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ADDRESS BY HIS EXCELLENCY, PROF. YEMI OSINBAJO, SAN, GCON, VICE PRESIDENT, FEDERAL REPUBLIC OF NIGERIA, AT THE COMMISSIONING OF THE NEW NESTLE MILO READY-TO-DRINK FACTORY IN AGBARA, OGUN STATE, NIGERIA, ON THURSDAY, 08 FEBRUARY, 2018

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It is my very special pleasure to be here today on this occasion of the commissioning of the Nestlé MILO Ready to Drink Factory.

I am sure we all agree that Nestlé MILO holds a special place in the heart of every Nigerian – since as children, we all aspired to be future champions. Indeed, Nestlé’s commitment to doing business in Nigeria has been unwavering over the past 57 years, since the company’s establishment in Nigeria in 1961. This is truly worth commending – particularly when you consider the socio-economic benefits achieved for Nigeria by the location of its factories in rural areas and sourcing its raw materials from local farmers.

I recall inaugurating the Abaji water factory in May 2016 and, today, the Ready-to-Drink Factory is another testimonial of the company’s commitment and success in Nigeria.

I am told that this factory was built at a cost of N4.1 billion, and it will create 150 direct jobs in addition to local sourcing of raw materials from Nestle’s network of over 30,000 farmers.

Drawing an analogy from that, I must say that our own government is also a “ready-to-serve” government, ensuring that we implement the Economic Recovery and Growth Plan (ERGP) to keep the economy on the path of sustainable economic growth and global competitiveness.

One important component of the Plan is the provision of critical infrastructure, such as roads, rail and power, which this administration is fully committed to.

We’re fully committed to supporting companies such as Nestle as we spur growth and create jobs within the economy.

Another is the creation of an enabling business environment, and making Nigeria a progressively easier place to do business.

To actualize this goal, in July 2016, Mr. President inaugurated the Presidential Enabling Business Environment Council (PEBEC), which he asked me to Chair, and he gave us the task of implementing this mandate.

The business climate reforms undertaken under PEBEC have already begun to bear some fruit and reflects that Nigeria is committed to creating an enabling environment to facilitate private sector-led growth and development. Many, of course, will recall that in October, 2017, the World Bank released its flagship “Doing Business” report for 2018. In that report, Nigeria moved up by an unprecedented 24 places, and for the first time the country was also recognized as one of the top 10 most improved economies in the world.

This result shows the power of collaboration across various levels of government, especially in the reform areas such as getting credit, where we are now ranked 6th out of 190 countries due to our enhanced legal framework, with the potential to unlock credit to small and medium-scale enterprises by giving added comfort to lenders.

Last week, PEBEC announced a National Action Plan (NAP 3.0), which commenced on February 5 and will run until April 5, 2018. This accelerated intervention programme will focus on implementing some of the most relevant ease of doing business reforms that have ever come within our radar within the next two months.

For example, we are working with NAFDAC, SON, the Nigeria Customs Service, as well as the Nigeria Police Force, amongst others, to ease the burden of product registrations, quality standards regulation, as well as the movement of goods and services across the country.

Since July 2017, the Council also began collaborating with State Governments to implement ease of doing business initiatives that will make States increasingly attractive investment hubs.

This year, we are working on a number of key reform initiatives, including the deployment of a National Trading Platform comprising a Single Window Platform, deployment of scanners, and a Ports Community system, that will together promote transparency and efficiency at our ports.

Our implementation efforts will be underpinned by ensuring compliance with Executive Order 001 and on efficiency and transparency in government, as well as our web-based reporting application for validation and objective feedback from the public.

Furthermore, we are, once again, collaborating with the National Assembly and supporting the passage of their priority business climate reform bills, while partnering to deliver an Omnibus Bill, which will address various irritants within extant laws that need to be amended for the purpose of achieving a better environment for doing business in Nigeria.

Last Monday, February 5th, Mr. President signed Executive Order 005, a decisive step in the promotion of indigenous businesses, talent and professionals, especially in Science, Engineering and Technology. The order mandates all procuring authorities to give priority to Nigerian companies and firms in the award of contracts. The Order also directs all MDAs to engage Nigerian professionals in the planning, design and execution of National Security projects. The order also specifically prohibits the Minister of Interior from granting work permits to foreign workers whose skills are already available in Nigeria. Where expertise is lacking, procuring entities are required to give preference to foreign companies and firms with a demonstrable and verifiable plan for indigenous development, prior to the award of such contracts.

