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4 Jun 2018

Four years too small for anyone in office, Osinbajo says

Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo has said four-year tenure is too small for anyone in public office to deliver.
Vice President, Yemi Osinbajo
He said that was so because there were many plans of things to deliver that will take time.

Osinbajo said this in an interview at the Financial Times Nigeria Summit held in Lagos.

According to the transcript made available to journalists on Saturday, the Vice President granted the interview on Thursday.

“I think that for anyone who is in office, it (four years) would be too small because obviously, you have all manner of plans and things to deliver.

“But my take is that the moment you have the right people and you put the right structures in place, you can do a lot, and I think we have been blessed with an incredibly good team,” Osinbajo said.

He said the present administration wanted to farther ahead in terms of manufacturing.

He however described them as infrastructure constraints that cannot be developed overnight.

This, he said, was why the government was investing heavily in infrastructure; rail, road and power.

“This is the significant part of the investment that we are doing; concessioning the Lagos-Kano to General Electric, the narrow gauge, developing the standard gauge is important in terms of just movement of goods and all that.

“A lot of these initiatives would be a great help in moving goods,” he added.

Osinbajo also explained the reason why Nigeria has not signed the African Free Trade Agreement.

“Nigeria has one of the most vibrant private sectors. Manufacturers associations, in particular, and several others felt that we shouldn’t go into this without further consultations, and we wanted to know exactly what specifically in terms of negotiations that will follow the signing of the framework.

“And it was the President’s opinion that it would be much wiser for us to suspend the signing until all of those engagements had been done to the satisfaction of the private sector.

“We work very closely with the private sector in practically everything that we have done.

“For us, it is important to sit back, take a look at those negotiations first before heading into the framework, which is really what we are doing at the moment.

“So, where we are is that we are looking at the nitty gritty and we are trying to be sure how it is going to play for our private sector people, for industry, for trade, etc.

“We are not saying we are going to renegotiate the framework; the framework is already there. Our greater concern is for the specifics. And we are at a point where before we go into that, we will certainly make sure that we are happy with the terms and conditions,” Osinbajo added.

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