The Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed has said that in spite of the challenges facing the government ,there have been massive success in the core areas it campaigned to deliver. These areas are security, economy and fighting corruption.
Without allowing any sense of complacency, he said that the Administration has been working round the clock to provide good governance and put the country on a sound footing, economically, socially and otherwise.
He made this known in lagos when he, alongside five other cabinet Ministers, interacted with members of the News Papers Proprietors Association of Nigeria.
According to the Minister, the occasion provides a good opportunity for Nigerians in general and the media in particular to assess the performance of the Administration.
He noted that “such assessment will not be complete without situating it in the context of what promises were made by the ruling party, the All Progressives Congress (APC), during the electioneering campaign”.
He said “it is common knowledge that APC campaigned on three broad areas: Tackling corruption, ensuring the security of lives and property and, of course, the economy, especially job creation and the diversification of the economy away from oil”.
In the area of insecurity, he said the President’s efforts have paid off, as Boko Haram has been defeated.
The insurgents have lost their capacity to carry out the kind of spectacular attacks for which they became infamous. This is a rare feat”, he said.
“This did not happen by accident. It was the result of purposeful, credible and courageous leadership being provided by President Muhammadu Buhari, who started off by ordering the relocation of the command and control centre of the battle against insurgency from Abuja to Maiduguri, rallied regional and global support for Nigeria’s efforts and boosted the morale and fighting capability of armed troops.
But let’s be clear: No insurgency ends overnight. Because it is not a conventional warfare, no agreement is signed to silence the guns. Therefore, there will still be pockets of cowardly attacks against vulnerable targets here and there. These are isolated and cowardly attacks targeting motor parks, worship centres, IDP camps. But we all need to be vigilant.”
On the Fight Against Corruption, the Minister said “there is no doubt that this is also very important, adding that “it was corruption that prolonged the war against boko haram and dispatched many soldiers and civilians to their early graves; It is corruption that ensured that while oil was selling for over 100 dollars per barrel, we had nothing to show for the windfall; it is because of corruption that even though our budget has increased from less than a trillion in 1999 to over 6 trillion in 2016, poverty has grown almost at the same rate that the budget has increased; It is corruption that gave the country darkness, instead of light, even after Nigeria supposedly pumped millions of dollars into the power sector.
“I can tell you today that we have also squarely taken on corruption, and we are winning. The situation is serious and no government can fight the battle alone. That explains why we have launched nationwide sensitization campaign to make all Nigerians to buy into the anti-graft war.”
On the Economy, he said in spite the fact that government has lost over 70 percent of her revenue; there is still great effort in diversifying the economy.
“Mono-product economy, this short-fall is nothing short of disaster. But the Administration has decided to turn this disaster to a blessing by working assiduously to diversify our economy away from oil.
Agriculture, Solid Minerals, Culture and Tourism are some of the sectors we are currently working to rejuvenate so they can earn huge revenues for the country and create jobs. While these efforts are on, the Administration has decided to block all financial leakages through the Treasury Singles Account (TSA), into which trillions have accrued so far.”
He said on the 2016 budget – which is expected to be signed into law soon – and then wrap up. The Administration’s strategy to lift millions of Nigerians out of poverty is real and highly methodological and will yield results.