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OSINBAJO THEN: I Was Nominated By Tinubu –Osinbajo

Vice President Yemi Osinbajo (SAN) yesterday laid to rest speculations about his emergence as presidential running mate in last year’s election

He said in Lagos that he was nominated by the National Leader of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Asiwaju Bola Tinubu.

“I was nominated by the leader of our party, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, under who I served as a commissioner in Lagos State,” Osinbajo said at a colloquium on the state of the nation in Lagos organised by the Coalition of Nigerian Apostolic Leaders.

His statement tallies with the earlier account of the event given by the Secretary to the Lagos State Government, Mr. Tunji Bello.

Osinbajo at the colloquium also spoke of Federal Government’s determination to intensify the battle against corruption which he called one of the key strategies for liberating the country from recession.

Government,he said,would revamp the economy through diversification, development of infrastructure and creation of a conducive atmosphere for the private sector to increase productive activities and boost employment opportunities.

Osinbajo said: “The reasons for the recession are because of the drop in the production of oil and corruption. Other factors are the manifestation of the two problems.”

The vice president, who explained that things were going to change overnight, said a lot of damage had been done to the economy. He noted the impatience of Nigerians, recalling that even the Isralites once complained to Moses to take them back to Egypt, the land of corruption, when they got to the Red sea.

Urging Nigerians to have patience with the Federal Government as it intensifies its efforts at repositioning the economy, Osinbajo lamented that 15 billion dollars were lost to corruption through the defense contract under the last administration. He said the problem in the Northeast could have been averted, if the money meant for arms procurement had not been stolen.

The vice president explained measures adopted to boost revenue generation and prevent graft. These include the banishment of the menace of ghost workers and payroll fraud, the enforcement of tax compliance, the introduction of the Treasury Single Account (TSA), the expansion of the Value Added Tax (VAT) coverage, the deregulation of the downstream sector and concerted action on the foreign exchange rate.

He said the Federal Government will pursue the diversification of the economy through the development of agriculture to guarantee food sufficiency, job creation and export to attract earnings.

On the anti-corruption battle, Osinbajo said : “Allegations of corruption must be submitted to the right channels. The President does not interfere in the activities of the agencies. He has given the agencies concerned the independence to act, when a formal complaint is submitted. Where there are proven cases of corruption, the appropriate agencies will always act.”

Osinbajo said Christians should not panic over speculations about Sharia bill in the National assembly.

He said “The government should not be interested in any Sharia matter beyond what is in the constitution. If the government is interested, it is the Attorney-General that will submit the bill, following the decision of the Federal Executive Council.

“Sharia is in the constitution; it is only applicable to Islamic marriage. You cannot change.”

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