The Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed on Thursday accused the Presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Atiku Abubakar of copying the economic blueprint of the President Muhammadu Buhari-led administration.
According to the Minister, the Economic Blueprint released by Atiku in Lagos last week was copied from Buhari’s achievements.
Lai claimed that the former vice president copied his principal in the area of job creation, infrastructure financing, relationship with the private sector, rejuvenation of the power sector, poverty reduction, debt management and the overall management of the economy.
The minister stated this during a press conference at the National Press Centre in Abuja, on Thursday.
He claimed that PDP presidential candidate, Atiku is presenting a poor version of the Buhari’s Economic Blueprint, adding that it is shocking that the same opposition party has condemned the blueprint they are copying.
Speaking on Atiku’s plan to reduce infrastructure deficit, Mohammed said no one understands how to achieve that better than the Buhari administration.
He further stated that the critics of the current administration will agree that it has achieved a lot in the area of infrastructure development.
Mohammed speaking further at the press conference said, “across the country, we have constructed 8,352.94 kilometres of roads, rehabilitated 7,936.05 kilometres of roads, constructed 299 bridges, maintained 312 bridges and created 302,039 jobs in the process.
“We have also delivered houses in 34 states of the Federation under the first phase of the National Housing Project. We were able to achieve these through a combination of budget increase and innovative infrastructure financing methods. Whereas we met a budget of N18.132 billion for the roads component of the Federal Ministry of Works when we assumed office in 2015, the budget for the Federal Ministry of Works and Housing increased exponentially to N260.082 billion in 2016; N274.252 billion in 2017, N356.773 billion in 2018, N223.255 billion in 2019, N227.963 billion
in 2020 and N241.864 billion in 2021.”
The minister added that anyone using the Blueprint of this administration without acknowledging its achievements is cheap and disingenuous.
Speaking on the infrastructure financing plan of Atiku, the minister said infrastructure financing under the PDP administration from 1999 to 2015 is the worst.
He noted that Buhari in the last seven years has been able to finance some projects like the Lagos-Ibadan Expressway, 2nd Niger Bridge and the Abuja-Kaduna-Zaria-Kano road), Sukuk (which has delivered a total of 1,881 kilometres of roads between 2017 and 2020) and the Road Infrastructure Tax Credit Scheme (for the construction and rehabilitation of Lokoja-Obajana-Kabba-Ilorin road, reconstruction of Apapa Wharf road, construction of Apapa-Oworonsoki-Ojota road and the Bonny-Bodo road with bridge).
Mohammed added, “the NNPC-funded part of the Road Infrastructure Tax Credit Scheme has also delivered nine roads in North-Central, three in North-East, two in North-West, two in South-East, three in South-South and two in South-West for a total of 1,804 kilometres of roads.”
According to the Minister, the Buhari administration reduced poverty through the creation of the National Social Investment Programme (NSIP), which he said has empowered 1 million youths.