Lai Mohammed, minister of information and culture, says the federal government will stop making excuses about the state of the economy, but work around the clock to pull the country out of recession.
The government had on several occasions blamed the Goodluck Jonathan administration for the current situation.
But speaking at the fourth Commonwealth Public Relations Congress in Lagos, Mohammed assured Nigerians of government’s commitment to implementing realistic policies that would reverse the trend.
“We are not unaware of the harsh effects of the recession on the citizens. We share in their pains and we make no excuses as we continue to work round the clock to ensure that this tough time is quickly brought to an end. The good news is that the prognosis for a quick end to the recession is encouraging,” Segun Adeyemi, Mohammed spokesman, quoted him as saying.
“As the saying goes, the recession is a bend in the road, not the end of the road. The challenge for us as a government is to turn the bend, and we are doing just that.”
Mohammed said while the Buhari administration rode to power on the crest of change, there can be no change without discomforts.
He, however, assured Nigerians that with persistence on the part of the government and perseverance on the part of the people, there was light at the end of the tunnel.
The minister said the government was investing massively in infrastructural development – roads, railways, power, and creating jobs in the process – as part of efforts to pull the country out of recession.
Mohammed also said the alternative funding of the oil and gas industry joint ventures, which has been approved by the federal executive council, would also impact positively on the economy.
“(This alternative funding) is set to increase the net federal government revenue per annum by about $2 billion, lead to an increase in national production from the current 2.2 million barrels per day to 2.5 mbpd by 2019, reduce unit technical costs from $27.96/barrel oil equivalent (boe) to $18/boe and double the net payments to the federation account, from about $7Billion to over $14Billion by 2020,” he said.
“The funding mechanism would also allow the JV business to be self-funding, restore investor confidence; raise the prospects of higher investment in growth activities by the partners and arrest production decline.”