Last updated on May 15th, 2023 at 10:58 am
The Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, at a press conference in Lagos on Thursday, December 30, 2021, claimed that President Muhammadu Buhari has done well Nigerian between January 1, 2021 till December 31 of the same year.
The government’s spokesman, therefore, highlighted what he called 100 Buhari’s administration achievements in 2021, rating the administration high despite the security challenges facing Nigeria.
Mr Lai Mohammed’s 4454-word text to the press in Lagos is filled with lots of controversial achievements that can not be felt by the average Nigerians on the streets, or claims that are false and are mere political talks, some filled with propaganda.
Let’s rate 100 Buhari’s achievements in 2021
On a scale of 1 to 10, below is how Buhari performed in 2021 as against the claim of the Information Minister:
“Development and launch of the Federal Government’s Medium-Term andLong-Term National Development Plan, known as ”Nigeria Agenda 50”, for the next generation”
The administration of Olusegun Obasanjo launched the National Economic Empowerment and Development Strategy (NEEDS) the successive government junked the development master plan that could have transformed Nigeria’s economy to compete with U.S, China, and Malaysia.
What exactly gives the Buhari and his cabinet members the audacity to launch a National Development Plan at the last minute of the APC-led government?
“Restructuring of the Government Enterprise and EmpowermentProgramme (GEEP) to GEEP 2.0. The revamped GEEP 2.0 was officially launched on 24th August 2021 and has successfully registered over six hundred thousand potential beneficiaries in all the 774 LGAs nationwide”
The government needs to do more in the next few months in office to ensure that the core beneficiaries receive the support.
“Expansion of N-Power from 500,000 to 1 million beneficiaries”
As usual, the government listed the recruitment and expansion of N-Power programme as one of Buhari’s achievements in 2021. The implementation of the N-Power programme is one of the areas the government should stop boasting of.
As of the time Lai Mohammed was delivering the propaganda-coated speech, beneficiaries of N-Power Batch C, stream 1, were yet to receive three months salary.
“Inflation rate has continued to decline on a year-on-year basis since April 2021 when 18.12% was recorded”
Lai Mohammed stated that a declining rate was recorded from 17.93% in May to 17.01% in August, 15.99% in October and 15.40%
Verdict: The data from the government and its team at the statistics office is far from the prices of goods on the streets.
How many of the government officials go to the market to have first-hand experience of what junior civil servants pass through?
“The Armed Forces of Nigeria (AFN) sets up various operations acrossthe country to enhance security. These include the Joint Task Force(JTF) North East, tagged Operation HADIN KAI covering the North Eastregion; the JTF SS, tagged Operation DELTA SAFE covering the SouthSouth region; the JTF NW, known as Operation HADARIN DAJI covering theNorth West region; Operation SAFE HAVENcovering Plateau, parts ofKaduna and Bauchi States; Operation WHIRL STROKE covering Benue,Nasarawa and Taraba States; JTF SW, referred to as Operation AWATSEand covering Lagos and Ogun States; Operation THUNDER STRIKE coveringAbuja-Kaduna Highway and Operation WHIRL PUNCH covering parts ofKaduna State.”
Rating: Lai claimed that Buhari achieved so much in the area of security through military operations across the country, yet criminal gangs, boko haram remnants mildly called bandits in the North have taken major highways.
Even the home state of Buhari, Katsina isn’t safe.
On December 29, 2021, Governor Bellow Masari was quoted as saying that his government would assist civilians to procure arms to protect themselves against bandits in the home state of Buhari Katsina.
The call by Masari for civilians to get guns to protect themselves in Katsina is a sign that Buhari’s efforts in securing Nigeria is a complete failure. Military operations have yielded no result.
Verdict: A country is either secure or not. For Nigeria, nobody is secured. Insecurity deters foreign investment.
