President Muhammadu Buhari on Monday chaired the third ministerial performance review retreat for ministers, permanent secretaries, and top government functionaries.
Former President of Kenya, Uhuru Kenyatta; British High Commissioner to Nigeria, Catriona Laing; President of the Senate, Ahmed Lawan as well as Speaker of the House of Representatives, Femi Gbajabiamila, were among dignitaries present at the State House Banquet Hall, venue of the event.
The first ministerial retreat was held in August 2019. This year’s retreat, the last in the series of retreats held under Buhari’s second term, is sequel to the mid term performance review held last year.
The retreat’s objectives include delivering reports on progress made particularly on the nine priority areas of the present administration. The retreat is structured into three main areas, presenting key achievements and ways to accelerate implementation of key mandates.
The President declared that the goal to increase electricity generation to 25,000 megawatts in six years is on course (through the partnership between the Federal Government of Nigeria and German Siemens) as the first batch of the transformers has arrived Nigeria already.
He stated that his administration remained unwavering in the fight against corruption and will continue to review and prosecute high-profile corruption cases and ensure speedy completion.
For this purpose, platforms to promote collaboration among anti-corruption and prosecuting agencies of government have been established, particularly to ensure government at all levels is effective, efficient, accountable and transparent.
Buhari also said the agricultural sector has experienced significant growth and shortfall in food production and food importation bills have both reduced significantly.
He further disclosed that the government is working assiduously to solve the problem of rising cost of food that is related to inflation.
Laing, who attended the ministerial retreat for the second time, stated that Nigeria must remain on a path of democratic consolidation.
While acknowledging that Nigeria’s economy is more resilient, she noted that COVID-19 pandemic had impinged on progress. She underscored that the UK is fully committed to a strong and viable Nigeria.
On his part, Gbajabiamila harped on the point that Nigeria cannot thrive without tackling insecurity and corruption. He equally spoke on the critical need to measure how far and how well.
He stated that for the National Assembly, the retreat is an opportunity to take stock, adding that the outcome of the retreat will provide data to help plan ahead.
Read Buhari’s full speech:
ADDRESS BY HIS EXCELLENCY, MUHAMMADU BUHARI, PRESIDENT OF THE FEDERAL REPUBLIC OF NIGERIA, AT THE 3RD YEAR MINISTERIAL PERFORMANCE REVIEW RETREAT HELD
AT THE STATE HOUSE CONFERENCE CENTRE,
ABUJA ON 17TH OCTOBER, 2022
It gives me great pleasure to welcome everyone to the 3rd Year and my last Ministerial Performance Review Retreat organised to evaluate the level of progress made in the implementation of the Nine Priority Agenda of this Administration.
I am particularly delighted to welcome His Excellency, Uhuru Kenyatta, the immediate past President of the Republic of Kenya and members of his delegation, and specially thank him for honouring our invitation to be the Keynote Speaker at this Retreat. We look forward to hearing about your experience especially around the last months prior to the handover to your successor.
This Retreat is organised at a time when we have commenced political activities and campaigns for the forthcoming general elections in the 1st Quarter of 2023. It therefore, provides an opportunity for us as a Government to reflect on the progress made so far, review the status of implementation of the Policies, Programmes and Projects of Government in line with the collective aspirations of our people as well as identify areas that need urgent intervention.
An exercise like this, will ensure that we maintain the right trajectory before the end of May, 2023, in order to achieve the promises we made to the Nigerian people, at the inception of this Administration.
I am glad to note that, over the past three years, Ministries have continued to navigate the challenging times to ensure the implementation of Policies, Programmes and Projects in the Ministerial Mandates signed by Ministers and Permanent Secretaries in 2019.
The implementation of the laudable policy thrust of this Administration is periodically tracked, reviewed and analysed by the Central Delivery Coordination Unit through quarterly performance reports of the 29 Ministries including the Office of the Head of the Civil Service of the Federation.
Through the innovative delivery initiative put in place by this Government in 2019, I have continued to receive weekly updates from the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, prepared by CDCU on the implementation of the Ministerial Mandates. So far, the reports show that we are making remarkable progress and on track to reach most of the deliverables in the Ministerial Mandates against the benchmarked targets for 2023.
