The president praised Governor Uzodinma’s administration in Imo State.
President Muhammadu Buhari has blamed Nigerian elite for not contributing to the development of the country, particularly the fight against insecurity.
Mr Buhari stated this on Tuesday shortly after commissioning some projects in Imo State done by Governor Hope Uzodinma’s administration
The projects commissioned included the dualised 36-kilometer Owerri-Orlu Road and the first phase of the dualised 53-kilometer Owerri-Okigwe Road.
He also commissioned the newly reconstructed Imo House of Assembly Complex.
Mr Buhari said Nigeria has not recorded the expected developments because of a number of factors and inability of the elite to assist the country.
“To be frank with you, I am blaming the Nigerian elites for not sitting and thinking hard about our country,” he said, without giving details.
“Between 1999 and 2015, when we came in – I like people to check (from) the Central Bank of Nigeria and NNPC. The average (oil) production was 2.1 million barrels per day at the cost $100 per barrel.
“So, Nigeria was earning, at this time, 2.1 million times multiplied by $100 per barrel. But look at the state of infrastructure. Look at the railway, it was virtually killed. Power, we are still struggling,” Mr Buhari stated.
He said despite efforts to reposition the country, his administration was frustrated by growing insecurity in different parts of the country, which affected crude oil production.
“When we came, unfortunately, the militants were unleashed, (oil) production went down to half a million barrels. Again, being unfortunate, the cost of petroleum went down from $37 to $28,” the president said.
The president also said when he came into power in 2015, Boko Haram terrorists were in control of some local governments in the North-east. He said his administration “successfully conquered them” on his assumption of office.
He described the dreaded Boko Haram terrorists operating in the North-east region as “fraudulent people”.
Meanwhile Mr Buhari applauded Mr Uzodinma for the three projects which were commissioned, pointing out that he was impressed that the governor has completed some projects within a short period of his administration despite the lean resources available to him.
“On our part, the federal government will continue to support the government of Imo State to ensure that it continues to give dividends of democracy to the people,” he said.
The president said he would extend the same support to other state governments irrespective of political affiliations.
“Our administration recognises the importance of critical infrastructure in economic development. And we are determined to drive the economic development of Nigeria through the provision of vital infrastructures across the length and the breadth of the country.
“I am therefore happy that the administration of Governor Uzodinma is doing similar things in Imo State. So, I say bravo to the governor whose name I was informed means ‘Good road,'” Mr Buhari said.
He thanked residents of the state for giving him with “warm reception” like they did during his first visit, and urged them to continue to support the state governor to do more projects in the state.