President Muhammadu Buhari has approved N13.3billion for the take-off of the Community Policing initiative across the country.
The president made this known at the opening of a two-day Mid-Term Ministerial Performance Review Retreat organized to assess progress made towards the achievement of the nine key priorities of his administration on Monday in Abuja.
President Buhari stated that the approval was part of measures to consolidate efforts aimed at enhancing security nationwide.
“We have also approved the sum of N13.3 billion for the take-off of the Community Policing initiative across the Country, as part of measures adopted to consolidate efforts aimed at enhancing security nationwide,’’ he said.
He also announced that the Ministry of Defence had been instructed to create a modest military industrial complex for the local production of weapons to meet some of the requirements of the country’s armed forces.
The president explained that the establishment of the industrial complex would address Nigeria’s over-dependence on other countries for military equipment and logistics.
According to him, the project is being implemented under the Defence Industries Corporation of Nigeria (DICON), a military department responsible for arms manufacture.
On other efforts to strengthen national security, the President said it was gratifying to note that Nigeria had received six A-29 Super Tucano.
He said the propeller-driven aircraft are being used for training, surveillance and attack by the military.
‘‘As part of the efforts towards strengthening our national security, we have increased investments in arms, weapons and other necessary equipment; expanded the National Command and Control Centre to nineteen states of the Federation; and established a Nigerian Police Trust Fund, which will significantly improve funding for the Nigeria Police Force.
‘‘We have also approved the sum of N13.3 billion for the take-off of the Community Policing initiative across the Country, as part of measures adopted to consolidate efforts aimed at enhancing security nationwide,’’ he said.
On the Power Sector, President Buhari noted that the implementation of a ‘Willing Buyer-Willing Seller’ Policy had opened up opportunities for increased delivery of electricity to underserved homes and industries.
He expressed the hope that the execution of critical projects through the Transmission Rehabilitation and Expansion Programme, would result in achieving the national goal of improved power supply by 2025.
On the Petroleum Industry Act signed into law on Aug. 16, the president reiterated his directive to the Implementation Committee to complete all processes for the successful operationalization of the Act within 12 months.
The President further revealed that he approved the expansion of the National Social Register (NSP) by one million additional households to empower the youth and other vulnerable groups in the country.
The NSP is the official database for the implementation of the Conditional Cash Transfer programme.
‘‘We have established the N75 billion Nigerian Youth Investment Fund created to boost the Nigerian economy through leverage and access to finance for youths.
‘‘The Fund should serve as a catalyst to unleash the potential of the youth and to enable them to build businesses that will stimulate economic growth and create jobs.
“These accomplishments are a testament to the fact that all hands are on deck in establishing a solid foundation for even greater successes in future,’’ he said.
The President warned all ministers and permanent secretaries to take seriously all issues relating to the implementation of their mandates towards the attainment of the laudable objectives of the government.
The President concluded his address at the opening of the retreat with the unveiling of the Presidential Priorities Performance Management System.
He explained that the Performance Management System and Dashboard, which had been in effect since January this year, had provided him the opportunity to track projects in real-time with live data.
‘‘In our continuing drive to ensure accountability, we have incorporated a Performance Management Framework into the functions of the Central Delivery Coordination Unit for ease of tracking of the Ministerial Deliverables along the lines of the 9 priority areas of this administration.
‘‘This initiative has provided me the opportunity to track the performance of all Ministries and by extension my Administration.
‘‘This process has been in effect since January 2021 and today it gives me great pleasure to unveil the Performance Management System and Dashboard to track projects in real-time with live data and early warning system to proactively resolve bottlenecks,’’ he said.
In view of the importance of this year’s retreat, President Buhari announced that he would sit through all the sessions to listen to the cumulative assessment of this administration’s performance over the last two years.
He equally expressed his readiness to join in discussions on the best approach and strategies to implement planned policies, programmes and projects that could significantly diversify the economy away from its dependence on oil revenue, while sustaining the current economic growth trajectory.
In his remarks, the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Boss Mustapha, said the retreat would be solution driven and participatory in nature.
He, therefore, urged participants to make useful and constructive contributions to the deliberations.
“The outcome of the retreat is expected to pave the way to accelerate the delivery of Government policies, programmes, and projects over the remaining 19 months.
“Therefore, much is expected of us as Ministers, Permanent Secretaries and Heads of Strategic Government Agencies if we must deliver on the President’s legacy projects.
“I admonish us to participate actively in all sessions of the retreat – asking questions, enriching the conversations with your perspectives, and also thinking critically about adapting key points and lessons from the deliberations, to shape the way we work over the next 19 months.
On the performance of the Federal Executive Council (FEC), Mustapha noted that the last two years had been most productive.
He revealed that between May 29, 2019 and Aug. 31, 2021, the Council held 52 Meetings and granted 579 approvals comprising of 381 contracts, 110 policies and 88 briefs/notes.
“Overall, the total number of Contracts, Policies and Briefs/Notes approved by the Federal Executive Council between Nov. 2015 and Aug. 2021 stand at 1,403 comprising of 878 Contracts, 319 Policies and 206 Briefs/Notes.
“From the above, the 878 Contracts approved by FEC have mostly targeted the provision of infrastructure, geared towards enabling faster economic growth and development.”
According to him, the analysis also shows that the government remained focused on its cardinal responsibility of responsively addressing the myriads of needs and challenges of its citizens through the 319 approved policies initiated during the period.
“The details of this data are contained in the newly developed Compendium of FEC approvals from Nov. 2015 – Aug. 2021, which is part of the Retreat documents circulated to participants,’’ he added
Kabir Olanrewaju Ishowo is a Kwara-Born, a community developer, An Online Media Practioner and the CEO/Publisher of Gistmeblog247.