Tag Archives: osinbajo

Nigerians will pay for electricity if satisfied – VP, Osinbajo


Nigeria’s Vice President Yemi Osinbajo has said that Nigerians are willing to pay for electricity if the services they receive from the distribution companies are constant and better.

Osinbajo expressed this view while featuring in a webinar on Economic Sustainability Beyond COVID-19 organised by Emmanuel Chapel on Sunday in Abuja.

The Vice President reacted to a question posed by the former Emir of Kano, Muhammad Sanusi II.

He reiterated that it was not true that Nigerians did not want to pay more for power, adding that they had been unhappy with the poor service over the years.

“Just to comment on the point you made and I have alluded to it that income elasticity is more important for persons living in the rural area and for the poor who need to have electricity for whatever means of livelihood they have.


“What we have discovered especially as we have worked with the private sector to deploy solar power in different parts of the country is exactly the point you have made.

“For example, in Wuna, a village which is just outside Abuja, they never had light until a private company provided solar power there.

“What they pay on average for their power is well more than the N37 per unit that we pay for power off the grid.

“Turankawa in Sokoto pays almost N100. So, from many of the areas where we have been, it is evident that this business of people not willing to pay for power is not true at all.


“As a matter of fact, the reason there is such great resistance is the service level.

“Most people are used to poor service so they just see every tariff increase as injustice because they are getting poor service but are asked to pay more.

“But where service is guaranteed people have been prepared to pay.’’

He listed Sabon Gari market in Kano, Ariaria market (in Aba) and in Sura market (in Lagos) and so many different parts of the country as instances where people paid for better services.



Nigerian rigid Govt: Osinbajo calls for National Debate


Vice President Yemi Osinbajo has said that a debate is needed in Nigeria concerning the size and cost of governance in the country.

Osinbajo stated this during a webinar organized by Emmanuel Chapel, themed, ‘Economic stability beyond COVID-19’, where he fielded questions from a former Governor of the Central Bank, Muhammadu Sanusi.

Sanusi who pointed out that Nigeria is on a part to bankruptcy asked the vice president to stated what the government is doing about it.

He said, “The greater Atlanta (in the United States) has a Gross Domestic Product that is higher than that of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, and Atlanta is not the richest city in the United States.


“I don’t want to be disrespectful, but the annual sales of Tesla exceeds the budget size of our country, so should we not begin to cut our coat according to our cloth; should we not begin to look at all these costs and the constitution itself; maybe turn the legislators to part-time lawmakers, have a unicameral legislature instead of bicameral, have the local governments run by employees of the Ministry of Local Government Affairs? We just need to think out of the box to reduce structural cost and make government sustainable over the long term.”

Osinbajo responded saying, “There is no question that we are dealing with large and expensive government, but as you know, given the current constitutional structure, those who would have to vote to reduce (the size of) government, especially to become part-time legislators, are the very legislators themselves. So, you can imagine that we may not get very much traction if they are asked to vote themselves, as it were, out of their current relatively decent circumstances.

“So, I think there is a need for a national debate on this question and there is a need for us to ensure that we are not wasting the kind of resources that we ought to use for development on overheads. At the moment, our overheads are almost 70 per cent of revenues, so there is no question at all that we must reduce the size of government

“Part of what you would see in the Economic Sustainability Plan also and several of the other initiatives is trying to go, to some extent, to what was recommended in the (Steve) Oransaye Report, to collapse a few of the agencies to become a bit more efficient and make government much more efficient with whatever it has”



Osinbajo nays paying ‘sitting-at-home’ corps members – tells FG to..


The Economic Sustainability Committee (ESC) chaired by Vice President Yemi Osinbajo has asked the Federal Government to suspend the National Youth Service Corps, NYSC, for two years.

This is due to the impact of coronavirus on the economy of Nigeria which now has 6, 658 confirmed cases of COVID-19 with 424 fatalities.

This is contained in a recommendation submitted to President Muhammadu Buhari last week.

“The immediate focus in the Education sector is to address the disruptions caused by the pandemic and ensuing social distancing measures at all levels of education,” the report read.


Practical steps will be taken to minimise disruption to learning, utilising technology as appropriate. Specifically, virtual learning will be implemented (either online or through broadcast), virtual convocation ceremonies or issuance of certificates (with postponed ceremonies) should be implemented to continue educational progression.

In similar context, consideration will be given to suspending the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) Orientation Camp Exercises for at least 24 months while allowing deployment to places of primary assignment. This will ensure that there is no backlog in the National Service placement pipeline.” the committee report states.



Tension as Buhari probe office of Kyari, Osinbajo, Others

Presidency aides silent amid intrigues
A wave of apprehension is sweeping through Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) as President Muhammadu Buhari begins a probe into the office of the late Chief of Staff Abba Kyari. The investigation may lead to all appointments and approvals made by Kyari without Buhari’s permission being cancelled.

This is as pundits said the volte face by the president in directing a reversal of over 100 decisions by Kyari could create more problems than it is trying to solve.

Also, a source within the Presidential Villa suggested that the power block that produced the new Chief of Staff Ibrahim Gambari might be the force fighting back.
Sleep might have already begun eluding many officials in the MDA’s on account of contracts okayed without Buhari’s approval. If this is what the president is targeting with a view to shoring up his sagging profile, analysts say trouble looms for those who cut illegal deals with the late CoS.


Though no reason was given for the president’s action, reports suggested no less than 150 memos that didn’t have his authorisation may have been uncovered.
Special Adviser on Media and Publicity Femi Adesina declined to confirm or refute the report. “I’ve seen your text. I’ve seen your text,” he simply said and ended the call. Also, Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity Garba Shehu did not reply to a text message seeking a confirmation on the development.

Sources told NobleReporters yesterday that the directive might just be a continuation of the bickering that produced a deep crack within the ranks of the president’s men last February.

The first sign that all was not okay within Buhari’s inner cabinet emerged in December 2019 when National Security Adviser Babagana Monguno wrote a memo to the president alleging interference by Abba Kyari. He accused the late Kyari of usurping presidential powers and directed service chiefs to ignore instructions by the latter.


Monguno’s account of a connection between Kyari’s alleged ‘meddlesomeness’ and an acute spectre of insecurity that had gripped the country was contained in a series of confidential circulars he addressed to top administration officials on national security.

The NSA also accused the chief of staff of sidestepping the president’s directive, to impose his own decision for implementation; a claim some analysts said was all but a direct accusation of treason against Kyari.

The revelations, first published by an online portal, appeared to undercut an integral aspect of the president’s response to critics: that there is unity among security chiefs towards the common interest of defeating terrorists and armed bandits, rather than an admission of clumsiness or crack in his team.


