PDP Lampoons Buhari For Travelling To London For Virtual Meeting

 

The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) says it is appalling that President Muhammadu Buhari could deploy the nation’s resources to travel to London for the Global Education Summit on Financing Global Partnership for Education (GPE) 2021-2025 when the meeting is scheduled to be virtual.

The PDP also berated the Buhari Presidency for “trying to hide his private appointment with his doctors under the virtual meeting apparently in a bid to launder his consistent failure to honour his pre-2015 campaign promise not to embark on medical tourism, if elected President”.

In a communique by its spokesman, Kola Ologbondiyan, the party insisted that President Buhari has no justification to travel to far-away London since the meeting is a virtual meeting or for a medical checkup, which he could have done at home.

READ ALSO: It Is Time To End Banditry, Terrorism – PDP Governors

While claiming that the present administration has wrecked the nation’s healthcare system, the PDP said the president’s action has confirmed the stand by the majority of Nigerians that “he is wasteful, thinks only about himself and cares less about millions of citizens, who do not have access to foreign medical treatment, but who are dying on a daily basis because the government has crippled our health sector”.

According to the PDP, it is disheartening that while Mr. President is spending taxpayers’ money relishing the expertise of London doctors and the luxury of medical facilities in that country, millions of Nigerians are dying in decrepit medical facilities at home.

“Moreover, is it not atrocious that Mr. President is more interested in going to London for a virtual education summit when hundreds of students, who ought to be beneficiaries of the meeting, are languishing in kidnappers’ dens, with the Buhari administration taking no concrete steps to rescue them and end incessant abduction of students in Nigeria?”‘ the communique read in part.

The PDP was of the opinion that there is no way history will be kind with President Buhari, as he has always wished if he continues in his manner of thinking only about his needs at the expense of the generality of Nigerians.

The party however urged Nigerians not to resign to despondency “in the face of such incompetent, selfish, and insensitive” Buhari-led All Progressives Congress (APC) administration, but to remain resilient in rallying on the platform of the PDP to rescue the nation from misrule.

Why President Buhari Travels To The UK For Medicals – Femi Adesina

 

Femi Adesina, the Special Adviser to President Muhammadu Buhari on Media and Publicity, has defended his Principal over his frequent medical tour to the United Kingdom.

President Buhari had on Monday departed Nigeria for the UK to participate in the Global Education Summit on Financing Global Partnership for Education (GPE) 2021-2025.

After the event, he would spend a few days in London for an earlier scheduled medical check-up.

Speaking during an interview on Channels Television’s Politics Today, Adesina said President Buhari has used a medical team for over 40 years, hence the need to continue seeking medical help.

READ ALSO: Buhari To Travel To London For Medical Check-Up, Education Summit

“President Buhari has been with the same doctors and medical team for upward of 40 years,” he said when asked why the President couldn’t have been treated in Nigeria.

“It is advisable that he continues with that who knows his medical history and that is why he comes to London to see them. He has used the same medical team for over 40 years. Once you can afford it, then stay with the team that has your history.”

President Muhammadu Buhari disembarks from the presidential jet during a trip to the United Kingdom.

 

When asked if the President would pilot the nation’s affairs from the UK, the presidential spokesman said there is no vacuum within the seat of power.

He explained that the Constitution empowers Vice President Yemi Osinbajo to act as President if President Buhari is not back to the country within 21 days.

“The nation is running, there is a vice president who will attend to critical issues. There is no vacuum and a constitutional amendment has sorted that out,” Adesina explained.

On the out-of-school children, Adesina who noted that there is a reduction of the situation said President Buhari would brief participants of the development in the country.

On the five-year commitment to the funding of education, Adesina stressed that his principal would make pronouncements on that.

At the UK Summit, President Buhari is expected to hold a bilateral meeting with Prime Minister Johnson and  would return to the country by the second week of August

Top officials that accompanied Buhari on the trip included the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Geoffrey Onyeama, and the Minister of State for Education, Chukwuemeka Nwajiuba.

Others are the National Security Adviser, Major General Babagana Monguno (rtd), and the Director-General of National Intelligence Agency (NIA), Ambassador Ahmed Rufai.

