Tuesday, September 12, 2017

VP Osinbajo in media chat after town-hall meeting in Ilaje LGA, Ondo State

OFFICE OF THE VICE PRESIDENT 

PRESS RELEASE

WE ARE MAKING PROGRESS IN NIGER DELTA - OSINBAJO


Q: What is the purpose of your visit to this place? 

A: As you know, this is the last of the oil producing communities that I have been visiting in the last few months. Igbokoda in Ilaje Local Government, the oil producing community in this state have also, naturally, demanded a visit, so we are completing the round of visits to the oil producing communities with this particular visit, so it is one of the consultations with the oil producing communities.

Q: Sir, how soon will all these things demanded by the people be implemented?

A: Every one of them is being implemented and they are being implemented incrementally.  For example we said we were going to open the Maritime University and we are opening in October. 
We have said we are going to do modular refineries; we have released the guidelines and licenses are being issued. We are engaging with the communities, we are engaging with the state governments. We have talked about getting power to Ilaje Local Government, the contract has been awarded, N600 million has been paid. This is a project that has been abandoned for over 10 years but we are doing it and ensuring that power comes to this Local Government Area and to this community. So, everything is being done, it is incremental but we are taking them step by step. The Ogoni clean up as you know, has already started. 

Laolu Akande
Senior Special Assistant on Media & Publicity to the President
Office of the Vice President
12 September 2017

Thursday, August 31, 2017

We are prepared to partner with UK investors - Vice President Osinbajo

OFFICE OF THE ACTING PRESIDENT


PRESS RELEASE



WE ARE PREPARED TO PARTNER WITH UK INVESTORS - OSINBAJO    

*There is a great deal of enthusiasm on our part to help private sector succeed, Vice President tells visiting UK Ministers.

*Nigeria has an amazing future – UK’s Boris Johnson

As the Buhari administration continues its drives to promote private sector partnership, it remains ready to provide the necessary assistance to private investors looking to invest in the country, according to Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, SAN.

Prof. Osinbajo stated this when a delegation of UK Ministers led by British Foreign Secretary, Boris Johnson paid him a courtesy visit at the Presidential Villa today. Also at the meeting were Foreign Affairs Minister, Mr Geoffrey Onyeama and Budget and National Planning Minister, Senator Udoma Udo Udoma.

The Vice President said the relationship between Nigeria and United Kingdom is very important, assuring that “the next few years are certainly going to be more interesting”.

He mentioned that Nigeria has huge potential and according to him, “investors would salivate if those potentials were realised” and the country is “close to the tipping point in terms of making that happen”.

He added that in terms of trade, Nigeria had no choice but to diversify from oil and now more attention is focused on agriculture, agro-processing and more interest in technology.

According to the Vice President, “UK are our natural partners and it is much easier for business because of the relationship over time and because of the robust presence of the UK here in Nigeria through the DFID which has been tremendously supportive’’.

In the area of housing, Prof. Osinbajo stated that Nigeria would be looking to partner with the United Kingdom, adding that government is interested in construction companies with the expertise and technical know-how to deliver mass housing projects across the country.

He also emphasised the role of the private sector as well as the role of government in creating an enabling environment for businesses to thrive in the country.

He assured investors that the Federal Government is prepared to partner with them, provide assistance where necessary and solve the problems as they emerge.

In his own remarks, the UK’s Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs, Mr. Boris Johnson, who observed that “Nigeria has an amazing future”, stated that the United Kingdom is partnering with Nigeria in different areas including intelligence sharing in the fight against terrorism.

Johnson added that the UK is also working to build an economic partnership with Nigeria given the country’s status as the powerhouse of Africa and the biggest economy in the continent.

Priti Patel, Secretary of State for International Development, Paul Arkwright, British High Commissioner to Nigeria and other top officials were on the visit to the Presidential Villa.