In media interviews after the memo leaked, Chief of Army Staff Tukur Buratai said insecurity was being confronted across board in the Buhari administration. But Monguno’s memo showed he and other service chiefs had been taking controversial orders from Kyari, despite warnings from the NSA that such a practice was not only unconventional but also in violation of the constitution.

The first signs of war between the NSA and the CoS, two of Buhari’s most powerful aides, was the open letter which revealed both men locked in a bitter confrontation amid raging insecurity.

Perhaps the most potent of allegations raised against the chief of staff by the NSA at the time was that he had been flagrantly discarding decisions already taken by the president and imposing his own recommendation(s).Observers saw this as a jarring allegation bordering on treasonable felony.


Since Buhari settled down in office in 2015, Kyari’s role as the chief of staff made him, perhaps, the most-courted associate of the president, arguably more than the president’s wife and other family members.

The chief of staff’s influence exposed him to some of the worst scandals of the administration. Shortly after telecoms giant, MTN, was slammed with a record fine in 2015, Kyari was the one who allegedly played the middleman in negotiating the fines, a role that threw up allegations of fraud when the scandal broke.

An MTN official who allegedly played a key role in the negotiation was said to have lost her job amid the controversy. But Kyari held on to his position, going forward to take part in bigger deals on government’s behalf. Kyari’s influence was also a matter of serious concern for Aisha Buhari, the president’s wife, who had repeatedly lashed out at the chief of staff for allegedly ‘caging’ her husband and making her redundant in the government.


Last November, another online newspaper reportedly obtained documents showing Kyari overriding Vice President Yemi Osinbajo on a crucial decision on RUGA projects, a series of economic palliatives designed to curtail the herdsmen crisis. It was unclear when President Buhari began his friendship with Kyari, but there is little question that it remained deep and robust since 2015.

When the president was re-elected in 2019, he issued a directive to all his appointees to clear files and memos through Kyari on any matter that required presidential attention. The president did not even single out his vice president as an exception to that restriction.

Monguno’s argument in his memo was that the chief of staff did not swear to a constitutional oath and should, therefore, not be seen issuing directives that carry serious implications for the nation. When it comes to national security, Kyari’s job “stops at conveying Mr. President’s written directives,” the NSA argued.


Kyari, according to those conversant with the inner workings of Aso Villa, had his hand in every pie, because he was “leveraging his sound education, brilliant intellect and experience in bureaucracy and business.”

One of the areas, which was used to criticise Kyari’s competence, was his stint at the failed Africa International Bank (AIB), which he presided over. His political opponents tried to define the late CoS as the architect of the negative public perception of the Buhari administration. They also contended that although every government throughout history is wont to harbour a kitchen cabinet, caucus or cabal, “the remarkable distinction is whether the kitchen cabinet is public-spirited or self-centered.”



COVID-19: Supporting Informal Sector, Priority – Osinbajo.


Though Nigeria’s massive population constitute a challenge in the fight against the Coronavirus pandemic, the advantage of being able to manage the issues in smaller measure through the states and to develop best practices has enabled authorities to reassess responses across sub-nationals and adjust where necessary.

Equally, providing support to small businesses in the informal sector should be a priority for all economies aiming at lessening any adverse effect of the pandemic on the economy.

These views were expressed by Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, SAN, on Wednesday at a virtual conference entitled “How Africa’s Informal Sector Reacts to COVID-19”, organized by Africa.com.

Besides the Vice President, others who spoke at the webinar were President Nana Akufo-Addo of Ghana; Governor Nasir El-Rufai of Kaduna; Ahmed Mushfiq Mobarak, Professor of Economics, Yale University; and Amandla Ooko-Ombaka, Senior Engagement Manager, McKinsey & Co.

Mr Hakeem Bello-Osagie, a Harvard Business School Senior Lecturer of Business Administration, and Teresa Clarke, CEO of Africa.com, moderated the discussions with participation by several thousand who signed in across the world.


According to Prof. Osinbajo “perhaps we have the advantage of being able to manage our problems in smaller measure, or by dividing them, of course, we run a federation, which means that Gov. Nasir could do some very excellent work there in Kaduna, Lagos could do some excellent work, Ogun state and others could also do some excellent work.

“But of course, by the very nature of this pandemic, it also means that you run the risk of everything going south if some state isn’t doing as well as it ought to.

“I think, in the end, we have that advantage that we are able to almost isolate responses, and even look at best practices across the various states and try and ramp up wherever we find that there are deficiencies.”


Speaking specifically about some of the measures that are currently being implemented to mitigate the impact of the pandemic on the economy, the Vice President said “We have done a lot on conditional transfers especially within the context of our social investment policies, but we are now looking at how to possibly enlarge the scope of that and do more.

“We are looking beyond using cash transfers as if it were some incentive for staying at home. We are trying to see whether this can address some of the increasing problems of poverty that we are likely to find now given the disruptions in the economy.


“Aside from the lockdown, just the disruption in the economy has meant that the daily paid worker simply has no means of working and many laid off.”

Governor El-Rufai also spoke about the efforts of the Kaduna State government in containing the spread of the disease as well as mitigating the effect of some of the measures adopted by the government to check the spread.



COVID-19: Where is Buhari and Osinbajo – Reno Omokri questioned.

Reno Omokri, a former aide to ex-President Goodluck Jonathan on New Media, has questioned the whereabouts of President Muhammadu Buhari and his Vice, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo.


Majority of Nigerians believe that their leaders have been missing in action while other countries’ Presidents go about giving daily updates to their citizens on the novel Coronavirus pandemic.

73-year-old Donald Trump, his vice, Mike Pence, (60) and top members of the US government have headed the country’s task force on COVID-19, providing daily information to citizens and making scientific suggestions to their scientists.

Here in Africa, Presidents of South Africa, Ghana, and other countries have been seen actively addressing and consoling their people in this traumatic period.


Reno Omokri wonders where Nigerian leaders have been, describing them as the crisis “we face.”

Ever since the dreaded disease made its way to Nigeria through an Italian on February 27, 2020, President Buhari has only address Nigerians twice in nationwide broadcasts many believed were recorded and aired via Nigeria Television Authority, NTA.

“Where are General @MBuhari and Pastor @ProfOsinbajo?,” the former presidential aide asked in a tweet on Saturday night.


“The more you look for them, the less you see of them.

“It is as if Nigeria has a government in absentia. Leaders should be more visible in a crisis. In our own case, our leaders are the crisis we face!”


Lockdown wahala: Actor Mike Godson begs Osinbajo for money?

Nollywood actor, Mike Godson has written an open letter to Vice President, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo to inform him that there’s hunger in the land and he has been affected by it.

