Don’t Allow Destroyers of Nigeria To Pose As Saviours, Lai Mohammed Tells Media



    The Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, has
    challenged the media to contextualize their reporting so that those
    who destroyed Nigeria will not be made to look like the country’s new

    According to a statement signed by his SA, Segun Adeyemi, the Minister said this when the Chief Executive Officer of TVC Communications, Mr. Andrew Hanlon, led a team of top officials of the company on a courtesy visit to the Minister in his office in Abuja on Tuesday.

    ”We are on a rescue mission. However, the way a section of the media
    is reporting the challenges facing the country today does not reflect
    that understanding. They are making a corrective administration to
    look like the culprit, to give the impression that the rain started
    beating us in Nigeria only from 29 May 2015, to play down the
    challenges that this Administration has faced and which it is
    successfully tackling.

    ”For example, we did not get to where we are today in just three
    years. It has taken successive decades of bad governance, unbridled
    corruption, lack of probity, a culture of impunity and a near state of
    anarchy. These are the ills this Administration inherited and which it
    has set out to tackle. And this is what the media must reflect in
    their reporting,” he said.

    Alhaji Mohammed said but for the prudence, probity and the
    anti-corruption stance of this Administration, the situation could
    have been worse, adding: ”Instead of recession, we could have had a
    total collapse of the economy. The power grid could have collapsed
    altogether. Corruption could have overwhelmed the society. Boko Haram
    could have turned Abuja to Bama or Konduga. Food imports could have
    tripled what it was pre-May 29th 2015 and the Naira might have
    been worse hit.”

    He, therefore, challenged the media to do more to educate Nigerians
    ”that it is hard to build but easy to destroy, that the same people
    who presided over yesterday’s looting of our treasury are today posing
    as would-be saviours of Nigerians, that this Administration is
    rebuilding almost from the scratch with 60% less revenue, that the
    corrupt ones are spending millions of Naira to paint the government of
    the bad, and that Nigeria is not returning to Egypt”.

    The Minister said when this Administration assumed office, the price
    of oil, the mainstay of Nigeria’s economy, had dropped to around $30
    from over $100, foreign reserves stood at a low of $24 billion, the
    Federal Government was borrowing to pay salary, some 27 states were
    owing arrears of salary, contractors were being owed over several
    years, infrastructure was in poor state, power generation was 2,690
    megawatts, billions were being paid as ‘fuel subsidies’ to fat cats,
    corruption had emptied the treasury while 20 of the 27 local councils
    in Borno were under Boko Haram control.

    ”Today, the trend is being reversed and the results are showing:
    Foreign Reserves is now $42.8b, inflation has fallen for 12
    consecutive months to 15.13%, 108 billion Naira has been saved from
    the removal of maintenance fees payable to
    banks pre-TSA, the nation is saving 24.7 billion Naira monthly with
    the full TSA implementation, the elimination of ghost workers has
    saved the nation 120 billion Naira, capital inflow reached $1.8
    billion in the second quarter of 2017, almost double the $908 million
    in the first quarter, while Nigeria’s stock market is one of the
    best-performing in the world, delivering returns in excess of 40

    ”Nigeria has also jumped 24 places on the World Bank’s Ease of Doing
    Business ranking and earned a place on the List of Top 10 Reformers in
    the world, the Administration has repeatedly given bailouts for states
    to pay salary, the Administration’s Agricultural Revolution is a huge
    success, with agriculture export up year-on-year by 25%, rice import
    from Thailand dropping 644,000 megawatts to 22,000 megawatts and rice
    farmers growing from 5 million to 12.3 million, the Home-Grown School
    Feeding Programme has created jobs for 61,352 cooks, and it is
    providing 6.4 million school children in 33,981 schools across 20
    states with one meal a day,” he said.

    Alhaji Mohammed also noted that the N-Power programme has employed
    200,000 graduates, that power generation has reached an all-time high
    of over 7,000MW, that infrastructural development is going on at a
    massive rate across the country, that corruption has been driven under
    the table and Boko Haram has been massively degraded.

    He said a free press is indispensable to democracy, and assured that
    the Administration will not do anything to stifle the press

    Earlier, Mr. Hanlon had assured the Minister of TVC Communication’s
    commitment to the country’s audio-visual landscape, while announcing
    that a new radio station will open in Abuja in April as part of the
    company’s aggressive investment programme.

    Also on the entourage of the TVC Communications CEO were Mr. Ronan
    Redmond, TVC’s Director of Commercial; Mr. Babatunde Kolade Otitoju,
    Head of News and Mr. Taiwo Amodu. the Abuja Bureau.


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