic needs of the people, he said socio-economic rights even where wholly justiciable mean nothing unless there is a fiscal commitment to enforcement. “This is the crucial intersection of politics, ideology and notions of justice.”
“This may explain why the opposition in Nigeria was prepared to abolish our social investment program if they won, while our party’s understanding of the imperative of delivering social justice was the provision of a massive social safety net.
“This was a fundamental feature of our manifesto. So, our Social Investment Programme which is the most ambitious welfare programme on the continent and our effort to expand universal health insurance all aim at ensuring that our most vulnerable citizens are not abandoned to the vicissitudes of fate,” the Vice President explained.
The summit also addressed such issues including judicial appointments, delays in the courts, the issue of technicalities, among other critical elements of the justice sector reform agenda.
Speaking specifically on the appointment of judges as an important area of reform in the system, the Vice President said, “Judicial appointments should follow a merit-based system and this is absolutely necessary, we need to insist on mandatory tests and interviews for all applicants.
He further added that “Clearly, we need to look more carefully at how our judges are selected. There has to be an objective process of selecting judges. We cannot insist that the only way to become a judge is to be a (judicial) career person or move from the high court to the Court of Appeal, to the Supreme Court. We must be able to bring in practicing lawyers, academics to be justices of the Court of Appeal and Supreme Court. If it requires rewriting the rules, then let us rewrite the rules.”
Referring to other areas in the system that have been identified as areas requiring urgent reform, Osinbajo said, “A lot of those things that have been said today can be achieved.
“For example, we can ensure that the process of a criminal trial is short and we get justice within a reasonable time.
“Issues like rape, there are all sorts of sociological issues and barriers that need to be encountered. The way the system responds to rape cases is also a problem. So, we need a change of mindset as well as the legal system responding adequately and promptly to situations where rape is reported.”
Still, on aspects of justice administration requiring new approaches and models, the Vice President said “the model of adjudication in criminal cases which largely dispenses retributive justice is not entirely adequate to meet the demands of justice especially in complex scenarios and situations that are peculiar to Nigeria.
“Given the tensions and frictions generated by contending passions and grievances, and the social reality of inequality and inequity, there is the recognition that some of the most serious situations which threaten to even, sometimes, break the fabric of society, require much more than just retributive sanctions by our judicial system, they require restorative justice to bring about healing and the reconstitution of the communities.
“This is one of the approaches that we are looking at as part of our efforts to resolve protracted ethnic and religious conflicts. In many cases, it is not enough to arrest, detain, prosecute, and jail terrorists. There is a need somehow to find a process by which restorative justice can be brought to bear, by which the communities’ feelings of violations can be assuaged,” the Vice President stated.
He noted that the National Policy on Justice embodies some of the prescriptions and offers pathways of innovation for more holistic approaches to justice delivery, there is still much work to be done to meet the needs of persons in search of justice.
In his contribution, the keynote speaker, Prof. Fidelis Oditah said pertinent issues that require urgent reform in the administration of justice system include, the reform of dispute resolution mechanisms and an overhaul of the current system that focuses more on technicalities rather than the substance of cases brought before the courts, amongst others.
Oditah referring to instances where appellate courts overturned decisions merely based on technicalities without addressing the public interest implications, noted that such judicial behavior is not desirable, should be avoided, and possibly prevented as much as possible through the reforms.
The WOC Justice Summit was moderated by Mr. Bode Olanipekun, (SAN), the Managing Partner of Wole Olanipekun Chambers.
As the Federal Government consolidates efforts designed to ward off a deep recession and effect significant changes in the economy, opportunities abound across different sectors in the Economic Sustainability Plan (ESP) for the private sector to lead the charge for Nigeria’s economic growth and development, according to Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, SAN.
Prof. Osinbajo made the call on Friday at the virtual edition of the Presidential Policy Dialogue of the Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI).
The Vice President said the ESP which is now being implemented by the Buhari administration is driven by the desire “to adapt to the challenges and make required changes in order to come out stronger than before”.
