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Minister of Information, Lai Mohammed

Buhari putting Nigeria back on its feet, says Lai

Lai Mohammed, minister of information and culture, says contrary to speculations by naysayers, President Muhammadu Buhari is putting in all efforts to put Nigeria back on its feet. Mohammed alleged that naysayers who were hoping to override the string of achievements of the administration were spending huge amounts of money to distort the situation in Nigeria and have taken to social media to spread fake news. The minister spoke at a mini town hall meeting he organised for members of staff of the Nigerian embassy in Berlin, Germany and a cross-section of Nigerians residing in the European country.

He was in Berlin to attend a meeting of African tourism ministers, on the sidelines of the international travel trade fair in the German capital. Mohammed, in a statement by Segun Adeyemi, his spokesman, urged Nigerians both home and in the diaspora, to ensure they have access to authentic information by downloading “the FGNiAPP on their hand-held devices”. “Contrary to the fake news being peddled in the social media by the naysayers, President Muhammadu Buhari is putting Nigeria back on its feet,” Mohammed said.

“That is why Nigerians at home and abroad must ensure they have access to authentic information. “One way is to download the FGNiAPP on their hand-held devices. It is free.” Mohammed further said the Nigerian economy is on a “steady growth” after which he reeled out some statistics to back his position. “The economy is on a steady growth, as attested to be by the latest report from the National Bureau of Statistics,” he said. “The economy attracted 12.2 billion dollars in foreign investments in 2017, up from $5.38 billion in 2016.

That represents 138 percent increase. ”The economy further consolidated its recovery from recession with GDP growing by 1.92 percent in Q4 2017, compared to 1.40 percent in Q3 2017 and a contraction of -1.73 percent in Q4 2016;. “This means the economy ended 2017 with a growth of 0.82 per cent compared to a contraction of -1.58 percent in 2016. “GDP growth in Q4 2017 was driven by growth in crop production, crude production and natural gas, metal ores, construction, transportation and storage, trade, electricity and gas production,. “These are indications that the administration’s diversification effort is working.” Mohammed also blamed the clashes between farmers and herdsmen on environmental factors, rather than ethnic or religious issues. He said whereas, Nigeria’s population in 1963 was about 48 million, “it is now about 180 million with the country’s land mass remaining the same.”

He also said the Lake Chad, which used to provide water and other resources to more than 30 million people in four countries including Nigeria in the early 1960s, had shrunk by about 90 percent, from 25,000 to 2500 square kilometers. “These and other reasons, like desertification, have altered the resource landscape, heightened competition for dwindling resources and raised the possibility of clashes between farmers and herders.” Mohammed, however, assured Nigerians of the federal government’s commitment to finding lasting solution to the clashes, noting that the establishment of ranches was one sure way of reducing such clashes.

NAN

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