Mr. Lai Mohammed, the Minister of Information and Culture, at a mini town hall meeting which was organized for members of staff of the Nigerian Embassy in Berlin, Germany, said that naysayers had taken to social media and spending huge amounts of money to spread fake new and distort the situation in Nigeria.
The Minister visited the German capital to attend a meeting of African Tourism Ministers, on the side-lines of the International Travel Trade Fair.
“Contrary to the fake news being peddled in the social media by the naysayers, President Muhammadu Buhari is putting Nigeria back on its feet,” Mr. Lai said according to the statement released by his Special Adviser, Segun Adeyemi.
“That is why Nigerians at home and abroad must ensure they have access to authentic information.
“One way is to download the FGNiAPP on their hand-held devices. It is free.”
“The economy is on a steady growth, as attested to be by the latest report from the National Bureau of Statistics:
“The economy attracted 12.2 billion dollars in foreign investments in 2017, up from $5.38 billion in 2016.
“That represents 138 per cent increase.
‘’The economy further consolidated its recovery from recession with GDP growing by 1.92 per cent in Q4 2017, compared to 1.40 per cent in Q3 2017 and a contraction of -1.73 per cent in Q4 2016.
“This means the economy ended 2017 with a growth of 0.82 per cent compared to a
contraction of -1.58 per cent in 2016.
“GDP growth in Q4 2017 was driven by growth in crop production, crude production and natural gas, metal ores, construction, transportation and storage, trade, electricity and gas production.
“These are indications that the administration’s diversification effort is working.”
Mr. Lai said that the clashes between farmers and herdsmen were due to environmental issues and not ethnic or religious as being insinuated in certain quarters.
Adding that the population of Nigeria in 1963 was about 48million, “it is now about 180 million with the country’s land mass remaining the same.’’
He noted that the implication was that there were more people per square kilometer which consequently raised the chances of clashes over dwindling resources.
Mr. Lai Mohammed said that the Lake Chad which used to provide water and other resources to over 30million people in four countries including Nigeria in the early 1960s had shrunk by about 90%, from 25,000 square kilometers to 2,500 square kilometers, forcing those affected to move south in search of resources.
“These and other reasons, like desertification, have altered the resource landscape, heightened competition for dwindling resources and raised the possibility of clashes between farmers and herders.”
He further assured of the President Muhammadu Buhari’s government commitment to finding a lasting solution to the clashes, adding that the establishment of ranches was a sure way to reducing clashes.