Presidential Villa roundup for April 15 to April 21, 2018

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President Buhari receives the Buhari Diaspora Support Organisation, led by Mr Charles Efe Sylvester, in London
President Buhari receives the Buhari Diaspora Support Organisation, led by Mr Charles Efe Sylvester, in London

President Muhammadu Buhari carried out most of his activities for the week in London. He started his busy scheduled on Sunday April 15, when he received the Buhari Diaspora Support Organisation, led by Mr Charles Efe Sylvester, in London.

He assured them that their confidence in his administration won’t be abused.  “We will do our best to justify your trust in us, and that confidence won’t be abused,” the President said in a statement issued by Femi Adesina, his Special Adviser on Media and Publicity.

Vice President Prof. Yemi Osinbajo was also busy on Sunday. He visited Yola, Adamawa state for the 50th birthday thanksgiving service of Senator Binta Masi Garba held at the International Praise Church in Yola.

On Monday, April 16, President Buhari met with UK Prime Minister Theresa May at 10 Downing Street London. The President told the British Prime Minister that while politicians are preoccupied with next elections, he was bothered more about Nigeria’s security and the economy.

“We have elections next year, politicians are already preoccupied with the polls, but I am bothered more about security and the economy,” a statement issued by Femi Adesina, Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, quoted the President as saying.

Buhari meets Theresa May in London
Buhari meets Theresa May in London

Back home on Monday, April 16, Vice President Osinbajo received on a courtesy visit to the Presidential Villa, Team Nigeria to the First Global Robotics Olympics Challenge held in 2017.

Members of the delegation include participants at the event, their mentors and sponsors. They include; Umar Ayodeji Fahad – SS2 student of Dansol High School; Toluwalase Agoro–6th Form at Oxbridge College; Oluwatetisimi Adegbamigbe – an SS2 student at Dansol High School, and Tawakalitu Giwa – SS3 student at New Era Girls Senior Secondary School.

Others are Ayomide Adetunji – Supreme Education Foundation School; Omotayo Oluwaseun – New Era Girls Senior Secondary School; Adeniyi Timoty Talabi – Year 4, Systems Engineering, University of Lagos.

Their mentors are; Emeritus Prof. O.A. Sofola Professor of Physiology, Remi Willoughby, M.Ed. Roboglobal Educational Consulting. Team Nigeria’s sponsors are, Omar Jarmakani – Doculand Business Solutions Ltd and Faysal Jarmakani – Aramex Nigeria Ltd.

Members of Team Nigeria to the First Robotic Olympics in U.S.
Members of Team Nigeria to the First Robotic Olympics in U.S.

Also on Monday, the executive members of the Companion paid a courtesy visit to His Excellency, the Vice President in his office.

On Tuesday, April 17, the Vice President was in Lagos on tour of technology innovation hubs as part of government’s plan to establish technology hubs across the country.

In his remarks, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo announced government’s intention to create an Innovation and Technology Advisory Council to harness and support the creativity and innovative ingenuity of young Nigerians and drive the growth of the sector in the country.

According to him, “Already, we have an Industrial and Competitiveness Council.  But what we want to look at is doing one for technology and one for innovation as well, so that we bring in some of the key players and thinkers around technology, working with the government and working with government officials to develop policy and to develop all of the various ways by which we can help them to what they are doing better.”

He listed the hubs that government was working with to include the Civic Hub in Abuja; the North East Hub, which focuses on the use of technology and innovation to tackle the humanitarian challenges in North East Nigeria; and the Climate Change Hub, in collaboration with the Lagos Business School.

VP Osinbajo during his visit to Tech Hubs in Lagos. With him are Ministers of Solid Minerals Development Kayode Fayemi and Trade and Investment Okechukwu Enelamah
VP Osinbajo during his visit to Tech Hubs in Lagos. With him are Ministers of Solid Minerals Development Kayode Fayemi and Trade and Investment Okechukwu Enelamah

The vice president’s visit to the hubs also took him to Paystack, Ikeja; Andela, Ilupeju; Workstation and African Fintech Foundry, Victoria Island.

Others were the Crowdy Farm and Flutterwave, both in Lekki.