“MOU with Mota-Engil Group for the construction of US$1.959 billion Kano-Maradi Standard Gauge Railway lines”
This is one of the most controversial railway projects undertaken by the Buhari-led government. The government was bold to construct standard gauge railways lines from Kano to a neighbouring country while some of the coaches here in Nigeria are substandard. Some of the coaches break down in the middle of the tick forest thereby exposing passengers to bandits’ attacks.
“Charity, they say, begins at home”, isn’t it laughable that the APC-led government which is yet to fully develop the internal infrastructure is building another country’s infrastructure?
“Passage of Petroleum Industry Act (PIA)”
On Thursday, July 1, 2021, the Nigerian Senate passed the Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB) and by August 16, 2021, President Muhammadu Buhari gave his assent which turned the PIB into law.
The PIB explains the management of oil in Nigeria, it also combines 16 Nigerian petroleum laws.
Verdict: The PIB has been within the National Assembly when it was first presented to before the lawmakers in 2008.
The PIB will boost oil and gas output. It will also enhance the attractiveness of the sector for foreign investment. It will also ensure that oil environment for investors is backed by a transparent and strengthened regulatory framework. Buhari deserves commendation for the PIA Act even when a South-South president failed to work on the bill.
With the PIB now Petroleum Industry Act, 2021 (PIA), more job opportunities are expected to be created by the prospective investors who are closely monitoring the implementation of the PIA.
“Incorporation of NNPC limited under CAMA”
Though, the incorporation of the Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited is in line with the signing of Petroleum Industry Act, looks like the regurgitation of the operation of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) that has been funds spinning machine since the discovery of crude oil in Nigeria.
Checks on the incorporation state that the President has power to appoint since the government still owns 100 per cent.
And in the PIA glossary, Government is defined as the federal government while the shares by Ministry of Petroleum Inc and Ministry of Finance Inc are held on behalf of the federation.”
Verdict: The composition is still going to be a political board and it’s going to put the PIA Act into test. As such, its premature for the Lai Momammed to claim this as an achievement until it’s put to test.
“Entrenchment of Transparency, Accountability and Performance Excellence (TAPE) in NNPC”
Please, what Transparency, Accountability and Performance Excellence is the NNPC is talking about? A corporation that has drained Nigeria’s revenue can’t be said to be an achievement.
For instance, The Guardian in its March 21, report titled, “Nigeria’s $26.5 billion maintenance cost enough to build three new refineries” elaborated how the sum of $26.5b was spent on the maintenance of its loss-making 445, 000 barrels/day capacity refineries in Nigeria.
Verdict: Reports say, the amount is enough to build three new refineries of the same size. What transparency is Lai Mohammed talking about?
“Final Investment Decision on $3.6bn methanol plant in Bayelsa”
According to a report, the integrated methanol and gas project in Odioma, Brass Island, Bayelsa State is expected to turn out 10,000tons of methanol per day when it begins operation by 2024.
Verdict: Buhari’s government comes to an end by May 29, 2021. We’ve seen in the past how successive governments abandon projects of their successor. Or what gives Buhari the confidence that APC would win the 2023 general elections?
“US$260m Funding Agreement for ANOH Gas Processing Company Limited (AGPC).”
According to the Information Minister, the project will deliver 300 million standard cubic feet of gas per day and 1,200 megawatts of electricity to the domestic market.
Verdict: How in this world would a cabinet minister list as an achievement something that has not taken off, something that hasn’t produced any result?
“Launch of Nigerian Upstream Cost Optimization Programme (NUCOP) todrive down the cost of crude oil production in the country so as to remain competitive in the global market.”
Verdict: Launching a project shouldn’t be treated as an achievement, the result should be used as the basis of achievement, not the fun-fair government project launch.
“Award of $1.5 billion contract for Rehabilitation of Port Harcourt Refinery to Tecnimont SPA of Italy”
The award of $1.5 billion contracts for Rehabilitation of Port Harcourt Refinery to Tecnimont SPA of Italy was done on April 6, 2021.
