Category: Politics

APC youths pledge support for Tinubu, Sani

All Progressives Congress youths drawn from the North-West geo-political zone have vowed to mobilize votes for their presidential candidate, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, and the Kaduna governorship candidate, Senator Uba Sani, in the 2023 general elections.

At a meeting held on Friday to strategize for Tinubu and Uba Sani ahead of the 2023 general elections, the APC Zonal Youth Leader for the North-West, Abdullhamid Umar Oscar, promised to bring Tinubu and Uba Sani to power.

“We are here to discuss the strategy of bringing Tinubu to power. We are assuring him that the North-West youths are with him 100 percent. “We want to return APC to power from top to bottom and bottom to top,” he said.

According to him, the youths in the zone will ensure that they give their all to the party’s presidential candidate as well as the governorship candidate.

On his part, Kaduna State APC Youth Leader, Aminu Na’anty, said, “The reason for this meeting is to support Tinubu to become president of Nigeria and Uba Sani to become the governor of Kaduna State.”

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Navy accuse NNPC of insincerity, exaggeration over oil theft figures

The Nigerian Navy has accused the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation Limited of not revealing the true cause(s) of crude oil theft in the country but instead reeling out exaggerated figures to save its face.

This disclosure was made to the Senate Committee on Economic and Financial Crimes by the Navy Chief of Training and Operations, Rear Admiral Solomon Agada, during an interactive briefing of the relevant agencies implementing the Proceeds of Crime (Recovery and Management) Act, 2022, at the National Assembly. Our correspondent exclusively observed the proceedings.

Agada revealed that, at several interactions with the NNPC, the Navy had explained the causes of fuel scarcity to the company, saying there was no way anyone would steal 100,000 barrels of oil in a day, but the NNPC had deliberately continued to mislead Nigerians.

He made the disclosure when the Chairman of the Committee, Senator Suleiman Kwari, questioned him on why the country continued to experience cases of oil theft if the waterways were secured as Agada posited.

Kwari queried, “The oil theft issue has been a very worrisome one to every Nigerian, and more importantly, it has negatively impacted our economy.” “How come the Navy hasn’t been able to solve the issue of oil theft, and if the Navy is claiming that the waterways are secured, why are there still cases of oil theft?”

Agada explained in his responses, “The challenge is that because of the criminal activity inshore by the illegal refiners in tapping into the export lines, those export lines have not been in operation since early this year.”

“The major terminals have not been able to process fuel for export since around February/March and instead of the NNPC telling the Federal Government that this product is not brought out to be able to process as export, they say the oil was stolen.”

He explained that the argument of the Navy had been that the NNPC should tell people the difference between the oil that they have shut in and not brought out and what is being stolen.

He added, “The stolen produce that we have been dealing with among illegal refineries is nothing compared to what the NNPC is declaring as being stolen.”

“If you’re talking about stealing 100,000 barrels a day, you need to transport about five-ton batches 20 times a day from the creek to the high seas, which is very unrealistic.” I told them at the NNPC that if that were to be the case, even a blind man would observe that something was happening in Nigeria’s waters, and we are there on patrol and not seeing this.

“The only reasonable explanation why the fuels are not coming out is because the Shell platform on Bonny Island is not exporting and the Chevron terminal in Escravos is also not exporting.” All these things are very clear, but because it is easier to say that these things are stolen, then they just come up with that.

“Let’s get someone who can do proper analysis of these figures, and we’ll find out that these claims are just bogus; there is nothing substantive about them.” “We have communicated appropriately with the NNPC; even at our last interface with them, they agreed with us; but when they come to the public, they say oil theft, hiding the fact from the public.”

Senator Yusuf Yusuf noted that at an oversight function, the NNPC said crude pipelines were being tapped from the pressure pipe under the sea, and crude oil was usually transferred from there into vessels, and this had been happening for nine years.

“Is the Navy aware or not of the taping going on under the sea?” Yusuf asked.

Agada responded, “On the tapping of the vessel, I also visited that location with the Chief of Defence Staff, and there is a directive by the President from the office of the Secretary to the Government of the Federation to set up a committee on that particular incident.”