Insecurity: Ortom Backs Kukah, Asks FG To Stop Intimidating Nigerians

Combination of Bishop Matthew Kukah and Benue State Governor, Samuel Ortom.

 

The Benue State Governor, Samuel Ortom has backed the Catholic Bishop of Sokoto, Bishop Matthew Kukah over his recent comments on insecurity.

Kukah had during an address to the US Congress Commission on July 15, accused President Muhammadu Buhari of showing preference to people of his religion which according to him, has worsened the rivalry between Christians and Muslims.

Kukah said the Buhari administration has failed to address insecurity but the presidency had replied the Catholic bishop, accusing him of trying to sow discord and strife among Nigerians.

The Presidency has since tackled Kukah, describing his comments as “unfortunate and disappointing”, complaining that the cleric “castigated” Nigeria before the US lawmakers.

However, supporting the cleric via a statement issued on Saturday by his spokesman, Terver Akase, Governor Ortom asked the Federal Government to stop intimidating patriotic Nigerians who are raising genuine concerns over the worsening security and economic situation in the country.

READ ALSO: Police Foil Kidnap Attempt By Bandits, Rescue Eight Travellers In Katsina

Ortom said he “stands with Bishop Kukah on the issues he raised,” adding that he would have said similar things if he were to address the same audience.

“Governor Ortom states that the country is practicing democracy which has no room for repression and dictatorship,” the statement partly read.

“He notes that the country’s Constitution guarantees the freedom of speech to all citizens, unlike a military regime which suppresses the right of the people to voice their opinions on challenges facing their country.”

The Benue governor described the cleric as “one Nigerian who is selfless and speaks his mind frankly on national issues calling on the government to ensure justice, the rule of law and equity for all.”

He also took a swipe at the Presidency’s response to the criticism, wondering why the current administration has chosen to politicize the views of Bishop Kukah when all the issues he highlighted in his address are facts about the country.

“He says Kukah was right when he stated that nepotism has been elevated above federal character by the present administration. He further agrees with the Bishop that Christians across the country are targets of elimination and thousands have already fallen to the sword of jihadist supremacists,” the statement added.

See the full statement issued by Governor Samuel Ortom below:

I STAND WITH BISHOP KUKAH – GOV ORTOM

Benue State Governor, Samuel Ortom describes as unfortunate, the response of the Presidency to the Catholic Bishop of Sokoto Diocese, Bishop Matthew Kukah’s address to the United States Congress Committee on Foreign Affairs regarding the wave of insecurity in the country.

The Governor says he stands with Bishop Kukah on the issues he raised and stresses that he would have said similar things if he were to address the same audience.

He advises the Federal Government to stop intimidating patriotic Nigerians who are raising genuine concerns over the worsening security and economic situation in the country.

Governor Ortom states that the country is practicing democracy which has no room for repression and dictatorship. He notes that the country’s Constitution guarantees the freedom of speech to all citizens, unlike a military regime which suppresses the right of the people to voice their opinions on challenges facing their country.

He says Bishop Kukah is one Nigerian who is selfless and  speaks his mind frankly on national issues calling on the government to ensure justice, the rule of law and equity for all.

The Governor wonders why the Presidency has chosen to politicize the views of Bishop Kukah when all the issues he highlighted in his address are facts about the country.

He says Kukah was right when he stated that nepotism has been elevated above federal character by the present administration. He further agrees with the Bishop that Christians across the country are targets of elimination and thousands have already fallen to the sword of jihadist supremacists.

Governor Ortom states that Kukah is not to blame for the ranking of Nigeria as the 8th least peaceful country in Africa and the rating of killer herdsmen as the 4th deadliest terror group in the world by the Global Terrorism Index.

He expects the Presidency to rather be worried that Nigeria is ranked as the most terrorised nation in Africa with an average of over 2,000 deaths per year on account of terrorism.

He emphasizes that the combative approach the Presidency has adopted in engaging citizens on issues will not solve the problems confronting the country.

Governor Ortom says Bishop Kukah is not the first Nigerian to address a foreign audience on the security situation in the country. He recalls that in February, 2015 President Buhari was at the time the candidate of All Progressives Congress, APC, when he delivered a speech at Chatham House in London, where he stated that “Boko Haram has sadly put Nigeria on the terrorism map, killing more than 13,000 of our nationals.” The President went on to announce to the world on that occasion that apart from the civil war era, Nigeria had never been more insecure in the country’s history.