Again, several contracts have been signed in the past for the rehabilitation of Nigeria owned refineries. Rather than the result, failure was all they produce which means that the government has no political will to manage refineries.
Verdict: They should leave the sector in the hands of private investors. The federal government should be the regulator.
“Commercialization of OML 143 Gas13 Execution of OML 118 (Bonga)Agreements between NNPC & Partners”
“Shareholder Agreement for Brass Petroleum Product Terminal (BPPT).
The agreement has not been implemented. It has not produced results. Although it is expected that BPPT will help close the infrastructure gap in the distribution of petroleum products which will consequently stabilize petroleum product prices in the riverine communities of the Niger Delta, this is a similar tale story Nigerians have heard from government officials since 1999.
“Contract signed to build Maiduguri Emergency Power Project”
What kind of contract when Boko Haram members and ISWAP and other terrorist groups are giving Borno people sleepless nights?
Verdict: The government needs to be talking about ending insecurity, banditry, terrorism in the North East before talking about contract signing.
“NNPC Posts N287 billion Profit, the first time it will record such profit in 44 years”
Analysts believe that the posting of NNPC profit is a political jambore to make Nigerians believe that the Minister of Petroleum Resources Muhammadu Buhari effectively managed the ministry.
Verdict: The figure doesn’t correlate with the management of NNPC. How do you make a profit when running cost is higher than profits?
“Construction/Rehabilitation of 21 Roads under FG’s RoadInfrastructure Development and Refurbishment Investment Tax CreditScheme”
Nigerians can see the road, but how many of the cabinet members ply the road? In fact, Nigerians are afraid to travel some of the roads because of the fear of being kidnapped by gunmen. The government needs to do more. More federal roads are in bad shape compared to the number of rehabilitated ones.
“Sustained Supply of Petroleum Products”
The sustained supply of petroleum products is the greatest achievement of Muhammadu Buhari’s achievement in 2021. For the first time since 2015, there was a sufficient supply of petroleum products across the country.
“Projects carried out by the Federal Ministry of Works and Housing in 2021”
Under this achievement Lai Mohammed highlighted 10, but would the government be completed before 2023?
Under the housing scheme, the price cost shows that it isn’t designed for an average Nigerian. It’s heartwarming that the government has started somewhere. If it continues, the housing deficit will be improved upon.
“Designation of Four International Airports in Abuja, Kano, Lagosand Port Harcourt as Special Economic Zones, aimed at encouragingbusiness/investment”
The upgrade of the four airports is a great achievement. But the government has to work on the duplication of the government regulatory agencies that have turned airports into bribe-taking embassies.
Verdict: It’s embarrassing to hear foreigners and Nigerians share bad experiences about what they passed through at the four international airports.
“Construction and installation of Boeing 737 full motion flightSimulator at NCAT.”
By that, Nigeria will be saving millions of dollars spent in the retraining of pilots in other countries.
“Installation of Fully Automated Aircraft Firefighter Training Simulator at NCAT, first of its kind in Africa”
Claiming this as a success because it’s the first of its kind in Africa is fallacious.
“Flag-off of the Commercial Operation of Lagos-Ibadan rail line in June 2021”
“Construction of 159 Rural Water Supply Schemes in the North-East,IDP camps and some Federal Institutions and Establishments”
Nigerians want to see the projects. “We’ve done it” isn’t enough. The minister failed to show Nigerian the results. Well, this doesn’t mean it hasn’t been done. But over the years, citizens have lost confidence in government because they claimed to have done project that hasn’t been started.
“Secured World Bank loan for the Sustainable Urban and Rural WaterSanitation and Hygiene (SURWASH) Programme in the sum of $700 millionto be disbursed to eligible States.”
It is ill-conceive to mention as one of the 100 Buhari achievements securing a loan. How does one borrow money and claim it’s an achievement?