Tuesday, August 29, 2017

WE ARE JUDGED BY WHAT WE START THAT IS SUSTAINABLE YEARS AFTER, SAYS OSINBAJO

OFFICE OF THE VICE PRESIDENT

PRESS RELEASE

REMARKS BY THE VICE PRESIDENT, FEDERAL REPUBLIC OF NIGERIA, HIS EXCELLENCY, PROFYEMI OSINBAJO, SAN, GCON, AT THE COMMISSIONING OF BUA CEMENT FACTORY IN OKPELLA, EDO STATE, ON AUGUST 29, 2017.

PROTOCOL

It is my singular honour and pleasure today to visit, inspect and commission this 3 million tonne capacity, ultra-modern cement plant, right here in Okpella, Edo State.

I am extremely proud to be a Nigerian and I’m sure that several of us here are. This is a wholly Nigerian enterprise and we know that the planning, the execution and successful establishment of this industrial complex was done by a Nigerian and by a Nigerian team. It is really good to know.

The construction of this plant, is of course a big boost, to the Nigerian economy, it means thousands of direct jobs and indirect jobs, both for skilled and un-skilled workers, from the commencement of the works to thecurrent smooth-running of the production process.

As a matter of fact, we are told that production is on now and there is no dust, no noise, it is all just working so very well. This, I think, is just an amazing thing indeed.

At the level of production already attained, it also means a consolidation of Nigeria’s self-sufficiency in cement and a big boost to our export capacity.

As noted by the chairman himself, Alhaji Abdulsamad Rabiu BUA, during a visit to my office on July 7, 2017, he spoke about two factors which he thought would bring down the cost and availability of cement in Nigeria.

One of those was the currency exchange rate and, of course, it was completely correct to say that as our currency improves and stabilises and we see a reduction in the price of low pour fuel oil, it is inevitable that production cost and market price of cement will come down to a level that is within the reach of many more Nigerians.

I am also happy to note that in the construction of the power production facility for this plant, the BUA Group has used the most modern and efficient gas turbines which combines low and economical running cost with a very high degree of reliability. This enterprise typifies our expectations as a government.

In the Economic Recovery and Growth Plan which was launched by Mr. President on the 5th of April, 2017, he made it clear that Nigeria’s economic emancipation and growth must be private sector led and driven. There is simply no public sector resource that can match the resources and commitment of the private sector.

For us as a government, doing all we can to encourage investment of this type is not just a good idea, it is thecornerstone of our economic policy. There is no other way to grow this country without the active management and participation of the private sector – it must be private sector led.

As a government, we are committed to creating an enabling environment and eliminating the bottlenecks that impede innovation and market-based solutions.

Another underlining discipline of the Economic Recovery and Growth Plan (ERGP), and which is worthy ofmention here, is our focus on combating the identified constraints to growth: factors like fuel shortages, inadequacy of power, access to foreign exchange, unfriendly business regulations, shortage of skilled manpower etc.

All of these are constraints we are determined to deal with, and I want to seize this opportunity to reassert the determination of the Buhari administration to continue with what I will describe as enabling business environment, while going the extra mile to directly assist the private sector in steadily growing our economy.

In this regard, we are working very hard with the Industrial Policy Council, of which the chairman of the BUA Group is a prominent member, to evolve and implement well considered solutions to business impediments and economic stagnation in Nigeria.

Again, I must commend the Edo State Government under His Excellency, Governor Godwin Obaseki, and the former Governor of Edo State, Adams Oshiomole. Your business friendly policies and your preparedness to back private sector initiatives is an excellent demonstration of how to grow the economy and create worthwhile jobs in the process.    

Your Excellency, Governor Obaseki, I must commend you for diligently building on the commendable work ofGovernor Oshiomole. This is how great societies are built.

Nation building is never judged by the number of new projects or fresh ideas that we begin, we are judged by what we complete and sustain well years after. So it is not how well we start, it’s more how well we finish and maintain what we have created for the benefits of our people in the years to come.

Last but not the least, I want to congratulate my brother and friend, Alhaji Abdulsamad Rabiu, as well as the management and staff of the BUA Group for this remarkable achievement. Abdulsamad, you are numbered amongst individuals in Nigeria who are properly described as entrepreneurs; men and women running value-adding, job-creating enterprises using local resources and talents to create value and wealth.

