Lai Mohammed says President Buhari is transforming Nigeria

Lai Mohammed
The minister of information and culture, Lai Mohammed has said that President Buhari is transforming Nigeria.

According to the minister, the innovative measures that the current administration has put in place are paying off.

Mohammed said this while delivering the keynote address at the 2018 Africa Together Conference at the University of Cambridge in the UK.
He also said Buhari’s administration has changed the business environment in Nigeria, adding that the government has also improved infrastructure in the country.

”In my country, school enrolment is a challenge we face. And one of the main culprits is malnutrition. The government has stepped in: 8.2 million are being fed daily free meals in 45,000 schools. Not only does this increase attendance and provide children with a – in some case only – nutritious meal a day, it enhances learning efficacy in class and boosts cognitive development over the long term,” he added.

Highlighting the achievements of the N-Power initiative, Mohammed said the programme has helped to address the shortage of labour in the country.

According to him, the initiative has provided medium and small businesses with loans as well as vocational training for graduates.

The minister also said that the government does conditional cash transfers to the most vulnerable members of the society, Tribune reports.
”Much of our programme has honed-in on business reform. Nigeria has moved up 24 places on the World Bank Ranking of Ease of Doing Business index – putting it amongst the top 10 global reformers, along with Zambia, Malawi and Djibouti. The two areas we have prioritised are starting a business and access to credit.

”In Nigeria, registering a business used to take months. Now it takes 24-48 hours. Unwrapping the bureaucracy and streamlining processes encourage an uptick in new official enterprises.
"We have introduced online registration, with features such as the electronic stamping of documents. And to ensure this brings with it the maximum benefit, Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises clinics have been deployed across a variety of states to provide regulators with a contact point with informal business and budding entrepreneurs to clarify any issues,” he said.
Power supply

Lai Mohammed listed power supply and transportation are the major challenges businesses face in Nigeria, adding that measures have been put in place to tackle the challenges.

“For instance, Nigeria earmarks 30% of its annual national budgets for capital expenditure. That means 2.7 trillion Naira has gone towards our infrastructure in the last 2 years -unprecedented in our history. Power generation has climbed to 7000MW (from just over 2500MW), to which we hope to add another 2000MW by the end of the year. We have also laid down thousands of kilometres of road.
”Also, the Government has now signed a concession agreement with an International Consortium led by General Electric. This will breathe new life into the tracks, increasing capacity and speed. Not only will this allow for goods and services to be moved around cost-effectively, it will allow the prosperity of the nation to be more equitably spread through increased connectivity,” he added.

Meanwhile, the former spokesman of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Timi Frank, in an open letter, said that Nigerians are regretting that they voted the party into power.
Frank also told Buhari that the ideals that made Nigerians vote for him are fast eroding.