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My government won’t tolerate mediocrity, says President Buhari

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President Muhammadu Buhari PHOTO: BAYO OMOBORIOWO

• We grew Nigeria’s foreign reserve from $29.6bn to $47.5bn within three years
President Muhammadu Buhari yesterday said his administration would not tolerate mediocrity from any public or private citizens, but would do what it takes to reward excellence.

The president spoke at the 17th National Productivity Order of Merit (NPOM) awards, in Abuja, where 15 Nigerians and five companies bagged various productivity awards, among them was the Head of Civil Service of the Federation, Winifred Oyo-Ita and others who excelled in the corporate and public sectors.

To ensure productivity is achieved in all facet of the economy, the President directed the establishment of productivity and efficiency Units in all government offices and asked the private sector to seek to take advantage of policies and initiatives of government to boost investment, create wealth and increase productivity.

The president, while decrying the effect of corruption to the country’s economy, vowed to ensure that his administration does not compromise on policies that would go a long way to aid in the sustenance of the productive capacity of the country.

President Buhari however reeled out some of his administration’s achievement in office in the last three years, saying under a recessed economy, the government was able to build Nigeria’s foreign reserve of about $29.6 billion in 2015 to $47.5 billion as at May 18, 2018.

He said the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) in Nigeria stood at 1.95 per cent at the end of the first quarter of 2018, a feat his predecessors could not boast of even while the economy was buoyant with huge capital inflow from oil resources.

The president noted that with the Treasury Single Account (TSA) policy there is greater accountability in his government, noting that the policy has saved the country N200 billion, an amount that would have been frittered away paying ghost workers.

Speaking on the theme: “Productivity for Economic Recovery and Sustainable Growth,” Buhari said no nation can attain prosperity without vibrant and productive citizens.

At the event, foremost industrialist and banker, Ibukun Awosika in her presentation, identified gaps in Nigeria’s bilateral policies which was militating against its growth.

She said more often than not, Nigeria signs bilateral deals with foreign multinational firms but feign ignorance of the need to leverage on such deals to provide jobs for its teaming population.

Awosika also noted that the nation’s leadership ought to device means of harnessing potentials in the youth population, adding that ideas that boost productivity should be made to trickle down from the central government to the federating states.

On his part, the Minister of Labour and Employment, Dr Chris Ngige said a total of 327 Nigerians and 80 Organisations have so far been conferred with the award since its inception in 1991.

The Minister said the nation’s developmental experience has so far proven that without higher level of productivity, the standard of living of Nigerians will remain abysmally low.

The minister also seized the occasion to upbraid members of the opposition.

In a veiled reference to former President Olusegun Obasanjo, Ngige said the governing All Progressives Congress (APC) was worried by letters of criticism coming from the former president.


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