“The Clean Nigeria Campaign has yielded the following results in thelast 12 months”
Mr Lai Mohammed also claimed that the campaign collaborated with National Orientation Agency (NOA) to train and mobilize in all 774 LGAs.
Verdict: NOA is one of the dormant agencies under Buhari’s administration. The collaboration can only be seen on papers and at the FCT where they do so to get the attention of government officials. How many of these campaigns were done in Katsina, Borno, Yobe, Abia, Ebonyi, Kaduna where gunmen torment residents?
“Twelve Dams were completed in a bid to maximize full utilization of dam infrastructure”
“Commissioning of a Communication Center and Administrative Block of the Agricultural Research Council of Nigeria in Abuja”
“Distribution of free agricultural inputs to Physically-Challenged Farmers in Maiduguri, Borno State, to mitigate the effect of COVID 19 Pandemic”
Verdict: It’s embarrassing to APC-led government to mention this as an achievement in a state where farmers can’t access their farmlands.
“Commissioning of Yam Storage Facility in Nasarawa State with a storage capacity of 45-50 Metric Tons”
“Review of the various Expatriate Quota fees, thus generating additional revenue for the Federal Government”
What kind of revenue? Where are the revenues when the APC-led government is plunging Nigeria into foreign debts that have never been experienced in such a short time by any government since 1999?
“Creation of Enforcement, Investigation and Inspection Unit in the Ministry of Interior to boost the fight against corruption”
It would have been better if Lai Mohammed left out corruption as one of the achievements of Buhari in 2021 even through his administration.
Under the government, the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has turned to Anti-Yahoo Boys Crimes Commission.
“Presidential approval of Legal Notices which allow Local Governments to conduct Statutory Marriages sequel to compliance with regulations by the Ministry, in line with the Marriage Act of 1958 as amended”
“Approval of the National Action Plan to end statelessness in Nigeria, as required by the UN”
The statelessness being propounded by the UN in Nigeria is elusive. It’s one of the jokes in Nigeria.
In what context is the government talking about statelessness? Can an Osun man secure a job in the civil service of Kaduna state government? Even in the federal agencies, some sections of the country are perceived to get preferential treatment.
“Visa on Arrival to holders of Passports of African Countries”
This is the poorest policy of the Buhari’s government that can not secure its territory. Who exactly is coming into Nigeria apart from gunmen and terrorists that come in through Nigeria’s porous borders?
“Launch of the new Visa Policy reclassifying the Visa Categories from 6 to 79”
“Creation of Citizen Integrity Unit at the Nigerian Security and Civil Defence Corps as well as training of Squad to protect schools and the deployment of over 1,500 personnel as Agro-Rangers to protect farmers in Yobe and Adamawa States in order to promote food security in the country”
This has yielded no result. In part of Kaduna, students can’t go to school, in parts of Niger, teachers are afraid to teach pupils because of bandits that could strike unannounced. The launch isn’t enough, result is what people want to see.
“Construction of 3,000-capacity custodian centers in the three geopolitical zones as well as the re-opening and rehabilitation of 32 correctional centers shut down due to insurgency”
All the policies in the Nigeria Prisons Service which they claimed to be correctional are failures. Prison break is no longer news under the administration. Congestion of the prisons persist.
“The Nigeria Correctional Service Command Complex was recently commissioned in Osogbo, Osun State”
“Abuja airport received an award from Airport Council International for being the best by size and region in Africa”
“Launching of the Integrated National Security and Waterways Protection Infrastructure (Also known as Deep Blue Asset)”
“Ground-breaking ceremony for the Rehabilitation and Reconstruction of the 2,044-km Port-Harcourt-Maiduguri Eastern Narrow Gauge Railway project and Bonny Deep Sea and Railway Industrial Park”
“Full implementation of the Partnership for Expanded Water Sanitation and Hygiene (PEWASH) programmes with the construction of 926 rural water supply schemes in 12 States of Imo, Katsina, Jigawa,Plateau, Zamfara, Sokoto, Ondo, Osun, Delta, Bauchi, Kaduna and Gombe States”
“Under irrigation, so far 96,000 hectares of irrigation were developed in 2021”
“The River Basin Development Authorities are being revitalized to deliver their mandate”
Most of the river basin authorities are like NNPC, agencies that gulp billions of naira as allocation every without result.
