PMB: THE INCOMPARABLE PRESIDENT!!

PMB: THE INCOMPARABLE PRESIDENT!!

I was just passing in Unguwan Jaki, a very busy and one of the business trending streets in Bauchi Metropolis when I heard some youths shouting and arguing heavily on politics in Nigeria. They were about ten, mostly within the age bracket of 30 – 35, sitting in front of one big Printing Press and engaged in a very hot argument about the present administration.

I don’t normally involve myself in unnecessary arguments about political issues in Nigeria, but when I heard one of the youth shouting that someone should tell him ONLY THREE achievements recorded by President Muhammadu Buhari in his five years in office, I felt something like a blow in my head. I quickly stopped and turned around to join the discussion.

I moved closer and greeted them, find a place aside and sat down. The young guy was still standing, looking so frustrated and angered. He kept repeating the same request for three achievements but nobody could respond to him. I quickly chipped in and said “I can mention a hundred and plus achievements for you Sir” .

He turned his head around and with a glaring look said to me “go ahead I am all ears”. I said, I have a plead to make please before we start. “What is it? Say it I am listening. He said in a more angry manner.

“I want you to calm down first so that we can understand each other, and also want you to get a pen and paper in order to jot the points I am about to mention” I said, without looking at him. He bursed into big laugher and asked someone to bring pen and jotter for him.

I asked him to mention any sector that he feels President Buhari has not done anything, so that we can start. He then started to shout loud, “what did he do in all the sectors? This man has failed Nigerians in all ramifications. He promised to pay all pension arrears of Federal Civil Servants during his campaign, he promised to make electricity stable, he promised this and promised that….

As soon as he reached a full stop, I began to respond to him as follows; while he writes the points and other people listen with keen interest.

PENSIONS:
In January 2019, President Buhari launched Nigeria’s Micro Pension Scheme – which allows self-employed persons and persons working in organisations with less than 3 employees to save for the provision of pension at retirement or incapacitation.
The Buhari Administration is prioritizing the payment of pension arrears owed staff of current and privatized/defunct Federal agencies:

A total of 54 Billion Naira was released to settle outstanding 33% pension arrears (the 33% pension arrears date back to 2010 when the minimum wage was increased to N18,000).

Delta Steel Company (liquidated in 2005): 3,542 pensioners have now been placed on the payroll, ending a 13-year wait for their entitlements.

NITEL:
Another 9,216 pensioners were payrolled, after more than a decade of neglect by the previous administration.

Retired Biafran Police Officers (dismissed by the Federal Government in 1971, after the Civil War ended, and pardoned by President Obasanjo in 2000): President Buhari approved the payment of the pensions, unpaid since their pardon in 2000. N571.56 million was paid to a total of 174 beneficiaries in October 2017

Nigeria Airways:
President Buhari approved the release of N24 billion in September 2018, for the settlement of 50% of workers disengaged when the airline was liquidated in 2003/4.

Recoveries:
The Pension Transitional Arrangement Directorate (PTAD) has recovered cash and non-cash assets totaling N16 billion previously trapped in various insurance companies and underwriters managing the pension funds of Federal Parastatals and Universities.

AGRICULTURE:
The Anchor Borrowers Programme (ABP) of the Central Bank of Nigeria, launched by President Muhammadu Buhari on November 17, 2015, has made available more than 200 billion Naira in funding to more than 1.5 million smallholder farmers of 16 different commodities (Rice, Wheat, Maize, Cotton, Cassava, Poultry, Soy Beans, Groundnut, Fish), cultivating over 1.4 million hectares of farmland.

The ABP has substantially raised local production of rice, doubling the production of paddy as well as milled rice between 2015 and 2019.

Between 2016 and 2019, more than 10 new rice mills came on-stream in Nigeria. Many of the existing Mills have expanded their capacity; several new ones are under construction.

More than a billion dollars of private sector investments in the production of Rice, Wheat, Sugar, Poultry, Animal Feed, Fertilizers, etc, since 2015.

Federal Executive Council approval (2020) for a National Agriculture Mechanization Programme, “the Green Imperative”, in partnership with the Government of Brazil and multilateral financing institutions.

The Presidential Fertilizer Initiative:
Launched in January 2017, as a Government-to-Government agreement with the Kingdom of Morocco
More than a million metric tonnes of fertilizer produced since 2017. This translated to distribution of more than 18 million 50kg bags of NPK fertilizer in the first three years of the PFI)

22 blending plants resuscitated (combined installed capacity of more than 2.5m MT)
Price reduction from 9,000-11,000 per bag, to 5,500
FX savings of $150m annually through the substitution of imported components with locally manufactured ones
Subsidy savings of 50 billion Naira annually.