Mike Godson said he is down to his last post of soup and there’s no hope for another as he can’t work at the moment due to the Coronavirus lockdown in Nigeria.

He added that he can’t go out to look for food, for fear of being arrested by the task force.

He wrote: “Your exellency the vice president federal republic of NIGERIA.

“Dear sir, My name is “Mike Godson” I’m a Nigerian Actor with the Nigerian film industry.

“Sir, We have been instructed by the federal and state government to strictly avoid social gatherings and stay in our various houses, due to the spread of the virus. I must commend the federal and state government levels for the aggressive measures put in place to ensure the country’s safety. But sir, the hunger in the land has finally reached my house.

“As I write this letter, I have just finished eating my last pot of soup and there’s no hope for another one as my source of income has been put on hold until further notice.

“Your exellency sir, i have no more money to feed. If you were in Lagos, I would have walked straight to your house and ask for food because I stay in the same estate with you.

“I know I will be arrested by those mobile police officers in thier hundreds, assigned to your residence after I must have shouted your name 3 times. But sir, as long as I see you and ask for food to eat, I don’t mind being purnished for hunger at this point.

“Finally sir, I just want to know if the relief packages sent out in envelopes by the federal government will reach this side of Lagos, because your exellency sir, The Hunger on the way will be more than corona virus O! Please help O! Thank you Sir. @profosinbajo Yours sincerely!”


COVID-19: Osinbajo, Soyinka clash on lockdown in Nigeria. [Must Read]

… Osinbajo says criticism of presidential order pointless

… ICPC warns corrupt persons to steer clear of funds

Vice President Yemi Osinbajo has disagreed with Nobel laureate Prof. Wole Soyinka and others who have questioned the legality of the presidential order restricting movement in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Lagos and Ogun States.

Lawyers like Ebun-Olu Adegboruwa and Femi Falana also faulted the lockdown , following the announcement on Sunday. Osinbajo, however, maintained that the move by President Muhammadu Buhari is important and backed by extant laws.

“I am not so sure some of the people who have commented on the issue have come across the Quarantine Act. There is a Quarantine Act of 1926. It’s been published in all of the Laws of Nigeria, every edition of the Laws of Nigeria, it is there.”

Referring specifically to the part of the legislation that empowers the president to order restrictions to movement in any part the country, Osinbajo said: “What the Act does is that it allows the president to designate any local area, any part of the country, as a place that may be infected or under the threat of a communicable disease. He can then make regulations of any kind.

“For instance, he can say people should not go out; no public gatherings etc. So, it is a regulation that gives the president powers, and these powers come from the National Assembly because, of course, it is an Act of the National Assembly.”

The vice president made the disclosure in Abuja on Monday while responding to questions at the Google Hangout programme organised by HACK COVID-19 Call Centre, a private sector initiative supporting Nigeria’s battle against the pandemic.

The worst development I can conceive is to have a situation where rational measures for the containment of the Corona pandemic are rejected on account of their questionable genesis. This is a time for Unity of Purpose, not nitpicking dissensions. So, before this becomes a habit, a question: does President Buhari have the powers to close down state borders? We want clear answers. We are not in a war emergency – Soyinka

“The president has extensive powers under the Quarantine Act of 1926. Also, governors have extensive powers under the same Quarantine Act,” Osinbajo said.

He urged individuals and groups to peruse the legislation, to understand the provisions therein, noting: “It is barely a one-page legislation, so it is not particularly difficult to find the relevant provisions, and it is not particularly difficult to read, very straightforward. So, the president has all the powers.”

He further said confronting the pandemic was an effort requiring the cooperation of all Nigerians.“We must see this as a joint effort. Everyone is involved in this. It really is an all-Nigeria effort and I am happy that everyone is responding,” he said.

Asked how the administration was supporting the most vulnerable during the restriction to movement, Osinbajo said Buhari had established the Economic Sustainability Committee, “which he has asked me to chair.”

He said the committee would take care of the economic challenges and fallouts of the pandemic in the FCT, Lagos and Ogun States. He also said the committee would develop further palliatives, and a sustainability plan to reposition the economy and grow the non-oil sector.

He added: “Part of the work of the Economic Sustainability Committee is to look at some of the concerns that affect the poor, especially in the context of what has already been done and the data that we already have on informal workers and informal traders, and how to implement some strategy that will be able to alleviate the sufferings of the poor (and the informal workforce) at this time, and integrate some of the data that we have in other respects.”

In his reaction on Monday to the lockdown order by Buhari, Soyinka described it as illegal and unconstitutional.Soyinka, in a statement, said the president did not have the powers to unilaterally lock down a state, as there was no war or emergency.

In the statement titled “Between COVID and Constitutional Encroachment,” Soyinka said “constitutional lawyers and our elected representatives should kindly step into this and educate us, mere lay minds.

I am not so sure some of the people who have commented on the issue have come across the Quarantine Act. There is a Quarantine Act of 1926. It’s been published in all of the Laws of Nigeria, every edition of the Laws of Nigeria, it is there. It is a regulation that gives the president powers, and these powers come from the National Assembly because, of course, it is an Act of the National Assembly – Osinbajo

“The worst development I can conceive is to have a situation where rational measures for the containment of the Corona pandemic are rejected on account of their questionable genesis.

“This is a time for Unity of Purpose, not nitpicking dissensions. So, before this becomes a habit, a question: does President Buhari have the powers to close down state borders? We want clear answers. We are not in a war emergency.

“Appropriately focused on measures for the saving lives, and committed to making sacrifices for the preservation of our communities, we should nonetheless remain alert to any encroachment on constitutionally demarcated powers. We need to exercise collective vigilance, and not compromise the future by submitting to interventions that are not backed by law and constitution.”

According to Soyinka, “a president who had been conspicuously AWOL, the Rip van Winkle of Nigerian history, is now alleged to have woken up after a prolonged siesta, and begun to issue orders.

“Who actually instigates these orders anyway? From where do they really emerge? What happens when the orders conflict with state measures, the product of a systematic containment strategy – `including even trial-and-error and hiccups – undertaken without let or leave of the Centre. So far, the anti-COVID-19 measures have proceeded along the rails of decentralised thinking, multilateral collaboration and technical exchanges between states.

“The Centre is obviously part of the entire process, and one expects this to be the norm, even without the epidemic’s frontal assault on the Presidency itself. Indeed, the Centre is expected to drive the overall effort, but in collaboration, with extraordinary budgeting and refurbishing of facilities.”