The Governor states that if a man who was seeking to govern the country could reel out such scary statistics, why will his aides now launch media attacks on a clergyman who is only advocating peace and is drawing the attention of the global community to the plight of helpless Nigerians.

Governor Ortom once again tasks the Federal Government to arrest and prosecute members of armed Fulani groups for killing innocent Nigerians, the same way it effected the arrest of the leader of Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), Nnamdi Kanu, and Yoruba nation agitator, Sunday Igboho to prove critics wrong that its fight against terrorism and other crimes is unbiased.

He says the President may not be collecting proceeds from corrupt deals under his administration and may even not be aware that such shady deals exist, but some of his aides are deeply involved in corrupt practices and are denying Nigerians of the services and projects meant to alleviate poverty and hunger in the land.

Governor Ortom maintains that the President may also not be aware that Nigerians are facing harsh economic conditions and many are being killed by bandits, herdsmen and other terrorists because some of the persons saddled with the responsibility of telling him the truth have refused to do so.

He urges the Presidency to listen to the voices of reason and resist the temptation to whip into silence those who genuinely love the country and are offering solutions to its challenges.

Terver Akase

Chief Press Secretary

July 24, 2021.

‘Keep Your Cheque’, President Buhari Tells Businessmen To Remember The Needy

The president visited the Emir of Daura, Dr Umar Faruk Umar, at his Palace on Friday (July 23, 2021)

 

President Muhammadu Buhari has urged businessmen, contractors and other privileged Nigerians who are beneficiaries of government patronage to always engage in Corporate Social Responsibility, instead of seeking to favour individuals with gifts.

According to a statement by the Senior Special Assistant to the President, Media & Publicity, Garba Shehu, the President said this on Friday in Daura, Katsina State when he visited the Emir of Daura, Dr Umar Faruk Umar, at his Palace.

He said: “I don’t want your cheque. Go and assist our communities” instead of trying to return kickbacks to public officers, including his office.

“We don’t want cheques from anyone or organisations as returns or influence of any kind. Let them remember their Corporate Social Responsibilities,” he added.

Speaking further, President Buhari noted that he would love to visit Daura more frequently, but for the high cost of presidential movements and exposing security personnel to the weather, assuring that his heart remains with the people.

“We are known for farming and I have my farm here. I could come every two weeks and no one can stop me. But the cost to the movement is high. I would rather that it be used to better our schools, clinics and hospitals”.

The President said the grace of God had kept Nigeria together as a country in spite of differences that led to a 30-month civil war in the 1960’s.

“We want to thank God always for keeping us together as a country. From January 15, 1966, the country was thrown into political crisis. We had a 30 months civil war that resulted in the loss of about a million lives.

“We still thank God for keeping us together. We remain grateful to all those who showed interest in our unity and progress. May God continue to bless them,” he added.

The President, who recalled fond memories of visiting the Palace as a military Head of State, expressed happiness that the warmth and hospitality of the traditional institution had been sustained over the years.

In his remarks, the Emir of Daura thanked the President for always creating time to visit his hometown and the palace despite the tight schedule.

“Your visit to Daura reflects your good character which we are very proud of. I can assure you that men, women, children, marketers and artisans are always pleased to receive you and they will be praying for you.

“Today is not for speeches but for appreciation. We have been blessed so much as a community because you are the leader of the country. You have brought honour to our domain.

“As a community, we have benefited a lot with increased traffic of people and organisations coming to help us here. We know it’s because of you.

“May the good Lord always go before you and behind you, and remove all obstacles from your path,” he added.

The Emir said the President must remain focused in getting results particularly in securing the country.

“Nigeria is lucky to have you at this time. I am not saying it to please you, but if you had not been in power it would have been very difficult. I doubt if we will be here today,” he added.

At the meeting, the Emir publicly announced the conferment of the title of Talban Daura on Yusuf Buhari, son of President Buhari.

Yusuf Buhari is given the title, Talban Daura

 

He said a date would be announced for the turbanning ceremony of the President’s son, which might likely be before his marriage.