A total of 100,000 youths were trained across the 36 states and FCT under the Fadama Graduate Unemployed Youths and Women Support (GUYS) and have received free grants from N300,000 to One Million in order to establish different Agribusinesses.

Presently, N50 Billion loan has being distributed across households to support their living and all SMEs affected by the Covid 19 Pandemic.

AGMEIS Loan scheme is currently on going with a bid to target more than 500,000 Small and Micro Enterprises across the country in order to enhance their production capacity.

President Muhammadu Buhari’s Policies on trade and investment attracted;
– WACOT (Largest Rice Mill In Africa) KEBBI STATE
– OLAM (largest Feed Mill In Africa), KADUNA STATE
– SUNTI (Largest Sugar Company In Africa), NIGER STATE

INFRASTRUCTURE:
The Buhari Administration has demonstrated a single-minded commitment to upgrading and developing Nigeria’s Transport, Power and Health Infrastructure.
Three major rail projects inherited from previous administrations have been completed and commissioned: Abuja Metro Rail and the Abuja-Kaduna Rail, and the 327km Itakpe-Ajaokuta-Warri Rail, started in 1987, have been completed in 2020.

A fourth Rail Project, the Lagos-Ibadan Rail Project, kicked off in 2017, and is due to be completed in 2020. The tracklaying for the main component of the project was completed in March 2020.

In May 2018, the Federal Government launched the Presidential Infrastructure Development Fund (PIDF), under the management of the Nigerian Sovereign Investment Authority.

The PIDF kicked off with seed funding of US$650 million, and has already disbursed funds for three critical road projects: Second Niger Bridge, Lagos-Ibadan Expressway, and the Abuja-Kaduna-Zaria-Kano Expressway.

Nigeria Sovereign Investment Authority (NSIA) in March 2018 invested US$11m to establish a world-class Cancer Treatment Center at the Lagos University Teaching Hospital (LUTH), which commenced operations in 2019.

Work is ongoing on two US$5m Diagnostic Centers in the Aminu Kano University Teaching Hospital and the Federal Medical Centre, Umuahia.

Abuja’s Light Rail system has been completed; it connects the city center with the Airport, and the Abuja-Kaduna Railway Line.

New Abuja and Port Harcourt International Airport Terminals completed, in Q4 2018.

New Lagos and Kano International Airport Terminals scheduled for completion in 2020. All were inherited from the previous administration at various stages of completion, and in some cases required project redesign and revision.

The Buhari Administration successfully completed the reconstruction of the Abuja Airport runway within the scheduled six-week period (March – April 2017), and will complete the reconstruction of the Enugu International Airport Runway in 2020.

The following Water Supply Projects and Dam/Irrigation Projects have been completed by the Buhari Administration:
– Central Ogbia Regional Water Project, in Bayelsa
– Sabke/Dutsi/Mashi Water Supply Project, in Katsina
– Northern Ishan Regional Water Supply Project, serving Ugboha and Uromi communities of Edo State.
– Kashimbila Dam, Taraba State
– Ogwashi-Uku Dam, Delta State (Actual Dam completed and reservoir “impounded” in 2016; also spillway discharge channel completed).
– Shagari Dam Irrigation Project, Sokoto State
– Mangu Dam and Regional Water Supply Scheme in Plateau State
– Completion of Phase 1 of Galma Dam, Kaduna
– Rehabilitation of Ojirami Dam Water Supply Project, Edo State

