■ Says creative industry to get huge allocation in 2017 budget
From JULIANA TAIWO-OBALONYE, Abuja
President Muhammadu Buhari has said that despite being accused of passing the buck, he would continue to do so in order to remind Nigerians about the damage the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) did to the nation for the 16 years it was in power.
He also promised to improve the funding of the creative industry in the 2017 budget in order to boost employment opportunities as well as provide infrastructure to boost the industry.
The President said this at The Conversation with Creative Youths as Drivers and Change Agents and public presentation of a pictorial book entitled “Buhari: A New Beginning’’, by his personal photographer, Bayo Omoboriowo.
The PDP was in power from 1999 to 2015- Olusegun Obasanjo (1999-2007), Umaru Musa Yar’Adua 2007-2010), Goodluck Jonathan (2010-2015).
Buhari who reminded the youths that Nigeria was a fantastic country, endowed with human and material resources, recalled for the umpteenth time how he was told the billions of naira Nigeria made from oil was spent on food items and for subsidising petrol, while the PDP government failed to invest in infrastructural developments like power, roads, rails among others.
He said: “I’m going to bore you with what we met, I know I’m being accused in the papers of passing the buck, but passing the buck is sometimes absolutely necessary, to remind people who take things for granted”.
Buhari who said that a study undertaken by the administration revealed that the oil marketers were committing fraud on at least one third (about 25 per cent of foreign exchange) of what they were importing into the country, said it would be unpatriotic to pretend the economy was in trouble.
“The youth must watch our elite, the condition we found ourselves, it is unpatriotic for anybody to pretend that economically, we have a problem.
“We have gone into the farms, I congratulate some of the governors and by the grace of God by the end of this government, we will be exporting rice and grains. So all the money alleged to have been used to import will be available to sustain development.
“I have bored you with this long explanation, because there are things that could be hidden from you by those that have mismanaged the country in the last 16, 17 years.
“I assure you that we will set the ball rolling in terms of security, industrialization, manufacturing and food security.
“I said it years ago and I still mean it, we have no other country than Nigeria, we will stay here and salvage it together”.
The President said the improved allocation to the creative industry would provide the requisite infrastructure for rapid transformation in the country.
He said the fund would be channeled through the Federal Ministry of Information and Culture.
The President said steps would be taken by his administration to tackle the menace of piracy across the country and other challenges facing the country.
He called on the youths to partner with the administration in its efforts to diversify the economy and ensure a corrupt-free society.
In a message, a former Governor of Lagos State, Bola Tinubu, stressed the need for the country to leverage on its youths as fulcrum for development.
Tinubu, who was represented by the Osun State Governor, Rauf Aregbesola, noted that the youth were instrumental to the electoral victory of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in 2015.