Following the delay in the appointments of boards of federal government agencies, and the subsequent outcry by several interest groups, the presidency has assured Nigerians of the president’s readiness to commence the appointments by 2017.
This was confirmed by his Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity, Garba Shehu.
Recall that the president had made a similar promise in 2015, however, one year after, the agencies are still without boards.
Explaining the reason for the delay, Shehu said it was because of an issue of interest to members of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC). He however affirmed that: “the process will be fully back on track at the beginning of the New Year.”
In his words: “You know that the reconstitution began methodically from sector by sector. You should expect that to resume at the beginning of the New Year. The president has given directions on what to do.”
Shehu also stated that Buhari’s persistent call for a return to farming was yielding good results.
“The talk about agriculture has driven people to the farm. This year, there is a huge boom in the rural economy. We have witnessed an excellent harvest. Farmers are getting value for their output.
“What has encouraged farmers the more is the increasing availability of extension services. New farming techniques are helping farmers to do their occupation better. The readiness of off takers to buy the produce is also a major boost.
“When you put all these together with the systematic move to curb importation as a boost to local production through the restriction of the available foreign exchange to critically important sectors of the economy, you have favourable environment for the diversification of the economy.
“As we speak, several of the country’s major manufacturing industries are actively backward-integrating- Nestle, Unilever, the breweries are looking at what we have as local materials, changing their formulations to maintain production levels and keep their shares of the market.
“Manufacturers, who are hooked on import of raw materials, are advised to re-strategise and take full advantage of local raw materials. The future belongs to those who employ the use of local raw materials,” he said.