Nigeria’s ministers attending the ongoing World Congress of the International Press Institute say the government has invested a lot in infrastructure, to make life better for citizens.
Speaking at a session of the congress tagged ‘Conversation with the government of Nigeria,’ Finance Minister, Kemi Adeosun said:“Our government is committed to infrastructure. We are doing roads and railways at the same time, in order to boost the economy. We have also opened the door for the public sector to build more roads through our tax credit policy and this will further unlock the economy,” she said.
She said government is also concentrating on agriculture because it contributes 20% to the GDP while oil contributes only 10%.
On his part, Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment, Dr Okechukwu Enalemah told delegates that Nigeria did not sign the Africa Continental Free Trade Agreement because key stakeholders were not carried along.
He said President Buhari directed that the stakeholders should be engaged, in order to avoid friction and destabilization of the country’s rising economy.
On Nigeria-China trade relations, he said it is a positive one because Africa’s importance to its economic ambition.
Information and Culture Minister, Lai Mohammed said climate change and demography were responsible for the frequent clashes between herders and farmers in Nigeria.
He said: “Such clashes are not new because we witnessed the first one in 1947, but climate change has further aggravated the problem because land and other resources are now not enough thus, tension.”
He, however, said the immediate solution to the problem was the shifting of grounds by parties involved, as he urged them to embrace new technologies like ranching while deployment of forces continue.
The Information minister informed delegates that the government has delivered on its promises, especially in the area of security, where the boko haram terrorist group has been adequately decimated.
Interior Minister, Abdulrahman Dambazau said government is focusing on infrastructure as a means of addressing unemployment and security challenges.
Danbazau acknowledged that Nigeria’s borders are porous partly because of the ECOWAS protocol on free movement.
He said that notwithstanding, the Nigerian government is focusing on an e-border programme and the capturing of biometrics at the country’s borders, adding that the Nigeria Immigration Service would be given a boost in order to check the influx of criminals into the country.
“We are collaborating with the European Union and other development partners as well as our neighbours to address the problem, which is not peculiar to Nigeria but a regional one,” he stressed.
On internal security, the Minister said State Governors should focus on good governance instead of shifting blame to the Federal government or security agencies.
“Good governance is the best solution to the crisis being witnessed in some parts of the country; once there is good governance in place, there wouldn’t be such problems,” he stressed.
The discussion session was anchored by the Chairman of the Broadcasting Association of Nigeria, Mr John Momoh.