Soyinka advised: “The universal imperative and urgency of this affliction should not become an opportunistic launch pad for a sneak re-centralisation, no matter how seemingly insignificant its appearance. I urge governors and legislators to be especially watchful. No epidemic is ever cured with constitutional piracy. It only lays down new political viruses for the future.”

The FCT administration, meanwhile, has begun enforcing the restriction to movement. Many streets were deserted. Personnel from the military, police, Civil Defence Corps and Federal Road Safety Commission were seen manning strategic positions around the city centre.

“We will not allow any individual or groups, as a result of their inability to honour this medical advice, to jeopardise the health of many,” warned FCT Minister Mohammed Musa Bello.

But many residents in Kaduna, Kaduna State yesterday defied the 24-hour restriction to movement put in place by Governor Nasir El-Rufai.At the Kawo Market for instance, buyers and sellers moved about freely, while security operatives posted to enforce looked on.

“The curfew has brought hunger and tiredness. We are doing nothing at home. I have come out to sell to the people. People are hungry and as a trader, I don’t have money to feed my family until I sell my goods,” said one Hassan, a tomato trader.
Reacting to the development, the state chapter of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) issued a statement signed by Publicity Secretary Abraham Alberah Catoh, which said: “Realising that hunger is another dangerous disease, the party makes a passionate but strong appeal to the government to effect an intermittent but controlled relaxation of the curfew currently in force, to allow people to either stock or re-stock household needs like foodstuffs, drugs etc.”

Also, to contain the pandemic, Speaker of the House of Representatives Femi Gbajabiamila yesterday announced that the 360 members of the chamber had donated two months’ salaries.

“Our contribution will support provisions for the welfare of frontline medical professionals and health workers, and other interventions to provide for the wellbeing of all Nigerians through these trying times.

“Accordingly, I have directed the Clerk to the National Assembly to see to it that all members’ salaries are transferred to the National Relief Fund for this month and the next,” the Speaker said.

This came as the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC) warned that unscrupulous persons might take advantage of the fight against COVID-19.

“Responding to this or any other emergency or implementation of government policy should not increase integrity deficit or risky behaviour,” spokesperson, Rasheedat Okoduwa, said in Abuja yesterday.

“The noble desire of government to ameliorate the pain of citizens in these difficult times should not be converted to another rue de la corruption. COVID-19 should not be used as excuse for corruption in any sector of the economy.

“This very attitude of greed and impunity is what has consistently undermined positive outcomes from otherwise well thought-out national response programmes and laid-out plans that covered everything except keeping corruption in implementation at bay,” she added.


Nigeria: Buhari pronounce Osinbajo head of ‘Economic Sustainability Committee.’

President Muhammadu Buhari has named Vice President Yemi Osinbajo as the head of economic sustainability committee.

The Presidential Task Force on COVID-19 chaired by the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Boss Mustapha, made this disclosure at the press conference.

The terms of reference as well as members of the committee will be announced soon.

He said: “We do not desire to slow down the economy in any way.”

Meanwhile, Nigeria has recorded another fatality due to COVID-19.

The Minister of Health, Osagie Ehanire, made this disclosure at the press conference.


COVID-19: I test negative despite meeting with Abba Kyari – Sen. Mamora

The Minister of State for Health, Senator Olorunnimbe Mamora, says he has tested negative for coronavirus.

Mamora said this in a text message sent to newsmen on Thursday.

He admitted that he came in contact with at least one person who tested positive for the virus.

The minister, however, did not disclose the identity of the person he came in contact with.

Mamora said, “Following my contact with someone who tested positive for COVID-19, I went into self-isolation. Testing was carried out on me yesterday (Wednesday) and the result came back negative this morning (Thursday).”

Newsmen report that many ministers have gone into self-isolation since reports emerged that the President’s Chief of Staff, Abba Kyari, and three of his aides tested positive for coronavirus.

Kyari also attended the Federal Executive Council meeting last week as well as meetings with All Progressives Congress’ governors.


COVID-19: Osinbajo, Buhari self-isolate after Abba Kyari’s positive test.

Vice President, Yemi Osinbajo has gone into self-isolation after President Buhari’s Chief of Staff, Abba Kyari tested positive for coronavirus.

The Vice President and Kyari were only seperated by one seat inside the council chambers where the Federal Executive Council meetings held.

Osinbajo’s media aide, Laolu Akande confirmed that his principal went into self-isolation after it was reported he didn’t show up in his office on Tuesday March 24.The Vice President will continue working from his home office in compliance with NCDC’s directive.

Laolu tweeted;

VP Osinbajo yesterday at the office conducted his meetings via video conferencing, while observing social distancing. Today, he continues his work from the home office, as he is in self-isolation in accordance with NCDC protocols.

Ade Ipaye, the deputy chief of staff who works with Osinbajo is also said to be in self-isolation. Though it is not clear how Kyari got the virus, it has however been linked to his recent trip to Germany with Minister of Power, Sale Mamman.

The top officials travelled to the European Country to discuss power projects with Siemens.

Continue reading COVID-19: Osinbajo, Buhari self-isolate after Abba Kyari’s positive test.

Osinbajo’s convoy involved in accident – see who died.

The convoy of Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo was involved in an accident en route to Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja, on Friday.

According to Laolu Akande, SSA to the Vice President on Media and Publicity, one police escort riders on the Vice President’s convoy, Inspector Ali Gomina died in the crash.

Read statement below;



With grief in our hearts, we announce the death of one of the police escort riders on the Vice President’s convoy, Inspector Ali Gomina, aged 45, was involved in a road accident while on official duty today.

The accident occurred on the road to the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport. The Vice President, who is greatly saddened by this occurrence, has aborted the trip.

The Vice President described Gomina as a diligent, hardworking and serious-minded officer who will be greatly missed by the team. He is survived by his wife, children and relatives.

May his soul rest in peace.

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


Dolapo Osinbajo celebrate husband on his 63rd birthday.

Dolapo Osinbajo, wife of Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo, has taken to social media to celebrate her husband as he clocks 63.

In a lovely post shared on her Instagram page on Sunday, Dolapo described the VP as her “special treasure”.

She went on to appreciate God for keeping him alive to celebrate another birthday while also praying for longevity.

“Praise at midnight to our God Almighty, faithful, merciful, gracious. Receive our praise O Lord in Jesus name for another year by your special grace,” she wrote.

“God bless you on your birthday and forever my special treasure. As your days, so shall your strength be in Jesus name, amen.”

The lovebirds have continued to flourish in their blissful union; celebrating their 3oth wedding anniversary in November 2019.

Last year, the couple also attended the wedding ceremony of Damilola, their daughter, to Oluseun Bakare, a pastor in the Redeemed Christian Church of God (RCCG) and son of Bola Shagaya, a businesswoman and celebrity.

