I think for anyone who is in office, 4-year term would be too small – Osinbajo
– Vice president Yemi Osinbajo said the four-year term is too small to make and actualise numerous plans/initiatives
– He said correcting the damages done by the previous administrations will take a while
– The VP, however, said the Buhari-led administration has a competent team which is focused on doing the right thing
The vice president, Professor Yemi Osinbajo has stated that given all manner of plans needed to put in place, the things to do and the past errors to correct, the four-year term the Nigerian constitution provides for is too small.
Osinbajo said this at The Financial Times Nigeria Summit, with the theme “Dispelling Uncertainty And Building Resilience”, conducted By David Pilling (Africa Editor, Financial Times), in Lagos on Thursday, May 31, Vanguard reports.
Asked whether a four-year term is too short for Nigeria, the vice president said: “I think that for anyone who is in office, it would be too small (general laughter) 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’ve been blessed with an incredibly good team.”
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Osinbajo added that the President Muhammadu Buhari-led administration met a lot of challenges on the ground which it has been trying to battle in the last three years.
He said it will, however, take a while before the results start showing.
“There has been a lot of damage to the environment in terms of business and all that, but correcting that would take a while. Don’t forget that we (this administration) are barely three years old. But we are focused on doing the right thing,” he said.
The VP also talked about why Nigeria is yet to sign the African Free Trade Agreement yet.
He said: “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.”
On what the current administration is doing to tackle the current security challenges, Osinbajo said the government is developing the local capacity by pushing for community policing and partnering with other countries in the sub-region to stem the flow of small arms, among other programmes.
“First of all, let me say that the nature of the security threats is asymmetric coping with it. And this is the same with countries all over the world; coping with terrorism is the sort of thing that most countries are grappling with. I think that we are dealing with that as well. And my take is that the way we are going about it is the right way. In other words, we are working with partners in the sub-region to ensure that we are able to stem the flow of small arms for example.
“We are also working on developing our local capacity. One of the strong initiatives that we are pushing is community policing; because a lot of the terrorism that you see are the sorts of opportunistic attacks that require local policing. And one of the strong initiatives that we are pushing is the whole question of the state police; more local and community policing, and we are working on those initiatives with the governors, like in the National Economic Council, which I have the privilege of chairing.
“We are trying to see how we can do more in terms of local policing, intelligence gathering, in order to be able to respond much more quickly to some of the threats that we see. For example, in Benue State, we have deployed Special Forces now to several of the places where we have the disturbances. So, it is an ongoing engagement, and, as I said, the asymmetric threat of this nature means that we just have to keep planning ahead as much as we can.”