Ministers at the briefing

OBINNA EZUGWU

Nigeria’s president, Muhammadu Buhari has charged his ministers and employees of federal ministries, agencies and parastatals to ‘vigorously’ defend his policies and not allow the opposition to keep spreading irresponsible and politically motivated statements about this government.

Buhari gave the charge in his closing remarks at the first year ministerial performance review retreat for ministers, permanent secretaries and top government officials at the state house, Abuja.

“I have charged all of you to defend the government vigorously and not allow any irresponsible and politically motivated statements to keep spreading falsehoods about this government. Information to the public should be better packaged. Go on the offensive, we are proud of our achievements, and we should blow our own trumpet,” Buhari said.

The president regretted that he was now being called “‘Baba Go Slow’”, because the opposition is spreading falsehoods against his government, even as he pleaded with the elite to judge his administration fairly.

He said part of the challenges of his government is drop in revenue, noting that average oil production from 1999 to 2014 was 2.1 million barrels per day, sold averagely at $100.

The President emphasised that he was doing his “best” to fight corruption by “trying to follow the system” in contrast to his brief military regime in 1984 when he arbitrarily rounded up politicians, threw them in jail, and required them to prove their innocence.

He restated that all meeting requests should be chanelled through his Chief of Staff, Prof. Ibrahim Gambari, while cabinet matters should pass through the Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), Boss Mustapha.

The president called for more synergy between agencies, warning that the days of inadequate collaboration, coordination and synergy among implementing bodies were over.

“I have directed that the essential coordination delivery unit in the office of the Secretary to the Government of the Federation should be revived to ensure we focus on results. The SGF is to ensure regular reports on progress,” he said.