We’ll soon be going to UK to get information about Nigeria if digital preservation of national archives isn’t adopted: Lai Mohammed

Alhaji Lai Mohammed, Minister of Information and Culture, has said Nigerian president, Muhammadu Buhari administration put pampered corrupt Nigerians under trial, while also noting that there is no doubt that President Buhari administration would leave a legacy of probity for the country.

Mohammed stated this on Monday in his opening remarks at the 16th Edition of the “PMB Administration Scorecard Series (2015-2023)” in Abuja, noting that between the last edition of the PMB Administration Scorecard Series on December 22nd, 2022, and today’s (yesterday’s) opening edition for 2023, a lot of things have happened in the polity.

“While some of the Administration’s fiercest critics said we have achieved nothing, others have admitted, though seemingly tongue in cheek, that it’s only in the area of infrastructure that the Administration has performed.”

He faulted both groups saying: “Well, I want to say that both groups are wrong, very wrong.

“Yes, infrastructure development under the Buhari Administration is unprecedented since the nation’s return to democratic rule in 1999, and it has set the country on the path of development. But no, our legacy is more than infrastructure.”

The minister noted that among others the Buhari Administration is leaving a legacy of probity.

He said: “Some critics say ‘oh, they say they are fighting corruption and some public officials have stolen money under their nose’.

“We say the fact that they were caught and are being tried is a reflection of our zero tolerance for corruption.

“Where others covered and pampered corrupt people, we exposed and put them on trial.

“Whereas the immediate past administration came up with such programmes as TSA (Treasury Single Account) and IPPIS (Integrated Payroll and Personnel Information System), they were implemented largely on paper until we came on board and ensured total implementation.

“The EFCC, the ICPC and other anti-corruption agencies have gone beyond merely arresting and prosecuting alleged corrupt officials to institutionalizing the fight against corruption through various programmes.”

Apart from the culture of probity, the minister said the Buhari Administration is leaving a legacy of a social investment programme that is unprecedented in the whole of Africa, a programme that has enhanced the quality of life of the beneficiaries.

“Our pace-setting social investment programmes like N-Power, School Feeding, Conditional Cash Transfer and GEEP (Government Enterprise Empowerment programme)” he said, “have benefitted millions of our citizens, both young and old, and this can neither be trivialized nor denied.”

He added that the Buhari Administration is leaving a legacy of putting Nigeria on the path of self-sufficiency in many staples, including rice.

According to him, fertilizer blending plants in the country have increased astronomically from 10 in 2015 to 142 today, the number of rice mills in the country has increased markedly from 10 in 2015 to 80 today.

“Little wonder that Nigeria, which was the number one export destination for rice in 2014, according to Thai authorities, is now ranked as number 79! This is why we cannot understand the campaign promise of former Vice President Atiku Abubakar to throw open our borders if elected, because this will simply reverse all the gains of the past seven years plus.

“But 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 because of Covid-19,” he said.

He also said the Buhari Administration is leaving a legacy of a revamped security sector, in the face of unprecedented security challenges in the country.

He said: “Today, the Nigerian military is being restored to its glorious past, thanks to Mr. President’s foresight and doggedness in re-equipping the various services.

“And this has made it possible for the military to tackle insurgency and all other security challenges facing the country. As you can now see, this military has been recording success after success.

“Compare this with those who literally passed a vote of no confidence in our military by bringing in mercenaries to fight insurgency. Not only that, they looted dry all the funds earmarked to buy arms and ammunition for the military.

“Some of the alleged looters said they spent billions just praying against Boko Haram!

“The Nigerian military, which has excelled in global peacekeeping operations since 1960 and has sacrificed a lot to keep our country united, has regained its respect and influence.

“Ditto the Nigeria Police, which is steadily being repositioned to be efficient and well-motivated, and to improve its capacity to face modern day security challenges.

“As the Honourable Minister of Police Affairs told us here last month, the Nigeria Police now has a state-of-the-art National Command and Control Centre.

“This is unprecedented. Other security agencies have not been left behind in the area of capacity enhancement through training and modernization of equipment.”

Mohammed said the Buhari Administration is equally leaving a legacy of inclusiveness, especially in the areas of infrastructure and social development, while noting that there is no state in the country that is not witnessing at least a road, or a bridge or a housing project. None!

He said the Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning has also told Nigerians how Mr. President approved tranches upon tranches of funds to states, irrespective of their party affiliation, to enable them meet their obligations to the people.

“We dare any part of this country to say that it has not benefitted from the programmes of the Buhari Administration in one way or another and we will happily counter that with verifiable evidence,” he said.

The minister said the Buhari Administration is leaving a legacy of leapfrogging Nigeria into the digital era, while noting that President Buhari has signed into law the Startup Bill to make Nigeria a global hub for digital talent and investment.

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