“Creation of a total of 57,261 direct jobs and 11,588 indirect jobs through the various dam, irrigation and water supply projects completed within the reporting period”
“During the period under review, the Consolidated Revenue Fund and Forex Trade doubled as a result of the economic and recovery policies put in place by the Ministry”
The question every Nigerian might want to ask the Information Minister about this claim is: where is the revenue from such trade that made the government beg for a loan at the slightest means? Even payment of salaries civil servants is a huge financial challenge to the government to claim to have recorded success in trade.
“Cashless Economy is recording further boost as the value of electronic payment transactions rose year-on-year (YoY) by N9.7 trillion or 80% to N21.9 trillion in 2020, from N12.2 trillion in 2019.”
“During the period under review, both the GDP growth was sustained, pressure on balance of payments abated while the Ministry continued to ensure that Forex shortage resulting in pressure on the Naira was brought to manageable level”
This achievement doesn’t reflect on the economy. In fact, forex is still in trouble. Rationing of forex by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has continued for months since it kicked out Bureau De Change (BDCs) from the foreign exchange value chain. Banks are unable to meet the needs of Nigerians who need forex to meet invisible transactions.
“Crude oil export improved considerably at N10.03 trillion, compared to N6.92 trillion, showing a growth rate of 44.93%”
The growth Lai Mohammed claimed can’t be substantiated, did the improved export lead to more revenue? If yes, where is the revenue compared to how the government runs to even poorer countries in terms of natural resources to borrow money?
“Four hundred and eighteen Cadet officers of regular course 3 were successfully graduated in June 2021 and deployed into the operational asset of the Nigeria Police Force”
How is this an achievement when the welfare of the existing officers can only be seen on pages of papers?
“The Police Trust Fund procured 200 Buffalo branded vehicles,bulletproof vest, protective helmets, drugs, and medical equipment aswell as arms and ammunition, riot control equipment, and combatequipment for the Police Special Weapon and Tactical Squad (SWAT)”
This would have been an achievement if the security had improved. Nigeria police officers are still poorly trained, poorly kitted.
“The Ministry of Finance, Budget and National Planning has maintained theJanuary-December Budget cycle with the support of members of the National Assembly”
Even when the implementation of the budget brought more hardship on Nigerians? When its implementation has brought more anger on Nigerians?
“Implementation of the Economic Sustainable Plan (ESP) approved by the Federal Executive Council (FEC) last year”
Can someone ask Lai Mohammed what the government has sustained in the year under review?
Some of the 100 Buhari’s achievements in 2021 by the Minister of Information Lai Mohammed can only be likened to someone who claimed that white is black.
On security, Nigerians and the rest of the world can see that Buhari’s government failed to secure his home state in Katsina while some parts of Nigeria’s territory in Niger, Sokoto, Zamfara are controlled by gunmen which the minister once mildly called “agbero” (NURTW ticketing officials) that collect “levies”
Nigeria’s foreign exchange market is in bad shape. Generally, Buhari’s government has not lived up to expectations in 2021. With 2022 as a political campaign year ahead of the 2023 elections, the government may have little to achieve till it leaves office on May 29, 2023.
- Andersen Tax LP (August 23, 2021). “Nigeria: President Buhari Signs Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB) Into Law”. Mondaq.com. Retrieved December 31, 2021
- Hassan-Wuyo, Ibrahim (December 29, 2021). “Katsina killings: We’ll assist citizens to acquire arms for self-defence — Gov Masari”. Vanguardngr.com. Retrieved December 31, 2021
- Featured Image by Pulse Nigeria