By Festus Fifen
Minister of information and culture Alhaji Lai Muhammed has said the former president Olusegun Obasanjo is to busy to notice the efforts of this administration in the area of revamping the economy
Briefing statehouse correspondent at the Aso President Villa Abuja, Lai commended the former President for acknowledging the efforts of president Muhammadu Buhari in the areas of insurgency and fight against corruption.
In his words, ” We have read the press statement by former President Olusegun Obasanjo on the State of the Nation.
For the record, Chief Obasanjo is a patriot, and he has proven this time and time again. We appreciate what he said concerning the
Administration’s performance in two out of the three key issues that
formed the plank of its campaign: Fighting corruption and tackling
insurgency. Specifically, the former President said President Buhari
must be given credit for his achievement so far in these two areas. We
thank him for this.
” Apparently, the former President believes that the Administration does not deserve a pass mark in the area of the economy, which is the third of our three-pronged campaign promises.
We have no doubt that in the face of massive challenges in this area,
this Administration has availed itself creditably. We believe that
Chief Obasanjo, because of his very busy schedule, may not have been fully availed of developments in the government’s efforts to revamp the economy, which was battered by the consequences of over-dependence on a commodity as well as unprecedented pillaging of the treasury”
Reacting to engaging Nigerians who are knowledgeable in the economy conned in the Former presidents Letter, Lai said ” Today, most of the indices by which an economy is measured are looking up. Permit me to say, however, that Nigeria would not have exited recession through a mere order or if the Administration had not made use of ”good Nigerians” who could help.”
The former APC spokesman added that This Administration is making steady progress in its determined efforts to revamp the economy, and the results are showing.
” Foreign Reserves have peaked at $40b, the highest level in about
four years, and up from $24 billion just a year ago, even though when we came in, the price of oil had crashed woefully”
” According to the National Bureau of Statistics (NBC), headline
inflation has fallen for 11 consecutive months, standing at 15.37% as
at Dec. 2017. This is the lowest inflation rate since Jan 2017, and it
has met and surpassed the target set for inflation in the
Administration’s Economic Recovery and Growth Plan (ERGP).”
The minister stated that the full implementation of the Treasury Single Account has saved about 24.7 Billion Naira for the Government Monthly with another 108 billion saved from huge maintenance fees paid to Banks before now.
” Nigeria rose 24 places on the World Bank’s Ease of Doing Business
ranking, and earned a place on the List of Top 10 Reformers in the
While reiterating that Nigerians will definitely get a new lease of life a
short while from now due to the good news from the
agricultural sector, which is recording a bumper harvest, Alhaji Lai Muhammed add that The Social Investment Programme of this administration Is the most ambitious social welfare programme ever which currently takes care of 5.2 million primary school children
in 28,249 schools in 19 states are being fed daily and another 200,000 unemployed graduates have enlisted into the N-power Job Scheme, adding to a quarter of a million loans already distributed to artisans, traders, and farmers across the country.
” This Administration is not unaware of the enormity of the challenges facing the nation, but we are up to the task. We have taken the bull by the horns, and long-suffering Nigerians will begin to experience a new lease of life as our efforts yield fruits. We will not go into a state of funk for whatever reason.
Also commenting on the Herders/Farmers’ clashes, Lai Muhammed said this Administration is determined to end the crisis resulting from this once and for all, not minding the fact that the clashes predate this administration.
On whether or not President Muhammadu Buhari should run for another term, the I formation minister said ” it is true that many Nigerians have been calling on the President to run again, while others are opposed to his return.
” However, we believe this issue is a distraction for the President at
this time. This is because Mr. President spends every waking hour
tackling the enormous challenges facing the nation, most of which were bequeathed to his Administration by successive past Administrations. He is committed to fulfilling the mandate given to him by Nigerians in 2015. And that’s where we are right now!”
“Finally, we have no reason to believe that former President Obasanjo has any motive beyond the well-being of the nation in issuing his Special Press Statement. We have also taken his admonition in good faith, and we thank him most sincerely for taking time off his busy schedule to pen such a long statement.”