HomeNEWSDespite challenges, Buhari has steered Nigeria in right direction – Lai Mohammed

Despite challenges, Buhari has steered Nigeria in right direction – Lai Mohammed

The Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, yesterday said in spite of the enormous challenges inherited by President Muhammadu Buhari, the President has steered the country in the right direction.

Mohammed who made the remarks in Abuja when he received a delegation from the African Union Development Agency-New Partnership for Africa’s Development (AUDA-NEPAD), also said President Buhari has returned the economy to the path of sustainable growth.

The AUDA-NEPAD, according to the Special Assistant to the President (Media), Office of the Minister of Information and Culture, Segun Adeyemi, is in the country for the second peer review.

Mohammed said: “We came into government in 2015 and by the time we came to government, three things happened, the impact of which we did not know. The first is that by the time we assumed office in 2015, a huge part of the North East was under the effective occupation of Boko Haram.

“When we came in in 2015, the economy had virtually collapsed. Oil prices crashed from a high of about $120 per barrel to about $28 a barrel. Production went from about 2.1 million barrels per day to about half a million barrels a day. These were the challenges we faced on day one when we came in.”

Mohammed however called on the AUDA-NEPAD to always consider the peculiar challenges of a country while making conclusions on the governance structure for the peer review.

“While we can have some basic tenets of governance, governance is a bit peculiar to the locality, and the kind of challenges we face will determine to a large extent the mechanism we are going to use to resolve them.

“I look at Nigeria as an extremely interesting project, especially in the last six years. I think the kind of challenges we faced as a government coming in in 2015 till today will challenge the most resourceful persons,” Mohammed also said.

On the economy, Mohammed said the President has diversified the economy as oil is no longer the driving force behind economic growth.

“In the area of economy, I am proud to say that we are not just in the process of diversifying the economy, we have diversified our economy because the last report (of the National Bureau of Statistics) showed that while the non-oil economy did very well, the oil-related economy did poorly.

“That after two quarters of recession, we were able to record 5.01 percent growth in GDP was not at all based on the oil economy but on the non-oil economy,” Mohammed further said.

The minister added that the Federal Government has intensify effort in the fight against insurgency, banditry, kidnapping and other forms of criminality in the country.

In her remarks, the National Coordinator of NEPAD, Princess Gloria Akobundu, said the AU Development Agency is in the country to assess the implementation of the National Programme of Action arising from the first peer review conducted in 2008.

She said so far, Nigeria has consolidated democracy, scaled up the provision of infrastructure and is in the process of attaining self-sufficiency in food production through massive investment in agriculture.

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