We won’t renege on our promise to pay social security to 25 million vulnerable Nigerians – Lai Mohammed

The Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, says the Federal Government will amend the Nigeria Broadcasting Commission (NBC) Code to compel brands to sponsor Nigeria Professional Football League (NPFL). The Minister made the assertion at the close of the “Two-Day Creative Industry Financing Conference’’, sponsored by the ministry in conjunction with “Think Tank Media and Advertising’’ which closed on Tuesday in Lagos. “We will amend the NBC code to ensure that our Premier League improves. “We will make sure that in the Code, if you spend one million dollars to support a foreign football club like Manchester United in Nigeria, you will not be allowed to air that programme unless you spend 30 per cent of that money to promote Nigeria’s league. “Some beverage companies in Nigeria support Manchester United (Man U), Arsenal and others and spend about six million dollars a year,’’ he said. “I then asked the question, how much of their products are being consumed over there? “I was also told that a particular brand of Nigeria Beer is supporting several premier league teams to the tune of seven million dollars a year. “We can imagine if they give us just 30 per cent of that, we will fix our stadia. “I know they are going to attack me on this but I am not made a minister to sustain the economy of other countries.’’ He said the government could no longer tolerate the situation where people continue to develop the economy of other parts of the world from the sweat of Nigerians and at the expense of Nigerian economy. The minister also clarified an earlier statement credited to him on the amendment to NBC Code to discourage production of Nigerian movies and music abroad. “At that meeting, I said that I will work to amend the NBC code to ensure that if a product is designated a Nigerian product; it must be produced in Nigeria. “I didn’t say that henceforth, all music and films will be produced in Nigeria. “All I said was that if a programme is designated as a Nigerian content programme, we will amend the code to ensure that it is produced in Nigeria,’’ he said. He added that if the law says that a programme shall have 60 per cent Nigerian content, the producer could not go ahead to shoot such outside the country for Nigerian viewers. “Of course, they will come and say that you do not have infrastructure and that is why they went outside to shoot. “I asked if it is not the same programme you went to shoot outside Nigeria because we have epileptic power that you will bring back to show to us in Nigeria. “Then, with which power are you showing the programme? “I promised Nigerians that I am going to create one million jobs in three years and I can’t do that if they start exporting jobs to other countries,’’ he said. The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that participants at the forum, mainly stakeholders in the creative industry, welcomed the clarification by the minister and the position of government.
Lai Mohammed

The All Progressives Congress (APC) has assured Nigerians that it will not renege on its campaign promise to pay 5,000 Naira each monthly to 25 million most vulnerable Nigerians, while calling on the citizens to ignore the mischievous attempt by the PDP to confuse and mislead them on this issue.

We won't renege on our promise to pay social security to 25 million vulnerable Nigerians - Lai Mohammed
Lai Mohammed

In a statement issued in Abuja on Friday by its National Publicity Secretary, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, the party said even though the PDP-led Federal Government plundered the common wealth in its time, it (APC) has devised creative means not only to pay the money but also to fulfill its other campaign promises to Nigerians.

It said the non-implementation of the payment policy so far is due to the fact that it was not included in the 2015 budget, which was prepared by the PDP-led Jonathan Administration, and also because of the need to first block all financial leakages.

”Now, the Buhari administration has been busy putting into place measures that will make it possible to start the implementation of this project. Such measures include the introduction of the Treasury Single Account (TSA).

”We are happy to inform Nigerians that as at the end of September 2015, over N1.4 trillion – which hitherto was lying unproductively in various commercial banks – has been recovered and paid into the TSA,” APC said.

The party said that in its usual jumpy and superficial approach to issues, the irresponsible opposition has already rushed to judgment on the issue without bothering to hear from the APC, which made the promise in the first instance.

”Had the PDP not sacrificed the truth on the altar of political expediency, it would have realized that the APC never at any time indicated it has reneged on its promise to pay 5,000 Naira monthly to 25 million most vulnerable Nigerians.

In our press statement of Aug. 30th 2015, we still reiterated our plan to redeem our campaign promises, including the social security payment policy, despite the primitive looting of the treasury under the watch of the PDP.

”It is therefore astonishing that the same PDP, which is becoming more and more infamous for its penchant for peddling half-truths and sensationalizing every issue, will rush to the press to celebrate the figment of its imagination that the APC will not fulfill its campaign promise regarding the payment,” it said.

The APC said the Buhari administration is also embarking on a massive infrastructure renewal programme in the areas of roads, rail and power, for which a 2.5-billion-dollar Infrastructure Fund is being put in place.

”Contrary to the disinformation being peddled by the PDP, the Buhari administration is poised to lift millions of Nigerians out of extreme poverty by providing social protection and safety nets with another 2.5 trillion Naira Special Intervention Fund,” the party said.

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