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Why I approved implementation of Orosanye’s report – Buhari

… says N800bn saved from anti-graft fight deployed to infrastructure

The need to address the high cost of governance and reduce operational costs in the wake of the negative impact of the global coronavirus pandemic influenced decision to revisit the implementation of Orosanye report on rationalisation in the Federal Civil Service.

This is as the government says it has continued to implement accountability and transparent policies through the Open Government Partnership and the transparency portal on financial transactions, while also strengthening auditing and accountability mechanisms to ensure that rules and regulations are followed strictly.

“In the face of dwindling resources and the rising cost of governance, I have authorised that the White Paper on the Rationalisation of Government Parastatals and Agencies be reviewed for implementation.”

President Muhammadu Buhari stated this in his 2020 Democracy Day broadcast to mark 21 years of uninterrupted civil administration in the country, on Friday.

The president also revealed that the over N800 billion so far saved from anti-corruption fights had been ploughed into development and infrastructure projects.

The anti-corruption agencies secured more than 1,400 convictions and also recovered funds in excess of N800 billion.

Buhari noted that the Public Service of Nigeria remained the bedrock for the formulation and implementation of policies, programmes and projects in the country, adding that this “accounts for why it continues to evolve especially as new socio-economic challenges emerge for Government to address.

“I will continue to give all the necessary support for the on-going reforms designed to return discipline, integrity and patriotism as the hallmark of the public service.”

The president in his speech enumerated the achievements of his administration in the last five years and assured that the administration would continue to implement policies that would directly address economic challenges.

Speaking on persons living with disabilities, Buhari said his commitments to their welfare “remain unwavering,” adding, “Government recognises their contributions to the development and has directed that all relevant Government agencies pay special attention to the peculiarities of persons with disabilities in the formulation and implementation of their policies and programmes, and where suitable their employment.”

In the oil and gas sector, President Buhari noted that Nigeria, first time in over ten years, is conducting bidding process for 57 Marginal Oil Fields to increase revenue and increase the participation of Nigerian companies in oil and exploration and production business.

He disclosed that the headquarters of the Niger Delta Development Commission, NDDC is ready and will be commissioned soon

“We continue to grow local content in other areas of the oil and gas sector with the disbursement of funds from the $200 million Nigerian Content Intervention Fund to indigenous manufacturers and service providers.

“With sustained engagement of youths, opinion leaders and other stakeholders, we have restored peace in the Niger Delta Region and maintained our oil production levels.

“The Head office of the Niger Delta Development Commission will be commissioned shortly. The Funding of sections I–IV of the East-West Road shall be pursued with a view to completing the project by the end of 2021.

“Furthermore, I am determined to ensure that development meant for the people of the Niger Delta get to them so I have authorised a Forensic Audit of the Niger Delta Development Commission.”

The president hyped on the roles of the digital economy, which he said continued to play an important role in the nation’s development agenda as the country moves into the age of Artificial Intelligence.

“Since the creation of the Ministry of Communication and Digital Economy, the National Digital Economy Policy and Strategy has been launched. Steps have been taken to achieve a reduction of connectivity cluster gaps from 207 to 114 as well as increase the level of 4G coverage by 30%.”

Nigeria remains committed to expanding access to quality education to enhance the productivity of its citizens and would continue to pursue the enforcement of free and compulsory basic education for the first nine years of schooling, he said.

“In pursuit of this, we have launched the Better Education Service Delivery for All in 17 states, established additional 6 Federal Science and Technical Colleges and currently executing a pro-active Teacher Training Plan with all states of the Federation.

“In our revision of the operations of specialised education funds and to implement reforms that would optimise their benefits to the sector, we have adopted a Public-Private Sector Partnership for provision of infrastructure and also collaborate with the private sector to create jobs.

The president also noted that government’s pursuit of affordable housing for the low and middle-income earners has received a boost with the delivery of 1,200 housing units, provision of 520 service plots with infrastructure through a Public-Private Sector partnership and the issuance of 868 mortgages totalling N7.7 billion.

“Similarly, Home Renovation Loans totalling N16.2 Billion have been granted to 19,210 people.

“To enable sustainable access to safe and sufficient water to meet the social, cultural, environmental and economic development needs of all Nigerians, we continue to expand our water supply, irrigation and dam facilities.

“The Completion of Amauzari, Amla Otukpo and other 42 Earth Dams with combined job creation of about 43,354 direct jobs and 71,172 indirect jobs, would provide more support for irrigation agriculture and water supply.

“To further institutionalize our effort in this regard, I signed the Executive Order 009 on Ending Open Defecation in Nigeria.”

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