‘Nigeria growing without development until now’
Ezekwesili, others urge Buhari to prioritise challenge of herdsmen
A panel consisting of officials in President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration yesterday, during a television programme entitled “Assessing the Government” defended the various socio-economic and political decisions within the last one-year and concluded that the administration will place the country on the path to true growth and development.
The panel was made up of Minister of Finance, Mrs. Kemi Adeosun, her Information and Culture counterpart, Lai Mohammed , Presidential Adviser on Anti-Corruption, Prof. Itse Sagay and Defence Spokesman, Col. Sani Usman.
Meanwhile, another panel with membership including former Education Minister Dr. Oby Ezekwesili and economist Bismarck Rewane has charged Buhari to deploy more security muscle to nip in the bud the menace of herdsmen and militancy in states, even as they commended the successes recorded in the fight against Boko-Haram.
According to the Finance Minister, Nigeria had been growing without development, before the coming on board of the present administration, noting that growth without development is dangerous.
She insisted Nigerians have not felt the impact of government efforts as result of the fact that it is grappling with serious multifaceted economic challenges, but expressed confidence that with the government plans to heavily invest in infrastructure such as roads and power, amongst others, considered critical to development and growth, Nigerians would soon feel a turn around from the present harsh economic realities in the country.
On his part, Prof. Itse Sagay said there is vigor in the way the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) is investigating corruption cases pointing out that government does not interfer in the activities of the commission which are devoid of political vendetta.
Sagay said the issue of alleged corruption against former Rivers State governor, Rotimi Amaechi, was a deliberate attempt to stop his being appointed a minister.
“If anybody has any evidence against any All Progressives Congress man who is guilty of looting money, he should come out with it”, he said.
Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Muhammadu defending Buhari’s failure to announce the amount of money recovered so far from the anticorruption war promised that Nigerians will get the figures by the end of the week. “But for legal reasons, we will not reveal the names”, Mohammed said.
Ezekwesili described the victories recorded so far on the war against Boko Haram in the North-East as the president’s strongest points but urged that the same strength should be replicated to check the on-going destruction caused by herdsmen as well.
On the economy, she said Nigeria is close to recession, she pointed out that growth can only be achieved when the citizens are not suffering
Rewane said the result of militants activities on Nigerian oil revenue has reduced the revenue of government, adding that the hallmark of leadership is to take issues of security and intelligence gathering seriously.