The 25 Road Projects being funded by the Sukuk Bonds:
– Construction of Oju/Loko–Oweto bridge over​ ​River Benue to link Loko (Nasarawa state) and Oweto (Benue state) along route F2384
– Dualisation of Abuja–Abaji–Lokoja Road section I (International Airport link road junction​–Sheda Village)
– Dualisation of Suleja–Minna Road in Niger State Phase II (km 40+000-km101+000)
– Dualisation of Abuja–Abaji–Lokoja Road: Section IV Koton Karfe–Lokoja in Kogi State
– Dualisation of Lokoja-Benin Road: Obajana–Okene in Kogi State
– Dualisation of Kano–Maiduguri Road linking Kano–Jigawa–Bauchi–Yobe
– Dualisation of Kano–Maiduguri Road linking Kano–Jigawa–Bauchi–Yobe–Borno States. Section III (Azare–Potiskum) in Bauchi
– Dualisation of Kano–Maiduguri Road linking Kano–Jigawa–Bauchi–Yobe–Borno States. Section IV (Potiskum–Damaturu road) in Yobe
– Dualisation of Kano–Maiduguri Road linking Kano–Jigawa–Bauchi–Yobe–Borno States. Section V (Damaturu–Maiduguri)
– Dualisation of Kano–Maiduguri Road linking Kano–Jigawa–Bauchi–Yobe–Borno States. Section I (Kano–Wudil–Shuari) in Kano
– Dualisation of Kano–Katsina Road Phase I, Kano Town at Dawanau roundabout to Katsina border in Kano
– Construction of Kano Western Bypass as an extension of dualisation of Kano–Maiduguri Road Section I
– Construction of Kaduna Eastern Bypass
– Rehabilitation of outstanding section of Onitsha–Enugu Expressway: Amansea–Enugu border
– Rehabilitation of Enugu–Port Harcourt dual-carriage Section I: Lokpanta–Umuahia in Abia
– Rehabilitation of Enugu–Port Harcourt dual-carriage Section II Umuahia tower–Aba Township Rail
– Rehabilitation of Enugu–Port Harcourt Road Section III: Enugu–Lokpanta
– Rehabilitation of Enugu–Port Harcourt Road Section IV: Aba–Port Harcourt in Rivers
– Dualisation of Yenegwe Road Junction–Kolo–Otuoke–Bayelsa Palm in Bayelsa
– Dualisation of Lokoja–Benin Road: Obajana Junction–Benin Section II Phase I: Okene–Auchi, Kogi/Edo states
– Dualisation of Lokoja–Benin Road: Obajana Junction–Benin Section III Phase I: Auchi–Ehor in Edo
– Dualisation of Lokoja-Benin Road: Obajana junction–Benin Section IV Phase I: Ehor–Benin City, Edo state
– Reconstruction and asphalt overlay of Benin–Ofosu–Ore–Ajebandele–Shagamu dual-carriage Phase IV
– Reconstruction of outstanding section of sections of Benin–Ofusu–Ore–Ajebandele–Shagamu dual-carriage Phase III
– Dualisation of Ibadan–Ilorin Road. Section II: Oyo–Ogbomosho Road in Oyo.

BRIDGES:
– Second Niger Bridge
– Loko-Oweto Bridge (Nasarawa-Benue and south east.

PORTS:
– Baro Inland water Port
– Kaduna Dry Port
– Eastern Port (Delta)
– Bony Bridge and Road, Rivers State
-15 Fertilizer Plants Revived
– Northeast Development Commission

FEDERAL HIGHWAYS ROADS:
– Lagos- Sagamu- Ibadan Expressways
– Kano-Maiduguri Expressway
– Abuja-Kaduna-Kano Expressway
– Apapa-Oshodi-Oworonshoki Road
– New Abuja Airport Runway and
Terminal
– Enugu-Port Harcourt Expressway
– Abuja – Kerffi – Lafia – Makurdi Expressway
– Enugu – Onitsha Road

POWER SECTOR:
The Federal Government’s Energizing Economies Programme is a public-private partnership led by the Rural Electrification Agency (REA), to deliver stable power supply to markets and economic clusters across the country.

The initial phase is ongoing in Ariaria Market in Aba, Abia State (32,000 shops), Sura Shopping Complex in Lagos (1,000 shops), Shomolu Printing Community in Lagos (4,000 shops) and the Sabon Gari Market in Kano (12,000 shops). The Sura Shopping Complex project was completed in August 2018, and commissioned by Vice President Yemi Osinbajo in October 2018.

Launch of a 1.3 Trillion Naira Payment Assurance Programme designed to resolve the liquidity challenges in the Power Sector by guaranteeing payments to Generating Companies and Gas Suppliers.

Implementation of a Willing Buyer, Willing Seller Policy for the power sector, which has opened up opportunities for increased delivery of electricity to homes and industries.

The Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) has also recently issued an Order capping estimated billing by DisCos. More than 90 Transmission Projects completed or ongoing since 2016.

DAMS AND POWER PLANTS:
– Dadin Kowa Power Plant Gombe
– Kashimbilla Hydro Power Plant(Completed)
– Mambilla Hydro Power Plant(Awarded)
– Independent Power Supply to Ariaria Market, Aba, Abia State
– Independent Power Supply to Sabon Gari Market, Kano State
– Independent Power Plan Sura Shopping Complex, Lagos
– Independent Power Plants for 37 Universities
Independent Power Plants for 7 Teaching Hospitals
– Oil Exploration in Bauchi
– Over 200Bn released for Universities (1st in History)

EDUCATION:
Grants and Disbursements:
The Federal Government has disbursed more than 170 billion Naira in UBE Matching Grants to States and the FCT since 2015, 8 billion Naira in Special Education Grant to States and private providers of Special Education, and 34 billion Naira from the Teachers Professional Development Fund to States and the FCT.

