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Don’t expect ‘hand-outs’ from development partners, Buhari warns ministers designate


PRESIDENT Muhammadu Buhari on Monday warned the cabinet-elect members not to depend on supports from development partners to fulfil their responsibilities, even as he described Nigeria’s growing population as ‘frightening’.

Buhari said, quoting the United Nations (UN) estimates that Nigeria would become the third-largest population on earth after India and China with 411 million people by 2050.

He spoke at the Presidential retreat for Ministers-designate, Presidential aides and other top government functionaries, held at the State House, Abuja.

The President, who acknowledged likely implications of the population surge, noted that solutions to fixing numerous challenges confronting the nation still lies within.

“Ladies and gentlemen, we are all aware of the looming demographic potential of our country. By average estimates, our population is close to 200 million today. By 2050, UN estimates put Nigeria third globally behind only India and China with our projected population at 411 million,” Buhari said.

“This is a frightening prospect but only if we sit idly by and expect handouts from so-called development partners. The solution to our problems lies within us.”

The President reminded the ministers-elect of three major areas his administration focused during the first term in office. They include securing the nation, improve on the economy and to fight corruption.

Though several reports have claimed that Buhari’s anti-corruption fight is almost same with past administrations, he boasted to have made headway on the selected areas stressing that it is addressing other challenges such as kidnappings, farmer-herder violence, improving road safety, railways, air traffic and fire control capacities.

Buhari claimed his government had recovered billions of stolen assets and still pursuing control measures to tackle leakages in public resources.

    “We will not let up in fighting corruption.

    “As Ministers, I am counting on you together with Advisers and Nigerians willing and able to contribute to build upon our road map of policies, programmes and projects that will lift the bulk of our people out of poverty and set them on the road to prosperity,” Buhari added.

    The president, however, charged the ministers-designate they would be responsible for the development and implementation of policies, programmes and projects at the various Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) in line with government priorities.

    “You must also ensure that agencies under your ministries are effective, efficient and accountable in the discharge of their responsibilities.”

    Olugbenga heads the Investigations Desk at The ICIR. Do you have a scoop? Shoot him an email at oadanikin@icirnigeria.org. Twitter Handle: @OluAdanikin

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