From a broader perspective, two days ago, we launched what we call the Policy Laboratories, this is an intervention to accelerate the implementation of our Economic Recovery and Growth Plan (ERGP). The Laboratories will bring together all private and public sector stakeholders necessary to achieve the specific policy or project objectives of our economic plan. In the first instance, we are focusing on three specific areas; agriculture and transport, power and gas supply, and manufacturing and processing.

The goal of these labs is to generate $24 billion worth of investment, 80% of which we expect will come from certain private sector participants, with 15 million jobs, projecting about 3.5% GDP growth this year, and 7% by 2020.

As a long time active player in our market, we look forward to continued collaboration with Nestle in achieving our objectives of economic growth and job creation.

So, on this note, I would like to congratulate the Chairman of Nestle Nigeria – Engr. David Ifezulike; the Managing Director – Mr. Mauricio Alarcon, as well as other members of the Board and management of Nestle Nigeria, and, of course, all of the workers of this great company, on the inauguration of the new Ready-to-Drink factory.

I believe it is a significant step, not just for Nestle, but also for Ogun State and Nigeria as a whole.

I, therefore, urge other multinationals to take a cue from Nestle, and bet on Nigeria’s future and domicile their manufacturing bases right here in this country, because this country is, clearly by far and away, the best investment destination in Africa.

Once again, let me congratulate you all and thank you very much for your attention.

Released by:
Laolu Akande
Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity
Office of the Vice President
08 February, 2018

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CPPM CONDEMNS MILITARY TAKEOVER & DEMANDS IMMEDIATE RESTORATION OF DEMOCRATIC STRUCTURES IN GABON

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A civil society organization in Nigeria, the Committee for the Protection of Peoples Mandate (CPPM) has condemned in the strongest terms, the reported military takeover of government and dissolution of democratic structures in Gabon today 7th January, 2019 by a group of ill advised and misadventurous soldiers.
In a statement issued in Lagos, Nigeria, by its National Coordinator Nelson Ekujumi, the group described the toppling of elected democratic structures in Gabon by the coupists as misguided, reckless, provocative irresponsible, barbaric, violation of the democratic rights of the people of Gabon and treasonable felony which must not be allowed to stand.
According to CPPM, “We call on African Union (AU) and demand not only a restoration of the democratic structures in Gabon, but also that the law must be allowed to take its course in dealing with the errant coupists, to serve as a lesson that forceful takeover of government is an abberation and illegality”
CPPM called on the African Union to immediately rise to the ocassion against this brazen assault on democracy in the continent by sending a clear message to the misguided coupists to immediately return to the barracks and allow the democratic institutions put in place by the people of Gabon to function effectively as established by law and be made to face the consequences of this treasonable act.
The organization also called on the military in Gabon to immediately distance itself from this act of treason by some of its personnel who have violated the law of Gabon by this military takeover and brought the image of Gabon to international opprobrium.
CPPM, admonished the peace loving people of Gabon to remain calm and peaceful in the face of this unprovoked assault of their democratic rights by the coupists as we expect them to see reason, return to the barracks and submit themselves to legally constituted authority immediately.
Long live Africa
Long live Democracy
Thanks.
Yours Sincerely,
Nelson Ekujumi,
National Coordinator.
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Pray For Peaceful, Successful 2019 Elections….Obasa