“We are not indicting the NNPCL; we are just saying that let matters be presented correctly so that people can make informed decisions.” The Navy has no hand in any theft of oil in this country. “I have no ship or vessel, nor do I know anyone who has; you can investigate me.”

The Navy boss further explained that the increase in diesel price was because of the operation in stopping illegal bunkering on the waters.

He said, “People who have been doing this illegal business will confirm to you that since we started this special task force operation in April, their business has gone sour.”

“This is also responsible for the increase in diesel prices in the country.” Since we stopped the illegal diesel from coming to the market, the price has gone up because once there is high demand and the supply is low, the price will go up.

“People who ought to import will cut corners and buy the illegal products, but now that they can’t import and the illegal ones are not coming, this has reduced the quantity in the country.” But somehow, nobody is coming to share this information with the people.”

He added that the Federal Government had invested in infrastructure through the Maritime Domain Awareness Infrastructure, which had assisted the Navy in detecting and arresting illegal refiners and vessels that were usually handed over to the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission for prosecution.

Agada stated, “And right from Abuja here, we have the capacity to see the entire Nigeria Exclusive Economic Zone.” We have a 24-hour watch on the exclusive economic zone. Any vessel that enters Nigerian waters that is not permitted to be there is immediately arrested because we see their movement.

“Any vessel in the international waters is expected to have their automatic identification system on and that shows that you’re transparently operating; so, any vessel that switches off its identification system automatically becomes a vessel for the Nigeria Navy and we will immediately arrest them and thereafter investigate.

“So, as of today, there is no tanker that can enter Nigerian waters to carry anything without being noticed.” “All these things that have happened now have sent a very strong signal to the international communities that Nigeria is now a place where illegal activities can’t take place anymore.”

Earlier in his speech, the chairman of the committee noted that the session was an oversight function of the Senate to oversee the agencies and check on their revenue generation.

Kwari said, “As part of our oversight duties, it has become imperative to ascertain your organization’s level of compliance with the specific provisions of this Act with due respect to the actual laid down procedures on how you are to handle and dispose of forfeited assets.”

“A cursory look at the submissions so far indicated a wide gap between the reserved prices and competitive bid offers if the items were exposed to the general public through licensed auctioneers. “This disposal process is meant to generate revenue for the government and should be seen as such.”

The Group General Manager, Group Public Affairs Division, NNPC, Garba-Deen Mohammad, could not be reached for comment.

He did not take calls placed to his phone and had not replied to a text message sent to him on the matter as of the time of filing this report.

The NNPC has 21 depots, which are meant for the storage of petroleum products, particularly Premium Motor Spirit, popularly called “petrol,” but all of them are not functioning.

It was gathered that the facilities had been redundant, just like the four refineries also under the management of the NNPC.

Oil marketers told our correspondent that the pipelines that were also used to supply or evacuate products to the depots were either vandalized or obsolete, stressing that this was why the NNPC had been employing the services of private depot owners.

The NNPC is the sole importer of petrol into the country, a task it has shouldered for more than four years now. Other marketers stopped importing the commodity due to the difficulty in accessing foreign exchange.

The secretary of the Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria, Abuja-Suleja, Mohammed Shuaibu, described the situation as precarious.

He said, “We are in a very precarious situation.” The government has to wake up to its duties because, as you know, none of the four refineries is productive. They are more or less obsolete.

“We also have 21 depots across the country, nine in the North and 12 in the South.” But these depots, which are supposed to be storage facilities, are not productive because the pipelines that supply products to them are old or are vandalized.

“So, the only way to get petroleum products into Nigeria today is through imports.” That is only done by the NNPC, and when it imports the product, it dumps it in private depots, which now take charge of the product.

“But right now, the private depots have raised the price of the product.” This is making everyone apprehensive. Those who paid the government-approved price may wake up to find out that they can no longer buy the product.

“As it is now, all the northern parts of Nigeria have been affected, and the depots that are supposed to be the storage facilities do not have the product.” Everybody now relies on going down south to bring in the product.

“And when you go there, you are not even sure of getting it.” Some tankers spend weeks on roads before they arrive at their destinations due to the bad road network in Nigeria.”

He said a lot of retail outlets owned by independent marketers had been shut down due to a lack of PMS to sell, giving rise to the activities of black marketers of petrol.

