Lai Mohammed, the minister of information, has explained why the federal government led by President Muhammadu Buhari has to downsize some of its campaign promises.
Speaking on Channels TV on Sunday, February 28, the minister said that when the All Progressives Congress (APC) was campaigning, the price of crude was $100 a barrel, but now it is $30 a barrel.
"When you campaign, you say you will do A,B, C, but when you win election, you prioritise. "We are still faithful to those promises, but as you have rightly said, when we were campaigning the price of crude was $100 a barrel, today it is $30 a barrel so definitely, we will have to downsize some of the things intended to do but this does not mean abandoning those promises.
"You do not make a budget for four years, you make an annual budget and in this years budget, we have outlined those parts of the policy that we intend to keep. "Those we cannot keep this year, we will keep in 2017, 2018 and 2019.
This is how government works," he said. Mohammed assured Nigerians that the administration was focused on how to fulfill its campaign promises.
However, he added that the federal government was waiting for the approval of the 2016 budget before it would start implementing its plans. Speaking about the anti-corruption campaign, the minister noted that it may look one-sided because the indicted people are connected to one transaction that is currently being investigated.
Mohammed said that those people facing trial were all connected to the investigation of how the fund meant for the purchase of military equipment was used. He further noted that some members of the APC were also being investigated for other corruption cases which he did not mention. "If you go to the EFCC today and ask them who are the people that are facing charges before them, you are going to find as many APC and as many PDP.
"However, what gives the impression that the fight is one sided is the fact that it is simply one issue that is being investigated now. That is money meant to buy arms which was diverted for other uses and unfortunately, everybody involved in that happened to be in the PDP. From the NSA to others who he had named.
"When you trace this thing, because it is just a particular transaction that is the contract of 2.1 billion dollars that was awarded to equip our soldiers, everybody that you have showed us here have been mentioned as a result of that investigation from that single transaction," he said. The minister explained that it takes between 34 days and seven years to convict a low profile criminal. However, when that criminal is high profile, it takes as long as 10 years to infinity to convict that person, he added.
Meanwhile, Buhari has recently revealed that he will refuse to honour his pledge to grant N5000 to each unemployed Nigerian. The president added that he would rather focus on funding the construction of infrastructure, as well as education, agriculture and mining to create employment opportunities for able bodied young men. Buhari's statement was met with furious reactions by Nigerians who voted for change.