By Anayo Ezugwu
DESPITE the multiple challenges confronting Nigeria, President Muhammadu Buhari has said that the progress made by his administration in the last five years is engaging. He reassured all Nigerians that his administration remains resolute in initiating programmes aimed at improving the quality of lives and uplifting 100 million Nigerians out of poverty over the next 10 years.
In his closing remarks at the first-year ministerial performance review retreat on Tuesday, September 8, Buhari commended his ministers for their efforts, commitment and resilience to the cardinal aspiration of the administration. He reminded them that Nigerian people expect dedication and commitment from them in implementing policies, programmes and projects to improve the quality of their lives and set Nigeria on the path of prosperity.
He explained that his administration has embarked on numerous policies, programmes and projects targeted at lifting people from the shackles of poverty, protect their lives and properties and ensure equitable distribution of the nation’s wealth. “We aim to gradually close the gap between the different classes to bring joy to a greater number of citizens.
“I am glad that these policies, programmes, and projects have recorded appreciable successes. Our renewed vigour in agriculture has been demonstrated through our Anchor Borrowers Programme and the Presidential Fertilizer Initiative. We have made progress on the railway projects with a view to connecting different parts of the country. The Lagos-Ibadan rail line is up and working. The Abuja-Kaduna rail line is efficiently running.
“Arrangements are being made to complete the Ibadan – Kano, commence the Port Harcourt – Maiduguri line which will connect the Southern and Eastern States to the Northern States. Work is ongoing at the 2nd Niger Bridge and is at 46% completion. We hope to commission the project before the end of our tenure in 2023. Several contracts have been awarded to rehabilitate, reconstruct and construct our arterial roads, to reduce the hardship to commuters and increase economic activities across the states.
“We have flagged off the Ajaokuta-Kaduna-Kano (AKK) Gas Pipeline Project, which is being developed at this critical time in Nigeria’s commitment to increasing our infrastructure assets and promote the use of gas in the domestic market. Our anti-corruption fight requires no emphasis. We have made consistent efforts to build strong institutional capacities in the fight against corruption by strengthening our anti-corruption agencies, including the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, Independent Corrupt Practices and other related offences Commission, the Code of Conduct Bureau and Code of Conduct Tribunal supported by a Presidential Advisory Committee on Anti-Corruption, such that they work independently and jointly, being guided by Law.
“We have also worked to address emergent cases of insecurity and insurgency in the country with innovative approaches such as “Operation Safe Corridor,” which de-radicalize, rehabilitate, and reintegrate willingly surrendered Boko Haram members into the larger society. Our security operations in the Niger Delta, North Central and North Western States are yielding desired results. We hope to get rid of bandits, kidnappers and other criminal elements in these regions,” he said.
Buhari promised Nigerians that COVID-19 pandemic and its attendant negative effect is being addressed through the constitution of a Presidential Task Force for proper coordination and the launch of the 12-month Economic Sustainability Plan to cushion the effect of the pandemic on citizens and business owners. “I am confident that the lessons we have learned in the last one year of implementation of policies, programmes and projects, deliberations and resolutions from the different sessions, and experience sharing from various speakers will serve as the needed tool to propel every ministry to the next level of achievement.
“More importantly, the trust reposed in us by Nigerians remains the ultimate driving force. We cannot afford to lose focus, regardless of the challenges. Our eyes must therefore remain fixed on the ultimate goal. More than ever before, I charge us all to play as a team, because that is what we are. A convoy is, however. only as strong as its slowest vessel.”
– Sept. 9, 2020 @ 16:59 GMT |