The Emir also announced the creation of a District in the community of the President, with headquarters in Dumurkol.

He said the turbanning of the young Buhari and the creation of the District are to further extend and deepen the long relationship between the Palace and the family.

According to him, the decision was in agreement with the kingmakers in Daura Emirate Council.

Document Us Properly For Posterity, Buhari Urges Historians

 

President Muhammadu Buhari Thursday in Daura, Katsina State, implored historians and intellectuals to be factual in keeping the records of the administration, especially in guiding the electorate to make the right choices of leadership for the country.

The President, who received some governors of the All Progressives Congress (APC) at his country home, said the future of the country would be shaped by the diligence and honesty of those who document history and provide analysis of situations, knowing the value of what obtained in the past, and afterward.

According to a communique by his special aide, Garba Shehu, President Buhari said it would be unfortunate to mislead the electorate with lies, and personal bias, reiterating the need to put the larger interest of the country beyond other colorations.

“For the time remaining, and for those who have one more term in office based on the provision of the constitution, the elections are important to the parties. Intellectuals and historians should be fair to us so that those who are looking for leadership positions will not exploit the political ignorance or lack of knowledge of the people,’’ he said.

The President told the governors to remain steadfast in delivering their promises to the people.

READ ALSO: Nigeria Is No Longer at Ease, She Has Lost Her Soul – Catholic Bishops

“We have done our best and thank God for what we have been able to achieve with the available resources, otherwise we would have been in trouble,’’ he added.

The President said the security situation had improved compared to the instability in the North East before 2015, and the South-South, where some parts of the north were directly under the control of terrorists, while the south was facing serious challenges.

“The subsequent development in the North West is the most amazing, where people who lived together, spoke the same language, and shared common faith started killing each other and rustling cows.

“I had to change the security chiefs and we had to get down to the fundamentals of providing security. If you look at the situation in relation to time and resources, you will find out what we have been able to achieve, ’’ the President noted.

He said oil prices fell from more than 100 dollars to less than 38 dollars under his administration, and the output that was 2.1 million barrels a day dropped to about 500,000 barrels, yet a lot was achieved.

In his remarks, the Governor of Kebbi State and Chairman of Progressive Governors Forum, Atiku Abubakar Bagudu, thanked the President for providing vision and strong leadership for the APC, noting that the efforts to mainstream agriculture as the mainstay of the economy was yielding results.

“I drove from Kebbi State to Daura, and stopped to pick the Governor of Zamfara State, Bello Matawalle, and realized that for the eight hours of coming here, we didn’t see more than 10km of land that was not cultivated.

“It goes to show that the efforts to improve security are also paying off. Farmers are taking advantage and planting. In six weeks, Your Excellency, you have commissioned projects in Lagos, Kano, Katsina, and the Borno States, and also launched some projects virtually.

“We appreciate the projects the federal government is doing in every state of the country and supporting governors, even those that are not so progressive,’’ he said.

Bagudu said three governors, Prof Ben Ayade of Cross River, David Umahi of Ebonyi, and Bello Matawalle of Zamfara left their former parties to join the APC because of the fatherliness, equitable character, and focus of the President on bottom-up development.

“We are proud to have you as our leader. Your achievements and ideals are inculcated in all of us,’’ he noted.

The governors at the meeting with the President also include Prof Ben Ayade of Cross River, David Umahi of Ebonyi, Bello Matawalle of Zamfara, John Kayode Fayemi of Ekiti, who is Chairman of the Nigerian Governors Forum, Aminu Bello Masari of Katsina, Solomon Lalong of Plateau and Abdullahi Ganduje of Kano.

Babajide Sanwo-Olu of Lagos, Abubakar Sani Bello of Niger, Adegboyega Oyetola of Osun, and Abdullahi Sule of Nasarawa States were also part of the homage to President Buhari’s country home.

Catholic Bishops Criticise Buhari’s Govt Over Selective Justice, Allocation Of Posts

 

Catholic Bishops of Ibadan Ecclesiastical Province on Wednesday criticised the Buhari-led administration over nepotistic tendencies which they say have led the nation into unease. 

