By Laolu Akande, Senior Special Assistant (Media and Publicity) to the President, In the Office of the Vice President.
The government of President Muhammadu Buhari is committed to sustaining the anti-corruption fight, ensure that the system is cleaned up and government business is done the right way, says Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, SAN.
According to him, “if we are not able to sustain the trouble against corruption, we will end up in a very, very bad way as a nation,” noting that the Defence contract of $15 billion which was frittered away in people’s pockets, “is half of our country’s foreign reserves.”
Speaking today during a courtesy visit by the Nigerian Association of Law Teachers in the State House, Abuja, the Vice President noted that the fight against corruption is a difficult fight and said “we have seen it in so many different ways that at almost every state, corruption fights back and fights very fiercely.”
Prof. Osinbajo however cautioned, “we should be able to examine our priorities because for us corruption is not a moral issue, it is an existential issue,” adding that “to a large extent it will determine whether we will survive as a corporate whole because of the way people feel that when I get into an office I will go after the resources of the state, and I will go after it in the most vicious and the most reckless manner that is possible.”
He urged that in response to the malaise of corruption, the intellectual elites, whether religious, political in particular or academic elites must stand up for what is right.
Earlier, the leader of the Association, Prof. Godwin Nwabueze Okeke, commended the Vice President for being available for the visit and asked him to declare open the forthcoming 50th Conference of the Association which is taking place in Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Awka in June, 2017. He said the Association is solidly in support of the Federal Government and is ready to assist in whichever way needed.
Also, today at a separate meeting, Vice President Osinbajo has restated that the Federal Government is keen in its desire to support the establishment of a Chamber of Commerce for young people across the Niger Delta region to drive creativity and entrepreneurship.
He stated this when he met with a delegation of Niger Delta Expatriate Mentorship Committee an initiative led by the Minister of Niger Delta, Mr. Uguru Usani Uguru in his office.
The Vice President commended the initiative and noted that the expatriate mentorship scheme which is in partnership with UNESCO, aligns with the commitment of the Buhari Presidency for the region and is capable of catalyzing development in the region. He observed that the international mentorship/internship will expose beneficiaries to international standard, best business practice and technology.
During his brief remarks, the leader of the organization and Chief Mentorship Officer, Mr. Chika Olejeme said under the National Expatriate Mentorship Strategy, selected youths will be sent abroad for international mentorship and internship. 30 countries in Europe and the United States of America have already signed up to the programme.