FG’s faults: Stop blaming Osinbajo — Lemo, CBN ex-dep gov, cautions

L-R: Vice President Yemi Osinbajo and former CBN Deputy Governor Tunde Lemo. (File photos)

Explain how govt works to Nigerians

• Say VP has no executive approving powers

By Oluwafemi Popoola

A former deputy governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Tunde Lemo, has spoken in defense of the Nigeria’s Vice President, Prof Yemi Osinbajo, AAN, amidst widespread bickering from the oppositions’ camp, blaming him on the state of the Nigerian economy in the face of the current economic realities and inflation in the country.

The attack is coming only 48 hours after he declared his intention to run for the Office of the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, in 2023.

The Vice President, had, precisely on Monday, April 10, 2022, made his intention known to Nigerians after millions of those calling for Osinbajo 2023 Presidency had waited for months to heed their calls.

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But, Mr Tunde Lemo, who is a Nigerian banker, on Wednesday, in a statement which went viral on social media, had waded into the issue, cautioning Nigerian oppositions to stop blaming VP Osinbajo on what is the collective responsibility of the Federal Government.

He explained that the National Economic Council (NEC) meeting the VP chairs, as part of his constitutional duty, does not exercise any power on the economy neither can it independently make recommendations without the President or FEC approval.

In his words, “I am completely neutral and currently not rooting for any candidate. I must however explain the way power is exercised in Abuja, given my experience as CBN Deputy Gov for 10 years.

“The Economic Council that the VP chairs does not exercise any power on the economy. The composition is: VP, HMF, HMP, SGF, State Governors and may be 1 or 2 other ministers. All they discuss is how to share excess crude etc.

“Their recommendations are still subject to the President or FEC (Federal Executive Council) approval.

“The second constitutional role is to chair National Council of Privatization. Again all actions are still subject to the approval of the President one way or the other.

“The truth is that Ministers (or even non-Ministers) who have access to the President are by far more powerful than the VP. Oba kii pe meji laafin, ijoye le pe mefa laafin, (the Yoruba expression interpreted as “You can only have one king in a palace, but many chiefs can exist).

“The Chief of Staff to the President in my view is by far more powerful than the VP.

“All I am saying is that no one should hold PYO responsible for what is perceived as the inadequacies of the past 7 years,” Lemo said in his statement.