The bishops, from the Ibadan Ecclesiastical province in a statement after their meeting at the Domus Pacis Pastoral Institute, Igoba in Akure, argued that the spike in insecurity across the country is occasioned by the government’s inabilities to serve on the principles of equity and fairness.

According to the communique signed by the province Chairman and Secretary, Rev. Gabriel Abegunrin and Rev. Akin Oyejola, respectively, the country is plagued by “inept, uncaring leadership which functions by selective allocation of posts, privileges, and resources and by selective application of justice”.

The clergymen lamented that the Buhari-led administration has cost Nigeria its soul, adding that this is the reason for the insecurity and economic woes experienced at this moment in the nation’s history.

Those Representing Nigerians Are Saboteurs

The Bishops also took a swipe at the National Assembly, stating that those representing Nigerians are saboteurs who have “perfected the art of sabotaging the progress” of the people they represent.

They urged Federal Lawmakers to prioritise the interest of Nigerians above those of their political and selfish ambitions.

In the passing weeks, there have been heated debates over electoral reforms, electronic transmission of electoral results, press freedom, and the Petroleum Industrial Bill (PIB), issues which the priests believe must only be tackled with the people’s best interest at heart.

READ ALSO: Police Rescue Two Abducted Bethel Baptist School Students

They lamented that often “the work of those who represent the people on the federal level in Nigeria does not seem to bring much satisfaction to the people for whose interest they were allegedly elected, with the national assembly at various occasions prioritizing party and privileges over people’s rights and interests, relief and progress continue to elude Nigerians”.

The clerics condemned the passage of the amended Electoral Act and the Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB) and urged Nigerians to challenge the Senate and the House of Representatives’ decisions.

They appealed to Nigerians not to lose hope in the possibility of a peaceful, united, and prosperous country, urging the media and civil society groups to sustain the momentum on increased public awareness and education on the importance of political participation at all levels of governance.

In the priests’ opinion, it is indeed “time for Nigerians to no longer simply roll over and accept non-representative decisions of the assembly but to challenge them by all legitimate means”.

Buhari Gifts Katsina Corps Members Two Cows, 20 Bags Of Rice, N1m

NYSC members salute President Muhammadu Buhari during an Eid El-Kabir visit in Katsina State on July 20, 2021. Credit: State House

 

President Muhammadu Buhari on Tuesday gave members of the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) in Katsina State two cows, 20 bags of rice and N1 million to mark the Eid El-Kabir celebrations.

Buhari also commended former Head of State, Gen. Yakubu Gowon for the NYSC initiative, which he said had created more opportunities for uniting the country.

He stated this while receiving corps members who visited him at his country home in Daura for Eid-el-Kabir homage, asking them to make the most out of the opportunity of travelling around the country especially in understanding different climates, cultures, languages and out views on life.

READ ALSO: President Buhari Urges More Nigerians To Embrace Farming

“Every time I meet with former Head of State, Gen. Yakubu Gowon, like recently, I still commend him for the initiative of the NYSC. The NYSC is spectacular in many ways,” he said.

“Some of you have come from Port Harcourt, Lagos and Calabar and you can now feel the heat of Daura and how close it is to the desert.”

On his part, the Corps Liason Officer, Umaru Babayo thanked the President for all the efforts and sacrifices to restore peace in the country, and the policies to diversify the economy, with agriculture as the main driver.

He said the Emir of Daura, Alhaji Faruk Umar Faruk, had shown a lot of kindness and warmth to corps members as well in his domain, appreciating the community for always supporting them.

Babayo assured the President of prayers for a successful time in office, and God’s providence in decision making that will move the country forward.

President Buhari Urges More Nigerians To Embrace Farming

 

President Muhammadu Buhari has urged more Nigerians to embrace farming, saying he was surprised to hear that only 2.5 per cent of arable lands in the country is being cultivated.

The President said this while addressing journalists at his residence on Tuesday in Daura, the Katsina State capital, after the Eid-el-Kabir prayers.

According to him, the Presidential Economic Advisory Council had notified him that only a small percentage of the land in the country had been used for farming, directing security outfits to work more with communities to create a more friendly environment for farmers.

The President mandated security outfits to be more relentless in maintaining peace in the country, and ensure a more harmonious relationship with communities so that they can glean intelligence.

