The Buhari administration is concerned about the plight of ordinary Nigerians and would continue to carry out programmes that would improve their lives, according to Vice President Yemi Osinbajo.
Prof. Osinbajo said this today on Brekete Family, Reality Radio Talk Magazine programme on Human Rights Radio, Abuja, where he was featured.
During the programme, the Vice President emphasised that, “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 myself 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 (N-SIP), the VP noted that the administration is able to do so much more with less 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.
Prof. Osinbajo said, “Every state has N-Power, noting that there are plans to employ more because of the number of graduates. This is a social safety net for young unemployed Nigerian graduates.
“So far, we have given about 400,000 Market Moni loans, but the target is to give 1 million loans to artisans and traders, while Trader Moni loans is a N10,000 interest-free loans to petty traders, of which 2 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 (MSMEs) 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 (REA), is designed to provide clean, stable and affordable electricity to Nigerians in these economic clusters.
So far, thousand of shops in Sabon Gari in Kano State, Ariaria Market in Aba, Isinkan Market in Akure, Ondo State, Edaiken Market in Benin, Edo State, and Sura Market, Lagos, have been provided solar power through the initiative.
“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,” Prof. Osinbajo said.
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 lives of Nigerians.
“Currently, it feeds daily over 9 million schoolchildren in public primary schools in 26 states. Also, the products are sourced from local farmers, which improve local economy.”
Prof. 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, a.k.a 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 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 medalist, 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.