The Buhari administration is concerned about the plight of ordinary Nigerians and would continue to carry out programmes that would improve their lives, Vice President Yemi Osinbajo (SAN) has said.
Osinbajo said this on Monday on Brekete Family, a reality radio talk magazine programme on Human Rights Radio, Abuja, where he was featured.
During the programme, the Vice President emphasized: “The focus of our government is on how things can be better for the common man.
“We are not in the business of trying to deceive Nigerians.
“You can accuse me and the President of anything, but you will never find us deceiving Nigerians.”
While making references to the Buhari administration’s National Social Investment Programme, the VP noted that the administration is able to do so much more with fewer resources.
This, he said, is possible because “the President has ensured that nobody steals money from the treasury.
“The major problem Nigeria had before now was the fact that people stole from the nation’s coffers.
“Once the country is able to stop corruption, it would be better.
“The first thing we did was tackle unemployment by employing young men and women through the N-Power job scheme, which has so far employed 500,000 young graduates.”
The paid volunteer programme has a two-year duration, but it has now been extended for a batch.
Osinbajo said every state has N-Power, noting that there are plans to employ more because of the number of graduates.
He said: “This is a social safety net for young unemployed Nigerian graduates.
“So far, we have given about 400,000 MarketMoni loans, but the target is to give one million loans to artisans and traders, while TraderMoni loans is a N10,000 interest-free loans to petty traders, of which two million are expected to be reached in the first phase.”
He also highlighted the Federal Government’s Energizing Economies Initiative, which provides clean, affordable, and constant power to economic clusters such as big markets and Micro, Small, and Medium Enterprises across Nigeria.
Last week Friday, the Vice President commissioned the Sura market Independent Power Project in Sura shopping complex in Lagos State, a 1.5MW independent mini-grid power supply system to provide clean and affordable electricity to over 1,000 shops in the market.
The Buhari administration’s Energizing Economies Initiative, which is being implemented by Rural Electrification Agency, is designed to provide clean, stable and affordable electricity to Nigerians in these economic clusters.
So far, thousands of shops in Sabon Gari in Kano State, Ariaria Market in Aba, Isinkan market in Akure in Ondo State, Edaiken market in Benin in Edo State and Sura market in Lagos have been provided solar power through the initiative.
Osinbajo told his radio audience: “Power is a major problem in Nigeria and our efforts is to solve this through alternative energy such as solar power.
“We are not relying on the national grid alone.
“We are also encouraging the private sector to provide power.
“The new strategy of the government is to put power in different places so as to make life easy for Nigerians without relying on the national grid.
“We are still working on the national grid.
“This country is very big, that’s why we have to decentralize.”
Speaking further on the benefits of the N-SIP, the Vice President assured Nigerians that the Home-Grown School Feeding Programme was authentic and was a major part of the administration’s plan to improve the lives of Nigerians.
Osinbajo said: “Currently, it feeds daily over nine million schoolchildren in public primary schools in 26 states.
“Also, the products are sourced from local farmers, which improve the local economy.”
Osinbajo further stated the administration’s commitment to developing the Niger Delta region and how its engagement has helped to maintain peace and stability in the region, which has also improved oil production and the country’s revenue.
The host of the programme, Ahmad Isah, popularly known as Ordinary President, as well as studio audience and callers, praised the Vice President and the Buhari administration for its commitment to the welfare of Nigerians and improving the country’s fortunes.
Isah also praised the administration’s efforts in paying the pension arrears of staff of Nigeria Airways and its Social Investment Programmes.
Likewise, callers and members of the studio audience commended the Buhari administration and the Vice President for showing exemplary leadership.
“Because of the importance he attaches to the family, development, and progress of this nation, the Vice President (having just returned from a trip to Lagos) came directly from the Abuja airport to be with us today,” Isah noted.
Noting that the government will look into complaints raised during the edition of the programme, the Vice President stated that he would choose liaison officers to look into complaints from listeners/viewers of the programme.
This was applauded by the audience and listeners.
One of the callers described the decision “as the best thing that has happened to us.”
During the programme, the Vice President met with Olympic medallist, Jerry Okorodudu, who had appealed for his salary arrears to be paid by the Ministry of Sports.