According to him, “I take this opportunity to encourage the private sector to be proactive in leading the charge against recession and poverty in our country. The Federal Government is not under any illusion that it can do this on its own. The opportunities that now exist in the short term in agriculture, infrastructural development, housing construction, in renewable energy, digital technology development, mining, financial inclusion, healthcare and pharmaceutical manufacturing, call for the private sector to take the bull by the horns and make them a reality.
“The priority of the Federal Government in response to the economic challenges caused by COVID-19 is to ward off a deep recession by an admixture of stimulus measures to support local businesses, retain and create jobs and ameliorate the circumstances of the most vulnerable.”
Continuing, the Vice President said though the stimulus package is just about 1.5% of GDP, it is the best the government could do given existing realities in the economy.
He said “government developed the Economic Sustainability Plan with a stimulus package of N2.3trillion to give fillip to the economy across various sectors. The size of this stimulus which is just about 1.5% of national income is not as large as we would have liked it to be but it was the best we could do given existing fiscal and monetary constraints. Based on the assumption of the price of crude averaging out at $30 per barrel throughout the year, we anticipate an economic growth of about -0.59% in 2020.
“You would already be familiar with details of the Economic Sustainability Plan. In essence, it is intended to boost production, prevent business collapse, and provide liquidity. It will also promote the use of labour-intensive methods and direct labour interventions in key areas like agriculture, light manufacturing, housing construction and facility maintenance while increasing infrastructural investment in roads, bridges, solar power, and communications technologies. It is intended to do all this while extending protection to the poor and other vulnerable groups in our society.”
Speaking further on the plan of government to address the disruptions on the economy by the COVID-19 pandemic and the role that the private sector can play, the Vice President said, “these opportunities are the building blocks that will enable our medium-term goals to be achieved and make our long-term goals achievable.”
According to Prof. Osinbajo, “this is a drive we hope to continue into the medium term as we build up the economy over the next few years. We do need foreign direct investment to complement our domestic efforts but it is the success of our own investments that will attract such inflows. Investors are already aware of Nigeria’s huge market and its great potential, but they will only ‘want in’ when government by its own positive interventions and the private sector by its success stories show them what is possible to do here.
“No doubt, the task ahead is challenging. Nevertheless, government is focused on doing its bit so I call on the private sector to play its part and join us in this noble venture. We know that this will be a difficult year but expect that with our combined effort growth will resume to the order of about 3 percent by the end of next year. We can do this working together.”
On the Ease of Doing Business reforms of the Federal Government, the Vice President maintained that the commitment of the Federal Government to providing an enabling environment for business to thrive remains strong.
“In this regard, we have made some strides in improving the ease of doing business in Nigeria. Through the Presidential Enabling Business Environment Council (PEBEC), a lot has been achieved to fast-track processes, reduce bottlenecks and improve transparency across Government MDAs.
“As a result, we have moved 35 places upward in the World Bank’s Ease of Doing Business rankings. We have continued to scale up our business reform initiatives across regulatory agencies.
“Of course, there is still a lot more to be done. Our aim is to continue to improve our national ranking in the World Bank Doing Business Index Ranking to below 100 in the coming years. It is also very important to reduce the harassment and extortion of businesses by various government agencies,” the Vice President added.
In his remarks, the Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment, Otunba Niyi Adebayo, said the current focus of the Federal Government in the manufacturing sector “is on prioritizing local production especially in the importation of machinery that utilize local materials.”
Earlier, the LCCI President, Mrs Toki Mabogunje commended the Federal Government’s “spirited effort” regarding its managing of the Nigerian economy, adding that members of the chamber and private sector players are willing to collaborate with the Buhari administration.
There is need for an urgent, honest and frank conversation about judicial reforms especially, the selection and appointment of judges in Nigeria, given the significant roles judges play in the polity, economy, social justice and democracy itself, according to Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, SAN.
Prof. Osinbajo stated this on Saturday at the Justice Research Institute (JRI) virtual roundtable themed “Selection and Appointment of Judges: Lessons for Nigeria” under the Law and Policy series of JRI which is an open-access forum that features leading scholars, policymakers amongst other stakeholders.
