John Alechenu and Stephen Angbulu
6 September 2021
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THE Presidency and the Peoples Democratic Party on Sunday disagreed as it (Presidency) flaunted policies and projects began and completed in the last six years under the regime of the President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.).
While the Presidency noted that a giant-sized jinx was broken recently when the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation announced a first net profit of N287bn in its 44-year history, the PDP said such achievements reeled out by the government had no impact on the lives of Nigerians.
The Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, Femi Adesina, disclosed this in a statement titled, ‘Jinxes broken by the Muhammadu Buhari administration – Presidency’.
“NNPC’s success is by no means the only major jinx broken in the lifetime of the Buhari administration. They abound. And here are just some of them. The list is by no means exhaustive:
“Policies and legislation: Petroleum Industry Bill signed into law in 2021, after almost two decades in the works. It is aimed at reforming a Petroleum Act dating back to 1969, as well as other supplementary laws and regulations.
“Deep Offshore and Inland Basin (Production Sharing Contracts) Act, 2019, amended for the first time since 1993.”
It also listed the over $6bn of inherited Cash Call Arrears now being cleared by the regime since 2016; adding that more than $3bn of the arrears (due to International Oil Companies) had since been paid.
The Presidency also added that it undertook the first overhaul of the Company and Allied Matters Act in 30 years as well as the Discrimination against Persons with Disabilities (Prohibition) Act, 2018.
It listed the Itakpe-Warri Rail Line which started in 1987 but was abandoned and later completed in 2020.
The statement read, “Completion of four standard gauge railway projects between 2016 and 2021: Abuja-Kaduna Rail Line, Abuja Metro Line, Itakpe-Warri Rail Line and Lagos-Ibadan Rail Line.”
Speaking of the Lagos-Ibadan Rail, it said, “President Buhari is the first President to start and complete a rail project in Nigeria’s history.
“Bodo-Bonny bridges and road: Construction finally kicked off in 2017, after several decades of planning, and three false starts. The long-awaited Ogoni clean-up kicked off under the Buhari administration.
Buhari should be ashamed that Nigeria is worse today- PDP
Reacting, the Peoples Democratic Party said the President ought to be ashamed that Nigerians were worse off than they were in 2015 when Buhari took office, instead of celebrating “phantom achievements.”
The National Publicity Secretary of the PDP, Kola Ologbondiyan, said this in a telephone interview with The PUNCH in Abuja, on Sunday.
Ologbondiyan further said, “Let us even assume that the claims by the regime are true, how has these impacted on the lives of Nigerians? What is the value of a Nigerian life today?
“The exchange rate of the naira to the dollar is the worst in our history. The President has failed this nation; Nigerians can’t wait to vote out this rudderless regime and all it represents.