FG Details Buhari’s Achievements In Response To Obasanjo’s Attack

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.

 

Today, most of the indices by which an economy is measured are looking

  1. 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.

 

This Administration is making steady progress in its determined effort

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).

 

* Our determined implementation of the Treasury Single Account (TSA)

has stopped the hemorrhaging of the treasury. Some 108 billion Naira

has been saved from removal of maintenance fees payable to banks,

pre-TSA. The nation is being saved 24.7 billion Naira monthly with the

full implementation of the TSA.

 

*  The elimination of ghost workers has saved the nation 120 billion Naira

 

*  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.

 

*  In the wake of a stable Naira and increased investment inflows,

Nigeria’s stock market emerged one of the best-performing in the

world, delivering returns in excess of 40 percent.

 

*  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

world.

 

* According to Q3 2017 figures, agriculture export is up year-on-year

by 25%, solid minerals exports are up year-on-year by 78%, raw

materials exports are up 70% year-on-year and manufactured goods

exports are up 22% year-on-year.

 

* Government agencies such as the Nigeria Customs Service are

reporting highest-ever revenue collection, while JAMB, under the new

management appointed by President Buhari in 2016, remitted N7.8

billion to the coffers of the federal government. The total amount

remitted by JAMB between 2010 and 2016 was a paltry N51 million!

 

These positive indices may not have immediately impacted positively on

Nigerians, but Nigerians will definitely get a new lease of life a

short while from now. This is because the good news from the

agricultural sector, which is recording a bumper harvest, will bring

down the cost of foodstuffs, especially such staple as rice, and our

massive Social Investment Programme will ease the pain of the most

vulnerable in the society.

 

When we assumed office in 2015, some 6 million farmers were involved

in rice production. Thanks to the Anchor Borrowers’ programme of this

Administration, we have grown that number to over 12 million farmers.

The result is that our rice import from Thailand alone has dropped

from 644 metric tonnes to 22,000 MT in just two years. This is

phenomenal.

 

Apart from rice, Nigeria is also doing well in other grains,

especially Millet, Sorghum and Maize. We are now the second largest

producer of sorghum after the US, the third in millet after India and

our breweries are now enjoying local sourcing of those commodities.

 

For maize, we are producing 10 million tons while we need about 13

million tons for both human and animal nutrition. Nigeria leads the

world in the yam and cassava production. We account for 70% of the

world’s yam production. In two years, we hope to be the world’s

largest exporter of yam! Overall, our ambition is that agriculture

should rise from 25% to 40% of GDP, so that we can banish poverty and

overcome our economic anxiety.

 

Our Social Investment Programme is Nigeria’s most ambitious social

welfare programme ever. Currently, 5.2 million primary school children

in 28,249 schools in 19 states are being fed daily; 200,000 unemployed

graduates have enlisted into the N-power Job Scheme, and a quarter of

a million loans already distributed to artisans, traders, and farmers.

 

Finally, our investment in infrastructure is simply unprecedented.

This is because infrastructure is key to faster economic growth and

development.

 

Here is a synopsis of what we have done in this area:

 

* Power Generation at an all-time high of 7,000mw and all can be transmitted

 

* RAIL: Lagos-Kano Standard Gauge is on. Lagos-Ibadan sector ready

2019, Kano-Kaduna ready 2019; The entire stretch ready 2021;

Negotiations on for Coastal Rail covering 15 cities from Lagos to

Calabar.

 

* ROAD: 25 major highways being funded with the N100b Sukuk Bond, and

all geo-political zones are benefitting equally

 

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.

 

On the Herders/Farmers’ clashes, this Administration is determined to

end the crisis resulting from this once and for all, not minding the

fact that the clashes predate us. we urge Nigerians to have faith

in the Administration’s ability to resolve the crisis, and to watch

out for concrete measures in this regard.

 

On whether or not President Muhammadu Buhari should run for another

term, 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

  1. 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.