•Says better platforms for terror war coming
The Federal Government has given an assurance that the country will witness improved security this year.
The Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, gave the assurance at a New Year media briefing on Monday in Lagos.
The minister disclosed that a number of the platforms the country had been expecting to pep up the battle against terrorists and bandits would arrive in the New Year.
He said President Muhammadu Buhari had continued to provide the armed forces and other security agencies with whatever was required to function better in terms of platforms, logistics and capacity development.
“As the president said in his new year broadcast, the security apparatus and personnel of the armed forces and the police are to be re-energised and re-organised.
“This is with a view to enhancing their capacity to engage, push back and dismantle the operations of both internal and external extremist and criminal groups waging war against our communities in some parts of the country,” he said.
Mohammed paid tributes to all security personnel for their sacrifice, dedication to duty and patriotism, noting that the nation remained in their debt for their service.
The minister said that 2020 was one of the most challenging years for the country with COVID-19 and EndSARS protest impacting on the economy in addition to security challenges.
He said the government, however, rose with courage and determination to tackle the challenges and had continued to do so.
“The year 2020 has been a challenging year, undoubtedly one of the most challenging years for the country.
“A global pandemic that triggered an economic recession, security challenge and an unnecessary violence that stemmed from what started as a peaceful protest are just some of the challenges.
“It is to the credit of the President Mohammadu Buhari Administration that it tackled these challenges headlong.
“Thanks to the several complementary fiscal, real sector and monetary interventions proactively introduced by the
government to forestall a far worse decline of the economy and alleviate the negative consequences of the pandemic,” he said.
The minister said the government equally introduced the Economic Sustainability Plan and took significant steps to reach out to the vulnerable.
Specifically, he said the National Social Register was expanded to 3.6 million beneficiaries across the 36 states while support was provided to 8.8 million households through the 70,000 metric tons food grains released from the Strategic Reserve.
Mohammed also said no fewer than 1.3 million vulnerable households benefited from the Conditional Cash Transfers across 34 states.
He said various other interventions were made through the Government Enterprise and Empowerment Programme as well as the Trader and Market Moni loans.
The minister berated opposition figures for their constant criticism of the programmes and activities of government as well as whatever the president said or did without justifiable reasons. (NAN)