Others who spoke at the webinar included Dame Anne Rafferty, QC, Chair of the Judicial College, Royal Courts of Justice in England & Wales who gave the keynote; the Chief Justice of Nigeria, Justice Ibrahim Tanko Muhammad; the Senate President, Sen. Ahmed Lawan; and the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Rt. Hon. Femi Gbajabiamila.
Contributing to the appointment of Judges in the country, the Vice President said the integrity of the judicial system is crucial to everything in the society hence the need for stakeholders to engage in an honest and frank discussion that examines the challenges and prospects.
According to him, “there are very many aspects of the question that we are faced with today. They are many different contours to this issue. But one thing that stands out and we need to focus our minds on is about the question of the integrity of the judicial system.
“It is central to everything –how our economy works because our judiciary arbitrates all economic issues, commercial disputes, etc; it is central to social justice; to the maintenance of the rights of citizens; central to democracy as we see it today. The court decides who was properly elected and who was not.
“So, the question of those who make those decisions, how they are appointed, who they are, is absolutely important. If people feel that justice is impossible, they will lose hope in the system and may resort to self-help.”
Continuing, the Vice President said “…a frank and honest discussion, at some point, is usually necessary.
“Where it comes to the administration of justice, that frank and honest discussion must come between the legal profession itself, the judiciary, the executive, the legislature, and the very many elite interests in our society.
“We must come to the point that we must ask ourselves the questions. Why must we appoint an honest umpire? Why do we need honest judges? We must all sit together and ask those questions.
“It is a selfless and patriotic duty that we must, as an elite sit down to talk about and to decide. We must agree to an objective process. To rigorously examine, to test, to interview all of those who come forward to become judges. We must agree to an independent process.”
Speaking in the comparison of the Nigerian system to others that may have been adjudged perfect, Prof. Osinbajo said “there is no system that we are looking at where the people are perfect”, again, underscoring the point for the kind of discussion that “takes into account all of the various issues”.
The Vice President however noted that it will be unfair to conclude that the entire problem rests on bad judges, insisting that “you cannot pick out the judiciary alone for censure for some of the failures in our system of administration of justice.”
He explained that the problem can be partly blamed on societal pressure on the Nigerian system of administration of justice.
Making his contribution to the discussion, the Chief Justice of Nigeria, Justice Ibrahim Tanko Muhammad described as apt the topic of the webinar, noting that the National Judicial Council will support suggestions about reforms that ensures the effective dispensation of justice in Nigeria, including the appointment of judges to various courts in the country.
In his remarks, Senate President, Sen. Ahmed Lawan emphasized the need for appointments to higher courts in the country to be based on competence and federal character as entrenched in the constitution.
On his part, the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Hon. Femi Gbajabiamila, advocated for the adoption of a hybrid system that takes into account procedures in other countries, in order to ensure that both the integrity and fair representation are considered in judges’ appointment.
Other justices from the Supreme Court and Court of Appeal also spoke at the webinar.
For, Justice Amina Augie, developing and maintaining a database of persons of competence and proven integrity will resolve issues surrounding incompetence and federal character in the appointment of judges.
In the same vein, Justice Joseph Oyewole, who stood in for the President of the Court of Appeal, Justice Monica Dongban-Mensem, supported the view that all appointments should be merit-based, aside from other considerations.
Earlier in the keynote speech, Dame Anne Rafferty, Chair of the Judicial College, Royal Courts of Justice, spoke about the United Kingdom’s Judicial Appointing Committee (JAC) and its procedures for the appointment of judges.
She said the process is very competitive, rigorous and reflects the diversity of the country.
According to her, JAC is composed largely by non-legal practitioners and chaired by a surgeon.
Other speakers at the forum include the Chief Justice of Ghana, Hon. Justice Kwasi Anin Yeboah who was represented by Justice Samuel Marful-Sau; international anti-corruption activist, Prof. Patrick Lumumba; and the Managing Partner, Olaniwun Ajayi LP, Prof. Koyinsola Ajayi, SAN.