The world’s greatest economies attain significance by the contributions of major entrepreneurs such as yourself. It is not by those who describe themselves as businessmen, but are in fact just rent seekers.

This country will only grow on the talent and resourcefulness of people like yourself who are ready to put their resources out and invest anywhere in the country, employ the local people in that community and add real value to the lives of Nigerians.

It is my sincere hope and prayer that you will continue steadily on the path of growth knowing that on your success hangs the hopes of millions.

So it is now my very special pleasure and privilege to commission this plant (we are still going to go and take a look at it and do so formally) for the benefit of Edo State, the Nigerian people, and others all over the world who will benefit from its products, and to the glory of God.

Thank you very much.

FG, State Governments Collaborate on Ease of Doing Business

OFFICE OF THE VICE PRESIDENT

PRESS RELEASE

FG, State Governments collaborate on Ease of Doing Business

State governments have restated their commitment to initiate and implement Doing Business reforms that will positively impact on businesses and stand them out among their peers in the World Bank sub-national rankings.

This commitment was made in Abuja at the kick-off mission for the Sub-National Doing Business (SNDB) in Nigeria project organised by the World Bank and the Enabling Business Environment Secretariat (EBES).

Opening statements to the workshop were made by the Honourable Minister of State, Budget and National Planning, who is Chair of the Nigerian Economic Council (NEC) Implementation Monitoring Committee, through a representative; and the Permanent Secretary of the Federal Ministry of Industry, Trade and Investment, Mr. Aminu Bisalla.

Welcoming participants to the event, the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Industry, Trade and Investment, Dr. Jumoke Oduwole, thanked state governments for their willingness to drive the sub-national rankings project. She noted that some states are already implementing reforms, but a lot more could be achieved by applying best practices like efficiency, transparency and performance management. According to Dr. Oduwole, “the key barometer on whether the various reforms are working will be the testimonials of small and medium business owners across the country.”

The workshop had commissioners of trade and commerce, budget and national planning, heads of investment agencies and other focal persons from nearly 20 states in attendance.

A Reform Leader at the Enabling Business Environment Secretariat (EBES), Mrs. Toyin Bashir,  stated that Doing Business reforms at the state level “will lead to job creation, as MSMEs currently make up 90% of registered businesses in Nigeria; better living standards; and increased foreign direct investments at a time when the country is grappling with a decline in oil prices.”

Bashir explained that removing bottlenecks around the 11 indicators on which states are to be ranked will provide relief for business owners and signal to the world that Nigeria is open for business.

“The 11 indicators affect firms throughout their life cycles. ‘Starting a Business’ and ‘Regulatory Environment’ affect firms at startup phase; ‘Infrastructure’ and ‘Growth & Productivity’ affect firms in their daily operations; while ‘Registering Property’, ‘Access to land and property’ and ‘Dealing with Construction permits’ affect the firms when trying to get a location,” Bashir said. Furthermore, she explained that “‘Enforcing Contracts’ is a relevant indicator for when things go wrong, while ‘Transparency and accessibility to information’ is crucial at all phases of the business.”

The World Bank Doing Business Country Adviser for Nigeria, Ms. Cemile Hacibeyoglu, listed some common features of successful reformers. Sharing best practice experiences from countries like Colombia, Costa Rica, Rwanda and Korea, she said “high-level leadership and ownership of the reform agenda, long term vision with clear objectives, inclusive reform process, detailed goals, private sector commitment and effective communication” are essential for a successful reform process.

In an interactive panel session, three states shared experiences on ongoing reform efforts and challenges - Kaduna State represented by the Commissioner of Commerce, Industry and Tourism, Dr. Manzo Maigari; Sokoto State by Commissioner of Commerce, Mr. A. Aminu; and the Special Adviser to the Governor of the State of Osun on Public Service Productivity, Mr. Ademola Adeyinka.