The low-key event was graced by several dignitaries including President Muhammadu Buhari, governors, lawmakers, Paul Adefarasin, senior pastor of House on the Rock, and Mike Okonkwo, presiding bishop of The Redeemed Evangelical Mission (TREM) among others.

The VP’s birthday also comes less than three weeks after Laolu Osinbajo, his nephew, tied the knot with Sekemioluwa, his sweetheart.



Government need all of your prayers to succeed – Osinbajo

Members of the Catholic Bishops Conference of Nigeria (CBCN) yesterday held a peaceful rally in Abuja.

They urged the Federal Government to stop the killings in the land, restore peace and promote unity among all religions.

The clerics included the President of CBCN, Rev. Augustine Akabueze and former Archbishop of Abuja Diocese, Rev. John Cardinal Onaiyekan.

They spoke as Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo urged Nigerians to pray for the government to succeed in handling the nation’s challenges.

Osinbajo spoke on Sunday in Abuja at the first 2020 plenary meeting of the Catholic Bishops Conference of Nigeria (CBCN).

The Vice-President, who was represented by Transportation Minister Rotimi Amaechi, said: “It is difficult to speak in this place, honestly. We need to pray for the government.”

President of CBCN, Most Rev. Augustine Akubeze, advised Christians to speak with one voice and condemned the killings in the country.

The cleric stressed that the government needs to accept the reality that the country is under siege and end insecurity.

He urged Christians to pray for peace.

“Nigeria needs the light in this moment of darkness. The darkness is so noticeable that even the blind can feel it. We live at a time, a very difficult time, in the life of this nation that we all know.

“In the coming days, we shall examine how the word of God can be a light for us. How can the word of God be a light for us? As a church, let us continue to pray for Nigeria and the church. We all should be working for peace.

“We are praying for our brothers in the North. We can imagine what you are going through because of your faith. The faith you believe in will grow faster than the terrorists who are killing and holding our Christian brothers and sisters hostage.

“Our Christian values are more important than anything in life. As a church, we cannot forget the kidnapping and killing of our reverend father. Our eyes are still filled with tears. Their blood shall never be in vain.

“Government officials pass through Federal roads and they see what is going on with heavy security. This is a clear sign that all is not well. What government can do is to accept this fact and work on it. Government must work to tackle terrorism in the land. The presence of terrorists in our land poses serious danger to the nation.”


Gbam: Presidency Approves HCC

The President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.) on Monday announced his approval of the constitution of a National Humanitarian Coordination Committee to oversee all humanitarian actions in Nigeria.

The retired major general said Vice President Yemi Osinbajo would inaugurate the committee.

According to the president, the committee would be chaired by the Minister of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development, Hajiya Sadiya Farouq; and have the National Security Adviser, Babagana Monguno, as co-Chairman.

He said, “The committee will, among other things, provide a national vision for humanitarian actions, advise on coordination between the security services and humanitarian actors, and settle disputes that may arise from interactions between security services and the humanitarian community.

“The committee will also propose policies that enhance coordination and seamless delivery of humanitarian aid to affected communities, facilitate the delivery of humanitarian interventions to vulnerable persons, and promote transparency and accountability in all aspects of humanitarian delivery in the country.”


Photos from Osinbajo nephew’s wedding

Laolu Osinbajo, nephew of Yemi Osinbajo, vice-president, and Sekemioluwa, his sweetheart, have tied the knot in a spectacular traditional ceremony.

The event, graced by the VP and Dolapo, his wife, as well family and friends, took place on Thursday, with the white wedding rumoured to hold this weekend.

In a series of posts on his social media page, Laolu appreciated God for the milestone. He was also full of admiration for his new wife.

“Becoming. En route to two become one. Thank You Jesus. It is only You that put this smile on my face. ‘For we are members of His body, of His flesh and of His bones. “For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh’‭‭Ephesians‬ ‭5:30-31‬ ‭NKJV‬‬,” he wrote in one of the Instagram posts.

“Mrs. Sekemioluwa Osinbajo. My beautiful wife. Thank You Jesus for all you have done for us. ‘Thus I will bless You while I live; I will lift up my hands in Your name. My soul shall be satisfied as with marrow and fatness, And my mouth shall praise You with joyful lips’ Psalms‬ ‭63:4-5‬ ‭NKJV‬‬.

“And Adam said: ‘This is now bone of my bones And flesh of my flesh; She shall be called Woman, Because she was taken out of Man’ Genesis‬ ‭2:23‬ ‭NKJV‬‬ My wife.”

Laolu’s marriage comes nearly two years after Damilola, Osinbajo’s daughter, tied the knot with Oluseun Bakare, a pastor in the Redeemed Christian Church of God (RCCG), in a low-key celebration.

Osinbajo and his wife had also celebrated their 30th wedding anniversary in November last year.

See photos below:


Just in: Nigerians can heal Nigeria – Osinbajo

The Vice President, Professor Yemi Osinbajo (SAN), has noted that Nigeria is blessed with all the human resources needed to solve most of her problems.

The Vice President who stated this when he received a delegation from the West African College of Surgeons (WACS), in his office in the Presidential Villa, said the fact that Nigerians, home and abroad, have been identified with impressive performances and achievements.According to a statement issued by the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Laolu Akande, the Vice President, speaking after listening to a brief on the achievements of the WACS, the VP said “I am glad to hear the good things that have been done by the college through the years.

“I believe that a lot of our problems, some of the aids that we need, can be provided by ourselves. We have the resources including human capacity to do it.” He thanked the delegation for the visit, assuring the College of the Federal Government’s continued support.The delegation led by Prof. Ibrahim Yakasai, mni, was at the Aso Rock Presidential Villa to brief the Vice President about the activities of the College including its planned 60th Annual General Meeting and Scientific Conference scheduled for Abuja. Yakasai is the Local Organising Committee chairman.

Earlier in his remarks, the immediate past President of the College, Prof. King-David Yawe highlighted some of the achievements of WACS especially with regards to free medical outreaches to several Nigerian communities.He said while working with the Presidential Committee on North East (PCNE), the College has conducted 9, 000 surgeries on 49,000 patients in the Northeast with the insurgency in the region, adding that the body was currently conducting free medical outreaches in 14 hospitals across the FCT, some North Central States and Maiduguri.

Prof. Yawe added that as part of the 2020 pre-conference events, the College is currently conducting free surgeries in the FCT, Borno and other States, noting that 700 such surgical operations have so far been conducted in the past one week with a target of reaching 1000 before the commencement of the conference.He also said that the outreaches which started 14 years ago include eye surgeries, orthopedic, paediatric & plastic surgeries, brain tumor amongst many others complicated health challenges that otherwise cost patients several millions of Naira, and for which many travel out of the country to treat.

