President Muhammadu Buhari yesterday highlighted his administration’s achievements despite dwindling resources.
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He said it did well with the available resources, even if the records are not acknowledged by some stakeholders.
The President said although some of the challenges remain, a lot has been achieved, especially in infrastructure and in the battle against insurgency.
This, he said, is despite coming on board at a time oil production went down to half a million barrels per day and global prices dropped.
President Buhari said he met a comatose railway and power infrastructure that was “virtually killed”.
“This administration has done extremely well. I have to say it because those who are supposed to say it are not saying it. I don’t know why,” he said.
President Buhari was on a working visit to Imo State where he inaugurated the reconstructed 36 Kilometres dual Owerri-Orlu and the first phase of the 53 Kilometres dual Owerri-Okigwe roads.
He also inaugurated the redesigned Imo House of Assembly Complex in new Owerri, along Port-Harcourt road, Owerri, the state capital.
Igbo leaders, including the Ohanaeze Ndigbo leadership, received the President, with the socio-cultural organisation restating its commitment to the Nigerian project.
The President said his administration remained committed to providing the infrastructure and improving the economy.
He said: “Our administration recognises the importance of critical infrastructure in economic development.
“And we are determined to drive the economic development of Nigeria through the provision of vital infrastructure across the length and breadth of the country.
“This can be seen in our commitment to certain critical projects such as deep sea ports, new airport terminals and buildings, various railway projects, a network of gas and power infrastructure, roads and bridges including the Second Niger Bridge, telecommunications infrastructure, to mention but a few.
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“I am, therefore, happy to see that the APC Administration of Governor Hope Uzodimma is doing similar improvement here in Imo State.”
The President relived the state of affairs when he assumed office in 2015.
“If Nigerians will recollect, since 1999 and 2015 when we came, I like people to check, OPEC’s projection was 2.1 million barrels per day, so Nigeria was earning 100 times the number of this production.
“But look at the state of infrastructure, look at the railways; they were virtually killed. Power, we are still struggling with it. When we came it was unfortunate.
“The militants in the Southsouth were unleashed. The production went down to half a million barrels per day and again the cost of petroleum went down.
“Looking at the problem in the Northeast. Ask anybody from Borno or Adamawa how many local governments were in the hands of Boko Haram.
“But how many local governments are in their hand now this government is in charge?
“For relative time and resources, this administration has done extremely well. I have to say it because those who are supposed to say it are not saying it. I don’t know why.”
He praised the Imo governor for what he achieved with the limited resources, which he said proves that when leaders are dedicated and focused, much can be achieved.
“I am told that these two major roads, which I commissioned, cut through several local government areas of the state.
‘The roads will, therefore, serve as major stimulants to the local economy of these parts of the state.
“I am also now aware that previous administrations in the state were unable to fix these roads because of their unique and difficult terrains, which were complicated by erosion.
“So, it took the sheer determination and courage of the current government to fix these roads.
“So, I say ‘Bravo’ to the Governor of Imo State, whose name I was informed means ‘good road’,” he said.
The President noted that the House of Assembly complex was dilapidated and abandoned for over 10 years before the intervention of the present administration.
He called on the Imo people to keep faith with Uzodimma and promised support for the government and the people of the state.
Uzodimma said that for the prompt intervention of President Buhari, bandits and hoodlums would have overrun his state.
“Your prompt intervention helped to restore peace and order in our state.
“But for your timely, prompt and fatherly intervention through the security agencies, Imo State would have been overrun by bandits and hoodlums. For this, I also say thank you, Mr President,” he said.
Uzodimma reiterated his commitment to transforming the state for the collective good of the people while soliciting support from the citizens to enable him to achieve his vision.
He said: “The goal of my government is to leave Imo far better than we met it.
“We have refused to be distracted by pockets of insecurity and social media blackmailers and propaganda especially those that are politically contracted.
“I will continue to serve Imo people with utmost honesty, accountability and dedication. We would remain focused and resilient in our determined efforts to transform the state for good.
“Former President Shehu Shagari promised to tackle the erosion menace at Amucha.
“The good news today is that the 40-year-old promised has been fulfilled under the administration of President Buhari because some of the roads commissioned were part of it.”
Ohanaeze restates commitment to Nigerian project
Restating Ndigbo’s commitment to the Nigerian project, Ohanaeze said the people of the Southeast seek justice and fairness and a platform where they can contribute their quota to Nigeria’s development.
The President General, Prof George Obiozor, said in his goodwill message: “I wish to reiterate and speak on behalf of Ohanaeze Ndigbo Worldwide both at home and in the diaspora that our people are committed to the Nigerian project.
“We desire a country that provides a platform and an opportunity to contribute our utmost best to the growth of our fatherland.
“We seek justice, equity, fairness, and going by our antecedents, we are in every part of Nigeria and, therefore, claim to be the most federating of all Nigerians.”
Obiozor said insecurity and infrastructural remain the greatest challenges of the Southeast even as he thanked the President for his commitment to tackling some of the problems.
A crowd of residents and party faithful were present to receive the President despite the sit-at-home order by the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) over the court appearance of its leader Nnamdi Kanu, who is on trial for an alleged treasonable felony.
The president arrived at the Sam Mbakwe International Cargo Airport by 10.46 a.m. where he was received by Uzodimma and members of the State Executive Council.
He inspected the military guard of honour.