He said the security situation had improved considerably overtime in the North East and South-South, and efforts were being made in North Central and North West, assuring that more will be done to fish out those that had been troubling the peace of the nation and citizens.

Earlier at the prayer ground, the Emir of Daura, Faruk Umar Faruk, called on citizens to be more supportive of the President so that he can actualize his vision of improving security and boosting the economy.

“Since the President came into power we have seen some positive changes in the country,” the Emir said.

“May God continue to strengthen the President with good health and courage to bring peace to the country. God will not allow Nigeria to see shame,’’ he said. “God has been keeping the country and he will keep the country.’’

‘I Felt Much Relieved’: Buhari Praises Air Force Pilot For Gallantry

Flight Lieutenant Abayomi Dairo with the Chief of Defence Staff, Lucky Irabor, and other military officials.

 

President Muhammadu Buhari has praised gallant pilot of the Nigerian Air Force Alpha Jet, Flight Lieutenant Abayomi Dairo,  who successfully ejected from an aircraft that came under “intense ground fire from bandits” in Zamfara State.

The pilot had finished a raid against kidnappers when he came under intense fire, the Air Force spokesman, Edward Gabkwet, said in a statement on Monday.

Flight Lieutenant Dairo was able to elude several bandits’ strongholds by using the cover of darkness and his phone set for navigation and maneuvered his way to a Nigerian Army Unit, where he was finally rescued.

Reacting in a statement issued on Tuesday by the presidential spokesman, Garba Shehu, President Buhari said he was pained by the news of the air crash.

“I was shocked by the devastating news of the air crash but felt much relieved, following the successful ejection by the pilot and his eventual rescue. May the injured pilot recover at the earliest time,” President Buhari was quoted as saying.

Shehu said President Buhari had been briefed on the successful operation by the nation’s defence forces to rescue the pilot, few days after armed bandits gunned down the military aircraft.

READ ALSO: Pilot Survives As Nigeria Fighter Jet Battling Bandits Crashes

The attack happened on the border of the northern Zamfara and Kaduna states.

Armed gangs – referred to locally as “bandits” – have been blamed for a spate of recent kidnappings in this part of north-western Nigeria.

Students and schoolchildren have been targeted – more than 1,000 have been kidnapped since December. Most have since been freed, reportedly after ransoms were paid, but some have been killed.

In recent days, President Muhammadu Buhari has directed the military to do all it takes to flush out criminals in the states of Katsina, Zamfara and Kaduna.

Insecurity: Fish Out Enemies Of Peace, Buhari Appeals To Nigerians

 

President Muhammadu Buhari has called on Nigerians to fish out those threatening Nigeria’s peace.

The President made the call on Tuesday in his country home in Daura, Katsina State while receiving members of the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) who paid him a courtesy visit.

“There is insecurity because there are evil people who live in our midst. Communities must fish them out so that we will bring peace to all parts of the country,” President Buhari said through his spokesman, Garba Shehu.

He also cautioned Nigerians in diaspora against disparaging the image of the country abroad, saying there is nothing to gain doing so.

While noting that other foreigners cannot tarnish the image of their country but serve as ambassadors, President Buhari advised the citizens to take a cue from this and project the country’s image in a positive way.

READ ALSO: Eid-El-Kabir: Muslims Observe Rakat Prayers At Eid Grounds

“Why do we go out and tell the worst stories of our own country? I think that Nigerians have to change. If we don’t love this country and promote it nobody will do it for us,” he added.

 

President Muhammadu Buhari greets the crowd in his country home in Daura, Katsina State on July 20, 2021. Credit: State House

 

 

The presidential spokesman also acknowledged that the unshakable support President Buhari enjoys not only in his hometown but also across the country, noting that it is enough for the opposition to admit that the president matters a lot from the ruling party and Nigerians in general.

He said Nigerians are looking up to President Buhari’s leadership to continue with his legacies in the delivery of infrastructural projects in the country.

Shehu added, “The masses will never abandon President Buhari’s leadership. I assure you that in 2023.

“The masses will be waiting for the President to show the way in courtesy of what he has been building for the country in terms of infrastructure and well-being of young people in the country. Nobody will take the risk by inviting another party to come and take over in 2023.”