The webinar was moderated by Mr Osaro Eghobamien, SAN, Managing Partner, Perchstone and Graeys; and Prof. Ayo Atsenuwa, Professor of Law, University of Lagos.
The Vice-President, Professor Yemi Osinbajo has described late Senator Abiola Ajimobi as a major bridge builder who mediated every situation with impact, humor, and unrivaled intelligence.
Osinbajo made these comments during a condolence visit to the family of the late former governor at his residence in Oluyole Estate, Ibadan.
He noted that Ajimobi was considered as one of those who could mediate practically any dispute in any situation. Adding that his demise was a significant one to the All Progressives Congress and very unfortunate at a time when the party is trying to build the party.
Accompanied by his wife, Dolapo, and the Oyo state Deputy Governor, Rauf Olaniyan, the Vice President added that Ajimobi’s memory and all that he achieved while on earth and the ideas that he proffered, the spirit of brotherhood, and compromise would remain with all who knew him.
President Muhammadu Buhari and his vice, Professor Yemi Osinbajo, have backed Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu as the candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in the forthcoming governorship election in Edo State.
Both leaders endorsed the APC candidate on Friday when he visited the Presidential Villa in Abuja, the Federal Capital Territory (FCT).
President Buhari presented the symbolic party flag to Ize-Iyamu at a closed-door meeting attended by his Chief of Staff, Professor Ibrahim Gambari, and the governors.
They include the APC Caretaker Committee Chairman, Governor Mai Mala Buni of Yobe State; Chairman of the Progressive Governors’ Forum, Atiku Bagudu of Kebbi State, and Chairman of the APC National Campaign Council for the Edo State election, Governor Abdullahi Ganduje of Kano State.
After the meeting with the governor, Ize-Iyamu later visited the Vice President at his office where he presented the flag to Professor Osinbajo.
The Independent National Electoral Commission had fixed September 19 to conduct the election.
The Accident Investigation Bureau has released the final report of the February 2, 2019 helicopter accident involving the Vice President, Professor Yemi Osinbajo in Kogi and three other accidents.
In its preliminary report, the AIB had said the crew lost visual contact with the ground at about 50 feet owing to dust generated when landing on a sandy area.
But in the new report made available on Tuesday, the AIB said the incident was as result of human error.
The Agusta Westland helicopter conveying the Vice President and 11 others crashed in the Kabba area of Kogi State during the 2019 presidential election campaign.
The chopper managed by Caverton Helicopter had managed to land at the township stadium before its propeller suddenly pulled off to the surprise of supporters of the All Progressives Congress (APC) who had gathered to welcome the Vice President.
Vice President Yemi Osinbajo on Saturday urged young Nigerians to take advantage of the opportunities available to them and become solution providers despite the challenges created by the coronavirus pandemic
The Vice President made the remarks at the virtual valedictory service for graduating students of Edgewood College, Lagos.
According to Osinbajo, “No matter how you look at it, you are unique. The game changed in your generation, you are certainly a class of game-changers. The point with any opportunity is that it must be seized if you are to benefit from it, which is why you must never take your place in history for granted. There is always a divine reason for it.”
He added that “circumstances have moved you ahead. No one has been here before. None of your parents or mine can tell you how life would be in or after a global pandemic. We know some but not nearly all of the challenges and all of the opportunities that will come with it. And if you tell me that you would have to wait until you get into University and even graduate before you start to answer those questions then you are missing the opportunity that history is offering you.”
He further explained that when an opportunity to make history comes, it is often disguised as a challenge, a drawback or even a tragedy, adding that an opportunity often “hardly ever looks like the next great leap of mankind.”
The Vice President noted that young age is a profound advantage in a time of uncertainty such as now and that such times also offer opportunities.
“There is no qualifying age to be a problem solver, an entrepreneur, a great poet, an inventor, or an author,” he said. “Age doesn’t matter. You must from now begin to examine the solutions to the problems that we face and will face now and in the coming years.”
