Buhari To Jonathan: Leave Propaganda And See Our Achievements
Ever since former president Goodluck Jonathan alleged that the government of the All Progressives Congress was not performing, president Muhammadu Buhari has not ceased to respond to that statement.
On Monday, President Buhari again told the former President that the achievements of his administration were glaring and visible for all to see and not laced with lies and propaganda.
Addressing the Nigeria Governors’ Forum Conference for Media Handlers of States’ Chief Executives, the President, represented by the Minister of Information, Mr Lai Mohammed, said the new strategy of the naysayers was to label the achievements of his government as ‘propaganda and lies’ in order to discredit them.
Dr. Jonathan had last week took a swipe at the APC Government, alleging that the Federal Government under President Buhari was “characterised by lies and propaganda”.
But Buhari has not stopped defending his administration.
“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.
Figures On Achievements
Putting forward figures to justify his position, the president said the Jonathan administration paid between 800 billion Naira and 1.3 trillion Naira as ‘subsidy’ yearly in its time, without making the products available even at regulated prices.
“Our administration is not paying any subsidy, yet all products are presently available at competitive prices and fuel queues are now history.
“In their time, they paid subsidy of 3.7 billion Naira daily in 2011, 2.2 billion Naira in 2012 and 2013, and 2.5 billion Naira daily in 2014, all for products that were never available,” the president stressed.
In the power sector, Buhari said when his administration assumed office on May 29, 2015, available power on the grid totalled 2,690 megawatts, transmission capacity was around 5,000MW and distribution capacity was 4,000MW.
Comparatively, the president said that 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.
The president said that in 2015, with the high revenue that accrued to the government, the Jonathan administration only funded roads with paltry sum of 18 billion Naira while 5 billion Naira and 1.8 billion Naira were used to fund Power and Housing sectors respectively.
President Buhari further told the forum that in 2016, in spite of dwindling resources owing to fall in price of crude oil, his administration spent 198.25 billion Naira on roads, 91.2 billion Naira on power and 71.559 billion Naira 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,” the President further stated.
According to him, so far in 2017, 47.169 billion Naira had been paid to 62 contractors working on 149 projects to continue work on roads and bridges and keep people at work.
In the area of economy, the president noted that, it could not be ‘propaganda and lies’ that headline Inflation had fallen for the eighth consecutive month (February to September 2017).
“Foreign exchange reserves are up to $32 billion from $24 billion 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.
Other areas that President Buhari touched were the home-grown School Feeding Programme, the N-Power Programme, Government Enterprise & Empowerment Programme and the agriculture sector where 15 moribund Fertilizer Blending Plants had been revitalised.