VP Yemi Osinbajo in Ibadan
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Nigeria needs thought-leaders and do-leaders for irreversible development, says Osinbajo

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…says Buhari govt focused in spite of all odds

Nigeria needs thought-leaders and the do-leaders at all levels of governance for sustainable national progress and development, the Vice-President, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo has said.

“There is no part of the work of developing a nation that is easy, it is always going to be a difficult task.

“But this administration intends to remain focused, we have shown that a focused approach, step by step, fighting through the difficulties on a daily basis, will eventually get us to where we are going,’’ he said.

Osinbajo said the thought-leaders and the do-leaders concept was rooted in the tradition of political tendency of introspection or reflection.

The Professor of law and Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN) recalled: “At a book launch in honour of Baba Bisi Akande, I noted that a tradition of our political tendency is that of introspection or reflection.

“By our tendency, I refer to that established by Papa Obafemi Awolowo, which in spite of its various iterations and versions, we all agree to describe as progressive politics.

“The progressive tendency must be the thought leaders and the do leaders for our nation.’’

He spoke at the 2nd Annual Abiola Ajimobi Roundtable marking the 70th birthday of the immediate past Governor of Oyo State, Sen. Abiola Ajimobi, in Ibadan.

Persecondnews reports that the roundtable is an annual conversation on issues of governance and development in Nigeria with the theme, “Managing the Dynamics of Nigeria’s Advancement”.

Osinbajo identified two issues in focus by the Buhari administration — the environment for encouraging local and foreign investment and the second is eradicating poverty.

He said: “We are behind in the race against poverty because there was no systematic and focused approach. So, this is why in 2014 into 2015, the APC decided as a matter of policy to write the social investment programmes into our party manifesto.

“And we set it up as a first phase in our efforts to tackle poverty. It is a comprehensive programme and we have heard already from Minister of Interior, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola, it is a detailed programme.

“It is the first of its kind anywhere in Africa, it has been well scrutinized by the World Bank, a collaborator in the programmes, and several other independent agencies have scrutinized it.

“Today, one of the programmes, the National Home-Grown School Feeding, accounts for feeding 9.5million children on a daily basis in 33 States of the Federation.’’

On N-Power, the Vice-President disclosed that the government would employ 540,000 young people in different local government areas of the country.

“ I believe Oyo State has over 11,000 beneficiaries, and there are several aspects of the programmes. It is not perfect and there are issues here and there, but it is the first comprehensive approach to dealing with the issue of poverty in Nigeria.’’

On how India reduced poverty among the populace, Osinbajo said:“It is important to bear in mind that India which used to have the largest number of poor people in the world, did exactly what we are doing now; a systematic and pragmatic approach to solving the problems of poverty.

“India increased it year by year and today, the country has taken a large majority of her people out of poverty although there are still large numbers in absolute terms.’’

On encouraging entrepreneurship and infrastructure development agenda of the administration, he said the Lagos-Abeokuta-Ibadan end of the Lagos – Kano railway had been completed.

“Already we are launching the free service between Lagos and Ibadan this Christmas. We intend to continue to invest in infrastructure because that’s the first step, in my view, to developing our investment environment to the standard that we want.

“We also expect that we would lower taxes as times go on because there is a need to create an environment for business to thrive.

“Of course, measures have been made already on enabling the business environment,’’ Osinbajo said in a statement by Mr Laolu Akande, the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, office of the VP.
He congratulated Ajimobi on the milestone and for the “unique and indelible landmarks’’ he left in Oyo State as governor.

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