Buhari said his administration had recorded concrete achievements, “which were evident for all to see,” since its coming on board on May 19, 2015.
The President spoke on Monday at the opening of a two-day Nigeria Governors’ Forum Media Conference for Media Handlers of States’ Chief Executives in Abuja.
He was apparently reacting to the claim by his predecessor, Goodluck Jonathan, that his (Buhari’s) administration was full of lies and propaganda and had achieved nothing in the more than two years of being in power.
Jonathan had said this last Thursday in Abuja when he was visited by a former Minister of Education, Prof. Tunde Adeniran, who is seeking to be elected as the National Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party.
The ex-President in his remarks while playing host to Adeniran said the Buhari government “deploys propaganda and lies at a professional level.”
But Buhari, who was represented by the Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, at the Monday event, said it was sad that fake news were being promoted by some Nigerians.
He said, “For our administration, our achievements are there for all to see. We are delivering in the broad areas that formed the plank of our policies – security, fight against corruption, and the economy, which includes massive provision of infrastructure, ease of doing business and agriculture, just to mention a few.’’
Mohammed said Buhari’s achievements included scrapping the fuel subsidy regime while at the same time ensuring availability of petroleum products.
He said the Buhari administration had also recorded success in the area of power generation, transmission and distribution.
Other achievements of the Buhari administration, Mohammed said, included massive provision of infrastructure; tackling insecurity and making a success of the agriculture revolution.
He said, “Those who accused this administration of ‘propaganda and lies’ in the fuel supply sector, for example, did not tell Nigerians that whereas they paid between N800bn and N1.3tn as ‘subsidy’ yearly in their time, without making the products available even at regulated prices, this administration is not paying any subsidy, yet all products are currently available at competitive prices and fuel queues are now history.
“In their time, they paid subsidy of N3.7bn daily in 2011; N2.2bn daily in 2012 and 2013, and 2.5bn in 2014, all for products that were never available.
“Those who accused this government of ‘propaganda and lies’ also said we have not achieved anything in the power sector. Comment is free; facts are sacred, as they say. When this administration assumed office on 29 May, 2015, available power on the grid totalled 2,690MW, transmission capacity was around 5,000MW and distribution capacity was 4,000MW.
“As of September 4, 2017, the available power that can be put on the grid was 6,619MW; the transmission capacity was simulated at 6,700MW (up from 5,000 MW in 2015) but the distribution capacity was 4,600MW, which was what was put on the grid. On September 12, 2017, production of power reached an all-time level of 7,001MW.’’
He said it was an irony that those who presided over a budget of N18bn for roads, N5bn for power and N1.8bn for housing in 2015 were now accusing those who spent N198.25bn on roads, N91.2bn on power and N71.559bn on housing in the following year of non-achievement.
He said, “Because of the increased spending in these areas, the massive debts owed to contractors are being settled so they can recall workers who were laid off and reopen closed work sites. As a matter of fact, during the implementation of the 2016 budget, we paid 103 construction companies executing 192 projects, and they, in turn, employed 17,749 people directly and 52,000 people indirectly in works.”
The Punch Newspaper