Friday, October 15, 2021

Buhari laying foundation for Nigeria’s greatness – APC group

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Ibrahim Ramalan
Ibrahim Ramalan is a graduate of Mass Communications from the Ahmadu Bello University (ABU) Zaria. With nearly a decade-long, active journalism practice, Mr Ramalan has been able to rise from a cub reporter to the exalted position of an editor; first as Arts Editor with the Blueprint Newspapers before resigning in 2019; second and presently as an Associate Editor of the Daily Nigerian online newspaper. He can be reached via [email protected], or www.facebook.com/ibrahim.ramalana, or @McRamalan on Twitter.
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A legacy group of the ruling All Progressives Congress, APC, under the aegis of APC Legacy Awareness and Campaign, APC-LAC, says President Muhammadu Buhari-led administration has been laying the foundation for the greatness of the country.

The group stated this in a statement jointly signed on Wednesday in Abuja by the Director-General of the Progressive Governors Forum, PGF, Salihu Lukman; APC Youth leader, Ismail Ahmed; former APC National Publicity Secretary, Lanre Issa-Onilu; and a presidential media aide, Tolu Ogunlesi.

According to the group, a lot of the investments and reforms being made currently should have been done long before now by the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, administration.

The APC legacy group noted that if opposition PDP and its leadership want to join in criticising and opposing the APC administration, it must do so by presenting to Nigerians what they did comparatively during their 16-year stewardship.

The statement said: “Since the APC Administration led by President Muhammadu Buhari assumed office six years ago, it has boldly pursued reforms aimed at laying a solid and sustainable foundation for the greatness of Nigeria.

“A lot of the investments being made today should have been done long before now, but as the Chinese proverb says, ‘The best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago. The second best time is now.’

“Developing Nigeria’s Infrastructure, in Rail, Roads, Ports, Power: More road and rail infrastructure are being built and/or completed since 2015, than in the sixteen years between 1999 and 2015.

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“Several landmark infrastructure initiatives are being implemented by the Buhari Administration, from the Presidential Infrastructure Development Fund (PIDF) to the Infrastructure Company (InfraCo), the Highway Development Maintenance Initiative (HDMI), the Sovereign Sukuk Bonds (that have collectively raised close to a billion dollars), and the Infrastructure Tax Credit Scheme.

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“All of these are unprecedented efforts in developing and upgrading national infrastructure. Equally unparalleled is President Buhari’s commitment to completing abandoned and unfinished projects inherited from previous administrations.

“Achieving Agricultural Self-Sufficiency: Through landmark initiatives like the Anchor Borrowers Programme and the Presidential Fertilizer Initiative, millions of farmers across the country have benefited from improved access to land, input, credit and fertilizers; and private sector players have invested more than a billion dollars in cultivation, milling and processing.

“Entrenching Technology in Government Processes and Service Delivery: The presidential mandates to expand the coverage of the Treasury Single Account and the Integrated Public Payroll Information System (IPPIS) to all Ministries, Departments and Agencies, Automation of the Federal Budgeting Process, Automation of Import Duty Exemption, Electronic Visas, the launch of the Open Treasury Portal, National Digital Identification, and so on.

“Creating the first truly national Social Safety Net in the history of Nigeria: Nigeria has since 2016 built the largest social investment programme in Africa, with more than 10 million beneficiaries receiving one or more of the following: Cash Transfers, Micro-Credit, School Feeding, N-Power Stipends and a Special Public Works Programme across all 774 Local Government Areas of the country.”

The group said under the watch of APC controlled federal government, “the largest single-train refinery in the world is being constructed, in Lagos, as well as the first new Deep-Sea Port in the country in decades.

“Across the Niger Delta, several private-sector-led Modular Refinery Projects have kicked off since 2016 and are being completed; as well as the long-awaited Train 7 that will expand the NLNG’s capacity by a third.

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“Billions of dollars have been invested in every part of the country by private investors in Agriculture, Mining, Oil and Gas, Manufacturing, Logistics, and other areas, since 2016.”

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On governance reforms, the statement said: “No administration since 1999 has assented to as much transformative legislation: the first Police Reform Bill since 1943, the first Prisons Reform Bill in almost fifty years, the first reform of Companies legislation (CAMA) in thirty years, the first reform of Fiscal Terms for the Oil and Gas Industry since 1993, the first legislation in West Africa aimed at criminalising Maritime Piracy, Clearing of longstanding Petroleum Joint Venture (JV) Cash Call Arrears, Restoration of the Budgeting Calendar to a January-December cycle, a take-off of the Ogoni Clean Up, after several years of delays, and many more.”

While challenging the opposition party, the APC chieftains said: “PDP and its leadership must never imagine that Nigerians have a short memory of how destructive they were as managers of Nigeria. APC is working to rebuild Nigeria after years of neglect and destruction. President Buhari is laying solid and sustainable foundation for Nigeria’s greatness!

“A New Paradigm for Federal-State Relations: Under President Buhari led APC controlled Federal Government, the era of unhelpful Federal interference in subnational affairs, resulting in illegal impeachments of Governors, withholding of State Government Funds, balkanisation of the Governors’ Forum, etc, has ended. Instead, the Federal Government under President Buhari has positioned itself as a vital source of support to the States, making available long overdue refunds like the Paris Club Refunds ($5.4 billion); Refunds for Federal Road Projects (approximately 700 billion Naira); and Bailout Funds and Budget Support in excess of Two Trillion Naira.

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“Rebuilding National Security Capacity: Even as the country continues to struggle with several historical security challenges, the APC led Administration of President Buhari has been planting the seeds for a more efficiently policed and secured country, through the following:

“Unprecedented investments in military hardware: dozens of new aircraft, ships, battle tanks and others have been ordered and are being delivered Presidential Assent to the new Police Act, in which Community Policing has been enshrined Establishment of the Police Trust Fund to finance training, logistics and welfare Investment in technology-aided policing of land and maritime environments – Nigeria Police National Command and Control Centre (NPF-C4i); Nigeria Police Crime and Incident Data Base (NPC & IDB); NIMASA’s Deep Blue Project; West African Police Information System (WAPIS) Data Collection and Recording (DACORE) Centre in partnership with INTERPOL, Nigerian Immigration Service Technology Center, and others.

“We firmly believe that these efforts will begin to yield fruit in the months and years ahead.

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“Building Bilateral Partnerships and Advancing Nigeria’s Foreign Policy Interests: The Buhari Administration has restored Nigeria’s relations with countries like the United States, United Kingdom, Morocco, Saudi Arabia, and our neighbouring countries, with positive outcomes like the sale by the United States of 12 fighter aircraft, the Presidential Fertilizer Initiative with Morocco, and the revitalization of the Multinational Joint Task Force and the Chad Basin Commission.”

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