The Minister of Information and culture, Lai Mohammed, on Tuesday, kicked at those downplaying the giant strides of the President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (Ret’d.).
According to Vanguard, the minister, who spoke during the presentation of the achievements recorded by the Buhari administration in the youth and sports sector of the economy since 2015, called the several attempts by the opposition to rubbish the feat recorded by Buhari, as preposterous.
He said, “Let me quickly respond to the preposterous claim by the opposition, on the campaign trail, that this Administration has not achieved anything and hence has nothing to campaign with. Are these people living in a cave?
“If they haven’t seen, have they not heard of our National Social Investment Programme that is unprecedented in the history of this county? No Administration in the history of Nigeria has had a Social Investment Programme that feeds 10 million school children a day; a cash transfer scheme that has enrolled 1,632,480 households (households, not individuals); a scheme that empowers and pays stipends to unemployed graduates and an Enterprise Empowerment Programme that provides easily-accessible microloans to those at the bottom of the pyramid, who engage in commercial activities but face significant challenges with access to finance/credit?
“Before we came into office in 2015, Nigeria did not have a functioning modern railway system. Today, we have a well-functioning Abuja-Kaduna, Lagos-Ibadan and Itakpe-Warri modern rail systems. They lay claim to starting Abuja-Kaduna but forgot that Itakpe-Warri was also started by another Administration over 30 years ago, but abandoned until this Administration assumed office in 2015.
“Before this Administration came into office in 2015, several past Administration had started and completed – on paper – the all-important 2nd Niger Bridge. Only last week, this bridge became a reality when it was opened to motorists. What about the 40-kilometre Bonny-Bodo road that has a total of 13 bridges? In the words of the Honourable Minister of Works and Housing, for the first time in the history of mankind, you can now walk on your way between Bodo and Bonny. What about airport terminals? Do these people close their eyes when they fly through brand new terminals at airports in Abuja, Lagos, Port Harcourt and Enugu?
“Is the opposition pretending not to have heard of the Ajaokuta-Kaduna-Kano (AKK), 614-km-long gas pipeline project that will ferry gas from southern to Northern Nigeria, and which represents phase 1 of the 1,300-km-long Trans-Nigerian Gas Pipeline Project? Can they deny the crude oil find in the Kolmani Field spanning Bauchi and Gombe states where drilling was flagged off by Mr. President last month? Can they deny that the Anchor Borrowers’ Programme has helped to move Nigeria closer to attaining self-sufficiency in many staples?
“Can the opposition deny that we have put in place the Integrated National Security and Waterways Protection Infrastructure, otherwise known as Deep Blue Asset that has seen a drastic decline in piracy attacks? Can an Administration with at least one road construction in every state of the Federation, and the one that has completed housing projects in 35 states, be labelled as non-performing? What about the liberation of Nigeria’s territory from insurgents and the re-equipping of our security forces, the same security forces that were left stranded when money meant to equip them were looted silly by rampaging officials, some of whom admitted to spending 2.2 billion Naira to pray against Boko Haram? Who gave Nigeria the Petroleum Industry Act, the most ambitious attempt at overhauling the petroleum sector in Nigeria?”