Presidency slams UK’s ex-secretary of state over comment against Nigeria - Kogonuso

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Nov 21, 2018

Presidency slams UK’s ex-secretary of state over comment against Nigeria

The presidency has condemned a statement credited to Priti Patel, former secretary of state for international development, United Kingdom, calling on investors to be wary about investing in Nigeria.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the government made the condemnation in a statement by Malam Garba Shehu, a presidential spokesperson, on Tuesday, November 20.

The report said Patel had also alleged that in spite of the president’s anti-corruption platform, Nigeria had not seen any reduction in corruption since the inception of the Buhari administration.

In reply, the presidency said: “Trumpeting a so-called Transparency International report is a false fabrication that cannot be supported by the facts on the ground.”

The statement added that “this wicked proposition” lacks substance and is devoid of merit in empirical evidence established by facts.

The presidency added that the issue raised by Patel about lack of security of investment was equally false and untenable.

“Nigerian has recognized the right of the investor, both local and foreign, as enshrined in our constitution which states clearly that no investment can be taken from its owners without recourse to the law.

“Given the constitution, you don’t even need international protection for assets held in this country. In addition to the constitution, there exist several laws allowing protection for investments.

“Beyond this, this administration has moved forward by recognizing arbitration processes. The judiciary in the country has a practice code to give legitimacy to awards and arbitration clauses in agreements.

“Cumulatively, we have established a proper climate of investment on account of which, the nation has gained 24 points of excellence in the global ease of doing business index,” it added

The statement said that in Patel’s main case of the 2010 agreement between “NNPC and P&ID for a 20-year contract to create a new natural gas development refinery, we do not wish to plead the government’s case in the press.”

According to the presidency stated that the project fell through after a “past Nigerian government reneged on its contractual commitments.

“Suffice it to say that the government of Nigeria, in recognition of the sanctity of the judiciary, has submitted to the jurisdiction of a court in the United States to determine the issues in dispute.

“What we can only say at this point is that Nigerians need to pity their own country for the way things were done in the past.

“By the time President Muhammadu Buhari was sworn in and took office, the only amount in the anti-corruption recovery account over 16 years of the Peoples Democratic Party was only N2 billion.

“This account has succeeded in netting over N400 billion as of today, translating to 1,360 per cent increase. This cannot amount to nothing in terms of progress,” the statement said noting that the Treasury Single Account (TSA) had led to greater visibility and control of government funds by way of consolidating resources in an account as against the past where such accounts were scattered.

“This administration has introduced the IPPS, whose implementation has led to an extra-ordinary reduction of ghost workers, saving the treasury billions of naira, every month.

“The whistle-blower mechanism put in place has yielded enormously to the treasury and reduced corruption.

“In addition to several and urgent legislations targeted at the reduction of corruption, the administration has equally signed highly rewarding Mutual Legal Assistance with countries that have translated to tremendous recoveries.

“In the fullness of time, more will be said by the minister of justice and Attorney-General of the Federation (AGF),” the statement said.

Legit.ng reported earlier that the works, housing and power minister, Babatunde Fashola, on Tuesday, November 21, said in 2015, the government of President Muhammadu Buhari never promised to transform Nigeria in four years if given the mandate.

Fashola, who inaugurated the President Muhammmadu Buhari–Osinbajo 2019 campaign group comprising of about 5,000 political foot soldiers in Lagos state, argued that the administration did not promise to bring about change in different sectors of the country in four years.
 

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