President Muhammadu Buhari has asked his ministers to go on the offensive and vigorously defend his government irresponsible and politically motivated activists spreading patent falsehoods about the government.
The president also promised to complete the second Niger Bridge before his term ends saying, “Work is ongoing at the 2nd Niger Bridge and is at 46 per cent completion. We hope to commission the project before the end of our tenure in 2023.”
Speaking at the ministerial review retreat held at the state house on Tuesday, Buhari said information to the public should be better packaged, telling the ministers to “go on the offensive. We are proud of our achievements and we should blow our own trumpets.”
He said, “I am glad that these policies, programmes and projects have recorded appreciable successes. Our renewed vigor on agriculture has been demonstrated through our Anchor Borrowers Programme and the Presidential Fertilizer Initiative.”
He said the government had made progress on the railway projects with a view to connecting different parts of the country. The Lagos-Ibadan rail line, he said, is up and working. The Abuja-Kaduna rail line is efficiently running.
Arrangements, the president said, were being made to complete the Ibadan – Kano, commence the Port Harcourt – Maiduguri line which will connect the Southern and Eastern States to the Northern States.
He said, “We have flagged off the Ajaokuta-Kaduna-Kano (AKK) Gas Pipeline Project which is being developed at this critical time in Nigeria’s commitment to increasing our infrastructure assets and promote the use of gas in the domestic market.”
He said, “We have also worked to address emergent cases of insecurity and insurgency in the country with innovative approaches such as “Operation Safe Corridor,” which de-radicalize, rehabilitate, and reintegrate willingly surrendered Boko Haram members into the larger society.
“Our security operations in the Niger Delta, North Central and North Western States are yielding desired results. We hope to get rid of bandits, kidnappers and other criminal elements in these regions.”
Buhari added, “I have to charge all of you to defend the Government vigorously and not allow irresponsible and politically motivated activists to keep spreading patent falsehoods about this government. Information to the public should be better packaged. Go on the offensive. We are proud of our achievements and we should blow our own trumpets.
“Let me also reiterate that all submissions for my attention or meeting requests be channeled through the Chief of Staff. While all Federal Executive Council matters be coordinated through the Secretary to the Government of the Federation.
“I have directed the Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, the Governor of Central Bank of Nigeria, and all other responsible Agencies to ensure speedy and timely release of funds to MDAs for implementation of the N2.3trn Economic Sustainability Plan and the Capital Projects in the 2020 Budget.”
The president enjoined Ministers to ensure that funds released were utilised efficiently and transparently in implementing the programmes and projects along the 9 Priorities of Government.