By Rotimi Ijikanmi
The Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, says the Federal Government is delivering on its election promises and that only “a few vocal minority are not seeing what the government is doing.’’
The minister stated this when the leadership of the National Association and Nigerian Students (NANS), paid him a courtesy visit in Abuja Tuesday evening.
Mohammed said “the administration is on course in the delivery of the three major electoral promises it made before coming to power. That are: to fight corruption, fight insecurity and fix the economy.
He said in less than two years, the government had restored peace and territories that were taken over in the troubled North-East and defeated the Boko Haram insurgents.
“Our success in fighting insecurity is there for everybody to see. It is not just fighting insecurity but consistently restoring peace to every part of Nigeria’’, he said.
The minister said the administration deserved credit for securing the freedom of the Chobok school girls so far released by Boko Haram.
He assured that the government was working toward the release of the remaining girls as well as others in Boko Haram’s captivity.
In fighting corruption, the minister said government took the bull by the horns, considering the fact that “it is as deadly as insecurity and has grave effects on national development.
“In our approach, we are not interested in vilifying anybody but more interested in letting people know how much we are suffering as a result of corruption perpetrated by only a few opportunists.
“If the looted moneys were invested and utilised, today we are going to have railway, our power will not be epileptic, our roads will be better and we will not have highest number of mortality.
“We have not been selective in the fight against corruption and that is why we introduced the whistle blowing policy and I am glad to hear that the students are prepared to work with us not just to blow whistle but to blow trumpet’’, he said.
The minister said that government has done a lot in fixing the economy but the approach is not a quick fix as was done in the past and expected by the people.
He said the government was investing massively in infrastructure and in diversifying the economy from oil.
“For many decades we have discovered oil, the country has failed to develop other areas to diversify the economy.
“We came in and we said we are going to do what no government has ever done before and ensure that never again will Nigeria be held hostage by crude oil.
“We are working to develop other sectors of the economy like agriculture, manufacturing, mining and the creative industry so that even if oil falls to as low as 10 dollars a barrel, it will not affect us.
“We are also investing in infrastructure to create the foundation for sustainable economic growth’’, he said.
The minister noted that there was no gain without pain and the hardship the people were going through was temporary.
He said the national re-orientation campaign “Change Begins with Me’’ was the
greatest legacy of the administration and he was glad that the students were prepared to partner with government to take the campaign to schools.
National President of NANS, Haruna Kadiri commended the government for its efforts in addressing insecurity and ensuring the release of abducted Chibok girls.
Kadiri also commended the government’s anti-corruption policy and approach and prayed for quick recovery of the President and his safe return to continue the good work.
He said the association was ready to work with government in taking the Change Begins with Me national reorientation campaign to campuses, secondary and primary schools.