OPENING REMARKS BY THE MINISTER OF INFORMATION AND CULTURE, ALHAJI LAI MOHAMMED, AT THE 15TH EDITION OF THE ”PMB ADMINISTRATION SCORECARD SERIES (2015-2023)” IN ABUJA ON THURSDAY, DEC. 22ND 2022
I welcome you all to the 15th edition of the ‘PMB Administration Scorecard Series (2015-2023)’. This is the last edition in the series for 2022. By God’s grace, we will resume in 2023 with four editions slated for January alone, thus:
- Jan. 9th – Honourable Minister of State for Petroleum Resources
- Jan. 10th – Honourable Minister of Health
- Jan 12th – Honourable Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice
- Jan. 31st – Honourable Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment
- Distinguished ladies and gentlemen, since we launched the ‘PMB Administration Scorecard Series’ on Oct. 18th 2022, we have hosted 14 Ministers from:
i) – Works and Housing
ii) – Transportation
iii) – Aviation
iv) – Interior
v) – Agriculture and Rural Development
vi) – Finance, Budget and National Planning
vii) – Water Resources
viii) – Environment
ix) – Mines and Steel Development
x) – Science, Technology and Innovation
xi) – Power
xii) – Niger Delta Affairs
xiii) – Women Affairs
xiv) – Sports and Youth Development
- As a quick reminder, we launched the ‘PMB Administration Scorecard Series’ on Oct. 18th as part of our efforts to massively showcase the remarkable achievements of the PMB Administration. Our guest today is the Honourable Minister of Police Affairs.
- Before I invite the guest speaker to the podium, please permit me to use this opportunity to respond to the unfortunate comment credited to His Excellency, Former Vice President Atiku Abubakar, during his campaign stop in Katsina on Tuesday, that he will reopen all Nigerian borders if elected President.
- By that statement, Alhaji Atiku has simply informed Nigerians that he will reverse all the efforts made by the PMB Administration to achieve self-sufficiency in the production of many staples, especially rice. By that statement, the former Vice President has informed the country’s millions of rice farmers that they will soon lose their jobs when imported rice floods the country. By that statement, His Excellency Atiku Abubakar has told the hundreds of thousands of Nigerians working in the various rice mills that have sprung up under this Administration that their jobs are over. By that statement, Alhaji Atiku will shut down most, if not all, of our new fertilizer blending companies, with thousands of jobs going down the drain. And
by his declaration, the former Vice President has told Nigerians that he will worsen security in the country by allowing arms and ammunition to flow unhindered into the country.
- In case His Excellency Atiku Abubakar is not aware, the PMB Administration has increased the number of fertilizer blending plants in the country from 10 in 2015 to 142 today; the rice mills in the country from 10 in 2015 to 80 integrated rice mills today. In addition, 10 large scale integrated rice mills are currently being built across the country.
- His Excellency Atiku Abubakar may also want to know that while Nigeria was the number one export destination for rice in 2014, our country has now moved to number 79, according to Thai Authorities. By throwing open the borders indiscriminately as he has pledged, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar has simply announced that he intends to return Nigeria to the number one importer of Thai rice in 2023!
- It is now clear that in his desperation for power, the presidential candidate of the PDP will not hesitate to export Nigerian jobs, put millions of Nigerians out of job, and ruin the fertilizer companies and the rice mills that have grown exponentially in number since Nigeria shut its land borders in 2019 (with some of them later reopened) due to the smuggling of rice as well as arms and ammunition into the country.
- For sheer expediency, Alhaji Atiku, a former Customs Officer who rose to the pinnacle of his career, is ready to erase the gains made since 2015 in pushing Nigeria closer to self-sufficiency in the production of staples. Out of desperation, he is ready to worsen the security situation in Nigeria by throwing open all the borders and allowing a massive inflow of small arms and light weapons into the country. Only an inordinately-ambitious candidate will wish to return Nigeria to an era of massive importation of food, to the detriment of local farmers, and an era of unbridled inflow of weapons. This is a red flag to Nigerians who, in line with the admonition of President Muhammadu Buhari, have been striving to produce what they eat and eat what they produce.
- On this note, distinguished ladies and gentlemen, it is my pleasure to invite the Honourable Minister of Police Affairs to make his presentation