Monday, February 10, 2020
Bage, who is the Chairman, Nasarawa State Council of Chiefs, stated this while receiving the vice president in his Lafia palace on Monday.
Osinbajo was in Lafia, Nasarawa State for the Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) Clinics for viable enterprises.
MSME Clinics was introduced by the Federal Government to bring together key frontline government agencies and stakeholders to interact with a view of removing obstacles for small businesses.
Bage, a former Supreme Court Justice, also lauded the vice president for revolutionising the legal profession in Nigeria through his achievements as the Attorney-General of Lagos State.
“We thank God for you; we thank God for your life and we know as a matter of fact, that this country, Nigeria will continue to benefit from your tremendous experience.
“Your good characters–President Muhammadu Buhari and you as his vice; no one can doubt the fact that the two of you are the best in character; exemplary life and exemplary leadership.
“We thank God for giving this country the two of you today; that is what has kept us going and will keep us going and there is no doubt, that as we journey through, you are taking us to the next level.
“Your appointment as the Attorney General of Lagos State brought about the revolution we are having today in Nigeria’s judiciary.
“It was your coming in that we had the first ever review of the Rules of Court; we never had that in Nigeria; we then at the Federal Capital went to borrow and see what was going on in Lagos and today that has become the uniform rules in Nigeria; it is your handiwork,’’ he said.
Responding, Osinbajo said that when Bage left the Supreme Court to ascend the throne of his ancestors, there was panic in the legal profession because of his immense experience.
He said that the traditional ruler was one of the most respected of the Supreme Court justices; one of the most trusted for personal integrity and honesty.
Osinbajo said that the Emirate was fortunate as many kingdoms did not get the rare honour of having former Supreme Court justices as their traditional rulers.
The vice president said he was in the state for the MSMEs Clinic which was an initiative of President Buhari for dealing with small businesses.
“What the president found was that small businesses were suffering; part of the reason why they are suffering was because even in registering business, it took so long for those who do not have a lot of money; just trying to register a business.
“Sometimes, to get NAFDAC approval can take forever; SON approval, all the regulatory problems and all that; even getting micro-credit was also a problem.
“So, in his own judgment, the president felt that it was necessary for us to have a clinic for small businesses where we bring all the regulatory authorities under the Minister of Trade and Investment and some not even under it.
“And so, today, we have with us NAFDAC, SON, CAC, all of them including the FIRS—all of them are at this MSMEs Clinic.
“The whole idea is for small business people to be able to talk to them about their problems; to tell them about their challenges and to see that those challenges are resolved.
“So, we bring the regulatory authorities all the way from Abuja or Lagos or wherever they may be to the state, to the small businesses so that they can consult with them and they can understand that is their duty to make business easier,’’ he said.
Osinbajo said that plans were being made to set up in the state, an office for the regulatory authorities; a one-stop-shop where many of the regulatory authorities would have a branch office and consult regularly with small businesses.