From Iheanacho Nwosu and Magnus Eze, Abuja
THE current hardship being faced by Nigerians would be a thing of the past once the 2016 budget is implemented, Science and Technology Minister, Dr. Ogbonnaya Onu has assured.
He declared that contrary to claims in some quarters that the President Muhammadu Buhari administration was not doing anything to address economic challenges faced by the populace, government had done so much to fix the rot in the system.
The minister spoke in an interview with Daily Sun in Abuja.
“The budget we are operating is still the 2015 budget. The budget that this administration put before the National Assembly will help to soften the pains and hardship in the country because there are so many programmes in the 2016 budget that will help Nigerians to cushion the effect.
“And for the first time, you will see the capital allocation is as high as 30 per cent. You know it has not happened in many years. Even though there is near collapse in the price of crude oil, there are so many programmes. I can mention a few, like the school children feeding programme; that will give some relief to parents. Also, we’ll create jobs to put money in circulation,” he stated.
Onu said government was not oblivious of the sufferings of Nigerians, but that President Buhari was working so hard to diversify the economy to create wealth and jobs and also grow the economy.
He urged Nigerians to be patient with the president, pointing out that the problems inherited by the administration were enormous.
Onu also noted that Buhari still has three years to implement his programmes and fulfill his campaign promises to Nigerians.
The minister further opined that the situation in the country would have been very terrible if the All Progressives Congress (APC) had not won the March 28, 2015 presidential election that engendered change in direction.
He hinted that there might not be permanent solution to the nation’s perennial energy problem until Nigeria produce enough products locally to meet its demands.