The World Bank sub-national rankings of Nigerian states is expected to be released in 2018. It will be the fourth in the series, with the most recent conducted in 2014. The Enabling Business Environment Secretariat (EBES) and the Nigerian Investment Promotion Council (NIPC) have both committed to supporting the state governments by facilitating collaboration and knowledge sharing workshops among the states as they implement their priority reforms..

It will be recalled that at the July 2017 National Economic Council (NEC) meeting, the Honourable Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment, Dr. Okechukwu Enelamah, and the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Industry, Trade and Investment, Dr. Jumoke Oduwole, had made a presentation seeking the buy-in of governors for the sub-national rankings. The project was unanimously endorsed by the governors at the meeting.

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Acting President Osinbajo asks media leaders to deal with cancer of hate speech

OFFICE OF THE ACTING PRESIDENT

PRESS RELEASE

OSINBAJO PLEDGES SUPPORT FOR IPI 2018 IN ABUJA   

Acting President of Nigeria, Oluyemi Osinbajo

In line with its commitment to promote private sector partnership, the Buhari administration will partner the Nigerian chapter of the International Press Institute (IPI) to host a hitch-free 2018 World Congress of the Global Network of Free Media, according to Acting President Yemi Osinbajo, SAN.
Prof. Osinbajo gave the assurance when the board of the Nigerian chapter of the International Press Institute (IPI), paid him a courtesy visit at the Presidential Villa earlier today to intimate him on plans for the forthcoming event scheduled for Abuja in June 2018.

According to the Acting President, ``It is a very important opportunity for Nigeria to showcase ourselves and also to show that Nigeria is safe and secure for business. It is also an opportunity to advertise all of our ease of doing business initiatives.’’

The Acting President also assured the visiting IPI board that states could participate in the hosting of the event especially as it provides ``an important opportunity for tourism and for them to showcase some of the great initiatives that they have.’’

He urged the local organising committee to consider putting on the agenda of the event, the issue of hate speech and its implications for our polity and for peace and security.
According to him, ``the forum is an important one for raising the question of hate speech and its implications for our country, for our polity and for peace and security.’’

He added: ``somehow these things are resonating all over the world, new found nationalism and all of that. But I think for us here in Nigeria, it is a very important issue.

``I think that it is important that we find ways of controlling these things. I think that we owe a responsibility, especially leaders of journalism, to find ways of dealing with this issue because it is a cancer.’’     

Earlier, the leader of the delegation and chairman of Thisday newspaper, Chief Nduka Obaigbena solicited the support the Federal Government in the hosting of the event in different areas including, the provision of a secured and safe environment for delegates, visas on arrival amongst others.
Obiagbena stated that the issue of hate speech will indeed form one of the thematic issues to be discussed during the IPI congress.

He thanked the Acting President for the pledge to support IPI Nigeria in the hosting a hitch-free congress.  

The Acting President later thanked the delegation for the visit and for their efforts in ensuring that Nigeria was given the opportunity to host the IPI World congress. 

Laolu Akande
Senior Special Assistant on Media & Publicity to the President
Office of the Vice President
16th August 2017

"Your appointment, on a state by state basis is on merit." ~ Acting President Osinbajo

OFFICE OF THE ACTING PRESIDENT

PRESS RELEASE
WE ARE AT THE CUSP OF A RADICAL ECONOMIC GROWTH, SAYS ACTING PRESIDENT OSINBAJO


REMARKS BY HIS EXCELLENCY, PROF. YEMI OSINBAJO, SAN, GCON, ACTING PRESIDENT, FEDERAL REPUBLIC OF NIGERIA AT THE SWEARING-IN CEREMONY OF NEWLY APPOINTED FEDERAL PERMANENT SECRETARIES, AT THE STATE HOUSE COUNCIL CHAMBERS ON WEDNESDAY AUGUST 16, 2017.

PROTOCOLS
May I congratulate you on your appointments as Federal Permanent Secretaries and may I also extend the warm felicitations of the President, Commander-In-Chief, President Muhammadu Buhari to you on this very auspicious occasion.