Read the Vice President’s full remarks below:
REMARKS BY HIS EXCELLENCY, PROF. YEMI OSINBAJO, SAN, VICE PRESIDENT, FEDERAL REPUBLIC OF NIGERIA AT THE VIRTUAL VALEDICTORY SERVICE FOR GRADUATING STUDENTS OF EDGEWOOD COLLEGE, LEKKI, LAGOS, ON SATURDAY JULY 25, 2020
First, let me commend the vision and dedication of the founder of Edgewood College, for conceiving of and delivering this unique centre of education which combines a strong commitment to developing God fearing and selfless leaders with a dedication to offering the best in the sixth form education blending both local and the UK curricula.
To the staff of the College, it is to your knowledge, and expertise and your experience that our most important national resources, these young people are committed year in, year out. And you must be doing many things right to have received the Outstanding Cambridge Learner Awards, top in 2017 and the awardee of the high achievement in Cambridge A level Law in 2018. Congratulations and very well done.
For parents and guardians of the members of the graduating class, we all join you in rejoicing today and in thanking God for this great gifts of success and accomplishments.
And to the graduating class of 2020, my very special and warm congratulations. I have a short message for you, it is tilted “The Class of Game Changers”.
Every generation is gifted by God with a unique set of circumstances that give them an opportunity to distinguish themselves, to make history, to do something never done before, to positively alter the trajectory of the story of mankind. That opportunity usually comes disguised as a challenge, a drawback, even a tragedy; it hardly ever looks like the next great leap of mankind that it really is.
The generation that should take advantage may sometimes even miss the opportunity, because as human beings our inclination is to look back rather than ahead. We seek comfort in the familiar things, the known course of events, we want progress but we still want things to be the way they were.
But worse, we miss the moment because the opportunities no longer knocks, it sounds more like a whisper, barely audible because there is so much noise all around us, which is why I have named your class, the class of 2020, the class of game-changers.
You are the first set of students of this college to graduate in the midst of a global pandemic. You are also the first in the history of this school and in many parts of the world to have a virtual graduation. One thing I can say is that you are certainly the first school in Nigeria to have a serving Vice President keynote your graduation and certainly the first to have that done virtually.
So, no matter how you look at it, you are unique. The game changed in your generation, you are certainly a class of game changers. The point with any opportunity is that it must be seized if you are to benefit from it, which is why you must never take your place in history for granted. There is always a divine reason for it.
So, what should you do as a game changer? I think one of the critical things to recognize is that you cannot stand on the queue anymore.
Historically, circumstances have moved you ahead. No one has been here before. None of your parents or mine can tell you, how life would be in or after a global pandemic. We know some but not nearly all of the challenges and all of the opportunities that will come with it. And if you tell me that you would have to wait until you get into University and even graduate before you start to answer those questions then you are missing the opportunity that history is offering you. Age, your very young age is a profound advantage in a time of uncertainty and opportunity. There is no qualifying age to be a problem solver, an entrepreneur, a great poet, an inventor, or an author. Age doesn’t matter.
You must from now begin to examine the solutions to the problems that we face and will face now and in the coming years. Meeting virtually such as we are doing now was made possible by the inventors of Zoom a virtual meeting application, many more such applications, even better ones are waiting to be developed. You don’t have to be a technology geek to be an innovator, you can identify the problem, write up the solution and someone else develops the app. Some of the greatest and most useful inventions were made by young men and women before they even left high school.
At 15, Bill Gates had gone into partnership with his friend Allen, to develop Traf-O-Data, a computer program that monitored traffic patterns in Seattle, Washington State in the US. George Westinghouse invented the Rotary Steam engine at 19, the television was first conceived by Philo Fansworth, he was 14.
Timilehin Daomi, before he was 16 living in Ikorodu, there in Lagos State, had made prototypes of a vacuum cleaner, a pumping machine, a digital microscope and last year or about two years ago, a prototype of hydraulic-powered collapsible 4th Mainland Bridge for Lagos State.
Aghogho Ajiyen, a young man in Oghara, in Delta State and Ayoola Olaolu in Ikorodu, have been making prototypes of airplanes, drones and flying cars. Emeka Nelson in Anambra State developed a water-powered generator.
