Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo deserves commendation for the immense time, energy and other resources he has committed to discharging his onerous duties most creditably. Being the Vice-President is no easy task.
Here is how various occupants of the post (and other commentators) have defined the job description of the Vice-President of the United States of America:
The Vice President of the United States (VPOTUS) is the second-highest position in the executive branch of the United States, after the President. The executive power of both the vice president and the president is granted under Article Two, Section One of the Constitution. The vice president is indirectly elected, together with the president, to a four-year term of office by the people of the United States through the Electoral College. The vice president is the first person in the presidential line of succession, and would normally ascend to the presidency upon the death, resignation, or removal of the president. The Office of the Vice President of the UnitedStates assists and organizes the vice president’s official functions.
The vice president is also president of the United States Senate and in that capacity only votes when it is necessary to break a tie. While Senate customs have created super majority rules that have diminished this constitutional tie-breaking authority, the vice president still retains the ability to influence legislation; for example, the Deficit Reduction Act of 2005 was passed in the Senate by a tie-breaking vice presidential vote. Additionally, pursuant to the Twelfth Amendment, the vice president presides over the joint session of Congress when it convenes to count the vote of the Electoral College.
While the vice president’s only constitutionally prescribed functions aside from presidential succession relate to their role as President of the Senate, the office is commonly viewed as a component of the executive branch of the federal government. The United States Constitution does not expressly assign the office to any one branch, causing a dispute among scholars whether it belongs to the executive branch, the legislative branch, or both. The modern view of the vice president as a member of the executive branch is due in part to the assignment of executive duties to the vice president by either the president or Congress, though such activities are only recent historical developments.
However, in the case of Osinbajo he has demonstrated fierce determination to make a success of his assignment by loyalty, steadfastness, and diligence. Added to these is his versatility as the “Captain”/Chairman of the Economic Team of the President charged with dealing with the most challenging financial and economic problems our nation has ever been confronted with. He makes no excuses for being a lawyer (and a very eminent one too) by profession. Rather, he has been championing dialogue with various stakeholders all over the country and beyond. This is no easy task and it behoves us all to wish him success.
Recently, at a dialogue in Lagos, the Vice-President revealed that several studies had revealed that Nigeria ranks very low (right at the bottom of the league) in the “Ease of Doing Business Index” compiled by the World Bank; International Monetary Fund; European Economic Commission etc. Therefore, the Nigerian Government had set up a Presidential Committee to be headed by the Chairman of KPMG to deal with this formidable obstacle to our nation’s progress to economic prosperity.
Ironically, the retired partners of KPMG who are still awaiting their gratuity and pension have submitted a memorandum as evidence that doing business in Nigeria has not been difficult at all for the cowboys and gangsters. Here is the witness statement provided by the front page of “The Nation” newspaper of August 13, 2016.
“The Presidential Committee on Audit of Defence Equipment Procurement (CADEP) has traced about N2billion, meant for the purchase of vehicles for the Nigerian Army, to the accounts of five children of a former Chief of Army Staff.
The accounts were said to have been frozen as at the time of filing this report.
Also, the panel discovered that about 42 units of Armoured Personnel Carrier (APC) rejected by Iraq were resold to Nigeria to fight Boko Haram insurgents.
It said the poor equipment accounted for the loss of lives and soldiers in the North-East.
The panel’s findings are contained in a brief which was obtained by The Nation.
The outcome of the panel’s investigation suggested that the children of the ex-Chief of Army Staff allegedly used two companies for the deal.
The panel said: “The committee reviewed the procurement carried out by Chok Ventures Ltd and Integrated Equipment Services Ltd, two companies that shared the same registered office, had one name as common controlling shareholder and sole or mandatory signatory to the various bank accounts of the companies.
The committee further established that between March 2011 and December 2013, the two companies exclusively procured various types of Toyota and Mitsubishi vehicles worth over N2, 000, 000, 000.00 for the Nigerian Army without any competitive bidding.
Most of the contracts awarded to the companies were also split, awarded on the same date or within a short space of time at costs and mobilization higher than the prescribed thresholds.
– By Bashorun J.K. Randle, OFR, FCA
· Continued next week