“Many petrol stations have been closed.” These outlets were built to sell petroleum products, but when you don’t have the products, what do you do? “This is why you see black marketers selling gasoline in jerry cans everywhere,” Shuaibu stated.

On his part, the National Public Relations Officer, IPMAN, Chief Ukadike Chinedu, said the dysfunctional nature of the NNPC depots had caused private depots to raise the cost of PMS stored in their facilities.

He said some private depots were selling the commodity at N210 per litre, whereas the approved NNPC rate was N147 per litre.

Ukadike, however, explained that the charges incurred by the private depots, such as paying rent for vessels in dollars, among others, were factors that led to the hike in the cost of petrol at the depots.

“This is why we are pleading with the government to bring back the depots under the management of the NNPC, so that we can access the product at the approved rate,” he stated.

Industry sources stated that the concerns in the downstream oil sector had led some people in the industry to profit from the lapses as they urged the NNPC to address the challenges fast.

Meanwhile, officials of the NNPC stated that the vandalism of pipelines that transport and evacuate PMS from depots was the major obstacle to the functionality of the facilities.

An official said, “You can’t be battling with crude oil theft as a result of pipeline sabotage, and you now add that of PMS theft through vandalism of pipelines.”

“You know that this will be very dangerous because PMS is highly flammable, and vandalizing a pipeline that conveys such a product may cause severe damage to the host communities.”

The NNPC spokesman, Muhammad, did not respond to inquiries.

The inadequate supply of daughter vessels required for evacuating Premium Motor Spirit, popularly called “petrol,” from mother vessels on the high seas to depots is another reason for the fuel shortage currently being witnessed across the country.

It was gathered on Saturday that the inadequate supply of the daughter vessels had further triggered the increase in the amount paid as rent by oil marketers for the services of the few available vessels.

Oil marketers told one of our correspondents that the cost of renting daughter vessels rose by 163 percent within a short period, stressing that this reduced the purchasing power of many dealers.

“Therefore there must be a review of all the rates.” It is not the making of ship owners or the making of ships. “It is what the world is demanding.”

He said the smaller vessels that collect the cargoes could not take more than 15,000t.

This, he noted, was “because there are restrictions in some of our ports or depots, such as in Calabar, Oghara, Warri, etc., which are all very shallow-draft ports with not more than six or 6.5 meters of draft.”

Speaking further on pricing, Onyung argued that shipping was an export product, stressing that most exports were priced in dollars.

The SOAN president added, “Shipping is an international business that is priced in dollars; if you want to dry-dock a ship, you are going to pay dollars in a shipyard.”

“If you want to buy a ship or its spare parts, you pay in dollars.” If you go to ports, you also pay in foreign currency. So, shipping is priced in US dollars.

Meanwhile, a source close to the Nigerian Ports Authority denied the allegation that Apapa ports could not accommodate bigger vessels.

“They can’t tell us that Apapa ports can’t take bigger vessels; the largest vessel in West Africa came to Apapa ports a few years ago.” So the story that the Apapa ports can’t take bigger vessels is not correct. “If it is Calabar ports, yes, everyone knows the story of Calabar ports,” the source stated.

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Govs to Buhari: You failed Nigerians, don’t blame us

Governors of the 36 states have accused the Federal Government of abandoning its duty to address the security challenges crippling economic activity in the country.

The governors, speaking on behalf of the Nigeria Governors’ Forum, claimed that the impact of insecurity on trade and agriculture was to blame for the rising rate of poverty among Nigerians.

They also alleged that the Federal Government’s inaction had allowed “bandits, insurgents, and kidnappers to turn the country into a killing field.”

The forum stated that the 36 governors had made enormous progress in their individual states through pertinent projects in response to the accusation made by the Minister of State for Budget and National Planning, Clement Agba, that the governors were to blame for the country’s rising poverty index.

In a statement by its Director of Media and Public Affairs, AbdulRazaque Bello-Barkindo, the NGF said, “It is important to put on record the progress made by state governors in the administration of their states, which have witnessed tremendous progress in recent times.” Governors have undertaken projects where they, in conjunction with their people, deem them fit for purpose.

