By Vincent Ujumadu
Awka- THE Minister of Labour and Employment, Senator Chris Ngige said weekend that the election of President Muhammadu Buhari last year saved Nigeria from being a laughing stock among the comity of nations, arguing that the country would have collapsed totally by now if the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, had remained in government beyond May 29, 2015.
Ngige, who addressed officials of All Progressives Congress, APC, from the 326 wards in the three senatorial zones of Anambra State, said Buhari was taken aback with what he saw on assumption of office, adding that though APC knew that PDP was running the country aground, the magnitude of mismanagement of the economy was beyond human imagination.
While acknowledging the present hardship in the country, the Minister appealed to members of the party to be patient, assuring that the Buhari administration was making serious efforts to turn things around for the better.
According to him, part of the delay in constituting the cabinet by the president was due to the bad shape of the economy when APC took over government, as most ministries, departments and agencies were discovered to be heavily indebted to their contractors to the tune of trillions of naira.
He said: “There was virtually nothing in the country’s reserve, despite what the PDP government officials were telling Nigerians. But the APC government has started organizing the economy by formulating policies that will put smiles on the faces of our people.
“For instance, the Federal Government has created job centers in all states of the federation where the unemployed will be exposed to skills acquiring on various trades. We are also introducing empowerment schemes and our party members will be given priority.
“In addition, government is also planning to introduce scholarship and bursary schemes and our party members will also be the first to benefit from it.”
Ngige also said that in addition to the 500000 jobs for the unemployed youths, government would also offer employment to all graduates of agriculture and allied fields, in view of the renewed emphasis on food security in the country.
On federal roads in the South East, the minister said that the federal government had mobilized RCC, the construction giants, for the reconstruction of the dilapidated Enugu –Onitsha expressway, while SETRACO is to handle the Enugu –Umuahia –Aba expressway.
He said the main problem delaying the Second Niger Bridge was the problem created by some people, who were insisting that government must pay them compensation before the work could go on.