National Consultative Forum Themed: Nigeria, On The Right Track
THERE IS NO PROGRESS WITHOUT SACRIFICE SAYS OSINBAJO
“There’s no country that can make progress, without sacrifice and that is the lesson that President Muhammadu Buhari is teaching us. We must make some sacrifices.”
“They said the man will die, he’s about to die, he’s dead, the man is back. The fear of Buhari makes some people desperate even sometimes crazy. Because today, they say he is now Jubril from Sudan. If you can’t discredit him, then they say he doesn’t exist!”
REMARKS BY HIS EXCELLENCY, PROF. YEMI OSINBAJO, SAN, VICE PRESIDENT, FEDERAL REPUBLIC OF NIGERIA AT THE NATIONAL CONSULTATIVE FORUM THEMED: NIGERIA, ON THE RIGHT TRACK BY NATIONAL COMMITTEE OF BUHARI SUPPORT GROUPS AT NICON LUXURY, ABUJA ON THE 4TH OF DECEMBER, 2018.
Come February 2019, the APC will by the grace of God, win the general elections. We will return President Muhammadu Buhari as President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria for a second term. The election will be a historic one; it is a battle between those who want our country’s resources to be used for our country and her people and those who want to privatize the commonwealth. The man who stands between the forces of retrogression and the forces of progress, the future of our children, is the man called Muhammadu Buhari.
No matter what anybody says, no matter how they choose to describe it and hide it and colour it, the issue in Nigeria has always been Muhammadu Buhari and the simple reason is not because he’s a perfect man, he’s not. It is because he is an honest and truthful man, that’s all.
The problem of our country is not necessarily about great plans, it is not about money, and I’ll point that out in a few moments. It’s not about how good our plans are, it’s not about how much money we earn, it is about whether, firstly, the President is honest and truthful. If the Nigerian President is a truthful man, even if he doesn’t do anything in the office, you will save 50% of Nigeria’s resources just because he’s an honest man.
Buhari is a man who wants to use the resources of this country for the common man. Between 2010 and 2014, that was the previous government, our nation earned the highest amount ever in the history of the country from oil alone, the sum of USD383billion. That is the highest amount of money that our nation has ever earned, even in a five-year, six-year period, which is the highest in the history of this country. Oil was selling between a $100 and $114 per barrel.
That is why you ask yourself, so where are the roads, where is the railway? Where are the projects that ought to have been done? Where is the infrastructure when you earn the highest amount of money?
In this Abuja, if they were throwing all the money that was earned to complete the Abuja-Kaduna railway, then it would have been better. We had to come and complete it. It was our government that completed it. It was started years ago, 2005, we had to come and complete it.
When we came into office, we were earning $30 a barrel, with less than 1million barrels a day, sometimes from 2million barrels a day at $100 to $114 a barrel, yet with all that money – 383USD billion, no infrastructure What happened?
When we came into office, just as Ashiwaju has said, look at the number of states that owed salaries despite the amount of money earned. The President insisted we must assist the States to pay those salaries.
He said, and many of us will remember that; ‘look, I have never been a businessman, I’ve always earned a salary in my life and I know how painful it is when a person does not get his salary and I’ll not allow that to happen’. So, we supported the states, all the states to pay their salaries. We supported and we did so three times consecutively so that they would be able to pay their salaries. I think only Lagos state turned down the loan because they had enough money at the time.
We have been earning about 60% less than the previous government. Yet in the past three years, we have spent N2.7trillion on infrastructure, the highest in the history of the country.
How can you earn less and spend more on infrastructure? If you don’t steal the money, you can earn less and spend more. The simple reason is that by using the Treasury Single Account, by insisting that money meant for infrastructure will go to infrastructure, President Buhari has been able to do much more with so much less. So today, we are doing major roads in 36 States in Nigeria. Every State has a major Federal road project ongoing. We’re doing the Lagos – Kano railway, starting from the Lagos port, all the way. We’re going to complete the Ibadan leg of it by January 2019. And then we’re taking it all the way to Kano.
We’re doing the Warri – Aladja, in fact, we completed the tracks for Warri Aladja. And right now, we’re doing the coaches for the Warri Aladja rail. Warri – Aladja by the way, has been there for 35 years budget after budget. They’ve been doing it for the past 25 years and yet, they never did it. Now, we’ve completed it.
Mambila plan took 40 years; it has been there, lasting 40 years. I’m sure that all of us who are close to 60 or over know we’ve been hearing Mambila for years and years. For the first time, Muhammadu Buhari is doing that project, he is putting the resources into it and we will by the grace of God, complete that project.
