We are in government for the Nigerian people, Osinbajo assures

Nigeria Vice President Yemi Osinbajo

The President Muhammadu Buhari administration is in government purely for the Nigerian people and is always open to talk and dialogue, Vice President Yemi Osinbajo said on Tuesday

“We are here for the people, if not for the people, we will not be here. We got here by the grace of God and the votes of the man on the street who felt it’s time for change,” Osinbajo told a delegation of the Trade Union Congress (TUC) who visited him at the Presidential Villa in Abuja.

He said it is important to the Buhari Presidency to talk and dialogue, “even if we disagree, we must still talk. The reason is that the government itself is the government of the people.”

Osinbajo stated that “nobody is in government by inheritance”, adding “we are here today because the people chose us and that is the reason we must be prepared to listen to issues that concern Nigerians.”

Emphasising that the President and himself are always ready and available to engage with the Nigerian people, Osinbajo explained that government has set out a number of initiatives to better the lot of ordinary Nigerians including the six social investment programmes for which a sum of N500B has been allocated in the 2016 budget.

The Vice President discussed issues including the new electricity tariffs, minimum wage among others with the delegation, and promised that government will remain engaged. “We will take a look at all the issue carefully,” he told the delegation.

He recalled that the Buhari administration packaged a bailout for workers last year and added that no government, especially the Buhari administration will want to punish the people. “We are here for the people and we want to identify with the people,” he added.

On the new electricity tariff, the Vice President urged the union to not just condemn it. “We are open to your suggestions, but it is not enough to say it is a wicked tariff. We must answer the question how,” he said, referring to the challenge of compensating the electricity value-chain.

Osinbajo enjoined all Nigerians to support government in the fight against corruption, adding that “if you don’t fight corruption, you cannot even deal with the economy, you need to hold corrupt people accountable because they stole the money meant for the economy.”

President of the TUC, Comrade Bobboi Bala Kaigama, said the purpose of the visit was to avail the Congress the opportunity to parley with the Vice President on some pertinent issues affecting the nation, especially those that related with the working class of Nigerians.

The TUC also expressed support for the Buhari administration’s zero-tolerance for corruption. According to Kaigama, “Nigerian workers are solidly behind you in the fight against corruption, we are ready to come out in solidarity and show our support.”