The objective is to ensure that we complete and deliver on our flagship projects and programmes, promote sustainable economic growth and development, as well as improve the living standard of our people.
In recognition of the importance of critical infrastructure in economic development and the quest of this Administration to leave a lasting legacy, we have implemented high-impact projects across the length and breadth of the Country that meet the yearnings and aspirations of Nigerians.
Some of the notable achievements include the completion of 326km Itakpe-Ajaokuta-Warri rail line and railway ancillary facilities; the completion of 156.5km Lagos-Ibadan standard gauge railway modernization project with extension to Lagos Port, Apapa.
On road projects, this Administration has constructed 408Km of roads; 2,499Km of SUKUK roads and maintenance of 15,961Km of roads across the Country. Key among these projects are the construction of 1.9km 2nd Niger Bridge linking Anambra and Delta States with 10.30km approach road; rehabilitation, construction & expansion of Lagos-Shagamu-Ibadan dual carriageway; the ongoing rehabilitation of Abuja-Kaduna – Zaria – Kano Road, among others.
We have sustained our commitment to infrastructural development for the past 7 years. This is evident in the handing over of 941km of completed SUKUK road projects nationwide.
Furthermore, the Federal Government has embarked on the reconstruction of 21 selected Federal Roads totaling 1,804.6km, under the Road Infrastructure Development & Refurbishment Investment Tax Credit Policy. The roads which are funded by the Nigeria National Petroleum Limited are in addition to similar existing collaboration with Messrs. Dangote Industries Limited and other corporate organisations to improve the stock of our road infrastructure.
On another front, the establishment of a National Carrier for Nigeria is at 91% completion, expected to commence flight operations before the end of this year. This is being boosted with the certification of two of our International Airports (Lagos & Abuja) by International Civil Aviation Organization, while Kano and Port Harcourt Airports are undergoing similar certification process.
On the economy, we have witnessed seven consecutive quarters of growth, after negative growth rates recorded in the 2nd and 3rd Quarters of 2020. The GDP grew by 3.54% (year-on-year) in real terms in the 2nd Quarter of 2022. This growth rate represents a sustained positive economic performance, especially for the Non-Oil GDP which fell by 4.77% in Q2 2022 against Oil GDP that grew by -11.77%.
Most Sectors of the economy recorded positive growth which reflects the effective implementation of the economic sustainability measures introduced by this Administration.
As part of our continued drive to promote the Communications & Digital Economy Sector, giant strides have been made through our broadband coverage which currently stands at 44.32%. This is being reinforced by 77.52% 4G coverage with the establishment of 36,751 4G base stations nationwide.
The Power Sector has remained a critical priority for the Administration. The implementation of a ‘Willing Buyer-Willing Seller’ Policy introduced by this Administration has opened up opportunities for increased delivery of electricity to underserved homes and industries.
We are also executing a number of critical projects through the Transmission Rehabilitation and Expansion Programme, which will result in achieving the national goal of improved power supply by 2025.
It is important to state that the partnership between the Federal Government of Nigeria and German Siemens AG through the Presidential Power Initiative to increase electricity generation to 25,000 Megawatts (MW) in six years is on course, as the first batch of the transformers has arrived Nigeria already.
Distinguished Ladies and Gentlemen, you will recall that I signed the much-awaited Petroleum Industry Act (PIA) into law on 16th August 2021. The Act provides a legal, governance, regulatory and fiscal framework for the Nigerian Petroleum Industry, as well as the development of host communities and related matters.
To achieve the objectives of the PIA, we have unbundled the Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation and have established the Nigeria National Petroleum Limited, Nigerian Upstream Petroleum Regulatory Commission and the Nigerian Midstream & Downstream Petroleum Regulatory Authority.
As part of efforts toward strengthening our national security, we have substantially invested in arms, weapons and other critical military hardware as well as continuous training for our Armed Forces.
The Nigerian Air Force has acquired 38 brand-new aircraft and is expecting another batch of 36 new ones, while the Nigerian Navy has been equipped with new platforms, sophisticated riverine, Rigid-Hull Inflatable, Seaward Defence, Whaler & Fast Attack Boats as well as Helicopters and Capital Ships.
To boost the number of our Police personnel, 20,000 policemen have been recruited, trained, fully integrated and deployed in 2020 and 2021. This exercise has strengthened our community policing strategy which is enshrined in the Police Act, 2020.