When you look at all of the rail projects, Port Harcourt – Maiduguri, you see that there’s no country that can make progress if you do not have the infrastructure. If you don’t have railways, if you don’t have roads, if you don’t have dams, the sort that we’re talking about, you can’t increase power.
There’s no country that can make progress without sacrifice. And that is the lesson that President Muhammadu Buhari is teaching us. We must make some sacrifices.
Look at how $383 billion was blown in 4 years. They’ll create an illusion that there is money but after that, when we came into office $29billion was what we had in our external reserves after all of that earning. Today, we are at $41.99billion despite earning 60% less.
We are feeding over 9.2million children every single day in 26 States as part of our School Feeding Programme. We are giving 2million petty traders the TraderMoni loan. You see the way they’re getting very angry with TraderMoni, but when you take care of the poor people, only those who are wicked and evil will complain.
The petty trader is at the bottom of the rank in our commercial value chain; he is the most hardworking. Some of them, their inventory is not up to N2,000. I met a woman who was selling her pomo here in Nyanya market, all her pomo in a bucket, I asked her how much the pomo was and she said “maybe its about N3,000.” All the pomo in the bucket, about N3,000, then I asked her, ‘how do you do make profit?” She didn’t even answer me, she just pointed to another woman, whose pomo was in a little bowl, to show me that “look, I’m a big player here, there’s someone earning less than N3,000.” That is the kind of thing that we see, so the government decided with the approval of Senate at the time, because these days I hear the Senate President complaining about TraderMoni, they approved at the time.
A very important part of our programme is that we must give credit to traders, to those doing small businesses so they can improve their businesses, employ more people, and they also can prosper and our nation can prosper. This is the reason why we’re going around doing the TraderMoni and also what we call MarketMoni all over the country. There are 2million petty traders and we’re going to continue to do so because our people deserve a better life.
We’re employing 5000 graduates under the N-Power programme, each of them have a tablet; in that tablet, we have all the training materials; training for entrepreneurship, because some of them are teachers, some extension workers in the farm, some public health workers.
There was a government that tried to recruit less than 1000 people and look at the tragedy that occurred. We have recruited 500,000 people using an online medium, young Nigerians in every single Local Government and we manage the payments every month, I even send instructions to them monthly. This is the kind of thing that our country needs; you need to go the way of technology, and that is exactly where the President is taking us.
We’re giving about 300,000 of the poorest Nigerians N5000 every month under our Conditional Cash Transfer. I’m sure many of us have seen the testimonies of these people. How is this possible? Buhari is the gatekeeper, he has stopped grand corruption and that is why with less money, we’re doing 5 times more.
But that is also why there is a gang up by the discredited elite against him and they have their collaborators everywhere. They prayed for him to die, he didn’t die; the man came back alive and is stronger by the grace of the almighty God. A 75-year-old man, strong, able, sharp in his head. I keep reminding people that it was under Buhari that the three refineries in Nigerian were built, the 3,500 kilometres of pipelines were built. All these people complaining today have not added a single one to those refineries, except the one extra refinery. These three refineries were built when he was a minister.
They said the man will die, he’s about to die, he’s dead, but the man is back. The fear of Buhari makes people desperate even sometimes crazy. Because today, they say he is now Jubril from Sudan. If you can’t discredit him, then they say he doesn’t exist!
They were all alive and well when a good and true man of God, Pastor Adeboye, went to London, prayed for him a day before he returned to Nigeria. How will one Jubril sit in FEC meetings with all of the memos, engage every single memo, including the memos he’s presenting, how will he consult with his ministers, and even I speak to him almost every day and not know?
But we must not just assume that these people are just crazy, we must go beyond that. We must recognize that their strategy is very simple, if you tell a lie often enough, after a while people begin to believe. That is what they are trying to achieve. Buhari is not only alive and well, he will by God’s grace, live long and well after his second term in office.
People are afraid of this man, every day of their lives, they are looking for a way of getting rid of him for the simple reason that he stands between them and the national treasure.
So, let me commend all of us members of The National Committee on the Buhari Support Groups. You are the vanguard of the battle for the soul of our nation, and we are going forward, we are going higher; we are going to the Next Level!
God bless Nigeria and God bless the APC!
They said the man will die, he’s about to die, he’s dead, the man is back. The fear of Buhari makes some people desperate even sometimes crazy. Because today, they say he is now Jubril from Sudan. If you can’t discredit him, then they say he doesn’t exist!