There is no need for a new residence for the Vice President as the current one, called Aguda House, is up to standard with enough space and well managed, Vice President Yemi Osinbajo has said.
The Vice President said this on Friday while responding to questions at the Pastors and Leaders Retreat of the Fountain of Life Church, Ilupeju, Lagos.
Mr. Osinbajo said the N6 billion already spent on the project was a misapplication of fund but added that with the level of construction already done, it would not be abandoned.
He said the present administration would complete it but consider putting it to other use.
“There is no need for a new Vice President’s house; it is a kind of waste; we are now in a situation where we cannot abandon it; it has to be completed and used for a different thing,’’ he said.
The Vice President also explained the misunderstanding about the State House Medical Centre which he said was not only for workers at the state house.
He said it was a general hospital with a lot of facilities and serving all Nigerians, adding that he would prefer that it be further equipped to provide higher medical services to those in need.
Mr. Osinbajo debunked insinuation of lack of data in the country, saying the Nigeria Bureau of Statistics had enormous data resources rated highly by the World Bank and other international agencies.
He, however, said that the country had yet to have adequate data.
He added that the intention of government was to aggregate the scattered data in INEC, CBN, National Population Census Commission into one by the National Identity Card Management Commission.
He also said the education sector lacked not only standards but adequacy of institutions which led to Nigerians sponsoring their children abroad for tertiary education.
He explained that while 1.8 million Nigerians sat for university entrance examination yearly, only about 300,000 were offered admission due to dearth of universities.
He said the government was planning to convert many of the existing universities into centres of excellence and support the private sector in the running of universities to enable more Nigerians to have access to tertiary education.
He said infrastructure development was key in the administration which informed the voting of 30 per cent of the 2016 appropriation to capital projects.
Mr. Osinbajo added that the Ministry of Industry had 18 months mandate to improve the ease of doing business.
He, however, said the Bank of Industry was collaborating with other financial institutions to bring down the interest rate on loans for small businesses.
The VP said the judicial system was replete with problems which needed the collaboration of the states and the Federal Government to make it faster and enable more Nigerians to obtain justice.
Before responding to questions, Mr. Osinbajo had said that what the country needed was truth and integrity which the Church should spearhead.
“The Church is where the truth is; the Church has the answer to the nation’s problems; one of the problems of our society is integrity,’’ he said.
He explained that the corruption in the country was not caused because a few individuals chose to be corrupt but that the entire system was built around lack of integrity.
Mr. Osinbajo said the country would be great again but noted that the foundation for the greatness had to be laid with a lot of pains.
“Unless we tackle graft, we may not be able to achieve something.
“The Federal Government in the past 10 years could not build a single new road, not repairing existing ones alone.
“Now we have a President who will not steal money and who will not allow anybody to steal money,’’ he said.
Mr. Osinbajo said the nation lacked the capacity to get things done which was difficult to understand but “with God on our side, our country will set the pace for Africa”.
“Our people are ready to do it and they can do it but they are waiting for the right kind of leadership.
“I know why you are praying for us is that this is a good opportunity to get it right and we don’t want to miss this chance.’’
Taiwo Odukoya, the leader of the Church, asked Christians to continue to pray for the administration as Nigeria had a great future.
He said the present administration would lead the people to a more prosperous and secure nation.
Earlier, Mr. Osinbajo had preached at the burial service for his childhood friend, Bola Omotesho, at the Olive Parish of the Redeemed Christian Church of God, Banana Island, Lagos.
He urged Nigerians to lead good lives to rest in peace as there was actually no peaceful rest for a bad soul in spite of the earthly prayers offered for the soul.
He said the late Mr. Omotesho lived lives worthy of emulation and having been born again since 1994 and living it until he died, God would accept his soul.