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Check the response of President Buhari during an interview

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In an interview with the Nigerian President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.), below are his written responses to questions he was being asked.

Q1. You campaigned for office with a pledge to fight corruption, secure the country and fix the economy. How would you rate your performance in fulfilling those pledges during your eight years in office? Why has insecurity been so hard to tackle? Are you making headway?

A: We leave Nigeria in a far better place than we found it. Corruption is less hidden for Nigerians feel empowered to report it without fear, while money is returned; terrorists no longer hold any territory in Nigeria, and their leaders are deceased; and vast infrastructure development sets the country on course for sustainable and equitable growth.

Security

In 2015, Boko Haram held territory the size of Belgium within the borders of Nigeria. Today they are close to extinct as a military force. The leader of ISWAP was eliminated by a Nigerian Airforce airstrike in March. The jets acquired from the US and intelligence shared by British were not provided to previous administrations and stand as testament to renewed trust re-built between Nigeria and our traditional western allies under my government.

We urge those same international partners to take additional steps costing them nothing, by proscribing another group – IPOB – as a terrorist organization. Their leadership enjoys safe haven in the West, broadcasting hate speech into Nigeria from London, spending millions lobbying members of the US Congress, and freely using international financial networks to arm agitators on the ground. This must stop.

My administration is the only in Nigeria’s history to implement a solution to decades-long herder-farmer conflicts, exacerbated by desertification and demographic growth. The National Livestock Transformation Plan, putting ranching at its core, is the only way to deplete the competition for resources at the core of the clashes. Governors from some individual states have sought to play politics where ranches have been established; but where they have been disputes have dramatically reduced.

Economy

How prescient our policies for boosting domestic production have become!

For years we have been criticised by the likes of the FT, the Economist, and others for supposedly mistaken attempts to de-globalise and re-localize food production and boost manufacturing. Now with the war in Ukraine breaking global food supply chains “Davos Man” is in retreat as the energy crisis makes countries everywhere think again about energy independence and security.

We have spent our two terms investing heavily in national road, rail, and transport infrastructure set to unleash growth, connect communities, and lessen inequality. This is structural transformation. It may not show on standard economic metrics now, but the results will be apparent in good time.

Corruption

Starting with our Whistleblowing Policy enacted in my first year in office hundreds of millions in stolen funds have been returned within Nigeria.

Working with our international partners, hundreds of millions of various currencies have been returned from abroad – primarily from the UK, US, and Switzerland – and used as social and welfare funds distributed directly to the poorest during the Covid pandemic and the provision of long-delayed infrastructure-roads, bridges, rail, and power.

As an illustration, Monetary recoveries (January-December) 2021 show that more N152 billion has been recovered. Dollar recoveries for the year amount to over USD 386 million; GBP, more than 1.1 million; Euro, about 157,000; Saudi Riyals about 1.7 million some more in Digital and other currencies.

Those partners refused to return these monies held for decades to previous Nigerian administrations in the certainty they would simply be re-stolen. They changed their approach with us because they knew my administration could be trusted.




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