Continuing on the activities of the surgeons, Prof. Yawe said the College has accredited training centres in Gombe, Borno and Yobe States.He commended the Buhari administration’s support to the association in partly funding some of its activities and meeting its responsibilities especially in solving its 20-year-old problem regarding a request for land in the FCT.

The Vice President of Nigeria, Professor Yemi Osinbajo (SAN)

Prof. Yawe informed the VP that the land has been allocated to the College for the establishment of a Skills and Simulation Centre to train surgeons in West Africa in hi-tech surgeries.The leader of the delegation, Prof. Yakasai also informed the VP that the College works in partnership with the ECOWAS and has surgeons from 18 countries with over 7000 fellows across West Africa. The College conducts training, postgraduate education and research activitiesWhile Yawe is the immediate past President of the College, Yakasai told the VP the current President is from Senegal. (Prof Serigne Magueye Gueye.)The WACS was formed by a group of young Nigerian surgeons 60 years ago predated the Economic Community of West African States.


Osinbajo: Helicopter crash made my faith strong

Vice President, Professor Yemi Osinbajo, has said that the helicopter crash which he was involved in last year has greatly strengthened his faith.

Professor Osinbajo stated this during the thanksgiving service at the villa chapel in Abuja, celebrating his survival and 11 others from tragedy a year ago.

The Agusta Westland W 139 helicopter conveying 12 of them crashed in the Kabba area of Kogi State during 2019 the presidential election campaign.

Professor Osinbajo was accompanied by his wife, Dolapo, family members and his aides, including some of those who were with him when the accident occurred.

He explained that the incident was so miraculous and despite the crash, none of the occupants had a scratch.

“What happened on that occasion was so amazing, so miraculous; 12 of us in the helicopter, the helicopter crashed and not one scratch on one of us, that’s just incredible.

“So we can only continue to thank God and to praise the Lord Jesus Christ for the awesome deliverance of so many of us.”

He asked “can you imagine a situation where you survive a helicopter crash? Adding that he thinks it “just demonstrates that God is merciful, God is awesome, he is able to do all things and he is able to do everything.

“I think it just greatly strengthened my faith and the faith of all of us who were there,” he stated.

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.

According to the Caverton Helicopters, the crash was caused by unusual weather conditions.

Also, the Accident Investigation Bureau (AIB) in its preliminary report after carrying out an investigation into the crash, said the crew lost visual contact with the ground at about 50 feet owing to a brownout – (dust generated when landing on a sandy area) – that enveloped the helicopter.

It added that the helicopter experienced a hard landing and consequently rolled over.


New Finance Act: Digital companies to pay tax – FG

Vice President, Yemi Osinbajo says multinational digital companies operating abroad with significant economic presence in Nigeria will be subjected to taxation under the new Finance Act.

Osinbajo disclosed this on Friday in Abuja during a lecture titled: “Economic Dimension of National Security: The Nigerian Experience”, organised for participants of Course 28 of the National Defence College.

According to him, before the Finance Act, only companies that have physical presence or fixed address in Nigeria are being taxed. “So, most digital and multinational technology companies do not have physical presence in Nigeria, yet make significant income in Nigeria from online activities.

“They pay no tax to Nigeria because they do not have physical presence in Nigeria, now we are no longer relying on physical presence. Under the new Act, once you have a significant economic presence in Nigeria, you are liable to tax whether you are resident here or not,” he said.

He said that non residents, who previously had no fixed address would now be taxed under the new Act. The vice president said that the Finance Act was designed to generate more revenue for government and improve the ease of doing business in Nigeria.

He noted that adequate provisions were made under the Act to protect the Small and Medium Scale businesses in view of their roles in national development.

Osinbajo said the economic policies of the Federal Government were centred on creating conducive environment for the private sector to strive and support towards creating wealth, jobs and opportunities.

“Private sector is key to job creation and in doing so, government has responsibility to provide the needed infrastructure and enabling environment.

“Before the private sector is able to provide sufficiently for the majority of people, it is the responsibility of government to provide safety net for the extremely vulnerable and those who cannot work. This is the premise upon which our social investment policy was derived,” he said.

Vice President, Yemi Osinbajo

Osinbajo said that the security as well as welfare of citizens was the primary purpose of government, adding that the economy was central to human security.

He said that human security was beyond absence of war and conflict but the availability of basic needs of man, food, shelter and clothing.


Operation Amotekun: FG’s intervention, impactful ..

As controversy over the establishment of the Western Nigeria Security Network (WNSN), codenamed “Operation Amotekun,” subsided following the intervention of Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, MURITALA AYINLA takes a look at the developments in relation to the clamour for state police

There is relative calm in the air across the country, especially in the South-West geopolitical zone, following the agreement reached by the Federal Government and the six governors of the region on the establishment of the Western Nigeria Security Network (WNSN) codenamed “Operation Amotekun.”

The security intervention project called “Western Nigeria Security Network” (WNSN), initiated by the Seye Oyeleye-led Development Agenda for Western Nigeria (DAWN Commission), an offshoot of Odu’a Investment Company Limited, was specifically aimed at checkmating and tackling the myriad of insecurity challenges bedeviling the people of the region, particularly from the activities of banditry, terrorism, kidnapping, ritual killing, armed robbery, herdsmen and farmers’ conflicts, cybercrime and other crimes, threatening the lives and property in the region.

The legality questions, controversies

The inauguration of the joint security outfit popularly known as “Amotekun” on January 9, had sparked off reactions across the country as some sections of the country expressed concerns over its establishment. While the Federal Government through the Attorney–General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami (SAN) described the formation of the security outfit as unconstitutional given that there was no legal backing for the regional security outfit, others saw it as a political decision capable of undermining the unity of the nation. Yet a host of Nigerians, who also ethnicised and politicised the project, said the idea was aimed at restructuring the nation through a back door approach.

The Attorney-General of the Federation, insisted in a statement that the Western Nigeria Security Network is unlawful, quoting Article 45 of the Second Schedule of the 1999 Constitution (as amended), which gives the Federal Government exclusive powers over the police.

Malami, a Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN), who is also Chief Law Officer of the Federation and Legal Adviser, called for the suspension of the project, but the six South-West governors and other legal luminaries like him argued otherwise.

Reacting to the AGF’s stance on Amotekun, Nigeria’s foremost human rights activist and lawyer, Mr. Femi Falana (SAN), said the Attorney-General of the Federation (AGF) has no power to proscribe any organisation in the country.

