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Opposition parties ganging up against Buhari – Lai Mohammed says

The Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed, has accused opposition political parties of ganging up against President Buhari and misleading Nigerians about the Buhari-led administration.

The minister said this while speaking at the 14th edition of the PMB scorecard series in Abuja, on Tuesday, December 20. He said the government is aware that, in the build-up to the 2023 general election, opposition parties deliberately lie to Nigerians, on the campaign trails, about Buhari’s administration.

“Permit me to quickly respond to the preposterous claim by the opposition, on the campaign trail, that this administration has not achieved anything and hence has nothing to campaign with. Are these people living in a cave?

If they haven’t seen, have they not heard of our National Social Investment Programme that is unprecedented in the history of this country?

No administration in the history of Nigeria has had a Social Investment Programme that feeds 10 million school children a day; a cash transfer scheme that has enrolled 1,632,480 households (households, not individuals); a scheme that empowers and pays stipends to unemployed graduates and an enterprise empowerment programme that provides easily-accessible micro-loans to those at the bottom of the pyramid, who engage in commercial activities but face significant challenges with access to finance/credit?

Before we came into office in 2015, Nigeria did not have a functioning modern railway system. Today, we have a well-functioning Abuja-Kaduna, Lagos-Ibadan and Itakpe-Warri modern rail systems. They lay claim to starting Abuja-Kaduna but forgot that Itakpe-Warri was also started by another administration over 30 years ago, but abandoned until this administration assumed office in 2015,” Mohammed said.

The minister reiterated that Buhari has made history by completing long-abandoned projects of past administrations, and, also, taking legacy projects to abandoned communities across the country.

“Before this administration came into office in 2015, several past administrations had started and completed -on paper – the all-important Second Niger Bridge.

Only last week, this bridge became a reality when it was opened to motorists. What about the 40-kilometre Bonny-Bodo road that has a total of 13 bridges? In the words of the minister of Works and Housing, for the first time in the history of mankind, you can now walk on your way between Bodo and Bonny. What about airport terminals? Do these people close their eyes when they fly through brand new terminals at airports in Abuja, Lagos, Port Harcourt and Enugu?

Is the opposition pretending not to have heard of the Ajaokuta-Kaduna-Kano (AKK), 614-km-long gas pipeline project that will ferry gas from southern to northern Nigeria, and which represents phase 1 of the 1,300-km-long Trans-Nigerian Gas Pipeline Project? Can they deny the crude oil find in the Kolmani Field spanning Bauchi and Gombe states where drilling was flagged off by Mr. President last month? Can they deny that the Anchor Borrowers’ Programme has helped to move Nigeria closer to attaining self sufficiency in many staples?

Can the opposition deny that we have put in place the Integrated National Security and Waterways Protection Infrastructure, otherwise known as Deep Blue Asset that has seen a drastic decline in piracy attacks? Can an administration, with at least one road construction in every state of the federation, and the one that has completed housing projects in 35 states, be labelled as non-performing?

What about the liberation of Nigeria’s territory from insurgents and the re-equipping of our security forces, the same security forces that were left stranded when money meant to equip them were looted silly by rampaging officials, some of whom admitted to spending N2.2 billion to pray against Boko Haram?

Who gave Nigeria the Petroleum Industry Act, the most ambitious attempt at overhauling the petroleum sector in Nigeria?”

Meanwhile, in his presentation, Minister of Youths and Sports Development, Sunday Dare, decried low revenue generation by the sports sector. He said Nigeria realizes less than half a million dollars from sports yearly.

On Nigeria’s failure to qualify for the recently-concluded World Cup tournament in Qatar, he said

“We tried but our efforts was not enough.”

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