President Muhammadu Buhari on Monday in Abuja at the Nigeria Governors’ Forum Conference, in an apparent reply to Ex-President Goodluck Jonathan said that the achievements of his administration were there and visible for all to see and not covered with lies and propaganda as insinuated by the Ex-President.
Mr. Jonathan had last week said that the All Progressives Congress led Federal Government under President Buhari was characterized by lies and propaganda.
However, President Buhari who was represented by Alhaji Lai Mohammed, the Minister of Information and Culture, said that the new strategy of the naysayers was to label the achievements of Buhari’s government as propaganda and lies in a bid 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.
According to Buhari, Ex-President Jonathan’s administration paid between N800billion and N1.3trillion yearly as subsidy without making the products available. But his administration did not pay subsidy, yet all products are presently available at competitive prices and fuel queues are now history too.
“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, the president said that when his administration assumed office in 2015, available power on the grid totaled 2,690MW, transmission capacity was around 5,000MW and distribution capacity was 4,000MW. However, 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.
Mr. President added that in 2015, with the high revenue generated by the government, Jonathan’s administration only funded roads with N18billion while N5billion and N1.8billion were used to fund power and Housing respectively.
Buhari however noted that despite the poor revenue generated due to fall in crude oil price, his administration spent N198.25billion on roads, N91.2billion on power and N71.559billion 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.
In the area of economy, he said that inflation had fallen for the eight consecutive month since February.
“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.
He added that through the home-grown School Feeding Programme more than three (3) million public primary school children, more than 30,000 cooks and 20,000 schools benefited.
Also, through the Npower Programme, 200,000 youths benefited. And the Government Enterprise & Empowerment PRogramme (GEEP) had so far provided micro-credit to farmers, traders and artisans in excess of one million beneficiaries. Even the agricultural revolution was achieving great 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.
Finally, he said that when he took over, the Boko Haram terrorists group was incharge of certain local government and was active in at least 10 states including the Federal Capital Territory. But the insurgent has been so degraded by President Buhari’s administration.
President Buhari noted that he will remain focused and refuse distraction by those who spread fake news to discredit his administration.