Sooner or later, these innovators will define enterprise, our economy, digital technology, in our country and perhaps around the world.
But those gifted in the arts and humanities must also take advantage of these times. Pablo Picasso, the legendary artist, had painted the La premiere communion’ when he was 15.
Amanda Gorman is the first youth poet laureate in the US. She took the hopelessness of the pandemic and the black-lives-matter protest to write a poetic masterpiece titled ‘Fury and Faith’. She wrote these words that must now be etched in our hearts as we face these uncertain times, and I quote the words that she wrote in that poem: “…whether we prevail in these times is not determined by all the challenges present but by the change that is possible…”
Arinze Ifeakandu was shortlisted for The Caine Prize for his book ‘God’s Children Are Little Broken Things’. At 22, he is the Caine Prize’s second youngest ever person to be shortlisted. And the list of these young achievers goes on.
The sum and substance of what I am saying is that, you leave high school at a phenomenal moment in global history, nothing will ever be the same again. Believe it or not you have spent the last one or two years here at Edgewood College, being prepared for this moment and for this season.
You have all that it takes to create a new narrative in the arts, in entertainment, in science, in innovation, in medicine, in business or the digital economy. Yes, you are still headed for University but whoever told you that you can’t distinguish yourself even as an undergraduate?
One last word that I must leave with you is that, never be foolish enough to imagine that anything happens without the Almighty God, all good and perfect gifts come from Him. Some of the smartest people that you will come across in the best universities in the world, will tell you that there is no God. Remember the words of scripture, “the fool says in his heart that there is no God.”
Some will say but life itself is about luck, chance, they might even refer you to the scripture that says, in Ecclesiastes 9:11, “the race is not to the swift, nor the battle to the strong, nor bread to the wise, nor riches to men of understanding, nor favor to men of skill; But time and chance happen to them all.” But the question that you must always ask is, who controls time and chance? They are controlled by the Almighty God.
So, I pray for you, that you will excel in all you, do, that you will be a source of pride and joy to your families and this nation, and that God will help you always in Jesus name. All will be well with you in Jesus mighty name.
Congratulations again, and God Bless you.
Laolu Akande Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media & Publicity Office of the Vice President 25th July 2020
Vice President Yemi Osinbajo says the Federal Government, through the National Economic Sustainability Plan (NESP), is set to implement a number of schemes to keep Micro Small and Medium Enterprises(MSMEs) afloat.
The vice president listed Survival Fund including payroll support for three months, guaranteed off-take scheme among others as part of efforts to support small businesses in Nigeria to survive the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic,
Osinbajo’s spokesman, Laolu Akande, in a statement on Thursday in Abuja, said the vice president spoke at the 2020 edition of the Micro MSMEs Awards which held via video conference.
He said that locally, businesses were facing their most challenging time and the impact was particularly severe on MSMEs
“The central plank of our response as a government to the economic challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic has been the Economic Sustainability Plan recently approved by President Muhammadu Buhari and the Federal Executive Council.
“In that plan which essentially envisages an overall N2.3 trillion stimulus package, we made extensive provision for financial support to MSMEs, ranging from a guaranteed off-take scheme to a survival fund that includes a payroll support programme for qualifying businesses.
“The guaranteed off-take scheme seeks to provide support for MSMEs, manufacturing local products by guaranteeing the purchase from them of qualifying products such as face masks, hand sanitizer, Personal Protective Equipment(PPE) for medical workers among others
“These products will be distributed to Nigerians, Nigerian institutions and entities that would require them.
“The survival fund will help provide payroll support to MSMEs with a minimum of 10 and maximum of 50 staff. The MSMEs that qualify for these will make available their payroll for verification by the government.
“Companies that meet the requirements will then be eligible to have the salaries of their verified staff paid directly from the fund for a period of three months.”
According to the vice president, the target beneficiaries of this scheme will include private schools, hotels, road transport workers, creative industries and others.
He said that the verification process would be very rigorous and painstaking.
Osinbajo added that N200 billion would be made available to MSMEs in the priority sectors such as healthcare, agro-processing, creative industries, local oil and gas, aviation among others.