“This dereliction of duty from the centre is the main reason why people have been unable to engage in regular agricultural activity and commerce.” Today, rural areas are insecure, markets are unsafe, travel security is improbable, and life for the common people is generally harsh and brutish.

“The opinion, therefore, of one minister, based on a survey of 56,000 households in a country of 200 million people, can never diminish the good work that 36 pro-poor-minded governors are doing for this country.”

It further accused the minister of attempting to deflect the notion that rising levels of hunger and lack were peculiar to Nigeria instead of responding to a question demanding to know what he and his colleague, the Minister of Finance, Budget, and National Planning, Zainab Ahmed, were doing to ameliorate the hardships Nigerians were facing.

“Mr. Agba explained that their government, through many of its social security programs, has been dedicating resources to alleviating hardship and then goes further to accuse state governors of misdirecting resources to projects that have no impact on the people. “While rightly pointing out that 72 percent of the poverty in Nigeria is found in the rural areas, the minister said that the rural populace had been abandoned by governors,” the statement added.

The forum also described the Federal Government’s claim as “Mr. Agba’s veiled and deliberate effort, as a minister, to protect his paymasters and politicize very critical issues of national importance.”

The statement further added, “The primary duty of any government is to ensure the security of lives and property, without which no sensible human activity takes place.” But the Federal Government, which is responsible for the security of lives and property, has been unable to fulfil this covenant with the people, thus allowing bandits, insurgents, and kidnappers to turn the country into a killing field, maiming and abducting people in schools, market squares, and even on their farmlands.

“How can a defenceless rural population maintain a sustainable lifestyle of peace and harmony when their lives are cut prematurely and they wallow permanently in danger?” How does a minister whose government has been unable to ensure security, law, and order have the temerity to blame governors?

“Under the current administration, in which Mr. Agba is minister, the national cash cow, the NNPC, has failed to remit statutory allocations to states in several months. The situation had compelled governors to rely on other sources of revenue, like the SFTAS program and other interventions anchored by the NGF, to fund state activities while monies budgeted for such federal ministries as agriculture, rural development, and humanitarian affairs are not being deployed in the direction of the people.

Similarly, the Governor of Ondo State, Rotimi Akeredolu, has denied tampering with funds belonging to the local government areas in the state.

Akeredolu stated this while reacting to the allegation by president Muhammadu Buhari, accusing governors of stealing local government funds.

In a statement signed by his Chief Press Secretary, Richard Olatunde, on Saturday, the governor said his administration had not touched funds meant for local governments since its inception.

He also said his administration did receive 13 percent in oil derivation, subsidy, and SURE-P refunds from the federation account in the last two years of 2021 and 2022, explaining that the refunds received from the Federal Government were judiciously expended on some key capital projects across the three senatorial districts of the state.

The statement added, “As a matter of policy, monies meant for local governments are shared at their monthly Joint Account Allocation Committee.” Mr. Governor doesn’t touch local government funds. The local government chairmen can attest to the fact that they have total freedom in the management of their funds.

“The monthly FAAC receipts are devoted to the payment of salaries and pensions as agreed by labour leaders at the monthly meetings presided over by the Head of Service and Chairman of Joint Negotiating Council. Despite Governor Akeredolu’s vow to always pay salaries and pensions as and when due, the financial crisis across the country occasioned by the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic resulted in the non-payment of salaries in full for some months. As of January 2022, the government owed four months’ salary arrears as opposed to the seven months inherited.

“Governor Akeredolu, having promised the civil servants in the state to prioritize payment of salaries, has continued to clear these backlogs of arrears.” On three occasions this year, the government has paid double salaries in a month, thereby reducing the arrears. All salaries will be cleared before the year ends.

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Build strong political base – Christian group

The Nigeria National Christian Coalition has urged Christians across the country to build a strong political base that would protect their interests and welfare.

The convener of the NNCC, Apostle Titi Oluwadare, made the call on Saturday during a press conference that took place in Ikeja, Lagos.

Oluwadare added that Christian leaders from across the nation would convene in Lagos on Friday for a summit to discuss the importance of the church’s voice being heard at the national level.

She said, “There is a need for Christians in Nigeria to build a strong political base.” The body of Christ, because it does not have a base, is therefore lacking in the ability or capacity to negotiate or place a demand that can achieve or help achieve their objectives; hence, the church has little relevance at the centre of affairs in Nigeria, and consequently, the church and Christians end up being used as pawns in the political chess game.

