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Wednesday, 30 September 2015

Vice President, Prof. Osinbajo Speaks To National Enquirer, “We’re All Indebted To Nigeria”



An audience with Professor Yemi Osinbajo, His Excellency the Vice President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria is like meeting a next door neighbour, the man who’s holding the record of being the first ever celebrated Pastor to be elected as Nigeria’s second citizen is an epitome of humility, and this is one toga that’s standing the duo of Gen. Mohammodu Buhari and the VP out. And quite unlike other aides, the few on the trail of the VP are unassuming; it didn’t take the thoroughbred professional, Laolu Akande who’s the Senior Special Assistant to the Vice President on Media & Communication a second to give our proposal to speak to the VP a nod, “that’s not a problem, just tell me about you and your antecedents, then what questions are we looking at”, his words and just after then, he gave us the assurance of meeting to speak with him. The dateline was Saturday, September, 26th, 2015 at the prestigious Ocean View, Eko Hotel & Suites where one of the newest “Senior Advocate of Nigeria”-Dr. Muiz Adeyemi Banire-SAN is being honoured, it was quite a rowdy but an interesting chat as the VP spoke with National Enquirer’s Editor, Tunde Moshood and Tabloid TV’s Faith Irabor.  You’ll be privileged to read and listen to the broadcast version of the exclusive interview.            

Your Excellency Sir, what’s the shortest way out of this economic logjam?
Well, as you know, there’s great hope, I think we’re dealing with difficult economic situation, but we’ve laid out economic plans which we believe will surmount many of the obstacles that we have, but of course the challenges are there as you know the oil revenues have dipped substantially, you also know of course that we’re still trying to ensure that we block the loop holes as there are in the whole public finance system, so there’s every hope, and am extremely hopeful that we’re going to see a new day in Nigeria.

Nigeria will be 55 in few days, what are your wishes for the nation?
Well, all I can say is that, we have a great nation, this nation is going to be great and there’s plenty we need to do to make it greater but it’s going to be the joint efforts of each and every one of us, all of us must work together to make this nation even greater.

Your Excellency, how does the title of the Senior Advocate of Nigeria-SAN make the judicial system better?
As you know, it’s a recognition of superior talent, hardwork in the profession and every recognition of value has a way of improving, not just the image but also the sense of attainment of everybody involve in the profession, so you can see that when you honour those who have done well, when you give them a privilege, then it encourages everybody else to do well, I think that’s one of the good reasons why we must continue to have the rank of the Senior Advocate of Nigeria because it does encourage everyone else to excel in the profession

Finally, what can you say about our current Fitch ratings of BB- despite the fact that JP Morgan expelled Nigeria from its Bond Index for Emerging Markets?
This is one good question that’s very interesting…well, I think the BB- rating is a welcome development, the nation was really at the peak of its economic struggle when this government came in, we had to formulate various strategies and despite the downturn of oil revenues, despite the worst condition on an account of our revenue falling, Fitch as an international agency affirmed our long term foreign and local currency credit rating at BB- and BB respectively as at the end of 2014 December and that’s very good, now, the point of the matter of course, is that, if the ratings have not changed despite the worst economic situation, it’s because there’s great hope on the part of those who have rated and because we’re on the right economic plans, right economic plans for recovery and that’s the right way to go, we’re settling in for right thinking, we’re ensuring that by blocking the loop holes, we’re fighting corruption, we’re ensuring that there’s transparency in public finance, we have tight monetary policy at the moment but that’s temporary, we have plans, serious plans for agriculture, we’re going to input zero-based budget in our policy, our budget plans have been well laid out, we have our methods of approach for our economic plans, I think we’re well on the right path, what is happening is that, the rating agency has looked at the future and have looked at the plans and they can see great hope in our future, so where else is expected for the agency to look at.

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