Nigeria: We Have Delivered On All Our Campaign Promises – Buhari

President Muhammadu Buhari yesterday made a positive overall assessment of the seven and a half years administration of the All Progressives Congress (APC) under him, declaring that the ruling party has delivered on all electoral promises made to Nigerians at all levels.

Speaking at the palace of the Ohinoyi of Ebiraland, which he also inaugurated as part of his one-day official visit to Kogi State, Buhari said good progress had been made in the revival the Ajaokuta Steel Complex, located in the state. He said the complex, which had cost the federal government over $400 million to revamp, was ready for concession to a private investor, who will manage it for the country.

The president also gave a thumbs up to the APC government of Yahaya Bello, after inaugurating a Reference Hospital in Okene and other projects executed by the state government. He commended the Kogi State governor for the various projects, saying, “If one wants to see everything here, he will get lost.”

Buhari said at the palace of the Ohinoyi of Ebiraland, “We are an administration that prides ourselves on the fulfillment of our electoral promises to the Nigerian people, at both national and sub-national levels. This is why I am glad that we have an impressive array of legacy projects through your own state government as proof of our stewardship of Kogi State.

“I am impressed by the performance of Governor Yahaya Bello. He has done very well in the area of security and projects execution in Kogi State. We are proud of him and we urge him to do more for the people.

“I am appealing to the people of Kogi State to support him so that he can achieve and deliver more dividends of democracy.”

The president said at the Reference Hospital, Okene, “I have been briefed by Yahaya and his team on the myriad of projects we would have loved to commission for you across the state, including the brand new Confluence University of Science and Technology (CUSTECH) at Osara, the Confluence Rice Mills at Ejiba, the various township roads network at Idah, Okene and Kabba, and intra-state roads in the three senatorial zones, massive erosion works at Ankpa, Ogugu and other places, as well as other roads, hospitals, schools and sundry vital infrastructure.

“The APC administration has indelible footprints in Kogi State. Among the many projects executed by the federal government are: the Itakpe to Okene bypass, the Obajana to Kabba concrete road built by Dangote Industries Limited under our ‘roads for taxes initiate’ (Executive Order 7) and the Itakpe to Warri railway service, among others.

“I am very pleased to be here today to commission several projects executed by the administration of His Excellency, Governor Yahaya Bello.”

Buhari spoke of the determination of his administration to position Kogi State as an industrial hub as well as a solid minerals power base. He took time to explain how the federal government achieved the resolution of all legal entanglements that had bogged down the progress of the Ajaokuta Steel Complex, adding that the project stands to benefit the people of the state immensely.

According to the president, “No other single project holds the key to unlocking this vast potential as much as the Ajaokuta Steel Complex, which we inherited as a long moribund complex strangulating under a tangle of local and international commercial disputes.

“I am glad to report that as we begin to round off in office, we can genuinely say that our administration has rescued Ajaokuta from all legal disabilities and it is now ready for concessioning to a private investor with the right profiles to put it to work for Nigeria in general and Kogi State in particular.

“The process has cost this federal government over $400 million so far, but I consider it money well spent as we move closer to achieving our objective of transforming Kogi State into Nigeria’s iron and steel powerhouse.

“The benefits of getting Ajaokuta Steel Complex working again are numerous. It would provide over 500,000 estimated jobs and more than $1.6 billion in annual income to the Nigerian economy. Nigerians can rest assured that I remain committed to seeing this process to a logical conclusion before the end of my tenure in office.”

Buhari added that Kogi State also stood to benefit in diverse ways when the 614 kilometres (384 mile) AKK gas pipeline, which traverses the state, starts operation next year.

He commended Bello “for rising up to the occasion in many sectors, especially security. We are proud of him and I encourage the people of Kogi State to continue to support him and his team as they are working hard to ensure peace, security and development in the state.”

Projects inaugurated by the president included: the Reference Hospital, Okene, which has the first ever hyperbaric treatment chamber in Nigeria, and the fleet of ambulances attached to it; the new Ohinoyi’s Palace in Okene; the Ganaja Junction Flyover and interchange at Lokoja; the GYB Model Science Secondary School, Adankolo, Lokoja; Muhammadu Buhari Square (Civic Centre) at Lokoja; and a fleet of high-tech security vehicles to combat crime.

Earlier in his welcome address, Bello thanked Buhari for showing leadership and for the various programmes and interventions by the federal government, which had positively impacted the state. The governor said the projects included the Itakpe – Warri Rail Line, which he noted had brought relief to travellers and business owners in the state.

Bello informed Buhari that the projects inaugurated were in response to his commitment to service, stating that after his swearing-in on January 27, 2016, his administration constituted a multi-sectoral committee that went round the state to identify the needs of the people.

“This document has been our guide,” the governor stated.

The governor acknowledged Buhari’s commitment to the resuscitation of the Ajaokuta Steel Complex.

Bello also stated that his administration had a cordial relationship with the traditional institution in the state, stating that the new Ohinoyi’s palace commissioned by the president was a testimony to this.

Earlier, the Ohinoyi of Ebiraland, Dr Ibrahim Ado, represented by the Ohi of Okengwe, HRH, Alhaji Mohammed Tijjani Anage, on behalf of the traditional rulers of the Central Senatorial Zone of the state, thanked Buhari for his support to the Bello administration and for being the first sitting president of Nigeria to visit Kogi State on a working visit.

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