Everything decision we take in life arises as a result of certain factors, considerations and circumstances, which the decision maker evaluates and considers, before arriving at the decision they feel to be the best at the material time. At the time I began to support and campaign for Muhammadu Buhari in 2014, it was as a result of two reasons,
- Rt. Hon. Chibuike Amaechi, who is our leader, asked us to support him.
- I was convinced that the only individual, who would do what needed to be done for our country, especially with the level of corruption and mismanagement of our resources, WITHOUT COMPROMISING, was (and still remains) PMB.
The 2015 elections are history but the effects are still with us, six months to the next general elections. As a Buharist, the past three years has seen me receive a steady stream of insults, from those who for whatever reason, fault my continued love and support for the man. Some have even gone to the extent of “pitying those who payed my school fees”.
I am no longer bothered, I just reply “Sai Baba”, as that seems to inflame them further.
With another round of elections approaching, the biggest opponent to his reelection is “Buhari Must Go”. In my case he must remain, for the reason that not only are the original reasons listed above still valid, he has gone on to give me more reasons to love him, which have even reduced the importance of the original reasons.
Why do I love Buhari? Why will I campaign for and vote for him next year? His performance.
This administration completed the Abuja-Kaduna rail line and the Phase 1 of the Abuja Metro Line. This government has started the Lagos-Ibadan Rail Line, which starts from Apapa Port all the way to Ibadan, and the Warri-Itakpe rail line. Both projects will be fully operational by February next year. For those who either do not fully understand or simply do not want to see the immense benefit of these two projects, let me point out certain things to you. The Lagos-Ibadan rail line begins from Apapa and ends in Ibadan. Roughly 65% of all Import and Export activities take place in Apapa. Those of who live in Lagos, understand the trauma that the activities of the ports and its users cause every day. The need to provide a long-lasting solution to this issue has reached the point where even the Governor of Lagos State, has called on the Federal Government to decongest the ports. This project effectively opens up the Lagos-Ibadan corridor. With the rail line starting from Apapa Port, Customs Bonded Warehouses can be opened along that route, this is asides the development, increase in business activities, and the corresponding rise in the standard and quality of lives of those who live and do business along that corridor.
The Warri-Itakpe rail line started in 1987, connects Warri Port to the Delta Steel Mill, onwards to the Ajaokuta Steel Mill, terminating in Itakpe, Kogi State, which is home to the Nigerian Iron Ore Mining Company (NIOMCO). The non-completion of this line is one of the major reasons why the Ajaodkuta Steel Mill, NIOMCO and Delta Steel Mill have not been able to be put to effective use. With the ongoing dredging of the Warri Port, both projects when completed will be a game changer. Not only will goods destined for the South-South and North Central come to the Warri Port, it will greatly reduce travel time between the South-South and North Central. The Hon. Minister of Transport has stated that the Rail line will be extended to Lokoja.
The Lagos-Ibadan road is nearing completion. Where it not for the treachery and greed of a good number of the National Assembly members and their leadership, that road which is perhaps the most important highway in the country would have been completed. A total of 69 road projects are currently ongoing in the South East, some of these projects have been awarded since 2002, including the 2nd Niger Bridge project which is now to be funded by the Presidential Infrastructure Development Fund. This fund is managed by the NSIA and has an initial investment of $650 million. In other words, that project WILL NO LONGER HAVE FUNDING CHALLENGES. Let’s not talk about other projects like Jebba-Mokwa, Oyo-Ogbomosho and so many other critical road projects scattered across the country.
In the power sector, those who are knowledgeable and willing to say the truth know that the privatization process carried out by the previous administration was faulty and not well thought out. However, this administration has set about the task ahead. A 700 billion naira guarantee has been provided to the sector. The Transmission Company of Nigeria, which is still under the control of the Federal Government has been able to take possession and install 600 container loads of power transmission equipment. These 600 containers are part of the over 900 container loads of power equipment which had hitherto remained abandoned by previous administrations, even after paying for them. This is without prejudice to other activities being carried out by the TCN. Power plants like the 3,000 MW Mambilla Project, conceived and awarded over 40 years ago, is at the final stage of project award, with funding secured during the President’s last visit to China. Our power generation capacity has hit 8,000 MW. While I agree that this is minute for a country of our supposed calibre and standing, when I consider the fact that this same figure was 2,500 MW as at May 2015, I believe that it is worth celebrating especially as a certain group of people delivered the above figure after spending SIXTEEN BILLION DOLLARS, a figure so humongous and unbelievable that Ex-Head of State IBB commented on it at the time. That’s not all, stay with me.