“As followers of Jesus Christ, and using the scriptures as our base, it is time to come out of oppression, multiply, be fruitful, and have dominion.” We must become spiritual. “Spirituality is not isolating ourselves and absconding from responsibility.”

In his remarks, the Regional Coordinator of the NNCC, South-West Region, Bishop Taiwo Ajose, called for more political participation among Christians to tackle the social and moral ills in the country.

“One of the ways we can correct the ills of Nigeria is to actively get involved in the governance of the country because one of the core problems of Nigeria is leadership,” he said.

On his part, the Chairman, Christian Association of Nigeria, Kaduna State chapter, Rev. John Hayab, noted that church leaders should correct the impression of politics being a ‘dirty game.’

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Court affirms Oyetola, Alabi as APC candidates

A Court of Appeal sitting in Abuja has affirmed a former governor of Osun State, Adegboyega Oyetola, and his deputy, Benedict Alabi, as the authentic candidates of the All Progressives Congress in the July 16 governorship election.

In the appeal, marked CA/ABJ/CV/1099/2022, the court held that the outcome of a governorship primary was the collective decision of a party, through its congress, and could not be rendered illegal by a constitutional challenge by any officer of the party.

It was decided that, despite sending Oyetola and his deputy’s nomination and sponsorship to INEC, the letter’s errors made it impossible to rule out the possibility that they had won a legitimate primary.

The appellate court also questioned Justice Nwite for failing to consider a well-known precedent issued by the Supreme Court of Nigeria in Jegede v. INEC before reaching his decision.

On the immunity of the Yobe State Governor, Mai Mala Buni, who submitted the nomination of the appellant to the Independent National Electoral Commission, the court held that Buni could not be sued as the immunity enjoyed by him guaranteed him against civil and criminal suits.

The Court of Appeal also awarded the cost of N200,000 to the appellant. The People’s Democratic Party had sued Buni and four others, challenging the nomination of Oyetola and his running mate as the duly nominated candidates of the APC.

On September 30, 2022, the Federal High Court in Abuja nullified the nomination of the former Osun governor and his deputy.

Justice Emeka Nwite, agreeing with the submissions of the plaintiff’s counsel, had declared null and void the nomination of Oyetola and Alabi by the APC.

The judgment was predicated on the ground that Buni, who submitted their names to INEC, violated the provisions of Section 183 of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and Section 82 (3) of the Electoral Act of 2022.

Going by the ruling, the judgment of the Federal High Court in Abuja nullifying the nomination of Oyetola and Alabi as the APC candidates in the governorship election has been set aside.

Meanwhile, the PDP, through its spokesperson, Debo Ologunagba, said its lawyers would do justice to the judgment and, at the appropriate time, take the next line of action.

Ologunagba said, “The PDP will study the judgment, and then we will take appropriate action.” We don’t react to actions in the media. We are a law-abiding party, and we respect the integrity of the judge. We have not read the judgment as a party; our lawyers will do justice to that.

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Terrorism a threat to 2023

The Tony Blair Institute of Global Change has called on Nigerian authorities to take seriously the dangers that the Indigenous People of Biafra, bandits, and Boko Haram/Islamic State pose to the 2023 general elections in West African Province.

The organisation warned that these groups are more likely to step up their attacks to scupper the 2023 elections.

The group explicitly cautioned that the one million INEC employees, observers, and journalists run the risk of being targeted by IPOB, bandits, and terrorists in a report released on Thursday.

The report partly read, “Three of the most active violent groups in Nigeria – Boko Haram, bandits and IPOB – threaten the 2023 election in different ways. Boko Haram’s factions will try to endanger the election because this is one of the group’s publicly declared ideological objectives.

“They will do so by stepping up attacks, including bombings in major cities while displacing some communities and ensuring remote ones are inaccessible for campaigning or holding elections. While bandits are not purposely anti-democratic, their attacks on villages and displacement of more than a million people are set to disenfranchise many Nigerians.

 “Meanwhile, IPOB targets critical election infrastructure and threatens candidates and voters while attacking northern residents of the South-East region. Additionally, all three will actively target the one million election workers who will be transported across Nigeria as well as the thousands of journalists and observers who will monitor the election.

