TEXT OF THE PRESS CONFERENCE BY THE HONOURABLE MINISTER OF INFORMATION AND CULTURE, ALHAJI LAI MOHAMMED, ON THE MID-TERM REPORT (SECOND TERM) OF THE PRESIDENT MUHAMMADU BUHARI ADMINISTRATION…IN ABUJA ON TUESDAY, JUNE 1st 2021
Good afternoon gentlemen. As you are aware, May 29, 2021 marked the second anniversary of the second term of the President Muhammadu Buhari Administration.
2. To mark this anniversary, we have decided to, once again, change our strategy. Since 2016, we have heralded every anniversary, as well as every end of year, by giving massive publicity to the achievements of the Administration. We have leveraged our Town Hall Meetings, 18 of which we have held up to day, to showcase the achievements. We have also undertaken media tours of federal government projects covering many sectors across the country.
3. In the run up to the 2019 general elections, we introduced a novel idea when we launched our ‘Testimony Series’, under which we showcased the Administration’s achievements from the perspective and prism of Nigerians who have benefitted from the various government projects and programmes, ranging from infrastructure to school feeding system. The ‘Testimony Series’ was so successful that it rattled the opposition into issuing a statement calling for a probe of the funds spent on it.
4. However, in spite of our best efforts, the naysayers have continued to say they have not seen what this Administration has achieved. They have continued to deny the obvious by pretending that these achievements are not real. Even when they have travelled on the new standard gauge rail from Abuja to Kaduna, Lagos to Ibadan, and Itakpe-Ajaokuta-Warri, they still deny that any progress has been made in modernizing the country’s rail infrastructure. They travel through the ultra-modern airport terminals in Abuja and Enugu, yet they deny any progress has been made in modernizing our airports.
5. This year, 2021, which marks the half-way point of the second and final term of the Muhammadu Buhari Administration, we have decided to once again change our styke for more effectiveness. Our new strategy is to suffuse the airwaves and the social media with unmistakable video evidence of the various achievements, to such an extent that even the blind can ‘see’ and the deaf can ‘hear’.
6. Ahead of the anniversary, we commissioned an all-encompassing and unprecedented documentary on the projects and programmes of this Administration. Gentlemen, the documentary is ready, and it’s coming to your television sets and your telephones (via Whatsapp, Facebook, Instagram, etc). Because of the sheer enormity of the achievements, the documentary will be aired in three parts, and will run for months. When we started, we envisaged a two-part documentary, but in order to accommodate a large chunk of the achievements, we decided to extend it to three parts.
7. The documentary, which will be updated from time to time until the end of the Administration’s tenure, covers roads, rail, housing, power, aviation, agriculture, ports, bridges, health, fight against Covid-19, water resources and the economy generally. Let me list some of these projects (please note that while work has been completed on many of the projects, work is still ongoing on others):
* Lagos-Ibadan Expressway
*Enugu-Port Harcourt dualization
* Abuja-Abaji-Lokoja dualization
* Abuja-Kaduna- Zaria Expressway
* Kano-Maiduguri Expressway dualization
* Suleja-Minna highway
* Milliken Hill Ngwo & Bonny-Bodo-Road
* Second Niger Bridge
* Loko-Oweto Bridge
* Zungeru Hydroelectric Dam
* Goronyo Dam
* Airport upgrades in Abuja, Lagos and Enugu
* Agriculture (rice and chicken farming, among others)
* Apapa Standard Gauge Line
* Ebute Metta-Ibadan Standard Gauge Line
* Itakpe-Ajaokuta-Aladja Standard Gauge Line
* Ajaokuta-Kaduna-Kano Natural Gas Pipeline
* Onitsha and Lekki Deep Water Ports
* The fight against Covid-19
* Digital Switch Over in Broadcasting
* The 1,000-village Star Times Project
* FHA Hoisng Projects in Ajoda New Town (Oyo State)/FHA Kwali Mass Housing Project
* NSIA-Umuahia Diagnostic Centre
* NSIA-Aminu Kano teaching Hospital
* NSIA-LUTH Cancer Centre
* Acquisition and upgrade of military platforms
Gentlemen, this list is by no means exhaustive, as you will see when the documentary hit the screen. It is the most comprehensive project yet to showcase the achievements of this Administration.
8. Let me repeat what I have said many times in the past: Never in the history of our country has any Administration done so much with so little. It’s easy to forget now, but when this Administration came into office in 2015, the price of crude oil, which provides 80 per cent of Nigeria’s budgetary revenues and 95 per cent of foreign exchange earnings, dropped drastically and, along with it, the fund available to the government. It is therefore monumental that this Administration has achieved so much despite the paucity of fund.
9. I want to state emphatically that while more attention has been given, especially in recent times, to the security challenges facing our country, those challenges are fleeting and will not define the legacy of President Muhammadu Buhari. Let me say that President Buhari’s legacy is assured, and will be defined by his massive achievements in office. The roads, rails, bridges, mass housing, port development, improvement in power supply and other massive infrastructural development will last for generations to come and will help propel economic growth and national development.
10. Gentlemen, we will now give you a sneak preview of the documentary. This short clip is like a teaser. Please enjoy it. After watching it, I will take your questions.
11. I thank you for your kind attention