By Sumaila Ogbaje
Abuja – The Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, says the ‘Next Level’ agenda of President Muhammadu Buhari is a consolidation of the recorded successes of the administration in the first four years in office.
Mohammed stated this while featuring on the political segment of the Network Service of Radio Nigeria, monitored by the News Agency of Nigeria NAN), on Thursday in Abuja.
He said that the agenda was to ensure that the promises made by the president in 2015 to fight corruption, insecurity and revamp the economy were fully achieved during his second term.
“What we mean by the next level is a consolidation on the successes we have achieved in the last four years.
“Mr President campaigned in 2015, promising Nigerians that he was going to fight insecurity, fight corruption and revamp the economy and with all sense of modesty, we have a very good scorecard in all those areas.
“So what will happen in the next four years is the consolidation on those successes of those four years with sincere focus on fighting corruption, fighting insecurity and revamping the economy because they are related.
“There can be no development where there is insecurity, there is a correlation between poverty, underdevelopment and insecurity.
“Nigerians and the entire world must be informed of what we have done in the last four years and I will just take agricultural, social investment programme and insecurity,” he said.
In agriculture, Mohammed said that Nigeria was importing about half a million metric tons of rice annually from Thailand before the current administration came on board, adding that the country was almost self-sufficient in rice production currently.
He added that the Anchor Borrowers Programme of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) had been very successful.
According to him, we have been able to grow the rice farmers numbers from five million to 11 million according to the figure from the rice farmers association.
“CBN has disbursed over N5 billion to 250,000 farmers just between 2017 and 2018 and what we have today is a thriving agriculture and we are nearing self-sufficiency.
“In the area of social investments programme, the N-Power, school feeding, home grown feeding and trader moni programme are programmes we are going to consolidate on in the second term.
“We inherited a sick economy and we have nurtured it from recession to stability. We have been able to reduce inflation from 18 per cent to 11.3 per cent.
“We have grown our foreign reserve from 28 billion US dollars to 45 billion US dollars.
“Some of the reforms that we have embarked on have won us encomium from the world bank and other international bodies,” he said.
In the area of security, the minister said that the present administration had achieved a great feat in the war against insurgency in the North East with the liberation of all territories from Boko Haram by the military.
He also explained that serious effort had been made to containing the activities of the bandits in Zamfara, kidnappers and herdsmen-farmer clashes in every part of the country.