President Muhammadu Buhari will today begin a week-long official visit to Saudi Arabia and Qatar.
The president will use the visit to attempt getting oil producing countries to agree to a production freeze in a bid to boost oil price. He is scheduled to hold talks with heads of international financial bodies to help boost investment in Nigeria.
According to a statement issued by his special adviser media, Femi Adesina, President Buhari, who will be accompanied by a high-powered federal government delegation, including the minister of state (Petroleum) and group managing director of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), Dr Ibe Kachikwu, will first fly to Riyadyh for talks tomorrow with King Salman Bin Abdulaziz Al Saud and senior officials of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.
According to the statement, “Ongoing efforts by Nigeria and other members of the Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) to achieve greater stability in the price of crude oil exports are expected to be high on the agenda of discussions between President Buhari and the Saudi Monarch.
Crude oil prices and market stability will also be on the front burner when President Buhari goes on to Doha on Saturday for talks on Sunday with the Emir of Qatar, Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani.
The president is also scheduled to meet with leading Saudi and Qatari businessmen in Riyadh and Doha, and invite them to support his administration’s efforts to revamp the Nigerian economy by taking advantage of the great investment opportunities currently available in Nigeria’s mining, agriculture, power supply, infrastructure, transportation, communications and other sectors.
President Buhari’s other engagements in Saudi Arabia include meetings with heads of international financial organisations and multilateral associations.
Before going on to Doha, the president will also visit Medina and Mecca to pray for greater peace, prosperity and progress in Nigeria.
Anti-corruption war, a fight against the system – Osinbajo
In a clarion call laced with insights and aimed at reorienting a new set of leadership elite in the country, Vice President Yemi Osinbajo has advocated what he described as “a new tribe” of Nigerians to fight and dismantle the corrupt systems in the nation’s private and public sectors.
In a statement by his spokesman, Laolu Akandem, the vice president said there is now an urgent need to populate the country with this new tribe of Nigerians.
He said: “We need a new tribe of men and women of all faiths, tribes and ethnicities committed to a country run on high values of integrity, hard work, justice and love for the country.”
Continuing Prof. Osinbajo said these will form “a tribe of men and women who are prepared to make the sacrifices and self-constraints that are crucial to building a strong society; who are prepared to stick together; fight corruption side by side, and insist on justice even when our friends are at the receiving end.”
Osinbajo noted that “when you look at any list of alleged perpetrators of heinous cases of corruption, all tribes, ethnicities and religions are well represented. In other words, high level corruption knows no religion or ethnicity.”
He went on to explain that such perpetrators and conspirators “are in governments, the legislature, the judiciary and the press. They are united, they protect one another, they fight for one another and they are prepared to go down together.
“They are one tribe, indivisible regardless of diversity. It is this tribe that confuse the arguments for change in society.”
The vice president made these comments on Saturday in Lagos as the keynote speaker at the annual dinner of the Apostles In The Market Place, AiMP, on the theme, “Change Agents in Nation-Building.”
The event was attended by eminent Nigerians, including Dr Christopher Kolade, Nigerian professionals and religious leaders.
Dwelling on the need and calling for the new tribe consisting of professionals, businessmen, politicians, religious leaders and all others who believe that a new Nigeria is possible, the vice president disclosed how the president and himself had been working together to get the right people for tasks.
“I have had several long discussions with President Buhari; the key issue always is finding the right persons for any task – a tough task indeed in a corrupted system.”
He stated that the corrupted system is “one where the norm is corrupt behaviour across all arms of formal systems of governance. In such a system, the private sector is a strong collaborator. The fight against corruption is then a fight against the system.”
Prof. Osinbajo added that such a corrupt system “can hardly deliver public goods. How many new roads has the Federal Government of Nigeria managed to build in 10 years? Where have the billions of dollars in the days of $100 oil gone?”
“The shocking thefts of funds meant to procure arms to defend the nation demonstrate the moral ambivalence that pervades our system. That system needs to be dismantled if the nation is to progress,” he stated.
According to him, “Nigeria’s greatest battle is the one to bring integrity and accountability to public service and the private sector. This requires a new way of thinking, a new leadership corps, a new tribe. The challenge today for us all, friends and colleagues, is to populate that new tribe.”
Entitled “A New Tribe”, Prof. Osinbajo’s speech drew the fervent response of Kolade who sat through the delivery and also spoke at the well-attended event.
The elder statesman noted that the change that Nigeria needs is that which starts “in us as individuals.”
He said the new tribe the VP called for must be made up of Nigerians who accept and believe in a “society where good things are the norm,” and that such acceptance and belief is what qualifies people to belong to the new tribe.
Dr Kolade added that the new tribe of Nigerians are those who want to tell the truth and who want the truth.
“I sometimes ask the lawyers in our country: do we have a court of law or a court of justice? If we could all say we are working for a court of justice and not a court of law, we will all be in the new tribe,” he said.