Don’t Allow Destroyers of Nigeria To Pose As Saviours, Minister Charges Media

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The Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed (left) and the Chief Executive Officer of TVC Communications, Mr. Andrew Hanlon (right) during a courtesy visit to the Minister in Abuja on Tuesday.

By; JACOB ONJEWU DICKSON

The Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, has
challenged the media to contextualize their reporting so that those
who destroyed Nigeria will not be made to look like the country’s new
saviours.

According to a statement signed by his SA, Segun Adeyemi, the Minister said this when the Chief Executive Officer of TVC Communications, Mr. Andrew Hanlon, led a team of top officials of the company on a courtesy visit to the Minister in his office in Abuja on Tuesday.

”We are on a rescue mission. However, the way a section of the media
is reporting the challenges facing the country today does not reflect
that understanding. They are making a corrective administration to
look like the culprit, to give the impression that the rain started
beating us in Nigeria only from 29 May 2015, to play down the
challenges that this Administration has faced and which it is
successfully tackling.

”For example, we did not get to where we are today in just three
years. It has taken successive decades of bad governance, unbridled
corruption, lack of probity, a culture of impunity and a near state of
anarchy. These are the ills this Administration inherited and which it
has set out to tackle. And this is what the media must reflect in
their reporting,” he said.

Alhaji Mohammed said but for the prudence, probity and the
anti-corruption stance of this Administration, the situation could
have been worse, adding: ”Instead of recession, we could have had a
total collapse of the economy. The power grid could have collapsed
altogether. Corruption could have overwhelmed the society. Boko Haram
could have turned Abuja to Bama or Konduga. Food imports could have
tripled what it was pre-May 29th 2015 and the Naira might have
been worse hit.”

He, therefore, challenged the media to do more to educate Nigerians
”that it is hard to build but easy to destroy, that the same people
who presided over yesterday’s looting of our treasury are today posing
as would-be saviours of Nigerians, that this Administration is
rebuilding almost from the scratch with 60% less revenue, that the
corrupt ones are spending millions of Naira to paint the government of
the bad, and that Nigeria is not returning to Egypt”.

The Minister said when this Administration assumed office, the price
of oil, the mainstay of Nigeria’s economy, had dropped to around $30
from over $100, foreign reserves stood at a low of $24 billion, the
Federal Government was borrowing to pay salary, some 27 states were
owing arrears of salary, contractors were being owed over several
years, infrastructure was in poor state, power generation was 2,690
megawatts, billions were being paid as ‘fuel subsidies’ to fat cats,
corruption had emptied the treasury while 20 of the 27 local councils
in Borno were under Boko Haram control.

”Today, the trend is being reversed and the results are showing:
Foreign Reserves is now $42.8b, inflation has fallen for 12
consecutive months to 15.13%, 108 billion Naira has been saved from
the removal of maintenance fees payable to
banks pre-TSA, the nation is saving 24.7 billion Naira monthly with
the full TSA implementation, the elimination of ghost workers has
saved the nation 120 billion Naira, capital inflow reached $1.8
billion in the second quarter of 2017, almost double the $908 million
in the first quarter, while Nigeria’s stock market is one of the
best-performing in the world, delivering returns in excess of 40
percent.

”Nigeria has also jumped 24 places on the World Bank’s Ease of Doing
Business ranking and earned a place on the List of Top 10 Reformers in
the world, the Administration has repeatedly given bailouts for states
to pay salary, the Administration’s Agricultural Revolution is a huge
success, with agriculture export up year-on-year by 25%, rice import
from Thailand dropping 644,000 megawatts to 22,000 megawatts and rice
farmers growing from 5 million to 12.3 million, the Home-Grown School
Feeding Programme has created jobs for 61,352 cooks, and it is
providing 6.4 million school children in 33,981 schools across 20
states with one meal a day,” he said.

Alhaji Mohammed also noted that the N-Power programme has employed
200,000 graduates, that power generation has reached an all-time high
of over 7,000MW, that infrastructural development is going on at a
massive rate across the country, that corruption has been driven under
the table and Boko Haram has been massively degraded.

He said a free press is indispensable to democracy, and assured that
the Administration will not do anything to stifle the press

Earlier, Mr. Hanlon had assured the Minister of TVC Communication’s
commitment to the country’s audio-visual landscape, while announcing
that a new radio station will open in Abuja in April as part of the
company’s aggressive investment programme.

Also on the entourage of the TVC Communications CEO were Mr. Ronan
Redmond, TVC’s Director of Commercial; Mr. Babatunde Kolade Otitoju,
Head of News and Mr. Taiwo Amodu. the Abuja Bureau.

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