A sum of 200 billon naira released to Universities in Nigeria using TETFUND

President Buhari has also established the following:
– Federal Maritime University, in Delta State
– Nigerian Army University Biu, in Borno State
– University of Agriculture, Zuru, Kebbi State
– University of Transportation, Daura, Katsina State
– Airforce University, Tafawa Balewa, Bauchi State

The administration has also established NEW FEDERAL COLLEGES OF EDUCATION in;
– Bauchi
– Benue
– Ebonyi
– Osun
– Sokoto
– Edo States.
– Federal Polytechnic, Daura

– Transfer of Almajiri Schools built by the previous administration to State Governments and credible Scholars of Islamic Education, for efficient administration and impact.

HEALTH:
1. Grants to State Governments:
A minimum of $2.5 million disbursed to each State of the Federation and the FCT, under the Saving One Million Lives (SOML) initiative, to improve health outcomes.

2. Basic Health Care Provision Fund (BHCPF):
For the first time since the National Health Act was passed in 2014, the Federal Government included the 1% minimum portion of the Consolidated Revenue Fund – amounting to 55 billion Naira – in the 2018 budget, to fund the Basic Health Care Provision Fund (BHCPF). The Fund is designed to deliver a guaranteed set health services to all Nigerians, through the national network of Primary Health Care centers.

3. Passage of Enabling Legislation for the Nigeria Center for Disease Control (NCDC), for the first time since it was founded in 2011. President Buhari approved a grant of 5 billion Naira for the NCDC in March 2020.

4. Tertiary Healthcare Upgrade Programme: A number of key Federal Hospitals across the country are being upgraded to effectively manage cancer and other major health challenges. Cancer Radiotherapy machines and other equipment are being provided to these hospitals. The National Hospital in Abuja has already received two LINAC (cancer treatment) machines.

5. Also established the following Health Care Institutions;
– Airforce Referral Hospital, Daura
– Nigerian Airforce Base Stand Hospital Bauchi
– Women and Children Hospital, Daura
– 44 Military Hospital, Kaduna
– National Cancer Center, Abuja
– Cancer Center at the University Teaching Hospital, UniLag, Lagos

FINANCIAL BAILOUT TO STATES:
President Muhammadu buhari bailed out 27 Governors and their states with finances running in billons of dollars.

AVIATION INDUSTRY:
-New Abuja Airport Terminal
– New Lagos Airport Terminal
– Port Harcourt Airport Terminal
– Enugu Airport Terminal

RAILWAY SECTOR:
– Abuja Metro Train
– Abuja – Kaduna Train
– Itakpe (KOGI state) -Warri (DELTA state)
– Lagos – Abeokuta (OGUN)
– Abeokuta (OGUN) – Ibadan (OYO)
– Lagos – Kaduna Cargo Train
– Train Assembly Plan, OGUN
– Lagos-Kaduna Cargo Train

SOCIAL INVESTMENT PROGRAMS:
President Muhammadu buhari Made It Possible:
– N30,000 Minimum Wage for all workers
– N30,000 for 500,000 Npower beneficiaries
– School Feeding Program
– TraderMoni
– Farmers Moni
– MarketMoni
– Buhari Young Farmers

WATER SUPPLY AND DAM/IRRIGATION PROJECTS:
-Central Ogbia Regional Water Project,Bayelsa
-Sabke/Dutsi/Mashi Water Supply Project, Katsina
-Kashimbila Dam, TarabaState
-Ogwashi-Uku Dam, Delta State
-Shagari Dam Irrigation Project, Sokoto State,

HOUSING SECTOR:
-10,000 estate housing across each 36 states
– Buhari Quarter housing scheme across the 36 states.

As I was busy mentioning these achievements, the guy was already tired of writing. I stopped and ask why he was not writing. He said he was tired, his fingers were paining him, that I should allow him take some rest and we continue tomorrow.

I said, ok no problem but let me mention this point before I forget. I then catsh his right ear and whispered to him, that President Buhari has yesterday Flagged Off a $2.8 billion Ajaokuta-Kaduna-Kano Gas Pipeline Project, which is said to be the largest of its kind in the nation.

“The AKK project is a section of the trans-Nigeria gas pipeline with a capacity to transport 2.2 billion cubic feet of gas per day and will be fed from the existing domestic gas infrastructure”, I added. The guy just fainted. It took the intervention of his colleagues who poured water on him before he could regain consciousness.

He looked at me with a relaxed mind and said, “My brother PMB has really achieved a lot in this five years, only that many people do not know, because free money is not flowing into their pockets”. His friends were surprised that he became speechless at the end. We shook hands and bid each other farewell.

Ibrahim M. Baba
08034541916
01/07/2020

Ibrahim M Baba can reach through babamibrahim@gmail.com