President Muhamamdu Buhari said on Monday that the achievements of his administration were there for all to see and not laced with lies and propaganda as being propagated by naysayers.
Buhari said this in Abuja at the Nigeria Governors’ Forum Conference for Media Handlers of States’ Chief Executives.
The president was responding to allegation of non performance of the All Progressives Congress (APC) Government leveled by former President Goodluck Jonathan.
It would be recalled that former president Jonathan last week took a swipe at the APC Government, alleging that the Federal Government under President Buhari was “characterised by lies and propaganda’’.
Buhari, who was represented by the Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed said that the new strategy of the naysayers was to label the achievements of his government as ‘propaganda and lies’ in order to discredit them.
“Our achievements are there for all to see. We are delivering in the broad areas that formed the plank of our policies.
“We are delivering on 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.
“Disinformation and fake news will not cease overnight. Those opposed to you will seek to denigrate your achievements,’’ he said.
Using concrete facts and figures to justify his position, the president said the Jonathan administration paid between N800 billion and N1.3 trillion as ‘subsidy’ yearly in its time, without making the products available even at regulated prices.
He said on the other hand, his administration “is not paying any subsidy, yet all products are presently available at competitive prices and fuel queues are now history’’.
“In their time, they paid subsidy of N3.7 billion daily in 2011, N2.2 billion in 2012 and 2013, and N2.5 billion daily in 2014, all for products that were never available,’’ he said.
In the power sector, Buhari said when his administration assumed office on May 29, 2015, available power on the grid totaled 2,690MW, transmission capacity was around 5,000MW and distribution capacity was 4,000MW.
Comparatively, the president said that as at September 4, the available power that could 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, 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.
“Transmission Company of Nigeria (TCN) has energised 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,’’ he said.
The president said that in 2015, with the high revenue that accrued to the government, the Jonathan administration only funded roads with paltry sum of N18 billion while N5 billion and N1.8 billion were used to fund Power and Housing sectors respectively.
On the other hand, Buhari said that in 2016, in spite of dwindling resources owing to fall in price of crude oil, his administration spent N198.25 billion on roads, N91.2 billion on power and N71.559 billion on housing.
“Because of the increased spending in these areas, the massive debts owed to contractors are being settled so they can recall workers who have been 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,’’ he said.
The president further disclosed that so far in 2017, N47.169 billion had been paid to 62 contractors working on149 projects to continue work on roads and bridges and keep people at work.
In the area of economy, the president noted that, it could not be ‘propaganda and lies’ that headline Inflation had fallen for the eighth consecutive month (February to September 2017).
“Foreign exchange reserves are up to 32 billion dollars from 24 billion dollars a year ago, Oil production is at nearly two million barrels per day, a significant improvement from 2016 when it was mostly below a million,’’ he said.
Buhari said the home-grown School Feeding Programme of his administration was being implemented in 17 states, benefiting more than three million public primary school children and more than 30,000 cooks across 20,000 schools.
He said that close to 200,000 youths benefited from the N-Power Programme recruiting unemployed graduates to work as teachers, agricultural extension workers, and health extension workers.
The president said that the Government Enterprise & Empowerment Programme (GEEP) had so far provided micro-credit to farmers, traders, and artisans in excess of one million beneficiaries, with women accounting
for 56 per cent of the number.
Buhari said that the agricultural revolution of his administration was achieving so much success.
“We have commissioned the 120,000 MT per annum WACOT Rice Mill in Argungu, Kebbi State and also commissioned the 60,000 MT per annum Edo State Fertilizer Company Limited.
“The 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,’’ he said.
In the area of security, the President said when his administration assumed office in 2015, Boko Haram was active in at least 10 states holding territories and collecting taxes and “could stroll into Abuja at a time to cause maximum havoc.
He said on the other hand, Boko Haram had been so degraded by his administration that it lacked the capacity to carry out any organised attack.
According to the president, it is the same vigour that is being used to address the herdsmen-farmers’ clash, kidnapping for ransom and other crimes.
Buhari reiterated that he would remain focus and refuse to be distracted by purveyors of disinformation and fake news who are bent at discrediting his administration.