As an Administration, we are unwavering in our fight against corruption. We will continue to review and prosecute high-profile corruption cases and ensure speedy completion. Accordingly, we have established platforms to promote collaboration among anti-corruption and prosecuting Agencies of Government. This is to ensure Government at all levels is effective, efficient, accountable and transparent.
The implementation of our Social Investment Programmes and other socio-economic programmes and policies, demonstrates our Administration’s continued commitment to enhancing the welfare of the average Nigerian. As of June 2022, we had enrolled 75% of the 1 million beneficiaries of Batch C under the N-POWER Programme. Additionally, 9,990,862 pupils are being fed through the School Feeding Programme, which employs 128,531 cooks in local communities.
Following the passage of the National Health Act in 2014, this Administration began the inclusion of the 1% minimum portion of the Consolidated Revenue Fund to cater for the Basic Health Care Provision Fund (BHCPF).
Consequently, 988,652 poor and indigent Nigerians have been enrolled in the Basic Health Care Provision Fund (BHCPF).
We should also note that a total of 7,373 primary health facilities have been accredited and capitated under the National Health Insurance Scheme pathway, while 7,242 Primary Health Care facilities are receiving Decentralized Facility Financing under the National Primary Health Care Development Agency – Basic Health Care Provision Fund gateway.
On the issue of the COVID-19 Pandemic, Nigeria has done extremely well in its response to the Pandemic, having been commended by the World Health Organisation.
As at end of September this year, 51,713,575 eligible people had received the first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine, representing 46.3% of the eligible population. Out of this number, 38,765,510 people have been fully vaccinated, and this represents 34.7% of the eligible population that is fully vaccinated.
I, therefore, encourage all eligible Nigerians to ensure that they are fully vaccinated as Nigeria’s vaccine stock balance stands at about 27 million doses.
As a direct result of our investment, the Agricultural Sector has experienced significant growth. The shortfall in food production and food importation bills have both been reduced significantly. Along with the production of other staple crops, we have reached our goal of self-sufficiency in rice production. We are exerting a lot of effort to solve the problem of the rising cost of food that is related to inflation, being a global crisis.
Our efforts in building the capacity of our youth are yielding results. Only recently, Nigeria finished 7th on the Medals Table out of 72 Nations and Territories that participated in the 2022 Commonwealth Games held in Birmingham, United Kingdom, winning 12 Gold, 9 Silver and 14 Bronze.
Indeed, the Nation is proud of the exploits of Tobi Amusan for winning the 2022 World Athletics Championships 100-metre hurdles gold medal in Eugene, Oregon, thereby setting a new world record at the World Athletics Championships.
Distinguished Guests and Participants, to consolidate our achievements over the last three years, this Retreat has been designed to:
Review the performance of Ministries in delivering the Ministerial Mandates signed in 2019;
Identify and propose solutions towards resolving key impediments to implementation; and
Re-strategize on how to accelerate the delivery of results along the Nine Priority Areas of our Administration, especially as the Administration is winding down.
Ladies and Gentlemen, at this critical point in the life of our Administration, it is imperative for Ministers, Permanent Secretaries and all Heads of Agencies to reinvigorate their efforts in ramping-up delivery of flagship programmes and projects contained in their Ministerial Mandates.
Let me now acknowledge the efforts of the Secretary to the Government of the Federation and his able team in sustaining the Annual Performance Review Retreats, which has enabled us to maintain focus on our Agenda and more importantly, provided solid evidence that supports our achievements.
I am also proud to see that our Administration is staying true to our commitment to the Open Government Partnership initiative which I signed up in 2017. In this regard, the Presidential Delivery Tracker was launched on 30th August 2022, which is a clear testament to this Administration’s commitment to participatory governance.
As part of efforts to strengthen performance management culture, the Central Delivery Coordination Unit is being institutionalised. As an initiative of this Administration, I am delighted to bequeath this legacy to my successor as part of the mechanisms that will assist the next Administration in delivering on its promises to the Nigerian people.
Finally, I wish to encourage all participants to engage optimally throughout this Retreat.
I look forward to a very fruitful session and stimulating exchange of views.
It is my pleasure now to formally declare this Retreat open.
Thank you and God bless the Federal Republic of Nigeria.