A chieftain of the ruling All Progressives Congress, APC, and Director-General of Progressive Governors Forum, PGF, Dr. Salihu Moh. Lukman has faulted the claim by former chairman of Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, Prof. Attahiru Jega, that both APC and opposition Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, have failed Nigerians.
Prof. Attahiru Jega, had in a BBC Hausa Service interview on August 2, 2021, submitted that ‘the two big parties had failed to engender good governance and development in the country.
Consequently, he called on Nigerians not to give their votes to the parties again in future elections, particularly the coming 2023 general elections.
Lukman stated that the problem of one-dimensional politics, being practiced in Nigeria, which is about opinions and not facts is responsible for painting both APC and PDP with same brush.
In a statement titled, “Nigerian Politics and Fallacy of PDP – APC Semblance (Part one)” issued Monday and made available to Nigerians, the PGF D.G acknowledged that the ease with which politicians switch between parties, especially from PDP to APC and vice versa, also justified why same semblance is ascribed to both parties.
The party chieftain further explained that absence of political ideology, in Nigerian politics is another evidence of why the two parties are the same.
He however faulted Prof. Jega for failing to present facts to proof that APC is a failure before lumping it together with PDP.
“Prof. Jega spoke more as a politician in that interview than the thorough scholar he is. Being a PRP member, it was more about justifying his choice of PRP as opposed to any of the so-called big parties. In many respects, it wasn’t necessary at all. He doesn’t need to justify his political choice with reference to other parties. Doing so, cheaply bring him down to the basement of one-dimensional politics, which he is way above. As a result, at least from the BBC interview, he didn’t make any attempt to present how his party, PRP, will be different,” he said.
Lukman went further to present contrasting evidences and facts to proof that the opposition PDP is a failure while APC is not.
He said, “The evidence so far from PDP’s record of sixteen years in government is largely about litany of corruption and how problems of insecurity become widespread in the country. With respect to the problem of corruption, series of reports of investigation are there, which is not about anybody’s opinion.
“For instance, recall the House of Representatives investigation on petroleum subsidy in 2012. Under the Chairmanship of Hon. Faruk Lawan, the Committee reported that “contrary to official figure of subsidy payment of N1.3 Trillion, the Accountant-General of the Federation put forward a figure of N1.6 Trillion, the CBN N1.7 Trillion, while the Committee established subsidy payment of N2.587 Trillion as at December 2011, amounting to more than 900% over the appropriated sum of N245 Billion.
” This figure of N2.587 Trillion is based on the CBN figure of N844.944 billion paid to NNPC, in addition to another figure of N847.942 billion reflected as withdrawals by NNPC from the excess crude naira account, as well as the sum of N894.201 billion paid as subsidy to Marketers.
“The figure of N847.942 billion quoted above strongly suggests that NNPC might have been withdrawing from two sources especially when double withdrawals were also reflected both in 2009 and 2010.” The report also indicted the Accountant-General of the Federation because of payments in 2009, in equal instalments of N999 million for 128 times, totaling N127.872 billion.”
As for the successes of APC, he said, “When President Muhammadu Buhari administration assumed office in 2015, the total budget for Federal Roads by the outgoing PDP government of former President Goodluck Jonathan was 18 billion Naira, which is only about 25% of the Lagos State roads budget for that year. The persistent skeletal funding translated to abandoned or slow-moving road projects across the country. APC administration’s first priorities were to increase the amount of funding available for road projects, while also ensuring the resumption of work on abandoned projects. In 2016, the roads budget went up to 260 billion Naira, for which about 200 billion Naira was released.
“Significantly, more resources were devoted to construction of road and transport infrastructure than any other administration since 1999, and the results are roads, bridges, highways, rail lines and stations, and air and seaport upgrades. Work has since resumed on several stalled, abandoned or solution-defying road projects that were inherited, like the Loko-Oweto Bridge, Lagos-Ibadan Expressway, Sagamu-Benin Expressway, the Enugu-Port Harcourt Expressway, Onitsha-Enugu Expressway, Kano-Maiduguri Expressway, Abuja-Kaduna-Zaria-Kano Expressway, Obajana-Kabba Road, Ilorin-Jebba Road, Apapa-Oshodi-Oworonshoki Road, and several others are in progress, with some already close to completion.
“In 2017, the multinational group Olam invested $150 million in an integrated animal feed mill, poultry breeding farms and hatchery in Kaduna State, as well as an integrated poultry and fish feed mill in Kwara State.
“In Anambra State, the Coscharis Group began the cultivation of rice in 2016, on a 2,500 hectare farm, and soon after expanded into Milling, with the commissioning of a 40,000 MT modular Rice Mill in 2019,
“In Niger State, the BUA Group is currently completing a $300million Integrated Facility comprising a Sugar Mill, Ethanol Plant, Sugar Refinery and Power Plant, and a 20,000-Hectare Farm.
“In Kebbi State, GB Foods has invested 20 billion Naira in a Tomato Processing Factory supplied by what is said to be the single largest tomato farm in the country. Future phases of the investment will make it the largest processing facility for fresh tomatoes in sub-Saharan Africa.
“The same GB Foods in July 2020 opened its N5.5 billion Mayonnaise production facility in Ogun State, which will be supplied with input from the company’s new farms in Kebbi State.
“In Lagos, Ariel Foods FZE has recently constructed and completed the biggest Ready-To-Use Therapeutic Foods (RUTF) production facility in Africa.
“In Nasarawa State, the Nigeria Sovereign Investment Authority (NSIA) has recently completed work on the first phase of a multi-million-dollar animal feed processing facility and a backward-integrated 3000-hectare Maize and Soyabeans Farm, in a co-investment partnership with a South African Investment Group.
“In 2021, the Dangote Group commissioned its $2 billion Fertilizer Plant, with an annual capacity of 3 million Metric Tonnes, the largest fertilizer plant in West Africa. In June 2021, the plant began delivering an average of 120 trucks of Urea per week to the Nigerian market, and is also set to target the export market across West Africa and beyond.
“State Governments are also actively keying into the President’s Agriculture vision. In 2018, Cross River commissioned a 3 billion Naira Hybrid Rice Seedlings Factory, to supply rice seedlings to farmers and governments across the country.
“Lagos State is completing the 32 Metric Tonne per hour Imota Rice Mill, which, when functional, will be one of the largest rice processing facilities in sub-Saharan Africa. The Imota Rice Mill will produce 2.4 million bags of 50kg per annum, and create an estimated 250,000 direct and indirect jobs, and will plug Lagos State firmly into the national rice value chain.
“Ekiti State is reviving its Ikun Dairy Farm, in a successful partnership with Promasidor, with a production target of 10,000 Liters of milk daily.
“In Ondo State, the 9 billion Naira Sunshine Chocolate Factory – a Public Private Partnership involving the State Government – was completed and commissioned in 2020, to take advantage of the State’s leading position in the cultivation of cocoa.”