On his arrival to and departure from the popular Abuja radio station, the Vice President received a very warm welcome from a section of Nigerians who lined up the road leading to the station to receive him.
How Tambuwal, APC Governors Pushed Me To Remove Oil Subsidy And Later Protested Against Me — Jonathan
Nearly six years after implementing a controversial fuel subsidy withdrawal which sparked a nationwide protest, former President Goodluck Jonathan has revealed that it was the 36 state governors who pushed him to remove the subsidy to provide more money for them.
Jonathan, who made the startling revelation in his book, My Transition Hours, unveiled in an upscale event in Abuja yesterday, however, accused the same governors of precipitating a mass protest against him and his administration when Nigerians kicked against the fuel price hike from N65 to N97 per liter.
The former president also slammed the then speaker of the House of Representatives, Aminu Tambuwal, who is currently the governor of Sokoto State, for hobnobbing with the opposition to tackle him over the fuel price increase.
Jonathan recalled how Tambuwal mobilised the members of the House to sit on a Sunday just to condemn the deregulation approved by his administration.
The former leader said that Tambuwal embarked on the session in the hope that he (Jonathan) had travelled out of the country to South Africa for the centenary celebration of African National Congress, ANC.
“That was the first and only time in Nigeria’s political history that the Parliament sat on a Sunday. At that sitting, an opposition member of the House got up to allege that I had abandoned the nation at such a crucial time to join in festivity in South Africa.
“Unknown to the House, on that same day, while they were sitting, I was at Eagle Square to commission mass transit vehicles my administration purchased to cushion the effect of the subsidy removal.
‘’I had to address the issue by telling the nation that it was untrue that I had abandoned the nation at such a crucial time to join festivities in South Africa. The country was tense and the public was wondering what would happen next,” he said.
Jonathan accused the governors, especially those from the opposition APC, of abandoning their push for deregulation when the protests broke out, castigating him and his administration for the decision, apparently to look good before the people.
He said in the 194-page book: “State governors of the main opposition party, some of whom were champions of the subsidy removal in our meetings on the matter, made a volta face.”
Customs Officers Kill Woman In Lagos
The Nigeria Police in Badagry said it had arrested seven customs officers over the killing one Mrs Patience Oni and injuring an innocent man at Forte Oil Filling Station near popular Badagry Roundabout in Lagos state.
The Divisional Police Officer (DPO) Badagry Police Station, Mr Samson Akhiromen, told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Badagry that the men of customs were arrested for indiscriminately shooting and killing of innocent people.
According to the DPO, the customs officers, under the code name Anti-flying, were raiding an illegal rice depot near a filling station around 12 noon on Tuesday, when they started shooting.
“They started shooting indiscriminately to scare away traders and residents from the area.
“During the shooting, the bullets from one of the officers hit two people, one died immediately, while the other one is receiving treatment in an undisclosed hospital.
“The husband of the woman killed is a police inspector serving in Area K Police Station, Morogbo,” he said.
The DPO said that he arrested the officers with his team of officers when the situation was getting out of hand.
He, however, said the arrested officers had been handed over to the SCIID Panti for further investigation and prosecution.
I Will Pay N100,000 As Minimum Wage — ADP Presidential Candidate, Yabagi Sani
The presidential candidate of the Action Democratic Party, Yabagi Sani, on Wednesday, said he would pay N100,000 national minimum wage.
Yabagi made the disclosure to newsmen in Abuja while unveiling his running mate, Prince Martin Kunle Olateru-Olagbegi.
“Our agenda shall be anchored on the deployment of new governance models to restructure Nigeria and give our people a new direction,” he said.
On workers’ salary, he stated, “The Nigerian economy has the capacity to give a minimum of N100,000 per month to the least paid worker in this country. We have the capacity, what we are losing is leadership.
“A country that is number six among the crude oil and gas exporting countries in the world; a country that is number three among the gas exporting countries in the world; a country that has the largest population in Africa; a country that is remarkable in terms of where the resources of this world are deposited and a country that has the youngest population, youngest workers and youngest capital with all the potential, we cannot be paying N30,000 per month as minimum wage. Believe me, it is very small”.
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