Editor's note: The founder and senior pastor of the Embassy of the Blessed Kingdom of God for All Nations, an evangelical-charismatic mega church and a christian denomination in Kiev, Ukraine, Pastor Sunday Adelaja, in this interview with Legit.ng, gives 34 reasons President Muhammadu Buhari and the candidate of All Progressives Congress (APC) would win election on Saturday, February 16, among other issues.
How do you like Ukraine, did you notice some striking similarities between the Ukrainian and the Nigerian nations?
I have been living in Ukraine for almost twenty-six years. Before then, I lived in Belarus for seven years and I was also in Moscow. So, I have something to compare to.
First, I like the fact that Ukrainians are very warm and friendly. They are very accommodating apart from the nationalist I guess. And I like Ukraine mostly because of my experience with Ukrainians in my team and our church has been a huge blessing. It has been a great and good experience.
Is there any similarity between Ukraine and Nigeria?
Yes, I think the similarity is in politics. Ukraine politics is almost as corrupt as that of Nigeria with politicians who are more concerned about their selfish interest than that of the ordinary people. But I think in all, Ukraine is still much better than Nigeria.
This year both of the countries have presidential elections. Nigerians will go to polls on February 16. Could you predict the winner? Is the second round possible?
Yes, February 16 will be the presidential elections in Nigeria. I think there will be no second round. I think President Buhari will win clearly and with majority votes.
President Buhari has not done the best that most Nigerians expected from him. But, if we are to compare him with the other candidate running against him, AtikuAbubakar, I think most Nigerians will vote for Buhari. He is much better.
In one of your blog posts you said: “I will not keep quiet - Buhari is not the reason Nigerians are suffering today." Surely, we cannot blame the president for all the bad things and praise for all the positive changes. However, as the #1 citizen, his impact and leverage are the highest. Could you list the reasons?
Here is the list of 34 reasons I said Buhari is not the reason Nigerians are suffering today:
1. The PDP got $1 trillion dollars from crude oil sales in 16 years and no visible change in the country. Buhari got $97 billion in three and half years and turned the whole of Nigeria into a giant construction site.
2. It is the PDP that looted Nigeria into recession but Buhari pulled us out of recession in less than 12 months due to smart implementation of brilliant economic policies.
3. Compare Nigeria and Venezuela economy.
4. Thousands of Venezuelan citizens are crossing their land borders into Brazil because of economic hardship.
5. Another example is Cyprus and Greece.
6. The Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board (JAMB) miracle.
7. Despite earning 1 trillion Dollars under PDP, Nigeria was still owing $6 Billion Dollars to multinational oil partners leading to job losses. Buhari paid it back in two years.
8. The Nigeria Customs Service used to remit disgraceful amounts to the treasury. But now, it is projected that it would remit between N1.5 trillion and N2 trillion Naira in 2018. In 2017, it remitted close to N1.4 trillion to the treasury.
9. The Nigeria Customs now remits about N2 trillion Naira to the treasury instead of about 50 Billion under PDP.
10. The federal inland revenue service now remits around N4 trillion naira per year to the treasury unlike before under GEJ when it used to remit N2 trillion.
11. The implementation of the treasury single account which was conceived by GEJ only started under Buhari and over 4 trillion was accumulated in a year.
12. The implementation of the BVN by President Buhari eliminated 75K ghost workers from the civil service thereby saving Nigeria N200 billion per year.
13. Unlike before when fuel scarcity was a recurring decimal, now under Buhari this problem has been nipped in the bud.
14. The 3K MW Mambila Hydropower project which was conceived decades ago has now received counterpart funding from the FG and it has been awarded to a Chinese construction firm for $5.7 billion. Most of the funds for the project will come from the China Exim Bank.
15. Buhari has recovered looted funds of over N1 trillion looted under the PDP/GEJ’s 3-year administration and these recoveries were factored into 2017 and 2018 budgets for the FG.
16. Buhari has been able to purchase over a billion-dollar worth of military hardware to fight terrorism.
17. Smuggling, armed robbery and brazen embezzlement of public funds have reduced drastically under President Buhari.
18. Buhari took us from a one-product and oil-dependent economy to a diversified economy. From spending billions of dollars on rice importation and from being the biggest rice-importing nation in the world to becoming the biggest rice producer in Africa and the 6th largest in the world.
