Fec Justifies Buhari’s Foreign Travels, Says Trips Very Important
SAN FRANCISCO, February 18, (THEWILL) – The Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed has claimed that corruption and insecurity almost diminished the reputation of Nigeria prior to the taking over of power by President Muhammadu Buhari from his predecessor, Goodluck Jonathan.
Mohammed made this assertion at the Presidential Villa, Abuja, while briefing State House correspondents on the outcome of the Federal Executive Council, FEC, meeting presided over by Buhari on Wednesday.
Joined by the Minister of Environment, Amina Muhammed, and the Minister of State, Environment, Jibril Ibrahim, the federal government spokesman explained that the meeting reviewed the benefits of Buhari's recent foreign trips, particularly the last four he embarked upon last year, and came to the conclusion that they were important.
He argued that the trips afforded the President an opportunity to address some of the major challenges facing the country like climate change, insecurity and corruption, which before now discouraged investors from doing business in the Country.
The Minister explained that, “You do not run a country by being isolated and the personal presence of the President in many of these forums is very important because before now, we were almost a pariah state.
“The two things that have been driving investments away from this country are terrorism and corruption.
“One thing that nobody can fault this President on is his determination to fight these two ills.”
“Mr. President's presence in these fora is very crucial even to the economy back home.”
“What I mean that Nigeria was a pariah state is that before now, the level of corruption was very high that nobody was ready to risk his investment in Nigeria.”
“The cost of doing business was so high that most international businessmen didn't want to come here. Who is coming to invest in a country where there is insecurity?”
“These are the twin problems that Mr. President has addressed in the last nine months.”
Speaking further on why the President travels so frequently, Mohammed said that because the world is a global village, the President cannot sit in his country and say he is not concerned about things happening across the world.
He further explained that issues of paramount importance in the forums attended by Buhari abroad included climate change, corruption, terrorism and extremism, stressing that because the President had been attending the meetings with relevant ministers, the outcomes had been positive.
On her part, the Minister of Environment pointed out that Buhari's foreign trips had translated into stronger economic ties with other countries.
According to her, “The President doesn't stand alone; he has a Vice-President and a cabinet. The cabinet stays with the Vice-President here as much as possible to try to address the challenges that we are talking about on a daily basis.
“But the investment that we make with the President's travels is well worth the investment we are getting from those visits,” Amina Muhammed stated.