Vice President Yemi Osinbajo on Monday said that the President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration is not in the business of deceiving Nigerians.
He spoke as a guest on Brekete Family Programme, Human Rights Radio, that airs on FM 101.1MHz, where he interacted with the Anchor, Ahmad Isah, aka ‘Ordinary President’.
Brekete Family Programme is a reality radio programme that that prides itself as the voice of the voiceless.
The Vice President also said that the administration was for the common man with the focus to take Nigerians out of poverty.
According to him, government programmes and projects were geared towards achieving that objective.
Responding to Ahmed Isah, who asked what the Buhari’s administration had for the common man that voted them to power, Osinbajo said, ”We are not in the business of deceiving Nigerians, whatever the President, and I say is the truth.”
He also described himself as “ordinary Vice President” and explained that the administration’s National Social Investment Programmes was geared towards improving the welfare of ordinary Nigerians.
He said, “The President’s focus has always been on the common man. This government is government of the masses. Our concentration is how things will be better for the masses. So, when we came, we decided on a few things to tackle youth unemployment.
“First, the N-Power programme to engage as many young people who are graduates as possible. We have employed 500,000 so far. Many are teachers, health workers and project assistants in farms.
“The major thing is for us is how to employ more than 500,000. There is also N-Built where we have trained 25,000 who want to be technicians, mechanics etc.” he said.
Osinbajo also talked about the Trader Moni where petty traders get a loan of N10,000 with six months grace period to pay back, stressing that the target was to reach two million petty traders with such loans.
He said once a trader paid back the loan, he or she would be entitled to another N15,000 loan and it would continue like that until one was qualified for a loan of N350,000.
He said at the inception of the administration in 2015, they met 23 states owing salaries and despite the fact that oil prices were above $100 per barrel, states were owing salaries.
He said the states were bailed out three times to enable them pay salaries and pension.
Osinbajo, again narrated how Buhari’s administration unlike the previous government that had a lot of resources as a result of oil price of over $100 per barrel, had to battle with little resources occasioned by oil price of between $28 and $35, disruptions by Niger Delta militants boosting pipes and forcing oil production to drop from 2.1 million to less than one million per barrel.
He noted that President Buhari stopped the looting of the treasury which was common under previous administration, adding that once corruption was stopped, the federal government would be able to provide infrastructure which includes power, railroads and among others.
But Ahmed Isah told Osinbajo that Buhari’s government was perceived not to be friendly with the common man.
He presented the case of a widow whose merchandise was unnecessarily confiscated by Customs officers after taking N200,000 bribe from her.
He narrated how some Customs officers were in the habit of illegally confiscating citizens vehicles and goods hiding under duty fees.
The presenter said that by conduct, the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) portrays itself as the most corrupt agency in Nigeria and beyond.
Responding to complaint, Osinbajo promised to step into the case involving the Customs and the widow.
He said, “I will look into this Customs matter. We must resolve it. We will make sure those people mentioned will be held to account.”
The presenter also reported to Osinbajo that Nigeria Bulk Electricity Trading Company was over billing customers and was one of the institutions giving the government a bad name.
He said documents which took him six months to gather proved the corrupt practices going on in the company.
He said the money that has been stolen from the company which has 47 staff since inception was more than 11 states budget combined.
Isah while challenging the Vice President to investigate the allegations, said he was ready to go to prison if his climes are proven to be lies
Osinbajo also responded to the complaints about the school feeding programme in some parts of Ogun state by a caller from abroad, Osinbajo promised to look into the complaints and revealed that 9.2 million children enjoy the benefits in school feeding programme daily.
He also said all the produce is from local farmers with at least 6.8m eggs used daily to improve the economy.
He also promised to appoint two aides from his office as liaison officers to the programme to gather first hand complains that will enable the government intervened.