You are here today after a rigorous selection process undertaken by the Head of the Civil Service of the Federation and her team of retired Heads of Service, Permanent Secretaries, seasoned technocrats and members of the organized private sector.

In other words your appointment, on a state by state basis is on merit, and you are here today being presented to this nation as the best that our civil service can offer.

You come into office at a crucial moment in our national history. First we are at the cusp of a radical economic recovery and growth effort that has as its core the implementation of a comprehensive diversification of the Nigerian economy.

We are also implementing a major reform of our public finance system, emphasizing integrity and fiscal prudence. These reforms are being effected in the context of our determined anti-corruption programme and these efforts cannot succeed without a competent and committed civil service corps led by your good selves.

As part of that reform effort four executive orders have been signed and I will just quickly summarise them.

Executive Order 001 is on the promotion of transparency and efficiency in the business environment - to ensure that public servants offer prompt service in a predictable and transparent manner, and sanction undue delays.
Executive Order 002 is on prompt submission of annual budgetary estimates by all statutory and non-statutory agencies of the Federal Government including incorporated companies wholly owned by FG. The deadline for this is on or before end of July.

Executive Order 003 on support for local content in public procurement by Ministries, Departments & Agencies of the Federal Government to promote patronage for Made-in-Nigeria goods and services.

Executive Order 004 is on the Voluntary Assets & Income Declaration Scheme to provide an opportunity for taxpayers who are in default under all relevant statutes to voluntarily declare their assets and income and pay taxes on them while avoiding payments of interests and penalties.

These Executive Orders and several other government directives are meant to ensure that the reform programme of the Federal Government succeeds. Your role in it cannot be overemphasized.

Your role is not just in providing direction, and providing leadership but also in the training of the core of the civil service that is under your care and charge. We expect that Permanent Secretaries will be the drivers of the implementation of the Executive Orders. And this is why a training programme has been undertaken in order to do so and it is a continuous programme of training. 

Your coming into office at this particular time is a good signal and I believe very strongly that it will be an opportunity for a reset in some cases of projects and programmes that up till now may not have been fully completed. 

It is also important to emphasise that this government is committed to an anti-corruption programme. It is easy to speak about corruption and to speak about anti-corruption programmes. But we want to emphasize that we do not believe that any nation can survive at the levels of corruption that we have witnessed in our country in the past years.

It is completely impossible to implement government policies or programmes or to ensure that the benefits of economic programmes, the benefits even of democracy, ever reach the ordinary man if corruption remains at the levels that it has been in the previous years.

This is why our commitment to corruption is not just a glib reference, it is not just glib talk; it is important, it is crucial, as a matter of fact, as the President has said - “if we don’t kill corruption, corruption will kill us”. It is your responsibility as Federal Permanent Secretaries especially this new corps of Federal Permanent Secretaries, chosen and selected on merit to ensure that you carry out in the fullest measure all of the anti-corruption programmes of this government, and to ensure also that by your practice and in your conduct you are also above board.  

Before I go on to announce the postings of the Federal Permanent Secretaries, let me again emphasise that the process of the appointment of Permanent Secretaries is one that was conducted in the fairest possible way and I hope that this is the way that we will continue to conduct these processes by rigorous process of examination and test that will bring up the very best that this country can offer. I want to again congratulate you and congratulate members of your families for this great attainment and I hope and pray that your tenure will be extremely successful.

We also have with us in the cabinet two ministers who were sworn-in a couple of weeks ago and I have the pleasure to announce that the two ministers will be posted to two critical ministries which require their expertise.

Prof. Steven Ocheni will be assigned the portfolio of Minister of State in the Ministry of Labour and Employment, and Mr Suleiman Hassan will be assigned the Portfolio of the Minister of State for Power, Works and Housing.     
  
