- Â Briefs G7 on developments in Nigeria
Omololu Ogunmade and Olawale Ajimotokan in Abuja
Exercising his powers as Acting President Prof. Yemi Osinbajo last night made his first set of appointments since President Muhammadu Buhari embarked on a medical vacation to the United Kingdom.
Osinbajo, according to an announcement made by the Presidency on its Twitter handle, @NGRPresident, about 7pm last night, approved the appointments of Dikko Aliyu AbdulRahman as the Chairman, Governing Board of the Bank of Industry (BoI) and Olukayode Pitan as the Managing Director of the bank. Pitan replaces Mr. Waheed Olagunju, who hitherto was the acting managing director.
He also appointed Ali Usman as the Chairman of National Pension Commission and Funso Doherty as the Director-General of the commission.
Osinbajo also appointed Manase Benga, who now joins Ben Oviosun, Zaki Magawata and Nyerere Ayim, who had been previously appointed Executive Commissioners by Buhari but had yet to go through senate confirmation.
Doherty was previously appointed PenCom chairman.
In the same vein, Emeka Nwakpa was appointed as the Chairman, Governing Board of the Consumer Protection Council (CPC). The tweet added that besides the pension commission’s appointments, which were subject to Senateâ€™s approval, all other appointments took immediate effect.
The tweet announcing the appointments was followed with a statement from the Office of the Secretary to the Government of the Federation signed by the Director of Press, Chris Okeke.
The appointment of a new DG for PenCom has laid to rest controversies surrounding the sack of the former DG of PENCOM, Mrs. Chinelo Anohu-Amazu.
Anohu-Amazu, who was sacked by Buhari on April 19, this year, was initially replaced with Dikko, but she was subsequently asked to hand over to Aisha Dahir-Umar in acting capacity pending Senate confirmation of Dikko, whose appointment has now been changed to chairman of BoI Chairman.
In another development, the acting president yesterday told the G7 Summit in Italy that Africa was confident of a prosperous future as a result of its current investment in education, good governance and an accountability system.
Osinbajo, who was invited to Italy by G7, a group of seven largest economies of the world, arrived Sicily in Italy in the early hours of yesterday and returned to the country later in the evening.
The acting president had been invited along with presidents of five other African nations, viz: Guinea, Tunisia, Niger, Ethiopia and Kenya.
Addressing the summit on the platform of G7 Summit Special Outreach Forum on Africa, the acting president said apart from the current investment in education, good governance and accountability, the productive talents and creative prowess of African youths in recent times had rekindled hopes of a prosperous Africa in future.
The acting president, according to a statement by his media aide, Laolu Akande, said Africa was undeterred by failure of the past but was rather motivated by “the incredible energy and talents of its bustling youthful population.” He described emerging innovation and technology as the tools being employed by leaders to bring about the Africa of their dream.
“Africa is confident of the future because we have learnt,… we are investing more in education, insisting on good governance and holding ourselves to account. But the greatest reason for our optimism is in the incredible energy, talent and creativity of our young people, male and female, who are completely undeterred by the failures of the past and are daily taking advantage of innovation and technology bringing about the Africa of our dreams,” Osinbajo was quoted as saying.
The statement further said the acting president pledged to the G7 countries of Africa’s increasing collaboration in trade, counter-terrorism and strengthening of democracy as never before.
He also commended the seven largest economies of the world for their support to Nigeria in the fight against terrorism, especially the United States, France and the United Kingdom.
Also describing them as effective partners in Lake Chad Basin, Osinbajo recalled what he described as the successes of “our joint intelligence unit,” which he said had provided useful and timely intelligence in the war against terrorism.”
Furthermore, the statement said Osinbajo briefed the summit on massive increase in rice production in Nigeria in the past two years as well as the distribution of fertiliser subsidies to farmers whom he said had also benefited from an e-wallet system, which guarantees the delivery of subsidies to the farmers.
He was also said to have told the group that the administration’s N-Power programme which had engaged “some of the up to 50,000 young previously unemployed graduates instalmentally as teachers, agricultural extension workers and public health professionals is a breakthrough in mass post-tertiary education.”
The statement added that Osinbajo disclosed that participants in the N-Power programme were recruited online from all states of the federation using mobile phones adding that participants soon received their electronic tablet devices and could access an N-Power portal containing required training materials for acquisition of more skills to carry out their duties.
It listed other participants at the summit to include: the Chairman of the African Union and Guinean President, Alpha Conde, and heads of international agencies such as United Nations, Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, International Monetary Fund, African Development Bank and World Bank.
The acting president was accompanied to the summit by the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Mr. Geoffrey Onyema; Special Adviser to President Muhammadu Buhari on Economic Matters, Dr. Yemi Dipeolu; and the Nigeria Charge d’ Affairs in Italy, Mrs. Bisi Meshioye. Osinbajo returned to Nigeria Saturday evening.