By Aduragbemi Omiyale
The Minister of Information and Culture, Mr. Lai Mohammed, has said that Nigerians, especially the beneficiaries of the various social investment programmes, enjoy a better quality of life under the administration of President Muhammadu Buhari.
Speaking at the 16th PMB Management Scorecard Series (2015-2023) in Abuja on Monday, he said social investment schemes had given new life to Nigerians.
He described this as a legacy that could be hard to match, noting that the initiatives remain “unprecedented across Africa.”
Some of the social investment programs include N-Power, School Feeding, Conditional Cash Transfer and GEEP (Government Enterprise Empowerment Program).
“The Buhari administration is leaving a legacy of an unprecedented social investment program across Africa, a program that has improved the quality of life of the (Nigerian) beneficiaries.
“Our standard-setting social investment programs such as N-Power, School Feeding, Conditional Cash Transfer and GEEP (Government Enterprise Empowerment Program) have benefited millions of our citizens, both young and old, and this is not it cannot be trivialized or denied”, said the Minister at the ceremony, which was attended by the Minister of State for Petroleum, Mr. Timipre Sylva, addressing the journalists.
Mohammed accused the “opposition [of] trying to distort the achievements of President Muhammadu Buhari for their own selfish ends.”
“While some of the administration’s fiercest critics have said we have accomplished nothing, others have admitted, albeit seemingly wryly, that it is only in the area of infrastructure that the administration has done,” he added.
However, he found fault with this argument, noting that Buhari has been successful in other areas such as security and has put Nigeria on the path of self-sufficiency in many basic products, including rice.
“Fertilizer mixing plants in the country have increased astronomically from 10 in 2015 to 142 today, and the number of rice mills in the country has increased remarkably from 10 in 2015 to 80 today.
“It is no surprise that Nigeria, which was the top rice export destination in 2014 according to Thai authorities, now ranks 79th.
“This is why we cannot understand former Vice President Atiku Abubakar’s campaign promise to open our borders if he is elected because this will simply reverse all the gains of the last seven years or more.
“Had it not been for Mr. President’s insistence that Nigeria should produce what it consumes and consume what it produces, it would have been doubly difficult for our country to survive during the global lockdown due to COVID-19,” he noted.
He claimed that “deniers” and the opposition “posing as objective analysts could continue to attack us. They can continue to trumpet only the negative aspects, both real and imagined, but they cannot erase these legacies. They can’t rewrite the history of these past seven more years.”