President Muhammadu Buhari has assured Nigerians that the 11.9km Second Niger Bridge, 120 km Lagos-Ibadan Expressway and other key projects under the Presidential Infrastructure Development Fund (PIDF) will be completed within the second term of this administration.

The President gave the assurance at the opening of a two-day Mid-Term Ministerial Performance Review Retreat organized to assess progress made towards the achievement of the nine key priorities of this Administration.

He used the occasion of the retreat, the third edition since the second term of his administration, to highlight some of the Federal Government’s notable achievements in the last two years.

He listed accomplishments in the areas of infrastructure, transportation, economy, electricity supply, the petroleum industry, among others.

President Buhari expressed delight that over the past two years, Ministers have rendered reports to the Federal Executive Council on their activities related to the achievement of their Ministerial Mandates.

Furthermore, President Buhari noted that his administration had made tremendous progress on railway projects in the country, noting that upgrading of the railway network is being extended with the recent completion of the Lagos – Ibadan line.

On the economy, the President said the nation witnessed three consecutive quarters of growth, after negative growth rates recorded in the second and third quarters of 2020.

On security, President Buhari announced that the Ministry of Defence has been instructed to create a modest military industrial complex for the local production of weapons to meet some of the requirements of the country’s armed forces.

The President explained that the establishment of the industrial complex would address Nigeria’s over-dependence on other countries for military equipment and logistics.

He said the project is being implemented under the Defence Industries Corporation of Nigeria (DICON), a military department responsible for arms manufacture.

On other efforts to strengthen national security, the President said it was gratifying to note that Nigeria has received six A-29 Super Tucano.

He said the propeller-driven aircraft are being used for training, surveillance and attack by the military

On the Power Sector, President Buhari noted that the implementation of a ‘Willing Buyer-Willing Seller’ Policy has opened up opportunities for increased delivery of electricity to underserved homes and industries.

He expressed the hope that the execution of critical projects through the Transmission Rehabilitation and Expansion Programme, will result in achieving the national goal of improved power supply by 2025.

On the Petroleum Industry Act signed into law on 16th August 2021, the President reiterated his directive to the Implementation Committee to complete all processes for the successful operationalization of the Act within 12 months.

On efforts to empower the youth and other vulnerable groups by enhancing investments in the Social Intervention Programmes, the President said he has approved the expansion of the National Social Register (NSP) by 1 million additional households.

The NSP is the official database for the implementation of the Conditional Cash Transfer programme.

The President warned all ministers and permanent secretaries to take seriously all issues relating to the implementation of their mandates towards the attainment of the laudable objectives of this Government.

The President concluded his address at the opening of the retreat with the unveiling of the Presidential Priorities Performance Management System.

He explained that the Performance Management System and Dashboard, which has been in effect since January this year, had provided him the opportunity to track projects in real-time with live data.

In view of the importance of this year’s retreat, President Buhari announced that he would sit through all the sessions to listen to the cumulative assessment of this administration’s performance over the last 2 years.

Equally, the President would join in discussions on the best approach and strategies to implement planned policies, programmes and projects that can significantly diversify the economy away from its dependence on oil revenue, while sustaining the current economic growth trajectory.

END BELLO WAKILI