“Boko Haram will attack on ideological basis, bandits will carry out kidnaps-for-ransom, and IPOB will seek out journalists and observers to send its separatist message while demonstrating its control over the South-East.

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Farmers/Herders clash in Borno records eight deaths

The Borno State Police Command has confirmed that eight people lost their lives in a clash between farmers and herders over alleged land encroachment in the Bayo Local Government Area of the state.

The Commissioner of Police, Abdu Umar, said the incident at a meeting with leaders of the farmer association and Miyetti Allah Cattle Breeders Association, on Friday, in Maiduguri.

He said the report indicated that violence erupted on November 30 over the alleged encroachment of farmlands and the murder of a farmer by unidentified assailants in the area.

“Eight persons killed including children while 47 houses and six motorcycles were burnt,” he said.

He said the police had restored normalcy to the area and arrested some suspects in connection with the disturbances, adding that the state government had provided relief items to the affected persons.

“This is a source of concern to the government and security agencies; the meeting is aimed at providing lasting solutions to the problem.”

“At the end, we shall come up with modalities to check the movement of wandering herders into the state, especially in areas that witnessed violence,” he said.

According to him, a committee will be set up to enhance surveillance and monitoring as well as promote peaceful coexistence between farmers and herders.

He said membership of the committee would comprise representatives of security agencies, farmers and herders associations.

In his remarks, Ahmadu Musa-Karube, Chairman of the MACBAN, called for proactive measures to address the root cause of the problem.

Musa-Karube said that the lack of cattle routes and encroachment on farmlands were largely responsible for farmer-herder clashes in the state.

Also speaking, Hassan Musa, a farmer representative, advocated a ban on night animal grazing in the state.

He also called for closer collaboration between the leadership of the farmer and herders’ unions to address the problem.

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ASUU to hold NEC meeting on Sunday

The Academic Staff Union of the University is set to hold a quarterly National Executive Council meeting at the University of Calabar on Sunday.

A member of the NEC confirmed this to our correspondent on Saturday in Abuja.

“There is a quarterly NEC, and it’s for the fourth quarter.” Lots of issues will come up, and definitely the issue of withheld and amputated salaries will come up.

The national president of the union, Professor Emmanuel Osodeke, could not be immediately reached for comment on the matter.

GOGAN TV reports that after ASUU suspended its strike on October 14, the lecturers were paid a “mutilated” salary for the month and the remaining months’ salaries were withheld.

The Federal Government said the payment was on a pro-rata basis as the union only suspended its strike two weeks into the month. But ASUU protested, accusing the government of “casualizing” the work of the academics.

Despite protests and the intervention of the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Femi Gbajabiamila, the executive arm of government has insisted it will not shift ground on implementing the “No Work, No Pay” policy.

The decision of the government to withhold the salaries of lecturers had led to a series of protests across the country, with some branches of the union calling for the sacking of the minister of education, Adamu Adamu, and the minister of labour and employment, Chris Ngige.

However, the union confirmed that its members received full salaries for the month of November 2022.

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Abuja-Kaduna Rail Operations to Resume Monday

 

The Nigeria Railway Corporation (NRC) will resume the Abuja-Kaduna passenger train service on Monday, with only two return services.

The announcement is contained in a statement sent to local media on Saturday by the Managing Director of the NRC, Fidet Okhiria.

The statement shows the first train will depart Rigasa train station in Kaduna state for Abuja by 8:00 in the morning, while from Abuja, the first train will depart Idu train station for Kaduna state by 9:45 in the morning.

The NRC management also revealed that, as part of the new security measures, it is now mandatory for passengers to present their National Identity Number and valid boarding ticket before they will be allowed to board.

It also says the purchase of tickets by proxy is only limited to minors and a specified number of adult passengers.

Online and mobile app ticketing will be available from 8:00 in the morning on Sunday, December the 4th, 2022 while the ticket offices at the train stations will open from 6:30 in the morning on Monday, December the 5th.

Recall that the NRC suspended train service along the route after Boko Haram terrorists attacked a moving passenger train in Kaduna on March 28, 2022.

