By Omololu Ogunmade in Abuja
President Muhammadu Buhari Monday in Abuja appealed to Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) to shelve its planned strike. He urged labour to consider what his government inherited and what it was doing with fewer resources to put the economy in the right shape.
He also assured Nigerians that his administration would sustain massive investments to upgrade and develop the country’s transport and power infrastructure.
His media adviser, Mr. Femi Adesina, in a statement, said Buhari made the remark when he received members of the Association of Retired Career Ambassadors of Nigeria (ARCAN) led by Ambassador Oladapo Fafowora.
Adesina said the president told the retired ambassadors that Nigerians would never forget the ‘‘lost opportunity between 1999 and 2015,’’ when the nation had huge resources at its disposal.
He quoted him as saying, “There is no part of the country I haven’t been to, having attempted to be president four times.
”I know the condition of our roads. The rails were literally killed, there was no power despite the admittance of some previous leadership that they spent $16 billion on the sector.
”Today, we are getting our priorities right and we believe that of the three fundamental issues we campaigned on – security, the economy and fighting corruption – we have remained very relevant and Nigerians believe we have achieved something,” the President said.
President Buhari also used the occasion to appreciate the People’s Republic of China for financing some of the rail and power projects in the country through concessionary loans.
”I will do my best to see that where there are possibilities of making a quick improvement on infrastructure, we will do it,” he said.
The President took note of some concerns raised by the retired Ambassadors including an appeal for the adjustment of their pension entitlements, retention of diplomatic passport for retired career ambassadors, allocation of land for ARCAN headquarters in Abuja and adequate funding of the Foreign Affairs ministry, among others.