The Chief Executive Officer of Financial Derivatives Company, Bismarck Rewane, has described Vice President, Yemi Osinbajo, as a man with “intellectual depth of academics.”
Rewane said his respect for Osinbajo reached a new height after he listened to him cautioning the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) against regulating cryptocurrencies “out of fear but with knowledge”.
He said this in a keynote address at a public lecture organised to mark the 64th birthday of the vice president at the NAF Conference Centre, Abuja.
“His recent remarks on the prohibition of cryptocurrencies in which he said that we must not regulate out of fear but with knowledge, was another defining moment in my respect for a mind that comes across without ruffling feathers but clearly and distinctly about the honest and efficient truth,” Rewane said at the event put together by a pan-Nigerian coalition, Building the Future Forum (BTFF).
Rewane said he has had the opportunity to work with Osinbajo a couple of times, and that each of the time the vice president distinguish himself as a reformer in public office.
He said under Osinbajo’s chairmanship, the Presidential Enabling Business Environment Council (PEBEC) recorded tremendous achievements in terms of improving Nigeria’s ease of doing business, amongst others.
“I interacted with the celebrant in 2016 and 2017 when he called for presentations to the Economic Management Team (EMT). We consulted with his team in finalizing the minimum wage study in 2019, in what was an impossible deadline, which we met miraculously.
“I have also watched closely the various interventions in removing bottlenecks in the way of businesses in Nigeria with the Presidential Enabling Business Environment Council (PEBEC) initiatives.
“I worked closely with Dr Jumoke Oduwole and her team and I must say that it was very refreshing to work with a government agency that had the mentality of achieving results at minimal costs.
“In our interactions with the vice president, we came away with the impression that his training as a professor of law based on evidence, makes him ask questions, which after you answer either make you think deeper or look foolish or accept that more work needs to be done,” he said.
Rewane further commended the vice president for he has constantly made efforts to make things happen in the “difficult terrain” of Nigerian politics.
“I can say categorically that prof made things happen when he was lecturing at the University of Lagos. He made things happen in Lagos state, on the board of Citibank, in the legal system of Nigeria as attorney-general of Lagos state, including judicial reform. He also made things happen as a clergyman.
“He has also tried to make things happen in the difficult terrain of Nigerian politics. I have witnessed him as a policymaker, a lecturer, a man of faith, and a solicitor to a good friend of mine,” he said.
Osinbajo, who joined the event halfway via Zoom, said he was pleasantly surprised to learn that such event had been put together to honour him on his birthday.
The vice president said he was unaware that such event was ongoing until someone sent him a link to join virtually.
The event was attended by Chairman of the Nigerian Governors’ Forum, Governor Kayode Fayemi of Ekiti State, Nasarawa State Governor, Abdullahi Sule and the Minister of Interior, Rauf Aregbesola.
Other personalities were the UAE Ambassador to Nigeria, former Minister of State for Trade and Investment, Aisha Abubakar, former Minister of Sports, Solomon Dalung, and a representative of the Dantata family, Saad Dantata.