President Buhari participated in the Commonwealth Business Forum on Wednesday, April 18. In his address at the forum, the President advised Commonwealth to avoid trade wars and employ opportunities presented by trade to spur growth in the global community.

Highlighting the efforts his government had made to improve the business environment in Nigeria and the attendant results, the President noted that effectiveness of such efforts was evident in the World Bank’s ‘Doing Business Report’ published in November last year, which saw Nigeria moving up 24 places from its previous ranking.

Before the Forum, the President had received a delegation of Royal Dutch Shell, led by its Chief Executive Officer, Ben Van Beurden. Following the meeting with the President, it emerged that Shell was preparing to invest another $15 billion in Nigeria.

In the absence of the President, the Vice President presided over the weekly Federal Executive Council meeting held at the State House Council chambers.

Vice President Prof. Yemi Osinbajo presides over Federal Executive Council (FEC) meeting
Vice President Prof. Yemi Osinbajo presides over Federal Executive Council (FEC) meeting

Rising from the meeting, the Vice President condemned the invasion of the National Assembly by thugs who stole the mace from the Senate Chambers.

The Vice President also met with Deputy Senate President, Ike Ekweremadu behind closed doors over the matter.

Also on Wednesday, the Vice President received a delegation from the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) led by Mr. Edward Kallon, the UN Resident/Humanitarian Coordinator and UNDP Resident Representative, at the Presidential Villa.

In his remarks, he said: “Youth employability remains a major part of the Buhari administration’s Economic Recovery and Growth Plan (ERGP), and the Federal Government will continue to drive its support for Nigerian youths to unlock more opportunities in the technology and innovation.”

On Thursday, April 19, President Buhari attended the opening ceremony of the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) in London. The President and wife, Aisha, later in the evening attended a dinner hosted by Queen Elizabeth 11 for Commonwealth leaders and spouses.

President Buhari with other Heads of Government for the Retreat Session of the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) at Windsor Castle, London
President Buhari with other Heads of Government for the Retreat Session of the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) at Windsor Castle, London

Also on Thursday, the President’s spokesman, Mr Femi Adesina, issued a strongly worded statement clarifying what the President said concerning Nigerian Youths during the Commonwealth Business Forum in London, on Wednesday.

Dismissing the perception that Buhari had mocked Nigerian youths while speaking at the Forum, Adesina, said the President’s remarks had been twisted as is “typical of the stock in trade” of those he described as “manipulators and twisters of statements of Mr President, who lie in wait to make mischief”.

He said such persons who have cultivated the habit of misinterpreting the president’s comments, twisted it “to mean that President Buhari had taken all Nigerian youths to the cleaners”.

Elsewhere on Thursday, Prof. Osinbajo received on a courtesy visit to the Presidential Villa, Abuja, a group of young Nigerians under the auspices of the Not-Too-Young-To-Run group.

In his remarks, he said the Buhari administration will continue to support young Nigerians regardless of the socio-political background.

He said young Nigerians should be allowed to run for elective public positions in the country, especially as they have demonstrated capacity and competence in the fields of technology, education and other sectors of the economy.

The Vice President stated that the age of running for public office in Nigeria should not be a major issue for discourse as much as the competence of that individual.

Also on Thursday, Prof. Osinbajo received a delegation of Orumba communities of Anambra State, home of the late former Vice President of Nigeria – Dr. Alex Ekwueme, on a courtesy visit to the Presidential Villa.

Osinbajo receives a delegation of Orumba communities of Anambra State
Osinbajo receives a delegation of Orumba communities of Anambra State

Friday, April 20, saw the Vice President Yemi Osinbajo travel to Kano for the traditional marriage rites of Abdulkareem Bala Na’allah and Husnah Muhammad Yusuf, held at the Galadiman Kano’s official residence, Kano.

On Saturday, April 21, 2018, President Buhari returned to Abuja after an official visit to the United Kingdom, where he participated in the Commonwealth Heads of Government meeting.

On the 80th posthumous birthday of Nigeria’s foremost social critic and legal luminary, Chief Abdul Ganiyu “Gani” Fawehinmi, SAN, the President published his tribute to the late legal icon, describing him “as a true conscience of the nation, defender of democracy and people’s rights advocate”.

Read also: Presidential Villa roundup for April 9 to April 14, 2018


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