 

‘We Can Do It’: Buhari Confident Of Lifting 100m Nigerians Out Of Poverty

President Muhammadu Buhari speaks in Katsina State on July 19, 2021. Credit: State House

 

President Muhammadu Buhari on Monday reiterated his administration’s commitment to lifting 100 million Nigerians out of poverty, saying it is achievable if there is synergy between the government and the people.

Speaking during the commissioning of the first National Agricultural Land Development Authority (NALDA) Integrated Farm Estate in Katsina, President Buhari noted that reliance on oil had turned a drawback on the economy over the years, with unpredictable and fluctuating global prices that made it more difficult to effectively plan budgets, implement and measure outcomes.

He said the mainstay of the Nigerian economy remains agriculture, where the country already commands a competitive advantage, with good weather conditions for crop and livestock farming, available manpower and willingness to learn new skills and good soil types for all-season farming.

“We can do it, and we will do it. No excuse will be good enough to remain a mono-economy with all the challenges in oil production and fluctuating global prices when we have vast opportunities in crop and livestock production,” Buhari was quoted as saying in a statement issued by his spokesman, Garba Shehu.

“I wish to restate my commitment that getting 100 million Nigerians out of poverty is realisable. The country is robustly blessed with good weather conditions, good soil, human and material capacity, and resilience to make a difference by all the hardworking youths.”

While noting that more emphasis on the competitive edge of the economy for relevance in globalized world places, the President said Nigeria would always play a leading role in the agricultural sector, with the vastness in experience, crop cultivation, animal husbandry, and more recently, a rising youth interest.

“As the world becomes more globalized, countries will continue to draw from their competitive advantage to remain relevant. My belief, and it is also shared by many Nigerians, is that our country has a special advantage in food and livestock productions that we must harness and promote to feed ourselves and build a firm structure for exportation.

“Our vision of a robust agricultural economy continues to provide amazing results. Across the country today, we are seeing rising public and private interests in agriculture, especially among the youth, and steady migration from subsistence to commercial farming.

“With the support of public institutions, like the Central Bank and Bank of Agriculture, old tools are giving way to more mechanized styles of farming, credit lines are becoming more accessible, and farming is becoming more acceptable and fashionable. Indeed, we are witnessing a revolution in the agricultural sector,” the President added.

Eid El-Adha: Why There Is Food Inflation – Buhari

File photo of a market

 

President Muhammadu Buhari has blamed the increase in the prices of food on flooding, middlemen, and insecurity, pledging to tackle the ravaging hardship in the country.

The President stated this on Monday while felicitating with Muslims on the occasion of the Eid El-Adha, calling for more patience among Nigerians.

Buhari in a statement issued by his spokesman, Garba Shehu, noted that these, as well as the COVID-19, have ballooned the prices of food items in Nigeria.

“Apart from the destruction caused to rice farms by floods, middlemen have also taken advantage of the local rice production to exploit fellow Nigerians, thereby undermining our goal of supporting local food production at affordable prices,” the President was quoted as saying.

“COVID-19 pandemic has taken a heavy toll on the economies of all countries, including Nigeria, in addition to the fact that floods have caused large scale destruction to agricultural farmlands, thereby impacting negatively on our efforts to boost local production in line with our policy to drastically reduce food importation.

“No government in our recent history has invested as heavily as we are doing to promote local production of about 20 other commodities, through the provision of loans and several other forms of support to our farmers.”

READ ALSO: Nigeria’s Inflation Rate Declines To 17.75%

President Muhammadu Buhari speaks in Katsina State on July 19, 2021. Credit: State House

 

The Nigerian leader assured that as an elected President who enjoys the goodwill of the ordinary people, he would continue “to bring relief to Nigerians, including making fertilizer available at affordable prices to our farmers.”

While lamenting the deteriorating insecurity in the country,  Buhari lamented that it “has produced severe and adverse effects on agriculture because farmers are prevented from accessing their farms by bandits and terrorists.

“Let me also use this opportunity to reassure Nigerians that we are taking measures to address our security challenges. We have started taking delivery of fighter aircraft and other necessary military equipment and hardware to improve the capacity of our security forces to confront terrorism and banditry.”