The President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, President Muhammadu Buhari while doing an assessment of his used tenure in office as the president of the federation while speaking on the second day of the Ministerial Performance Review Retreat at Aso Villa in Abuja declared that he has done his best for the nation; also the president added that as part of his plans to cushion the harsh effects of the outbreak of the novel virus, Covid-19 on the citizens and as well as on businesses (both small, medium and large scale), he has ordered the timely and immediate release of the sum of N2.3 trillion Economic Sustainability Package
President Buhari also in his speech at the event admonished the Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) Governor Godwin Emefiele, Minister of Finance Budget and National Planning Mrs Zainab that they should make sure that the required actions are taken on the Stimulus package and the released funds for capital projects in the 2020 budget.
The President also encouraged the ministers in the federation to defend the government vigorously, adding that they must not allow irresponsible and politically motivated activists to keep churning lies and propaganda against the government.
Also in the same event, the Vice President of the Federation, Professor Yemi Osinbajo revealed the plans of the federal government to create millions of jobs through various programmes in the country to address the rising cases of unemployment especially
President Buhari while listing the achievements of his led administration explained that through the Anchor Borrowers Programme and the Presidential Fertilizer Initiative, his administration has demonstrated its renewed vigor and commitment on the nation’s agricultural sector.
He also stated that his administration has made great and positive progress on the railway projects which was embarked on by his administration to link and connect several parts of the country. He added that the Lagos-Ibadan rail line is up and functioning, same applicable with the Abuja- Kaduna rail line.
Speaking on other railway project in other parts of the nation, President Muhammadu Buhari explained that there are on-going plans by the Federal Government to ensure that it complete the Ibadan-Kano railway project and to also start in earnest the Port Harcourt – Maiduguri railway line which is been done to link the Southern and Eastern States to the Northern States.
According to him, work is on-going at the Second Niger Bridge and is currently at Forty-Six per cent completion and that it is the hope of his government to commission the project before the expiry of the tenure of his led administration.
Still talking about the achievements of his led administration in Nigeria, the President also stated that his administration have awarded several contracts to rehabilitate, reconstruct and construct the arterial roads in order to reduce to the barest minimum the pains and hardship of road users in the nation and to also give rise to economic activities in the nation.
Speaking about the Ajaokuta- Kaduna-Kano (AKK) Gas pipeline project, he explained that project is being developed in the nation at this critical time because of the commitment of his led administration to increase the infrastructure asset of the nation and to also use the project to promote the use of gas in the country
Also on the anti-corruption stand of his administration, President Muhammadu Buhari stated that his administration is poised to continue building a strong institutional capacities in the fight against corruption in the nation adding that this it aims to do by ensuring that its anti corruption agencies which includes the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, the Code of Conduct Bureau and the Code of Conduct Tribunal which is aided by a Presidential Advisory Committee on Anti- Corruption in such a way that they work in synergy with one another even as they are all guided by the law.
Also on the issue of insecurity and insurgency in the nation, the president stated that it has worked to address the several rising cases of insecurity and insurgency in the nation with practical approaches such as the “Operation Safe Corridor” which was done to radicalise, rehabilitate and also reintegrate the willing surrendered Boko haram members back into the society. He also explained that the security operations in the Niger Delta, North Central and Northern States are yielding the desired results as planned by his government. According to him, we hope to get rid of bandits, kidnappers and other criminal elements in these parts of the nation.
He concluded by saying that his led administration in the country is vigorously working towards addressing the negative effects which came to being as a result of the outbreak of the advent of COVID-19 pandemic. He explained that through the constitution of a Presidential Task Force for proper and effective coordination and the establishment of the Economic Sustainability Plan which is expected to last for Twelve Months is to cushion the effect of the pandemic on the citizens as well as business owners.
While we commend the Federal Government of Nigeria under the leadership of President Muhammadu Buhari for its various steps in ensuring even and growth and development in all sectors of the nation, it must also be stated that the Nigerian populace still expects more from them especially in this period when their financial wits had been incapacitated as a result of the outbreak of COVID-19 in Nigeria and across the world.
While so many businesses has been lost and many people becoming unemployed, the decision of the Federal Government to inject the sum of N2.3 trillion as its Economic Sustainability Package which it aims to use to cushion the effect of COVID-19 on the Nigerian populace is a good and welcome idea especially in a time when the buying power of the Nigerian Populace has been drastically deflated because of the recent hike in petroleum price and electricity tariff in Nigeria.
While the Nigerian nation expect the full materialization of this plan by the federal government, it’s however important for the federal government and all involved agencies to see to a proper accountability from the hands of people who will be picked to execute the project.
By Marcus Amudipe