The Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, has said Nigeria is witnessing a progressive decimation of terrorists and insurgents in order to secure the country.
The Minister made the remarks in Calabar at a joint press conference with Cross River State Governor, Prof. Ben Ayade, during a ceremony to mark the 2022 World Tourism Day.
He said infrastructure and adequate security are necessary for tourism to thrive.
“I am bold to say here that in the last three months, even our worst critics will agree that the government has gotten the handle on security issues. In the area of insecurity, I want to assure you that the worst is over,” Alhaji Mohammed said.
He said when the situation in the country in 2015 is compared with what obtains in 2022, there is incontrovertible evidence to support the government’s position that the worst is over.
“It’s unfortunate that people who comment on insecurity fail to start from where we were in 2015 and where we are today.
“In 2015, the entire North East of the country was a no-go area. When I was appointed Minister in 2015, one of the first tasks I embarked upon was to go with a team of foreign and local journalists to the North East, in particular to Maiduguri, Kaure, Konduga and Bama, to see firsthand the effect of Boko Haram insurgency
“That’s on 5th December 2015 and I needed air force jets to escort me from Maiduguri to Bama, which is about 68 kilometers. Apart from our convoy, we didn’t see any other vehicular traffic on the road. All the houses in Bama were destroyed by Boko Haram. There were no schools in the North East and no hospitals. Telecom services were destroyed,” the Minister said.
He said at the moment, the North East is once again accessible because of the government’s efforts.
On the economy, Alhaji Mohammed said the activities of vandals in the Niger Delta is causing the government to lose about 700,000 barrels of crude oil per day, thereby denying the government huge revenue and foreign exchange.
He however expressed delight that the renewed deployment of technology and the synergy between government security forces and private security companies have achieved success in the fight against oil bunkering.
Special Assistant to the President (Media)
Office of the Minister of Information and Culture
27 Sept. 2022