President Muhammadu Buhari has asked members of his cabinet to espouse and propagate the achievements of his administration rather than allow opponents discredit his government’s successful performance.
“I have to charge all of you to defend the government vigorously and not allow any irresponsible and politically motivated statements to keep spreading falsehoods about this government. Information to the public should be better packaged, go on the offensive, we are proud of our achievements and we should blow our own trumpets,” he said.
He gave the new charge in his address at the two-day retreat for ministers, permanent secretaries and other top government officials working with him yesterday. They were sworn in on August 21, 2019.
The event was held at the State House Conference Centre, Presidential Villa, Abuja on Monday and Tuesday.
The president has done remarkably well in the last one year especially in its promise to lift 100 million Nigerians out of poverty.
“Let me reassure all Nigerians that this administration remains resolute in initiating programmes aimed at improving the quality of lives and uplifting 100 million Nigerians out of poverty over the next ten years,” he said
He added that the administration’s policies include the protection of lives and properties and ensuring equitable distribution of the nation’s wealth.
His words: “I am glad that these policies, programmes and projects have recorded appreciable successes. Our renewed vigour on agriculture has been demonstrated through our Anchor Borrowers Programme and the Presidential Fertiliser Initiative.”
“We have made progress on the railway projects with a view to connecting different parts of the country. The Lagos-Ibadan rail line is up and working. The Abuja-Kaduna rail line is efficiently running. Arrangements are being made to complete the Ibadan – Kano, commence the Port Harcourt – Maiduguri line which will connect the Southern and Eastern States to the Northern States.
“Work is ongoing at the 2nd Niger Bridge and is at 46 per cent completion. We hope to commission the project before the end of our tenure in 2023. Several contracts have been awarded to rehabilitate, reconstruct and construct our arterial roads, to reduce the hardship to commuters and increase economic activities across the States.
“We have flagged off the Ajaokuta-Kaduna-Kano (AKK) Gas Pipeline Project which is being developed at this critical time in Nigeria’s commitment to increasing our infrastructure assets and promote the use of gas in the domestic market.”
On insecurity, anti-corruption war and Covid-19 pandemic, he said: “Our security operations in the Niger Delta, North Central and North Western States are yielding desired results. We hope to get rid of bandits, kidnappers and other criminal elements in these regions.
“The advent of COVID-19 pandemic and its attendant negative effect is being addressed through the constitution of a Presidential Task Force for proper coordination and the launch of the twelve-month Economic Sustainability Plan to cushion the effect of the pandemic on our citizens and business owners.”
“Let me also reiterate that all submissions for my attention or meeting requests be channelled through the Chief of Staff while all Federal Executive Council matters be coordinated through the Secretary to the Government of the Federation.
“I have directed the Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, the Governor of Central Bank of Nigeria, and all other responsible Agencies to ensure speedy and timely release of funds to MDAs for implementation of the N2.3 Trillion Economic Sustainability Plan and the Capital Projects in the 2020 Budget. I also enjoin ministers to ensure that funds released are utilized efficiently and transparently in implementing the programmes and projects along the 9 Priorities of Government.”