•Says FG embarked on most ambitious infrastructure programme since 1960
•Discloses Air force acquired 38 aircraft, Navy 400 new platforms, 20,000 policemen recruited
Emmanuel Addeh in Abuja
The presidency through the Presidential Communications Team(PCT) has released a list of President Muhammadu Buhari’s major achievements in key sectors , including on security and justice, the economy, power, housing, infrastructure, among others.
In a 119-page publication, the presidency stressed that on security, 38 brand new aircraft have been procured for the Air Force since Buhari took over in 2015 as well as 10 super Mushshak, five MI-35 helicopters and two bell helicopters.
In addition, it stated that the Air force now has in its kitty 12 A-29 Tucano, four Agusta, three JF-17 Thunder and is expecting another 12 new attack helicopters and 24 M-346 fighter attack aircraft.
“For the first time in history, the NAF has , under president Muhammadu Buhari administration successfully conducted several in-country periodic depot maintenance and avionics upgrade of some of its platforms,” the publication put together by the PCT stated.
For the navy, it stated that more than 400 new platforms are now available, including 200 riverine patrol boats, 114 rigid hull inflatable boats, 22 fast attack boats, 14 unmanned aerial vehicles, four barges, four helicopters, among others.
“ In line with the president’s directive, the Nigerian navy has established a naval base at Lake Chad in Baga, Borno state and has received presidential approval for new naval bases in Lekki, Oguta and Kano,” the Femi Adesina-led PCT stated.
Under the administration, the presidency stated that hundreds of battle tanks, mine sweepers, armoured fighting vehicles, mountain climber bikes, infantry fighting vehicles, MRAPS, light tanks and several others have been procured.
“Most recently in 2023, the Nigerian military acquired 700 brand new troop carrying vehicles all assembled in Nigeria,” the presidency said.
In addition, it stated that 20,000 new police officers were recruited in two tranches of 10,000, while processes for the third batch are ongoing to hit 40,000 in no distant future.
Furthermore, it stated that in 2021 and 2022 alone, the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA), arrested 24,000 drug traffickers, including 29 barons, while 3,400 offenders were convicted.
The value of drugs and cash seized came to more than N450 billion, while 772 hectares of cannabis farms were destroyed, the presidency added.
On infrastructure, the Buhari government stated that as with legislative reform, Nigeria was also seeing, under President Buhari’s watch, the biggest and most ambitious federal infrastructure programme since Nigeria’s independence.
“The Infrastructure Corporation of Nigeria (InfraCorp) was established by President Buhari in February 2021, with initial seed Capital of N1 trillion, provided by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), the Nigerian Sovereign Investment Authority (NSIA) and the Africa Finance Corporation (AFC).
“InfraCorp’s goal is to to catalyse and accelerate investment into Nigeria’s infrastructure sector by originating, structuring, executing and managing end-to-end bankable projects in that space.
“In addition to the N1 trillion equity seed capital, InfraCorp is expected to mobilise up to an additional N14 trillion of debt capital. Establishment in 2020 of the Presidential infrastructure Development Fund (PIDF), with more than $1 billion in funding so far,” it added.
The presidency further listed Buhari’s achievements in terms of infrastructure as the 156 kilometres Lagos-Ibadan rail line, purchase of 64 coaches and 21 locomotives, 186 kilometre Abuja-Kaduna rail and the completion of the 327km Itakpe-Warri standard gauge rail.
On power, Buhari stated that an incremental 4,000mw of power generating assets was completed during the life of the administration, including the Zungeru hydro, Kashimbila, Adam 111, Kudenda, Okpai phase 11, Dangote power plant , among others.
In oil and gas, the PCT listed the signing of the Petroleum Industry Act (PIA), Nigeria’s Decade of Gas, the ongoing 614-kilometre Ajaokuta-Kaduna-Kano gas project, the $1.4 billion Nigeria-Morocco ammonia facility, among several others as part of the gains of the current government.
In the Niger Delta, the Buhari administration listed the take-off of the Nigerian Maritime University in Okerenkoko, Delta State, which was granted approval in January 2018 by the National Universities Commission (NUC) to commence undergraduate degree programmes.
“President Buhari approved N5 billion in take-off grant for the Maritime University,” it said.
It further listed the resumption of work on the 337km East-West Road project, originally awarded in 2006, which it said the Buhari administration expects to complete in 2022/23.
It stated that the Ogoni clean-up for which S$170 million seed funding was set aside, approvals for the establishment of private-sector-led modular refineries across the nine states of the Niger Delta were also part of what Buhari administration achieved.
The publication further highlighted the payments to states amounting to N2 trillion in bailouts in the heat of the economic recession.
“ The Buhari administration had extended more than N2 trillion in bailout packages to states to enable them to meet their salary and pension obligations, especially in the face of dwindling oil revenues in the first three years of the administration,” it pointed out.
On Covid-19, the PCT stated that the president in March 2020 set up an Economic Sustainability Committee chaired by Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, to develop a comprehensive economic plan to respond to the disruptions and dislocations caused by the COVID-19 pandemic which effectively handled the challenges occasioned by the pandemic.
Aside Adesina, some other members of the PCT include: Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity, Garba Shehu; Director of Information at the State House, Abiodun Oladunjoye; Special Assistant, Digital Communications to the President, Tolu Ogunlesi, among others.