The Minister of Information and Culture Lai Mohammed, has revealed key projects that have been delivered so far in six months of this year to convince Nigerians of the administration’s commitment to overall development of the nation.
At a media interaction in Abuja yesterday to present the President’s midterm report of his second term in office, the Minister recalled that since 2016, government has heralded every anniversary, as well as every end of year, by giving massive publicity to the achievements of the Administration.
He said the administration has leveraged itsTown Hall Meetings, 18 of which have so far been held to day, to showcase the achievements.
In the run up to the 2019 general elections, the administration he said introduced a novel idea with the launch of ‘Testimony Series’, under which government 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.
In the list of achievement mentioned by Mohammed, include the functioning new standard gauge rail from Abuja to Kaduna, Lagos to Ibadan, and Itakpe-Ajaokuta-Warri, which is a clear testimony in efforts aimed at modernizing the country’s rail infrastructure.
Also, the administration boosts of the ultra-modern airport terminals in Abuja and Enugu, which aimed at modernizing our airports.
“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’.” said the Minister.
Ahead of the anniversary, government commissioned an all-encompassing and unprecedented documentary on the projects and programmes of this Administration. The documentary he said is ready, and will be broadcast by television stations and uploaded via Whatsapp, Facebook, Instagram, etc to be viewed on telephone handsets.
“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.” he explained.
The documentary, he promised will be updated from time to time until the end of the Administration’s tenure and will cover roads, rail, housing, power, aviation, agriculture, ports, bridges, health, fight against COVID-19, water resources and the economy generally.
He listed core projects undertaken by the administration to include, Lagos-Ibadan Expressway, Apapa-Oworonsoki Expressway, Enugu-Port Harcourt dualization, Abuja-Abaji-Lokoja dualization, Abuja-Kaduna- Zaria Expressway, Kano-Maiduguri Expressway dualization, Suleja-Minna highway and Milliken Hill Ngwo & Bonny-Bodo-Road.
Others are 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 and The fight against COVID-19.
The rest are 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 and Acquisition and upgrade of military platforms.
He clarified that while some of these projects have been completed some are still ongoing.
The Minister said he would not be able to exhaust the list but the expected documentary will showcase the rest as it is the most comprehensive project yet to showcase the achievements of this Administration.
He said that never in the history of the 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.” he claimed.
Speaking further, Mohammed added, “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.”