By Levinus Nwabughiogu
Vice President Yemi Osinbajo has said that the current economic downturn in Nigeria would surely make the people act right, assuring that the President Muhammadu Buhari’s presidency would ensure that the Nigerian people benefit from the resources of the nation.
Osinbajo spoke during a courtesy call on him by the Australian Foreign Affairs Assistant Secretary, African Branch, Mr. Mathew Neuhaus who was accompanied by the country’s High Commissioner in Nigeria, Mr. Paul Lehmann.
“it is a difficult time, but we think it is an excellent opportunity to do right by the people so that our people are able to get the benefit of the nation’s resources,” he said.
He however noted that the presidency was making appreciable effects in the areas of security, governance, anti-corruption and the economy.
According to him, there had been a liberalization of the oil and gas’ downstream sector and that the flexible foreign exchange policy recently put in place would encourage foreign investment adding that “we are looking forward to the benefits of the new foreign exchange policy.”
Commending the Australian government for its “excellent support,” in the fight against insurgency in the Northeast, the Vice President observed that while significant progress had been recorded by the military in downgrading Boko Haram, the challenge now was overcoming the ideology that motivated terrorist activities.
According to him, “we have already dealt with Boko Haram militarily. We now have to deal with the ideology (of terror) and this is something that the entire world has to also deal with. The terrorists basically reject any engagement, simply preaching hate and murder. It is a new kind of threat, the ideology and motivation is what we-the global community- have to find a way to deal with.”
A statement by his media Aide, Mr. Laolu Akande stated that while speaking earlier, Mr. Neuhaus, who had served as his country’s High Commissioner in Nigeria congratulated the Buhari administration observing that the presidency is “off to a good start.”
He also praised the steps so far taken by the administration, some of which he said have not been “easy,” adding that Australia looked forward to doing more with the government and working “very closely with Nigeria”, in mining and investment.