“This will be granted through a scheme jointly run by the Bank of Industry and Nigerian Export-Import (NEXIM) Bank, especially for export expansion.
“The CBN is also committed to creating a N100 billion target credit facility for MSMEs.
“Already the recently signed Finance Act already made provision for graduated company income tax rates with zero rates for small companies and a rate reduction for medium-sized companies.”
The vice president said that the Federal Government would continue to implement similar focused MSME interventions around the country.
Osinbajo said that Kaduna state, for example, was working on a tomato paste production plant while Lagos was putting together a fashion hub.
He said that FCT was equally set to launch a carpentry cluster while Anambra state was almost ready to commission its leather works cluster.
All of these are scheduled for 2020.
“In 2021, Edo, Ekiti, Katsina, Ogun, Bauchi and Enugu States would commission shared facilities that will bring MSMEs together by cluster and provide shared equipment and resources and business support hub.’’
He commended the participants at the awards for their ingenuity in starting up and sustaining their businesses, urging those who were not shortlisted not to relent in what they were doing.
Osinbajo also commended all those who had started businesses in Nigeria, no matter how small, describing them as champions.
“Every person who has taken it upon themselves to start a business in Nigeria no matter how small is a champion and we as a government owe it to you to create an enabling environment for you to thrive.
“This is President Buhari’s commitment to MSMEs in Nigeria, that we will continue to stand by you and to support you and to create opportunities for you to grow and prosper,” he said.
Adejoke Lasisi of Planet 3R Limited won the MSME of the Year Award while Kaduna State was awarded the Best MSME Clinic Support State.
The winners got cash and car prizes.
The event was attended by several state governors and their representatives, the FCT Minister Malam Muhammed Bello, the Minister of State, Trade and Investment, Amb. Mariam Katagum, various heads of MDAS and captains of industry.
Kiki Osinbajo, daughter of Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, has reacted to the allegation she invested N800m in the property where she uses in running her business
Kiki Osinbajo who is a beauty entrepreneur is the founder of two companies, Glam’d Africa and Konyin Skincare.
Jackson Ude, the Former Director of Strategy and Communications under President Goodluck Jonathan administration took to Twitter this morning to make the allegation.
How did Kiki Osinbajo, VP Osinbajo’s daughter, earn N800million she invested in the property housing her Glam’d Africa Beauty House in Abuja on 10 Durban Street, Wuse 2. Abuja?”he tweeted
Taking to her Instagram page to react, Kiki described the allegation as a lie. She stated that she is a tenant in the property where she runs her business.
”For me it is completely UNBELIEVABLE that a grown man will sit in his home and LIE about me, a grown man who possibly has children my age! Like many young women in Nigeria I work hard , It may be difficult for people like him to understand that a young woman can work hard and succeed on her own steam. ANYONE can verify the ownership of the property of Glamd Africa at Agis in Abuja. I am a tenant in that property. My landlord’s name is Mr MUSA ADAMS” she wrote
Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo has asked the Inspector-General of Police (IGP), Mohammed Adamu, to investigate allegations that he received N4billion from the suspended acting chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Ibrahim Magu.
This was contained in a petition addressed to Adamu through Osinbajo’s lawyer, Taiwo Osipitan and dated July 8, 2020.
The vice-president stated that Jackson Ude, who published the allegations, will continue to publish these “false claims” on social media until action for “criminal defamation” is taken against him.
Osipitan said if the allegation is proven untrue after investigation, Adamu should initiate criminal proceedings against Ude, who has painted Osinbajo as “a dishonest and disloyal public officer”.
The petition read in part: “We are of the view that unless an action for criminal defamation is commenced against the said Mr. Jackson Ude, he will continue to use his social media platform to publish materials that are false and criminally defamatory of our client’s reputation.
“In view of the above, we humbly request that you cause the above allegations, made against our client, to be investigated and if the suggested investigation confirms our complaint of the falsehood of these allegations, to initiate criminal proceedings pursuant to the provisions of sections 391 – 395 of the penal code act for criminal defamation against the said Jackson Ude,” part of Osipitan’s petition read.
