Ahead of the All Progressives Congress (APC)-led Federal Government’s town-hall meeting in Lagos on Monday, the Minister of Transport, Mr. Chibuike Amaechi, has urged citizens to exercise patience and give the President Muhammadu Buhari-led administration more time.
Speaking at the Maritime Technical Summit organised in Lagos on Thursday by the Association of Marine Engineers and Surveyors (AMES), where he was the special guest of honour, Amaechi acknowledged the masses’ growing disenchantment with the present government following the yet-to-be fulfilled promises and even the alleged denied ones.
However, against such high expectations, he said that as the Director-General of the APC Presidential Campaign Organisation, he has “watched the video from beginning to the end and there was nowhere we promised Nigerians that we are miracle workers.
“In fact, towards the end of the campaign, because expectations were very high, if you listened to us, we began to lower expectations by telling you no, no, no, the challenges are going to be extremely difficult, but if we get your mandate, we will confront those challenges.”
Reclining on the party’s now ready defence, he said the “problems that were caused in the course of 15 years of PDP (Peoples Democratic Party) certainly cannot be solved in eight months.”
The minister, who said he was not holding brief for others, insisted that the Minister of State for Petroleum and Group Managing Director of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), Dr. Ibe Kachikwu, was doing his best in the given circumstances.
“Take the oil subsidy regime (for instance). Now, there is a huge argument on how to balance the interest of the poor by not removing oil subsidy and the interest of the nation by ensuring that the rich do not have access to the so-called subsidy, and letting the oil subsidy go to enable investors come into the construction of refineries.
“It was a huge challenge to us because if you just leave the poor, they will die of poverty; the rich men will just exploit the chances, so the need to balance it, and it is affecting the supply of fuel. The Minister of State for Petroleum is quite smart, but we need time and patience.
“Don’t forget that we met queues. The fact that it was resolved quickly was not what you think. Until we find a permanent solution, we’re going to have those queues. We want understanding.”
According to him, there is nowhere in the world that change is not painful, and by the speeches the party delivered during its electioneering campaigns, which he said were clear and carefully made, “we said we would confront corruption and we are confronting corruption. You may say they are cosmetic changes; the changes you are expecting are changes that affect your purse.