19. He is also putting billions of naira in the pockets of Nigerians directly via the rice related anchored borrowers’ program which has created over 12 million jobs and over 4 million rice millionaire farmers.
20. Cash is paid directly to the poor via the conditional cash transfer of a non-refundable sum of N5k per person per month under Buhari. 10k per person is being paid also under the TraderMoni program and this amount can be scaled up to N100k if the beneficiaries pay back the loan.
21. Over 15m pupils are getting one meal a day with a drink and this has increased school enrolment.
22. Over 4,000 capital projects were included in the 2018 budget alone and Buhari is doing his best to disburse to contractors despite the fact that Saraki reduced the funds for these 4,000 projects by N347b.
Buhari has so far spent over 2 trillion naira on roads, bridges, airports, primary health care etc. Instead of 18 Billion spent by Jonathan.
23. 500,000 previously unemployed graduates now have jobs under Buhari N-Power program.
24. Pensioners who were forgotten are now getting paid including ex-staffers of the Nigerian Airways 35 years later.
25. Also, ex-service men including those who served under Biafra got paid the gratuity that the FG had been owing them since the 60s, 70s, 80s, 90s and their pension payments have been regular under Buhari.
26. Thousands of Nigerians who would have continued to die in roads the PDP did not fix for 16 years cannot say Buhari has not made his impact felt considering the fact that over 500 federal roads are currently being fixed by FERMA and the Federal Ministry of Works all under Buhari.
27. There is not one state in Nigeria today where the Federal Government is not executing at least one road project.
28. Difficult or abandoned projects like the 2nd Niger Bridge have been brought back to life.
29. Sections of Ilorin-Jebba, Sokoto to Jeba, Sokoto-iletahave been completed. While progress of works continues nationwide from Jada to Mayo Belwa, Enugu to Port Harcourt, Lagos to Shagamu, Benin to Okene, Lokoja to Abuja, Kano to Maiduguri, Abuja – Kaduna, Kano to mention a few.
30. Millions of Nigerians will benefit from the dual carriage standard gauge rail lines scattered around the 6 geopolitical zones of Nigeria.
31. Thousands of artisans and graduates draw on loans of over N50b made available to them through the bank of industry with only their University certificates serving as collateral.
32. Boko Haram used to control 26 local governments in Nigeria but now it controls none. . Paris Club refund and Bail out to all the 36 States for 2 conservative times to the tune of $3B.
33. 20,000 Nigerians rescued from Boko Haram captivity including 100 Chibok girls and 100 Dapchi girls.
34. Jonathan met 64 billion dollars in the foreign reserves of Nigeria Depleted it to 29 billion despite making 383 billion from oil alone. They spent the 383 billion in six year, borrowed 20billion dollars, then went to the reserves to vandalize the reserves Today Buhari with three times less income has been able to increase our foreign reserves to 43 billion, and still executing more projects on ground.
The current administration was voted into office promising to defeat corruption and recover the looted funds. How can Nigeria get rid of corruption?
It is going to be a long and difficult fight for Nigeria to get rid of corruption. The only way to do it is to first of all change the value systems of the Nigerian people. We need to change our mindset.
The government unfortunately right now are not paying keen attention to values. They are rather paying too much attention to the fight against corruption through police and government groups that they had set up. But the only way to get the country out of corruption is first to change the mindset of the people.
Nigeria is competing with South Africa for continent’s ‘#1 economy’ title and stabilise its economy pretty well following the slump in oil prices. Will Nigeria eventually become an African superpower?
Yes, there is no doubt about it. Nigeria will eventually become Africa’s superpower. I think the greatest challenge has been this past four-five years. From now on, I think Nigeria will be growing gradually but steadily. Nigeria will eventually fulfill her potentials.
Meanwhile, Legit.ng had previously reported that six days to presidential election, the candidate of the All Progressives Congress, President Muhammadu Buhari's chances of winning the poll has again been boosted with his adoption by the Oyo state chapter of the Alliance for Democracy (AD) as its presidential candidate.
The views expressed in this interview/article are the author’s own and do not necessarily represent the editorial policy of Legit.ng.
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