23rd July 2024
National News Politics

Osinbajo says he is committed to service to fatherland

Osinbajo says he is committed to service to fatherland

Contrary to the perception that the Vice President, Professor Osinbajo would now have to seek presidential approvals for the agencies under him, the Senior Special Assistant to the Vice President has debunked it, describing it as sensational.

In a press statement, Mr. Laolu Akande, Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Office of the Vice President, has said that the Vice president Yemi Osinbajo remains committed to the service of his fatherland and will continue to do so despite the purveyors of fake news.

Akande also stated that the reports that Vice President Yemi Osinbajo did not follow due process in the supervision of agencies under him are false and misleading.

Akande in a statement on Tuesday in Abuja said the report by media on Tuesday, which claimed that President Muhammadu Buhari had directed Osinbajo to seek approvals for agencies under him was sensational.

He said that the report suggested, falsely, that agencies under the supervision of the Vice President did not normally comply with established rules where presidential approvals were required.

“This is obviously misleading and aims only to plant seeds of discord in the Presidency while attempting to create unnecessary national hysteria.

“The agencies in question are established by law and the vice president has always insisted on due compliance with the enabling statutes and other established regulations.

“Depending on the particular scope of activity in question, agencies may require management approval only, at the level of the Director-General or Chief Executive Officer.

“In this category falls the great majority of their day-to-day activities.

“However, other activities, or procurements, with value exceeding a certain threshold, require Board approval.

“These may get to the agency Board chaired by the Vice President. “In a few cases where presidential approval is required, the Director-General must seek such approval from the President, through the vice president. “These rules have always guided the activities of statutory agencies and the ones under the vice president’s supervision have always been so guided.”

Akande said that to claim that in the first term of the Buhari administration, agencies of government had not been complying with the provisions (of getting final approvals from the president) was false.

According to him, the attempt to suggest the vice president’s complicity in such irregularities is simply mischievous and reprehensible.

He said that effective and mutually respecting relationship between the president and the vice president was well known to Nigerians and it was futile to insinuate otherwise.

“Even though the vice president has a statutory role as Board Chairman of some government agencies under his office, with appropriate approval limits, which often do not include contract approvals, it is ludicrous to even insinuate that a Board Chairman approves contracts.

“Evidently, the Federal Executive Council, which oversees Federal Ministries and agencies of government, is chaired by the President, and it is in its purview to approve or ratify award of contracts within the prescribed threshold.

“The vice president remains committed to the service of his fatherland and will continue to do so despite the purveyors of fake news. “We urge media organisations, as gatekeepers, to uphold truth, balance, fairness, and objectivity in their reports,” he said.

According to the initial release, it was reported that President Muhammadu Buhari has taken charge of his government, unlike his first term were he delegated powers to his vice, Professor Yemi Osinbajo to make decisions and approve contracts, annual reports, annual accounts, and power to make regulations, among other key functions.

According to the report, the memo that contains the directive, noted that under the laws setting up the agencies, the president is empowered to give final approval.

Apparently, Osinbajo is the chairman of the board of directors of the Niger Delta Power Holding Company NDPHC.

He is equally the chairman of the National Economic Council (NEC), a constitutional body made up of state governors and key federal government officials, as well as the National Council on Privatisation NCP.

He is the chairman of the governing boards of the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA), the National Boundary Commission (NBC) and the Border Communities Development Agency (BCDA).

Sections 13, 14, 16, 17, 18, 19 and 24 of the NEMA act provide that “funding, expenditure, contract awards and regulations” must receive presidential approval.

Sections 24, 25, 27, 28 and 33 of the NBC act empower the president to direct on annual reports, annual accounts, power to borrow and power to invest Under the BCDA law, the president also has similar powers.

“Suffice it to say the president has finally taken control of his government,” a minister said.

With Akande’s statement, it will relax the tension that the statement may have created in the polity.

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