Published on Oct 23, 2017 Greenbarge Reporters
President Muhammadu Buhari has asked former President Goodluck Jonathan to shut up his mouth, accusing him of running the nation’s economy aground before handing over to him in 2015.
The President, who spoke today at the opening of a two-day Nigeria Governor Forum Media conference in Abuja, the nation’s Federal Capital, took a serious exception to Jonathan’s description of the achievements of his government as mere propaganda.
President Buhari, who spoke through the minister of information and culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, said that Jonathan’s government, in 2015 alone, paid over N800 Billion as oil subsidy which did not address the oil scarcity but that since he assumption of office, he had worked towards making the product available everywhere after cancelling the subsidy.
“Now, going hand in hand with disinformation and fake news is the new strategy of the naysayers to label the achievements of the government of the day as ‘propaganda and lies’ in order to discredit them. It is for you, at your level, to use concrete facts to showcase the achievements of your principals. “Nigerians are brilliant and
discerning, and won’t be taken in by such deliberate denigration. But they also need facts and figures.
“For our Administration, our achievements are there for all to see. We are delivering in the broad areas that formed the plank of our policies: Security, fight against corruption and the economy, which includes the massive provision of infrastructure, ease of doing business and agriculture, just to mention a few.
“Those who accused this Administration of ‘propaganda and lies’ in the fuel supply sector, for example, did not tell Nigerians that whereas they paid between 800 billion and 1.3 trillion Naira as ‘subsidy’ yearly in their time, without making the products available even at regulated prices, this Administration is not paying any
subsidy, yet all products are currently available at competitive prices and fuel queues are now history. In their time, they paid subsidy of 3.7 billion Naira DAILY in 2011; 2.2 billion Naira DAILY in 2012 and 2013, and 2.5 billion Naira DAILY in 2014, all for products that were never available.
“Those who accused this government of ‘propaganda and lies’ also said we have not achieved anything in the power sector. Comment is free, facts are sacred, as they say. When this Administration assumed office on 29 May 2015, available power on the grid totalled 2,690MW, transmission capacity was around 5,000MW and distribution capacity was 4,000MW. As at 4 September 2017, the available power that can be put on the grid was 6,619MW; the transmission capacity was simulated at 6,700 MW (up from 5,000 MW in 2015) but the distribution capacity was 4,600 MW, which was what was put on the grid. On September 12, 2017, production of power reached an all-time level of 7,001MW.
“In recent times, we have recovered 100MW from the damaged Afam IV Power Plant which was inoperative since January 2015, while the Transmission Company of Nigeria (TCN) has energized the Jebba-Kainji 2nd 330KV line and the 2nd Ajaokuta-Abuja 330KV line, both of which were inoperative since 2015. These are concrete and verifiable achievements, and they did not happen by accident, but by a deliberate effort encapsulated in the Power Sector Recovery Programme.
“It is an irony that those who presided over a paltry budget, all barely funded, of 18 billion Naira for roads, 5 billion Naira for power and 1.8 billion Naira for Housing in 2015, their last budget, are now accusing those who spent 198.25 billion Naira on roads, 91.2 billion Naira on power and 71.559 billion Naira on housing in the following year of non-achievement? Because of the increased spending in these areas, the massive debts owed to contractors are being settled so they can recall workers who were laid off and re-open closed work sites. As a matter of fact, during the implementation of the 2016 budget, we paid 103 construction companies executing 192 projects, and they, in turn, employed 17,749 people directly and 52,000 people indirectly in works. So far this year, 47.169 billion Naira has been paid to 62 contractors working on149 projects to continue work on roads and bridges and keep people at work. Similar payments are being made to supervising consultants and to contractors in Housing and Power Sectors of the Ministry. “In the area of the Economy, is it ‘propaganda and lies’ that
headline Inflation has now fallen for the eighth consecutive month (February to September 2017); that foreign exchange reserves are up to $32 billion, from $24 billion a year ago: that oil production is at nearly 2 million barrels per day, a significant improvement from 2016 when it was mostly below a million; that Home-grown School Feeding Programme is now being implemented in 17 States, benefiting more than 3 million public primary school children and more than 30,000 cooks across 20,000 schools (ask the benefitting school children and they will tell you they have been eating nutritious foods, not propaganda and lies); that close to 200,000 youths are now benefiting from the N-Power Programme, which recruits unemployed graduates to work as teachers, agricultural extension workers, and health extension workers; that the Government Enterprise & Empowerment Programme (GEEP), which provides micro-credit to farmers, traders, and artisans, now has in excess of 1 million beneficiaries, with women accounting for 56% of that number, and that at about 1.8 billion dollars, the capital inflows in the second quarter of 2017 were almost double the $908 million in the first quarter.
“If our achievements are based on ‘propaganda and lies’, as they claim, why is our agricultural revolution achieving so much success: We have commissioned the 120,000 MT per annum WACOT Rice Mill in
Argungu, Kebbi State. We have commissioned the 60,000 MT per annum Edo State Fertilizer Company Limited. What about the commissioning of OLAM’s 750,000 MT per annum Integrated Poultry Facility in Kaduna State? Do you know that 15 moribund Fertilizer Blending Plants have now been revived and in operation across Nigeria, under the Presidential Fertilizer Initiative, creating 50,000 direct jobs and 70,000 indirect jobs?
“In the area of security, when we assumed office in 2015, Boko Haram was active in at least 10 states, could stroll into Abuja at a time and target of their own choosing to cause maximum havoc, in addition to holding territories and collecting taxes. Today, Boko Haram has been so degraded that it lacks the capacity to carry out any
organized attack, while also increasingly losing the capacity to even attack soft targets. Importantly, Boko Haram no longer holds any territory. The same vigour is being used to address the herdsmen-farmers’ clash, kidnapping for ransom and other crimes. “Disinformation and fake news will not cease overnight. Those opposed to you will seek to denigrate your achievements. They will call you names and accuse you of propaganda and lies. But the antidote is to remain focused, refused to be distracted and to use facts and figures – as I have done here – to counter the purveyors of disinformation and fake news. In the end, the truth will prevail.”
Apr 23, 2018
Sep 03, 2015