Yemi Osinbanjo Says; I attended a Town-hall meeting today in Lagos. I fielded questions from about a 100 pressure groups on topics ranging from capacity to fuel scarcity to the Yuan deal, power and Entertainment in Nigeria.
1. President Muhammadu Buhari and I are completely committed to providing competent leadership.
We have no other agenda.
We acknowledge there are pains but they are just birth pains. This is not the end.
2. We are currently compiling the Social Register for the poor and as soon as the budget is passed, we will begin to pay 5000 Naira to the poor.
3. Stealing and Corruption cuts across all ethnic groups in Nigeria.
We must decide to become a new tribe of Nigerians.
We must disallow division.
We must also disallow the use of religion and ethnicity.
4. On the fuel crisis, the NNPC is currently the only one importing refined fuel. We are in the process of providing a final solution to the fuel scarcity.
5. The presence of only public refineries is a problem. Private refineries run better. We are seeking private investments in co-managing the refineries.
Some parties have indicated interest in the private refineries including the Oil majors.
6. With the Entertainment sector, we are working on solutions to piracy including technology options, active advocacy and better collaboration between the Entertainment industry and the government.
7. The Lagos-Calabar project is in the budget. The most effective way of moving goods is by rail. Consequently, the Lagos-Calabar and Lagos-Kano rails are included in the budget.
8. On Power: Nigeria recorded a peak of 5000 MW in February. We paid outstanding debts and curtailed vandalism. But the Forcados pipeline caused a drop of about 500MW.
9. We are currently working on improving the supply of gas to power plant and fixing transmission line problems.
10. We have removed fixed tariff charges. You only pay for what you use. We are also engaged with labour unions on cost reflective tariffs.
11. On the Yuan deal: The deal is we have some credit with the Chinese, so doing business with the Chinese can be done without the dollar.
12. The Yuan deal will help facilitate trade with China and also help the ease of doing business.
13. We want a country where anyone who holds public office must be able to explain their wealth.
14. Nobody can enforce any type of right by violence. The use of violence to dispossess others is unacceptable!
15. We also intend to bring loans to SME’S at single digit interest rates.
16. We will continue with the town hall meetings across the country. You will be notified on the next one.
Together, Nigeria will prevail.