Buhari's 3-year score-card: Info minister says Fed. Gov't delivering on campaign promises

Abuja, Nigeria (PANA) - Presenting the three-year scorecard of Nigeria's President, Muhammadu Buhari, to Nigerians, the Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, said the Buhari Administration has kept its social contract with the Nigerian people by delivering on its campaign promises.

"We are putting our nation on the path of sustainable growth and development, diversifying our economy like never before, tackling corruption at its very core and devising creative measures to secure lives and property," Mohammed said.

"After just three years, Nigeria is rising again like a phoenix from the ashes of years of massive looting of the national treasury, misgovernance and falling oil prices. Under the able, focused and patriotic leadership of President Muhammadu Buhari, this Administration has recorded many firsts in so short a time, achievements that are beginning to impact positively on the lives of Nigerians," he asserted.

Citing what he called some unprecedented achievements, the Minister said "In just three years, the Buhari Administration has taken power generation to an all-time high of 7,000 Mega Watts, from the 2,690 MW which we inherited," revealing that "In just three years, the Buhari Administration has taken distributable power to an all-time high of 5,000MW.

He promised: "There will be more than 2,000MW of additional power generation capacity by the end of 2018, in addition to the 7,000MW currently being generated, saying that the Launch of the 701 billion Naira Payment Assurance Programme designed to resolve the liquidity challenges in the Power Sector by guaranteeing payments to Generating Companies and Gas Suppliers, gas eased generation of power.

"Transmission Expansion and Rehabilitation Programme has resulted in a 50 percent expansion in Grid Capacity since 2015, from 5,000MW to 7,125MW as at December 2017."

The government, he said, has approved Distribution Expansion Programme (DEP) to increase distribution capacity in collaboration with the Electricity Distribution Companies (DisCos).

On agriculture, Mohammed said that the Administration has moved Nigeria closer to self-sufficiency in rice more than the previous Administration ever did.

"It's just two years away from meeting its target production of 6 million Metric Tonnes of milled rice, meeting Nigeria's consumption."

Saying that, in just three years, the Buhari Administration has increased the number of rice farmers from 5 million to an all-time high over 11 million, the government has cut Nigeria's rice import bill of US$ 1.65 billion annually by 90%, the highest such cut ever.

"In just three years, this Administration has also delivered 10 million, 50kg bags of feritilizer at a low price N5,500 (for 2017 alone). The country now has annual savings of US$ 200 million in foreign exchange and ₦60 billion annually in budgetary provisions for Fertilizer subsidies."

On Corruption, the minister said the Administration has slashed leakages in government spending that made corruption possible, thanks to the diligent implementation of the Treasury Singles Account (TSA) and the hugely-successful Whistle-Blower Policy.

The Whistle-blowing Policy introduced by the Federal Ministry of Finance in December 2016 has since yielded the following in recoveries:....N13.8bn from tax evaders, N7.8bn, US$ 378 million, £27,800 in recoveries from public officials targeted by whistle-blowers.

Some 8.1 trillion Naira was discovered to have been underpaid to the Federation Account between 2010 and 2015 by 15 revenue-generating agencies.

Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) are remitting more money to the Federation Account, he said, adding that, for instance, "from remitting only N51 million between 2010 and 2016, JAMB went on to remit N7.8 billion in 2017, and is on course to remit a similar amount in 2018.

"As at March 2018, the TSA recorded inflows of a total sum of N8.9 trillion from the MDAs."

Mohammed said: "During this period, this Administration is feeding 8.2 million pupils in 45,394 schools in 24 states, employing 87,261 cooks in the process and paying conditional cash transfer of N5,000 monthly to 297,973 poorest and most vulnerable households.

According to Mohammed, "In just three years, this Administration is turning around the nation's infrastructural fortunes, including power, roads and rail, thanks to the unprecedented 2.7 trillion Naira (US$ 9 billion) that has been spent on infrastructure.

He disclosed that the Administration has raised capital expenditure in the yearly national budget to an unprecedented 30% on the average, and taken its investment in people, through the unprecedented Social Investment Programme (SIP), to a great height.

All four components of the Federal Government's youth empowerment scheme (N-POWER) are now up and running, he said, benefiting 9 million people directly.

On insurgency, Mohammed said "In just three years, this Administration has retaken every inch of Nigeria's territory from insurgents, flushed them out of their safe havens and put them on the run."

To a large extent, security and normalcy have been restored to the North-East, where the Multi-National Joint Task Force (MNJTF), which is combating trans-border crime and the Boko Haram insurgency, has been rejuvenated

To buttress this point, Mohammed said "More than a million displaced persons have returned to their homes and communities across the Northeast, since 2015, and more than 13,000 Boko Haram hostages have been freed from Boko Haram captivity, including 106 of the Chibok Girls abducted in April 2014, and 105 of the Dapchi Girls, abducted in February 2018.

"These are monumental achievements, unprecedented in the history of our country."

To those attempting to belittle the achievements, Mohammed said "Today, we are making strong and steady progress in the three priority areas we set for the nation -- Economy, Security and the Fight against corruption."

Saying that facts don't lie, Mohammed said the economy is back on the path of growth, after the recession of 2016-17, growing 1.95 percent in Q1 2018.

He said that consistent growth was achieved in the priority sectors of Agriculture and Solid Minerals throughout the recession.

The minister said inflation has fallen for 15 consecutive months, from 18.7 percent to 12.5 percent as of April 2018.

"Our External Reserves of US$ 48 billion are the highest in 5 years, and more than double the US$ 23 billion we met in 2015," he claimed.

He said on "The Ease of Doing Business Reform Successes": Nigeria moved up 24 places on the World Bank’s Ease of Doing Business rankings in 2017, and earned a place on the List of 10 Most Improved Economies, adding that the Nigerian Sovereign Investment Authority (NSIA) has seen inflows of US$ 1.15 billion under the Buhari Administration (the first inflows since the original US$ 1 billion which the Fund kicked off with in 2012).

Mohammed declared that the Buhari Administration has surmounted every opposition on its path to deliver on campaign promises to Nigerians.

According to the minister, "by building an economy that is no longer reliant on income from one commodity, the ongoing diversification process will be creating a sustainable basis for long-term and inclusive growth for all.
-0- PANA VAO 28May2018

28 may 2018 14:07:13

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