The Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed, has disclosed that President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration has achieved more in the areas of citizens welfare compared to past governments before him.
The claim by the minister came while expressing regret on how Nigerians have failed to appreciate Buhari’s efforts in making life better for the citizens and the country at large despite little resources.
The underappreciation, Mohammed said, has become his only regret as a minister in the All Progressives Congress (APC)-led central government.
Speaking on Tuesday at a Special Forum of the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Abuja, the minister noted that with dwindling resources, no government in the history of Nigeria had implemented programmes alleviating poverty among women and vulnerable groups as well as created jobs for the youths as the Buhari administration had done.
The minister said his regret is that some Nigerians have failed to appreciate the efforts of the government but keep celebrating negative developments.
“My regret in this government is that Nigerians have failed to appreciate that the government is doing much more with much less. 2010 to 2014 crude oil was selling from 100 dollars to 140 dollars per barrel, but the highest we have sold since we came in is 60 dollars.
“Sometimes at the peak of COVID-19 pandemic, we were even paying for storage because nobody wanted to take our crude. With the drop in revenues and security challenges this government has not retrenched one person but put in place programmes to cushion the effects of the pandemic,’’ he said.
The minister claimed that Nigerians are not giving credit to various intervention programmes of government such as the School Feeding Programme, with no fewer than 12.8 million pupils getting one free meal a day to develop their mental capacity.
He said that over one million Nigerians had benefitted from the Conditional Cash Transfer programme carried out in conjunction with the World Bank under which N5,000 is disbursed monthly to vulnerable Nigerians.
Mohammed also said that the N75 billion National Youth Investment Fund initiated by the government had provided job opportunities for the youths.
The minister said that other initiatives targeted at the youths included N-POWER which had engaged 500,000 beneficiaries with 400,000 added from December.
He further added that 10,000 youths had been trained and benefitted under the N-TECH and N-AGRO initiatives while over two million farmers and traders were empowered under the FARMERMONI, TRADERMONI and MARKETMONI.