From Aidoghie Paulinus, Abuja
The Federal Government, yesterday, faulted the economic blueprint of former Vice President Atiku Abubakar and presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).
Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed, while briefing journalists in Abuja, recalled that last week, Abubakar, spoke on his Economic Blueprint at an event in Lagos.
He described the blueprint as a crude attempt at copying all that the administration of President Muhammadu Buhari is doing, especially in the areas of job creation, infrastructure financing, relationship with the private sector, rejuvenation of the power sector, poverty reduction, debt management and the overall management of the economy.
Mohammed also said what was more shocking was that an opposition that has condemned all that the Buhari administration has done, would turn around to weave its economic blueprint around the same things currently done by the incumbent administration.
“Let’s start with infrastructure. The former Vice President said in his Economic Blueprint that ‘rebuilding infrastructure and reducing infrastructure deficit will enhance the carrying capacity of the economy and unleash growth and wealth creation.’ No one understands this better than this Administration. Even our worst critics will agree that our record on infrastructure development is next to none in the history of this country. Across the country, we have constructed 8,352.94 kilometres of roads, rehabilitated 7,936.05 kilometres of roads, constructed 299 bridges, maintained 312 bridges and created 302,039 jobs in the process. We have also delivered houses in 34 states of the Federation under the first phase of the National Housing Project. We were able to achieve these through a combination of budget increase and innovative infrastructure financing methods.”
In the area of poverty reduction, Mohammed recalled that Abubakar told his audience that it would be the ‘centrepiece of our economic development agenda.’
“Could it be that His Excellency has not heard about our National Social Investment Programme (NSIP), the unprecedented programme that is directly and indirectly impacting the lives of poor Nigerians and creating jobs, especially for the youths, through four clusters, namely: the N-Power Programme, the Government Enterprise and Empowerment Programme (GEEP), the National Home-Grown School Feeding System (NHGSFP) and the Conditional Cash Transfer (CCT) Programme?”