Solomon Chung, Abuja
Nigeria’s Information and Culture Minister, Mr. Lai Mohammed has said that the Nigerian people have rewarded President Mohammadu Buhari with re-election due to his performance and integrity.
Speaking at a thanks giving meeting organised by the staff of the ministry of Information and Culture, the minister said President Buhari presides over a government that has done what no government in the history of Nigeria has done.
Reeling out some of the performances, the Minister said the administration’s Social Investment Programme was unprecedented.
He said under the programme, government feeds 9.3 million children every school day also employed 500,000 unemployed under N-Power and some 300,000 families are benefitting from the Conditional Cash Transfer.
“This Administration gives between 10,000 and 100,000 under Tradermomi and Market money to business owners. If you think this money is paltry, then you need to listen to the beneficiaries on how such programmes have enhanced their businesses,” he said.
Mohammed said Pensioners who have been left in the lurch were being paid; “and I am talking of ex-workers of the Nigerian Airways, NITEL and former Biafran Policemen, among others. The former Nigeria Airways staffersw ere so delighted that they held a rally in support of the President before the elections.”
Mr. Mohammed said the fight against corruption was being institutionalised with a number of policies that included Treasury Single Account (TSA), Whistle Blower Policy, stating that huge amounts of money and property were being recovered from looters, and the looters to be jailed.
“About 2.7 trillion Naira, an unprecedented amount of money, has been spent on infrastructural renewal. The rail system is being modernised and expanded, roads are being constructed in every state, and airports terminals are being built and modernised. Power generation and distribution are going up steadily, ” he said.
He said they were close to achieving self-sufficiency in food production, especially in such staples as rice, yam, cassava and have grown the number of rice farmers from 5 million to about 12 million, drastically reducing rice importation.
He affirmed that the government was paying very close attention to the security of lives and property, also the Ease of Doing Business programme was receiving accolades around the world, the government’s visa on arrival policy was also making it easier for business people and tourists to visit Nigeria.
“Overall, this government is doing more with less and is restoring decency and integrity to governance. Like the New York Times said, the re-election of President Buhari is a referendum on honesty. There is no better way to put it,” he stated.
“Last weekend’s election is a direct contest between ordinary Nigerians and the elites, most of whom are rent seekers. Of course, the ordinary Nigerians have won!”Lai explained.
Speaking on Kwara politics, the Minister who is also the leader of the All Progressive Congress in the state said his effort at liberating the North central state from age long political hegemony was born out of love for the state.
“We thank God for our modest effort, in delivering Kwara State from the grip of a crippling hegemony, and in ensuring massive victory for Mr. President in the presidential election, he stated.
He said the credit for the liberation of Kwara people goes to the good people of the State who, despite efforts to compromise them, refused to sell their votes. “A simple slogan, O To Ge (Enough is Enough), captured the determination of the people to vote out those who have held them down for decades. And that is precisely what they did,”Lai said.
“I also want to sincerely, thank Nigerians for re-electing President Muhammadu Buhari. I must say that I never had any doubt at all that Nigerians will re-elect the President. I said that over and over again before the election.”
The Minister said the building of a strong, secured, economically-buoyant and corruption-free society was the responsibility of all. And it is achievable.
“While some people are still dreaming of how to make Nigeria work again, we are already making it work!”
The Minister thanked Nigerians for the support in the last 3 years and also urged them to continue to support the Buhari led administration.
“The effort put in by each and every one of you goes a long way in making the country a better place. That’s what we mean when we said CHANGE BEGINS WITH ME,” he said.
The permanent Secretary of the ministry, Ms Grace Gekpe acknowledged the leadership skills and passion of the minister in terms of performance and said she was not surprised President Buhari achieved the sterling feats.
Nigeria went to the polls last Saturday and re-elected President Mohammadu Buhari for another 4 year term.