Falana said the Minister of Justice should approach the Supreme Court if he believes Operation Amotekun is illegal as he claimed, advising the South-West governors to ignore the minister’s statement and proceed with the security outfit by enacting necessary laws to back it up.

“In this case, the statement credited to the Attorney-General of the Federal Government is clearly diversionary and hypocritical. Hypocritical in the sense that the governments of Kano and Zamfara states have set up Hisbah Commission and just recently, the Hisbah operatives in Zamfara State arrested a police officer alleged to have been caught in the midst of three women,” the human rights lawyer said.

Other silk, such as Olisa Agbakoba (SAN) and Chief Afe Babalola (SAN) and a senior legal scholar, Prof. Itse Sagay (SAN) also explained to the Attorney-General of the Federation, the legality of the security outfit quoting the same 1999 Constitution.

Hence, the formation of the security outfit continued to generate reactions and counter-reactions from the different personality across the country, especially from the South-West region in addition to massive protests in support of Amotekun in the six South-West states, namely: Ondo, Ekiti, Osun, Oyo, Ogun and Lagos but it was not until Vice President Yemi Osinbajo brokered peace between the governors and Malami that a common ground was agreed on.

Buhari/Osinbajo’s intervention

With the growing crisis and controversies generated by the creation of the security outfit, there was no doubt that urgent intervention was required to douse the tension, which analysts said was capable of threatening the nation’s unity.

At the meeting held behind a closed door for several hours, which was also attended by the Inspector-General of Police, Muhammed Adamu, Vice President Osinbajo was able to resolve the highly sensitive issue amicably while the worrying parties came to a logical conclusion on the matter.

It was learnt that the meeting which was at the instance of the governors who had asked to meet President Muhammadu Buhari over the controversy surrounding the Western Nigeria Security Network initiative. But due to the President’s foreign engagement in the United Kingdom, he asked his vice to host the meeting.

In a statement by the Senior Special Assistant to the Vice President on Media, Mr. Laolu Akande, the meeting was described as very fruitful as it lay to rest all the issues generating controversy between the parties.

According to him, “the meeting was very fruitful and unanimous resolutions were made on the way forward. Having regard to the need for all hands to be on deck in addressing security concerns across the country, it was agreed that the structure of Amotekun should also align with the Community Policing strategy of the Federal Government.

“It was also agreed that necessary legal instruments will be put in place by each of the states to give legal backing to the initiative and address all issues concerning the regulation of the security structure.”

Also speaking on the outcome of the meeting, Ondo State governor, Mr. Rotimi Akeredolu (SAN), who is also the Chairman of South-West Governors’ Forum, said the meeting gave all parties ample opportunity to explain their positions and to agree on the way forward for security in the country.

Akeredolu said: “We have rubbed minds and all of us have agreed on the way forward. The most important one is that we are going to have legal framework to back this Amotekun. This legal framework is going to be one which we all are going to look at and will be sure to go without any hindrances.”

On whether Amotekun had been placed on hold pending the formulation and passage of the legal framework, the governor said: “No! What I believe is our resolution is that Amotekun is there. You know the Federal Government is about to start community policing. In essence really, it is about the community. So, we are going to work together to see the community policing and Amotekun work in a way.”

Commendation for Buhari/Osinabajo

Meanwhile, Nigerians have continued to react to peaceful resolution of the Amotekun, commending President Muhammadu Buhari for yet entrusting Prof. Osinbajo with the power to resolve the highly sensitive issue, saying that the Amotekun issue, if not handled intelligently, could lead to needless conflict and disunity.

They also commended the vice president for being a symbol of unity, maturity and stability in the country, saying that the Prof Osinbajo has always proven to be a dependable ally to the President.

Among prominent Nigerians who have commended President Buhari for entrusting Vice President Osinbajo with the task of resolving the issue amicably is prominent United States-based Nigerian and former Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) leader, Dr. Baba Adams, who said that President Buhari deserves commendation for allowing his vice to intervene and resolve the volatile issue.

The respected politician said Prof. Osinbajo has done an outstanding job again by saving the nation from falling into unnecessary conflict and calamity of disunity, urging the president to entrust him with more sensitive responsibilities.

His words: “Thank you for bestowing trust in the Vice President, Prof. Osinbajo (SAN) to provide the leadership on resolving the highly sensitive Amotekun issue. As in all other assignments, Mr. VP has done an outstanding job again and save the nation from falling into unnecessary conflict and calamity of dis-unity.

“This is the first salvo and we highly recommend you further empower or delegate the VP to resolve this issue, as not only in the South-West but the rest of the nation – as APC states such as Nasarawa have already expressed interest in implementing Community Policing, Local Government Area (LGA) and State Policing”

The call for state police

It was also on record that prior to the establishment of Operation Amotekun, Vice President Osinbajo had been an advocate of a community policing to strengthen the existing security apparatus in the state.

According to Prof. Osinbajo, the security challenges of the country were complex and nuanced that securing Nigeria’s over 900,000 square kilometers and 180 million people required far more men and materials than the nation has at the moment. Hence, he said that adoption of state police was the way to go in meeting security needs of the country.

Vice President Osinbajo, who said this at the 2018 National Summit, said that every Nigerian was entitled to adequate security by the government and that the security failures of the government were not deliberate.

“We cannot realistically police a country the size of Nigeria centrally from Abuja. As a people any killing undermines the security of the state,” he stated as he mentioned several killings that had taken place in different parts of the country in recent times.

He said the government had worked on some policy objectives, some of which needed legislative approval and cooperation of the judiciary.

“It requires a continual reengineering of our security architecture and strategies; this has to be a dynamic process,” he noted.


2020 Finance Act would stimulate the economy – FG

Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo on Saturday asserted that the Finance Act 2020 would stimulate the Nigerian economy and put the country on the path of geometric economic growth.

Osinbajo made the assertion at the Inspiration Conference 2020 of the Redeemer’s Men Fellowship (Lagos Regions) in Lagos.

The conference had as its theme: “Galvanised for Geometric Growth”.

He said the bill, which was signed by President Muhammadu Buhari on Jan. 13, was aimed at shoring up revenue for all levels of government to meet up with their expenditure.

This, he said, was in addition to it supporting Small and Medium Enterprises (SME) in the country.

“The challenges of growing the economy border on creating an environment favourable to businesses and low revenue generation,” Osinbajo said.

He said that the 2020 budget of N10.6 trillion has a deficit of N2.2 trillion, “so it is clear that we are running a fairly large deficit”.

“The sources of revenue are oil proceeds and taxes, and most states do not generate enough revenue to meet their financial expectations,” Osinbajo said.

He cited Adamawa, Benue and Ekiti as some of the states with very low Internally Generated Revenue (IGR), too inadequate to cater for their expenditure.

