Buhari knocks Nigerian elite for being ‘very selfish’

On Thursday in Katsina State, the President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd. ), chastised the Nigerian elite for being "very selfish" rather than uniting their forces for the welfare of their fellow citizens.

"In the past, our elites did not put their heads together to move the country forward. They were extremely self-centered. "I insist that they think of the country first and foremost," Buhari said at a luncheon following the commissioning of at least seven infrastructure projects carried out by the Katsina State Government.

According to Buhari, the country's standard of living would be more bearable if the elite thought more of the people.

Reminiscing about a supposedly golden era in global oil prices, the President bemoaned the failure of previous administrations to maximize available resources for infrastructure growth when a barrel of crude oil sold for $100.

Comparing the pre and post-2015 when he assumed office, Buhari said, "Our elite did not put their heads together in the years past in order to move the country forward. They were extremely self-centered.

"I insist that they think of the country first and foremost. They can then join forces for the good of the country."

Citizens, he claims, are more concerned with the results that the government can provide in terms of security and the economy.

"However, I can't complain because I requested it. "I did my best, and I hope history is kind to me," he said.

Buhari praised Katsina State Governor Aminu Masari for prioritizing basic infrastructure for the people despite limited resources.

Following that, he inspected and inaugurated a number of development projects in education, health care, and road infrastructure.

Kofar Kaura Underpass, Kofar Kwaya Underpass, Kofar Kaura Water Works, Katsina State Internal Revenue House, Muhammadu Buhari Meteorological Institute by the Ministry of Aviation, Darma Rice Mill in Batagarwa, and Katsina State General Hospital are some of the projects.

Buhari, who is on a two-day state visit, also inspected ongoing work on Katsina's Government Reserved Area's first flyover, which is 90% complete.

Despite the aftershocks of the Covid-19 pandemic, Masari revealed in his address that his administration spent approximately N358 billion on essential services such as salaries, pensions, health, and tertiary institutions.

"Despite this, the State Government has been consistent in paying salaries, pensions, and overhead costs to Ministries, Departments, and Agencies, as well as other Social Services such as Medical Assistance to Patients and Educational Assistance to Students from Universities and other tertiary institutions within and outside the country, assistance to Mosques, Islamiyya Schools, and other religious organizations across the 34 Local Government Areas," he said.

"The highlight of expenditure incurred in one key area of responsibility indicates that the current administration has expended over N195 billion from 2015 to 2022 in the payment of salaries and allowances to civil servants and political office holders, approximately N34 billion in the payment of Pension and Gratuity to retired workers, approximately N36 billion in the payment of Overhead and Running Costs to Ministries, Departments, and Agencies of the State Government, approximately N82 billion to cater for other expenses."

"A verifiable record shows that by the end of 2022, the State Government had spent N357,927,829,790.87 on the aforementioned purposes."

Masari stated that the rehabilitation and upgrade of General Hospitals in Katsina, Funtua, and Daura cost more than N2.5 billion.

"So far, approximately N1.37 billion has been injected into Contributory Healthcare Services, with capitation disbursements to accredited Primary Healthcare Facilities totaling N1,219,648,640.00 and fees for services paid to Secondary Healthcare Facilities totaling N152,947,332.66," Masari explained.

He thanked the President and the federal government for various interventions provided to Katsina State, such as bailout funds, which he said helped the State Government pay outstanding entitlements to its employees on time.

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