The insurgents had blown up the rail track and bombed the moving train, killing some and abducting more than 60 passengers. The unprecedented attack attracted international and national outrage.

The terrorists who attacked the Kaduna-bound train released hostages in tranches, with the last release coming on October 5, 2022.

Before the hostages were completely released, distraught family members had protested several times to demand the release of their loved ones.

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Osinbajo Travels to Vietnam For Bilateral Talks

 

The Vice President, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo, is scheduled to depart from Abuja on Saturday for the Socialist Republic of Vietnam to engage in high-level bilateral activities in the Southeast Asian nation.

The engagements will include meetings with the President of Vietnam, President Nguyn Xuân Phc; Vice President Vo Thi Aah Xuan; Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh; other government officials; and the business community.

This was contained in a statement by the Senior Special Assistant to the Vice President on Media and Publicity, Laolu Akande.

According to the statement, the Vice President’s five-day visit comes after former Deputy Prime Minister of Vietnam Vuong Hue visited Nigeria in October 2019 in view of the trade and bilateral relations between both countries.

During the visit, Hue was said to have met with Osinbajo and other senior Nigerian government officials and interacted with the Nigerian-Vietnam Business Association.

“The VP’s reciprocal visit to Vietnam will further strengthen trade and bilateral relations between both countries,” the statement added.

“Although Nigeria and Vietnam have maintained long-standing diplomatic relations since 1976, Vice President Osinbajo will be the second Nigerian high-ranking incumbent government official to visit the Southeast Asian country after President Olusegun Obasanjo, who visited in 2005.”

“While in the Socialist Republic of Vietnam, the Vice President is expected to witness the signing of Memorandums of Understanding (MoU) and Agreements on Investment between Nigeria and Vietnam.”

Osinbajo is also expected to hold high-level diplomatic discussions with his Vietnamese counterpart, Vice President Vo Thi Aah Xuan, and the Prime Minister on issues of trade, commerce, agriculture, technology, and innovation, among others.

He will later participate in a business forum with the Vietnamese Chamber of Commerce, with representatives from both countries.

Read the full statement below:

IN HIGH LEVEL VISIT TO VIETNAM, OSINBAJO TO MEET PRESIDENT, VP, PRIME MINISTER, OTHERS

Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, SAN, departs Abuja today for the Socialist Republic of Vietnam for high-level bilateral engagements in the Southeast Asian nation, including meetings with the President of Vietnam, President Nguyn Xuân Phc; Vice President Vo Thi Aah Xuan; Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh; other government officials; and the business community.

The VP’s reciprocal visit to Vietnam will further strengthen trade and bilateral relations between both countries.

Recall that in view of the trade and bilateral relations between both countries, the then Deputy Prime Minister of Vietnam, Vuong Hue, visited Nigeria in October 2019 and met with Prof. Osinbajo and other senior Nigerian government officials, as well as interacted with the Nigerian-Vietnam Business Association.

As the then Deputy Prime Minister, who was accompanied to Nigeria by senior Vietnamese government officials and businessmen, noted, Nigeria is Vietnam’s largest trading partner in Africa. Indeed, trade between both countries stood at US$280 million in 2014 and increased to over US$500 million in 2019.

Although Nigeria and Vietnam have maintained long-standing diplomatic relations since 1976, Vice President Osinbajo will be the second Nigerian high-ranking incumbent government official to visit the Southeast Asian country after President Olusegun Obasanjo, who visited in 2005.

While in the Socialist Republic of Vietnam, the Vice President is expected to witness the signing of memoranda of understanding (MoU) and agreements on investment between Nigeria and Vietnam. He will also hold high-level diplomatic discussions with his Vietnamese counterpart, Vice President Vo Thi Aah Xuan, and the Prime Minister on issues of trade, commerce, agriculture, technology, and innovation, among others.

Prof. Osinbajo will later participate in a business forum with the Vietnamese Chamber of Commerce with representatives from both countries.

With the opportunities existing in agriculture and technology in Nigeria and Vietnam, discussions would focus on the mutual benefits of effective collaboration in particular economic sectors so as to deepen the friendly and trade relations of both countries.

The VP will conclude the visit to Vietnam on Wednesday.

Laolu Akande

Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media & Publicity

Office of the Vice President

3rd December 2022

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