Ude accused Osinbajo of taking N4billion from Magu, who is accused of embezzling N39 billion recovered loot.
But Osinbajo through his spokesman, Laolu Akande, denied the claims and described it as “baseless”.
Vice President Yemi Osinbajo on Wednesday described as fake news, reports that the suspended acting Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Ibrahim Magu, gave him N4 billion.
The Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity to the Vice President, Laolu Akande, said in a statement that the vice president had never been involved in such shady activities.
Magu was suspended by President Muhammadu Buhari on Tuesday over alleged malfeasance.
The suspended EFCC chairman has been grilled several times since Monday by a presidential panel headed by a former president of the Appeal Court, Justice Ayo Salami.
“Inundated by wide circulation of fake news about VP’s purported involvement in some EFCC recovery billions, please rest assured they are all lies calculated to confuse and concocted to smear Prof. Osinbajo’s image.
“The VP hasn’t and will never be involved in any of such shady activities.”
President Muhammadu Buhari has written to world leaders and partners to appreciate their support towards helping Nigeria in attaining a Wild Polio Virus (WPV) free status.
He also promised that his administration would sustain the momentum and strengthen the Primary Health Care system.
This was disclosed in a statement signed on Friday by the Senior Special Assistant to the President, Media & Publicity, Garba Shehu.
The President also commended Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, Chairman Presidential Taskforce on Polio Eradication, and his team, for making Nigeria proud and saving the country from the scourge of poliomyelitis.
He asked the taskforce to sustain the coordination especially in mobilizing state governors to provide the needed oversight and resources to strengthen the Primary Health Care System.
“This is to express our profound appreciation for your leadership of the Presidential Taskforce on Polio Eradication and Routine Immunization.
“The declaration of Nigeria as a Wild Polio free country is the result of your effective coordination of the Nigerian Polio eradication program through the Presidential Taskforce on Polio Eradication and Routine Immunization, Federal Ministry of Health and the National Primary Health Care Development Agency.
“Please extend my personal appreciation to all members of the Presidential Taskforce on Polio Eradication for making Nigeria proud and saving her children from the scourge of Poliomyelitis.
“I urge the Taskforce under your leadership to sustain this coordination especially in mobilizing State Governors to provide the needed oversight and resources to sustain the momentum and strengthen the primary health care system by improving routine immunization, maternal, newborn and child health services.
“I urge you to sustain the momentum as I look forward to us leveraging on the polio infrastructure and experience to drive other health interventions,’’ the President wrote in the letter to Prof Osinbajo.
The President also wrote a separate letter to German Chancellor Angela Merkel, thanking the European country for decades of financial support to Polio Eradication Initiative (PEI) programme in Nigeria through KfW.
“Please be assured that my Government will remain committed and focused to ensuring the needed resources will be provided to sustain the momentum and strengthen the primary health care system of our great Country,” the President said in his letter to Chancellor Merkel.
President Buhari also thanked traditional and religious leaders, who through their leadership built community trust for the polio programme thereby increasing acceptance and ensuring all eligible children are reached with the polio vaccine.
Specifically, he wrote Alhaji Muhammad Saad III, Sultan of Sokoto, the leadership of Jama’atul-Nasirl Islam (JNI) and the President, Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN).
The President also wrote separate letters of appreciation to Bill Gates, the European Union, Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, Director-General, World Health Organization, Dr. Robert R. Redfield, Director, U.S Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Dr. Henrietta Fore, Executive Director, United Nations Children’s Fund, David Malpass, President, World Bank Group and John Barsa, Acting Administrator, United States Agency for International Development.
Others are, Global Affairs Canada, Professor Shinichi Kitaoka, President, Japan International Cooperation Agency, and the International President, Rotary International.
President Buhari also appreciated the support of Alhaji Aliko Dangote, Chairman Aliko Dangote Foundation, Sir (Dr) Emeka Offor and Governor Kayode Fayemi, in his capacity as the Chairman, Nigerian Governors Forum.