The vice-president justified the increment of the Value Added Tax (VAT) from 5 per cent to 7.5 per cent, noting it to be very low when compared to other African countries.

“Ghana has 12.5 per cent; Cameroun has 19.25 per cent; Mexico with 16 per cent; South Africa at 15 per cent and Egypt at 14 per cent.

“To make things easier for the common man, we have exempted 16 classes of food items, tampons, sanitary towels, and tuition fees from nursery to tertiary.

“Also, before the Finance Act, many companies operating in the country without physical presence escaped taxation.

“Most digital companies made significant revenue from e-commerce, online advertising and the likes, but were not taxed.

“But now, once you have a significant economic presence in Nigeria, but reside anywhere around the world, you are eligible to pay tax,” he said.

Osinbajo expressed confidence in the Nigerian economy, maintaining that the government would continue to provide the enabling environment for businesses to thrive.

He explained that in spite of the perceived low growth rate, the Nigerian economy was still relatively bigger when compared with other African economies.

“Rwanda has a Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of $8.7 billion, while FCT, Akwa Ibom, Lagos, Rivers and Delta have growth rates of $29.9billion, $14 billion, $90 billion, $14.2 billion and $11.2 billion respectively.

“Even Ghana is at $65.5 billion and is less than Lagos,” he said.

He stated that the potential of the Nigerian economy has been boosted by agriculture, manufacturing, creative industry, technology and ICT.

“Today, we produce an estimated 7.3 million metric tonnes of rice compared to 5 million metric tonnes in 2015.

“Today, people are using technology to attract investments in agriculture through crowdfunding.

“There are incredible new ways of investing in agriculture in Nigeria, where companies are raising funds for farmers and farming, and such platforms should be invested on,” he said.

Vice-President, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo

Osinbajo also called for more collaboration between the government and the private sector to bridge the infrastructural deficit.

“The Nigerian Liquefied Natural Gas Company (NLNG) and Dangote Group have already keyed into this, while 10 other companies have applied to execute 19 road projects of about 800km,” he said


N1.7trn: FG invest on private electricity supply system

…80m Nigerians lack access to electricity

The National Economic Council (NEC) yesterday disclosed that the nation’s electricity supply system had broken down in spite of Federal Government’s investments to the tune of N1.7 trillion on the privatised electricity generating and distribution companies in the last three years.

The revelation came at the end of the monthly meeting of the council chaired by the Vice President, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo, and attended by the governors of the 36 states.

Governor of Kaduna State, Mallam Nasir el-Rufai, who briefed newsmen after the meeting, explained that the situation whereby the government would keep investing heavily in firms it had supposedly privatised was not sustainable.

El-Rufai, who is also the Chairman of the Ad-hoc Committee which NEC set up to review the status and ownership of the power distribution companies (DisCos), listed the challenges facing the power sector to include lack of capacity, tariff issues, and the way the privatization exercise itself was done.

“What we have agreed on is that there are fundamental problems in the electricity supply industry and that you cannot privatize an industry and then, over three years since privatization, you pump in N1.7 trillion of government fund into it, that is not privatization. This is not sustainable, so solutions must be found. Those solutions are not going to be nice; they may be painful, but the only way to solve the structural problems in the industry is to take some very difficult decisions.”

He lamented that at the moment, over 80 million Nigerians do not have access to electricity, but assured that the challenges besetting the power sector would be resolved.

The governor hinted that the pension funds earlier approved by NEC to be borrowed to fix infrastructure would be loaned to the private sector firms. According to him, the money would be borrowed to contractors as a long-term fund with low interest rates.

“There are more than nine million households connected to electricity in Nigeria, less than half of them have meters. We have to have meters everywhere; you need money to buy them. The distributing companies do not have the capacity, the money, many of them are near bankruptcy they can’t even raise the money if they want. We have to find ways to unlock cheap and long term sources of funding to enable them to work.

“The electricity sector is complicated. There’s need to go to the root of the problem. This nation cannot make progress without the electricity sector. We’re inviting memoranda from the public, to provide solutions to the complex problems,” he said.

El-Rufai ruled out the possibility that the pension funds would also be deployed to fund other major infrastructure projects such as roads, bridges and railways across the country.

“This money will not be available to the Federal Government to build the Kaduna-Abuja for instance. We are hoping to see a Julius Berger coming and saying we are willing to build Kaduna-Abuja road, access the money, building the roads, put tolls every 50 kilometres and you pay N500, and that is why you need the cooperation of state governments, because they own the land.

“We give them land for real estates for people who want to live near their rail stations, commute from outside Abuja to Abuja. The land will be vested to Julius Berger that will build the houses and sell the houses and make additional income that will ensure the toll is as low as possible. So it is not government borrowing; it is the private sector that is borrowing at low interest rate,” he said.

The governor said that the money would be easily recovered from the investors as the fund would be invested into revenue generating infrastructure like roads and railways across the country.

“We understand rail can make money, roads can make money. Roads make money in three ways: First is through toll gates, but usually does not cover the cost of paying back any loan you take to construct the road. Second, you invest in land on the right of way along the road. Because along that lane, whenever you build the road, people move, they need housing, shopping malls, schools.

“…These loans are usually long term between 20 and 30 years. Interest rates are usually low, interest rate of between five and six per cent is what we are targeting, it will not be a high rate of 20 per cent as we see today but a low interest paid over a long time.

“We have Kaduna–Abuja rail, it is always full. We have only four coaches, the government is charging N1,500, people stand in the way. What if you allow the private sector to go in and put 50 coaches, operate every hour and collect their money? These will create jobs, opportunity, we will transport more people and more people will be off the road and less susceptible to accidents. These are all benefits to society as a whole. We are all workers, this can work for all of us or none at all,” he said.


Operation Amotekun: FG, Southwest Governors in support

Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, SAN, met today with South West Governors, the Attorney General of the Federation and the Inspector General of Police.

According to a statement from the Office of the Vice President, the meeting was at the instance of the Governors who had asked to see President Muhammadu Buhari over the controversy surrounding the Amotekun Initiative.

However, due to the President’s foreign engagement, he asked the Vice President to host the meeting.

The statement signed by Mr. Laolu Akande a special aide to the Vice President, suggests that the meeting was very fruitful.

It (the statement) revealed that unanimous resolutions were made on the way forward.

“Having regard to the need for all hands to be on deck in addressing the security concerns across the country, it was agreed that the structure of Amotekun should also align with the Community Policing strategy of the Federal Government.

“It was also agreed that necessary legal instruments will be put in place by each of the States to give legal backing to the initiative and address all issues concerning the regulation of the security structure,” the statement read in part.