By Ikechukwu Okaforadi
Chieftains of the All Progressives Congress (APC) under the aegis of APC Legacy Awareness & Campaign (APC – LAC), has said that President Muhammadu Buhari, over the past six years, has boldly pursued reforms aimed at laying a solid and sustainable foundation for the greatness of Nigeria.
The group said this in a statement issued yesterday by the Director General of Progressive Governors Forum (PGF), Salihu Lukman, the National Youth Representative of the Caretaker Extraordinary Convention Planning Committee (CECPC), Ismail Ahmed, former National Publicity Secretary of the party, Lanre Issa-Onilu and Tolu Ogunlesi.
It said “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.”’
It said more road and rail infrastructure are being built and/or completed since 2015, than in the sixteen years between 1999 and 2015, adding that several landmark infrastructure initiatives are being implemented by the Buhari Administration, from the Presidential Infrastructure Development Fund (PIDF) to the Infrastructure Company (InfraCo).
Others, it said are: 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, 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.
It further said that under the watch of APC controlled Federal Government led by President Buhari, 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. 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.
“Governance Reforms: 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, take-off of the Ogoni Clean Up, after several years of delays, and many more” the group said.