The Social Investment Programme of the Federal Government comprising of N-Power, GEEP, Market Money, Trader Money and the Conditional Cash Transfer has gone a long way in helping the poorest of the poor. At the moment N-Power has provided jobs to about 500,000 graduates. The N-Power also has a component for vocational training covered under the N-build programme, which has seen companies like INNOSON provide vocational training for youths. The Conditional Cash Transfer not only pays 5,000 to the poorest of the poor but also educates them on financial literacy and assists them in establishing small businesses within their localities. The school feeding programme is ongoing in about 19 states of the federation. Lest I forget, PMB has ordered that the first 200,000 N-Power beneficiaries be absorbed into the Federal Civil Service. In Rivers State whereIi come from, apart from empowerment programmes embarked on by NIMASA and N.P.A, as well as The Dumo Lulu-Briggs foundation, the only Government programme for youths has been the N-Power. I challenge any Rivers Youth who says otherwise to prove me wrong.
The CBN started the Anchor Borrowers programme, to increase access to funding by farmers, this has been ongoing since 2016. A few weeks ago, new rates for the Agricultural and Manufacturing sectors were released by the CBN. This new policy will see players in this sector access credit at single digit interest rates.
Have you heard of TRADER MONI? it is an initiative under the NSIP that provides loans to petty traders to the tune of #10,000 in the first instance, with the beneficiary instantly qualifying for another loan of #15,000 upon repayment of the original loan. The Petty trader pays back #430 a week, for six months. The target is to have 2 million beneficiaries before the end of this year. For those of us who make a mockery of this initiative, I say shut your mouths. How much do you think the carton of gala that hawker on the streets of Lagos or Port Harcourt hawks, costs? These are the beneficiaries and potential beneficiaries of this scheme. Some of you even pay your help or domestic staff as low as that 10k every month.
We have seen inflation rates steadily declining since the first quarter of last year. The non-oil component of our earnings has been on the rise. If you doubt me, please consult the Nigerian Bureau of Statistics website and social media handles for the full reports which are all public knowledge. The full implementation of the Treasury Single Account has enabled the government to know at a glance, it’s financial standing. It has blocked avenues where Bank Chiefs in active connivance with government officials, traded with public funds. Revenue generating agencies like NIMASA, NPA, FIRS, NCS, have been repositioned with competent managers, who have blocked the loopholes hitherto used in fleecing public funds. These agencies have consistently remitted huge funds to the government, surpassing by far, previous remittances by previous administrations. Even an agency like JAMB, that is not a revenue generating agency, has remitted #13 billion naira in TWO years. Previously the highest figure remitted by this same agency was Three million naira.
When all the above are taken into consideration, we can see that a concerted effort is being made in critical sectors: Transport (Roads, Rail and Maritime), Power and the economy. These things will begin to bear fruits from next year. This government does not owe any salary, rather it has set about clearing backlogs of salaries, allowances, pensions and other entitlements owed its workers and retirees, some liabilities have been there for over 20 years. I have deliberately left out security in this write up, because it deserves its own article.
Most of those who hate the man Buhari cannot point to one thing he has done to them. Rather they point at irrelevant things centered majorly around his ethnicity and religion, forgetting that the same politicians who drive this narrative, have very cordial relationships with people of his tribe and ethnicity. If you think he’s Islamizing Nigeria, maybe the Christians should borrow a leaf from him, and begin to Christianize Nigeria.
Have mistakes been made? Yes, they have. Even though I am an unapologetic supporter and lover of the President, I know that certain things could have been done better. I believe that certain appointees of this administration should have been shown the door a long time ago. However, one thing that is clear is that this government has gone beyond mere talking and has shown the INTENT and POLITICAL WILL to do what needs to be done.
I am Piriye Onengiye Amachree. A proud son of Rivers State. I stand with PMB/PYO. Show me your candidate and let’s discuss based on their antecedents and achievements.
SAI BABA 2.0
Written by Piriye Amachree; a legal practitioner, entrepreneur and a political enthusiast from Rivers State. He is very passionate about politics and good governance. He is a member of the All Progressives Congress. He can be reached via Piriye.firstname.lastname@example.org
Disclaimer: The article and the contents of it are the views of the author and are not the views of the Eureka Posts and neither does it an affiliation with us.