Minister for State, Budget and National Planning, Prince Clem Agba, yesterday said the Federal Government was accomplishing so much infrastructural development amid less and depleted revenue.
He noted that for several years, while the country had surplus revenue, previous administrations were only budgeting funds for the Second Niger Bridge without executing the project.
According to him, the President Muhammadu Buhari-led administration has built the bridge to link Delta State to Anambra State in the face of paucity of funds.
He spoke in Abuja while receiving the Open Government Partnership (OPG) award on behalf the president from NEITI Executive Secretary, Dr. Orji Ogbonnaya Orji.
His words: “On good thing is that this government is doing more in terms of infrastructural development with less revenue available, unlike when we had so much revenue but there wasn’t any infrastructure to show.
“Today, we see projects. We can touch the projects. We can feel the projects. The Second Niger Bridge is no longer a story.
“We were told about it before, for so many years it was budgeted for but we never saw anything. But now that bridge is connected from Delta to Anambra.
“You can see it and you can walk through it and this is at a time revenues have depleted.”
Agba, who urged the citizens to also narrate the positive side of the Nigeria’s story, noted that the people only tell about what is yet to be done.
He said only those in the diaspora appreciate the country for the good efforts of the present administration.
“But, unfortunately, Nigerians always see what is not being done. No one gets to see or say the things that are done. There is a lot that the country is doing that it needs to be applauded for,” the minister said.
He said the nation’s revenues are lower now than they used to be, stressing that COVID-19 created more problems and the Russian-Ukraine war has worsened it.
He insisted that a lot of countries are going through so much hardship.
The minister urged the Nigerian Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (NEITI) to redouble its efforts in order to win more awards for the country.
He noted that having raised the bar of with the award winning service delivery, NEITI must sustain its outstanding feat.
“I urge you and your team to get us even more awards in the coming years. You know that the reward for good work is more work. The bar has been raised and we can no longer bring it down,” he said.
The minister said he has written a memo to Mr. President for Nigeria to join the league of Beneficial Ownership Leadership Forum.
According to him, the relevant “ministries that are required to put in their comments have done so; So we are getting closer to being a member of that Beneficial Ownership Leadership Forum.”
In his remarks, Orji revealed that NEITI is engaging with the Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC), Economics and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) and the Nigerian Financial Intelligence Unit (NFIU) and other agencies to have a functional Beneficial Ownership register that various stakeholders can use.
He noted that to achieve it, the NEITI is establishing a joint coordination committee in June 2022.
On OGP, Orji said: “I am delighted for the privilege to present to the minister, the Open Government Partnership (OGP) award won by Nigeria in December 2021, during the last Global Summit of OGP member countries held in Seoul, South Korea.
The Executive Secretary explained that Nigeria is implementing both the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI) and Open Government Partnership (OGP)- two very important global multi-stakeholders governance initiatives that shared core similarities and commitments to deliver on transparency and open governance in member’s countries.
Source: the nation