Re: Goodnight from Aso Rock, Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, By Olaitan Joseph

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Just last week in January, during a one-day working visit to Kano State, Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, SAN, was busy as usual doing his job, as he has done with dedication since the onset of the Buhari administration in 2015.

During the visit to the State the VP commissioned some projects, including the Aminu Dantata flyover of over 2km, at the Murtala Muhammad Way, and the Tijjani Hashim Galadima Kano underpass way, in Kofar Ruwa.

In Abuja, the VP received the new US Ambassador to Nigeria, Mrs Mary Beth Leonard, on a courtesy visit at the Presidential Villa. During the meeting, he noted that the increase in activities and threats by terrorist groups in the Sahel region can be largely curbed by stepping up relations between Nigeria and the United States of America.

Also, last Tuesday, Prof. Osinbajo received at the Presidential Villa, Abuja, a Turkish business delegation led by Turkey’s Minister of Trade, Ruhsar Pekcan. He noted that Nigeria is open to more investment from foreign companies, including from Turkey, in the areas of construction, manufacturing, technology and other sectors.

Osinbajo also attended the 2020 Armed Forces Remembrance Day Parade held at the Eagles Square, alongside President Muhammadu Buhari.

In a nutshell, the Vice President has continued to do his job with dedication and excellence to improve Nigeria’s image, economy, and development; in line with the objectives of the Buhari administration. Raising unfounded allegations and insinuations about the VP’s position would not change that.

For the writer to insinuate that “if you’re looking for where to read newspapers in Aso Rock, visit the Vice President’s office, is simply outright fabrication aimed at amusing some readers. This is because the article is not only laced with falsehood and mere conjectures.

The impact of the EMT and the world bank’s rise in ease of doing business reforms driven through PEBEC. Since 2016, Nigeria hase risen by an aggregate of 39 places on the World Bank’s Ease of Doing Business rankings. Also, the World Bank also rated Nigeria as one of the 10 best reforming economies in the world.

This is as a result of the efforts of the Osinbajo chaired Presidential Business Enabling Council (PEBEC) and the Economic Management Team (EMT) through the ease of doing business reforms among other initiatives to improve the business climate in Nigeria.

Even the National Economic Council (NEC), comprising the 36 Governors of the Federation, FCT Minister and Governor of the Central Bank, commended President Muhammadu Buhari and Vice President Osinbajo for driving Ease of Doing Business reforms.

That the EMT has been replaced with the Economic Advisory Council does note negate the great work it has done under Osinbajo. Instead, the new Council would build on the strong foundations it has laid to improve Nigeria’s economy.

On the issue of poverty, Nigeria, the Buhari administration is ramping efforts to to lift Nigerians out of poverty. Recall that on June 12 last year, the President noted that his administration “intends to lift 100 million Nigerians out of poverty over the next 10 years”.

No matter what critics say, this government is committed to that goal and is already on track with its Social Investment Programmes (SIP), which provides the largest social safety net in sub-Saharan Africa and is impacting the lives of millions of Nigerians

Under the SIP, there is the GEEP programme, which includes TraderMoni and MarketMoni, which has provided microcredit to almost 2 million petty traders. Under the Trader Moni micro credit scheme, the Federal Government (FG), through the Bank of Industry (BOI) provides interest free and collateral free loan to petty traders and artisans. The loan ranges from N10, 000 to N100,000 per beneficiary. Last year, the programme won the AfDB prize for financial inclusion because of the work that was done with TraderMoni.

Also, under the SIP, here is the N-Power job scheme which provides employment for over 500,000 young Nigerians in all the Local Government Areas nationwide; the Conditional Cash Transfer scheme, which provides monthly stipends to the most vulnerable in society; and the Home-Grown School Feeding Programme, which feeds almost 10 million school pupils a free nutritious meal day.

Asides from that, the Federal Government is putting up measures and policies to improve the country’s infrastructure to provide more jobs, as well as agriculture, manufacturing, technology and other sectors.

Let’s not forget the humongous corruption in past administrations which would take years to undo. But the good thing is that Nigeria is well on track to becoming a favourite destination for investors with the foundations the Buhari administration is laying.

The writer did state that the vice president has been chairing the governing boards of the National Emergency Management Agency, Border Communities Development Agency, the National Institute for Policy and Strategic Studies, and is the Chairman of National Council on Privatisation.

The VP keeps serving his fatherland with utmost dedication. Naysayers would always spin a tale or two to get traction but this does not take away the hard work of the VP as number two working with President Buhari to make Nigeria better.

In case, the writer is also unaware, the constitution empowers the VP and by the constitution, his roles are clearly defined. Order precedes any sane democracy. The Vice President remains the deputy to President Buhari and he is discharging his duties very well as stated by the constitution. Speculations that the VP is nursing the top job remains what it is, mere speculation. What the VP is solely focused on is service to his fatherland.

Then, for the writer to even insinuate that before the VP could take any decision or action now, approval must first be sought and obtained by him from the ‘almighty’ cabal is absolute falsheood. Pray, tell, who is this cabal? The VP is number two man and reports directly to the President. He was elected alongside President Buhari to govern this country. It is absurd and laughable to claim that the VP requires any approval from a cabal before he takes any decision.

Again, on Tradermoni, the VP’S office is no longer directly in charge of SIP, of which Tradermoni is one of the schemes. Since the tail end of last year, the Minister of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development, now superintends that. Nevertheless. The SIP is still ongoing, and has been budgeted for in the 2020 Budget. Several testimonies of beneficiaries are awash the Internet and Social Media. The writer might want to check them out.

Also, the VP’s aides were not sacked, but only moved to Ministries. The VP still has people working for him, and he is still doing his job.

It seems the writer is obsessed with the figments of his imagination on the Vice President and the so-called cabal. But the fact is the VP’s significance remains as strong as ever. Despite the warped narratives being spurned by some cynics, VP Osinbajo has played and continues to play a crucial role in the Buhari administration as it continues to make efforts to improve the nation’s economy, security and curb systemic corruption.

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