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By: Segun Lawal
The Speaker of the Lagos State House of Assembly and Chairman, Conference of Speakers of State Legislatures of Nigeria, Rt. Hon. Mudashiru Obasa has called on Nigerians to continue to pray for a peaceful and successful General Elections in the country.
The Lagos Assembly Speaker also saluted Nigerians for their resourcefulness, courage, prayers and support which have been vital to the successes so far recorded by the All Progressives Congress  (APC) administration at all levels of governance.
Rt. Hon. Obasa’s message was contained in his New Year message via a press released on Monday, signed by his Chief Press Secretary, Musbau Rasak.
“Nigerians are very resourceful and courageous and it is obvious that all these, coupled with their prayers and support, have been very vital in the successes recorded so far by the APC administration at all levels. Indeed our people deserve special recognition and praise for this,” he said.
He urged Nigerians not to relent in praying for the government especially for a peaceful and successful General Elections in 2019. “We will not relent in seeking for more support and prayers from our people. This is especially needed for a peaceful and successful General Elections,” Rt. Hon. Obasa said.
The Lagos Assembly Speaker assured Nigerians that the APC administration at all levels will continue to put in place programmes and projects that will enhance their welfare and improve their standard of living. “The APC administration is committed to improving the lives of our people and we will not relent in doing this,” he said.
Rt. Hon. Obasa concluded: “On behalf of my colleagues at the Lagos State House of Assembly, I wish you all a happy and prosperous 2019”.
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LAGOS BENEFITED NOTHING FROM PDP’S 16 YEARS PRESIDENCY – AMBODE

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www.securenigeria365.com

Lagos State Governor, Mr Akinwunmi Ambode on Tuesday took a swipe at the sixteen years presidency of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) between 1999 and 2015, saying the State benefited nothing from the party’s reign.  

Speaking at the National Consultative Forum of the National Committee of Buhari Support Groups, a coordinating body of all the groups campaigning for the re-election of President Muhammadu Buhari and Vice President Yemi Osinbajo in 2019, held at Nicon Luxury in Abuja, Governor Ambode said the country would not go back to Egypt by bringing PDP back to power having crossed the Red Sea.

He said just within three and half years from 2015 till date, the All Progressives Congress (APC) had been able to lay a solid foundation for Nigeria’s economic growth and prosperity, adding that the Buhari/Osinbajo ticket remains the best option to take the country to the next level from 2019.

“Sixteen years of PDP, I can say it clearly that Lagos State never enjoyed anything from them. Three and half years of APC, I can clearly attest here that whatever it is that we have achieved in Lagos in the last three and half years, the present Federal Government has largely contributed to the things that we have achieved be it in terms of right of way, be it in terms of approval for waivers for import duties and other things that have actually made Lagos to be on the progressive trajectory that it had been in the last twenty years.

“So, for me it is very easy and it is just common sense that we have to uphold the Buhari/Osinbajo ticket to allow that economic progress and the growth in the GDP that we want for Nigeria rather than allowing it to get dismantled and then make us to go back to Egypt after crossing the Red Sea and we are not going back to Egypt,” Governor Ambode said.

He said since assuming office in 2015, the Buhari administration had worked tirelessly to bring about fundamental paradigm shift and retracing the steps of the country for sustained progressive chart, adding that the onus is now on the entire country to give the APC a chance to consolidate on the massive development already embarked upon.

“I just want Nigerians to understand and also to encourage all our members here that what we have started as a support group coordinating everything that is happening is not necessarily for you but it is a selfless service to put Nigeria on that trajectory that grows prosperity and also conveniently in another four years, we would make all Nigerians proud and I am very proud to be part of this.

“We have made up our mind that we are going to work tirelessly; we would do everything that is possible in terms of supporting and campaigning to let Nigerians understand that there are two parallel lines between what we stand to offer which is growth and prosperity for this country and what PDP is trying to come and re-engineer to take us back to the debris of the past that we don’t want to ever go back to.

“So, I just want to congratulate Mr President, Muhammadu Buhari and also the Vice President, Professor Yemi Osinbajo and assure them that when they look at their back, they have true Nigerians who believe that yes, we want to build a skyscraper but we need solid foundation to be able to enjoy that skyscraper and then the next level we are thinking on is to be able to put the proper aesthetics and lay the proper foundation to allow Nigeria to make progress and that is what the Buhari/Osinbajo ticket speaks about,” the Governor said.

Besides, Governor Ambode said it was also gratifying that all APC Governors were united in ensuring the victory of APC in the presidential election next year. 

“All APC Governors, I can speak on their behalf, are resolved that the Buhari/Osinbajo ticket is what Nigeria needs and that is what we are going to pursue and I am happy that a handful of our gubernatorial candidates are here to align with us to make sure that what we would deliver is what Nigerians want and what Nigerians want is the APC President,” Governor Ambode said.

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