The posting of the Permanent Secretaries are;
  1. Mrs. Anagbogu Ifeoma Nkiruka, Women Affairs
  2. Mrs. Walson-Jack Didi Esther, Service Welfare Office in the Office of the Head of the Civil Service of the Federation
  3. Gekpe Grace Isu, Information and Culture
  4. Aliboh Leon Lawrence, Budget and National Planning
  5. Uwaifo Osarenoma Clement, Ministry of Health
  6. Afolayan Ayodele Olaniyi, Common Services, Office of the Head of the Civil Service of the Federation
  7. Abdullahi Abdulazeez Mashi, Ministry of Communications
  8. Adebiyi Bolaji Adekunle, Labour and Employment
  9. Ibrahim Musa Wen, Water Resources
  10. Odewale Samson Olajide, Special Duties, Office of the Head of the Civil Service of the Federation
  11. Adesola Olusade, Youth and Sports Development
  12. Umar Mohammed Bello, Special Services Office, Office of the Secretary to the Government of the Federation
  13. Aduda Gabriel Tanimu, Politcal Affairs Office, Office of the Secretary to the Government of the Federation
  14. Akpan Edet Sunday is to resume duty in the Ministry of Industry, Trade and Investment on October 1. 
  15. Ehuria Georgina Ekeoma, Cabinet Affairs Office, Office of the Secretary to the Government of the Federation.

Released by

Laolu Akande
Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media & Publicity
Office of the Vice President
16th August, 2017

Saturday, August 12, 2017

OZUBULU ATTACK: AG PRESIDENT OSINBAJO SENDS DELEGATION TO CONDOLE WITH GOVERNMENT AND PEOPLE OF ANAMBRA

OFFICE OF THE ACTING PRESIDENT

PRESS RELEASE

OZUBULU ATTACK: AG PRESIDENT OSINBAJO SENDS DELEGATION TO CONDOLE WITH GOVERNMENT AND PEOPLE OF ANAMBRA STATE

Acting President Yemi Osinbajo, SAN, is sending a five-man Federal Government delegation to Anambra State today to visit and condole with the government and people of the state over last Sunday’s attack on worshippers at the St. Philips Catholic Church in Ofufe-Amakwa, Ozubulu, Ekwusigo Local Government Area of the State. That despicable attack resulted in the loss of a number of lives and injury to several others.

The delegation is made up of the Minister of Labour and Employment, Dr. Chris Ngige; Minister of Health, Professor Isaac Adewole; Foreign Affairs Minister, Mr Geoffrey Onyeama; Minister of State for Environment, Mallam Ibrahim Usman Jibril; and the Minister of State for Education, Professor Anthony Anwuka.

During the visit, the delegation will present a condolence letter from the Acting President Osinbajo on behalf of the government and people of Nigeria to Governor Willie Obiano. The delegation will also visit Bishop Hilary Okeke of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Nnewi, and the Nnamdi Azikiwe University Teaching Hospital also in Nnewi to meet with some of the victims of the attack still in the hospital.

In the letter, Professor Osinbajo extends deep commiserations to the families, friends of the victims, and the Ozubulu community on the death of their sons and daughters, praying for the speedy recovery of the injured still in the hospital.

The Acting President condemned in very strong terms the atrocious and dastardly act which has brought sorrow to many innocent families and, has rightly provoked widespread condemnation.

He said “such barbaric act constitutes an affront to our common humanity, and it challenges, but will not overwhelm our collective resolve to rid our communities of all forms of violent crimes and criminality.”

Professor Osinbajo said the Federal Government under President Muhammadu Buhari remains undeterred and will continually commit to deploying all available resources towards ensuring adequate security of lives and property in Anambra State and across the entire country.

The Acting President noted that he has instructed law enforcement agencies to bring perpetrators of the heinous crime to justice without any delay.

He said he would remain engaged with Governor Obiano, the Police authorities and other security agencies to ensure that the lives and property of citizens of Anambra State and indeed all Nigerians are well protected anywhere they may live.

Laolu Akande
Senior Special Assistant on Media & Publicity to the President
Office of the Acting President
12 August 2017