Bauchi State governor Mohammed Abdullai Abubakar was among those who emerged the Governor of the year at the Vanguard Awards held on Sunday at the Eko Hotels Lagos.
In this interview with Eniola Awokoya, Governor Abubakar speaks on the award and the current political situation in the country. Excerpts…
Sir, you were awarded tonight as the Governor of the year, what does this mean to you?
It means a lot to me because in Nigeria, there are awards and there are awards. Last year alone, I had received many offers but I had to weight the offers and pick the one that is most prestigious and to me.
The Vanguard awards, is more prestigious than all the others that were offered to me. And like I said in my short remarks, it will serve as a tonic, it will ginger me to work for the people of Bauchi state, to deliver on the promises that I made during the campaigns.
What should the people of your state expect from you going forward after this recognition?
The people of my state should expect more democratic dividends of democracy.
Despite the crunching economic situation of the country, so far, I can beat my chest without any fear of contradiction that I have delivered more than the last government had delivered in eight years. In my short period of time of about three years, I have done more for the people of Bauchi state and I am going to do more.
As 2019 approaches, what message do you have for the people of Nigeria and your state?
Well, I am urging them to have faith in the government. This government came at a very difficult time but we are stabilizing the nation.
Despite what every other person is saying, the government of President Mohammadu Buhari is a fantastic economic manager.
We got into recession and in less than two years, President Buhari got us out of recession. Greece got into recession ten years ago and up till now, they have not come out of it.
When we came on board, we inherited 27 billion as our foreign reserve, today, that same foreign reserve is 46 billion. And oil is not selling at 100 plus that it was selling during the previous administration.
It went down to 28 dollars per barrel and now hovering between 60-65 per barrel and despite that, we were able to build foreign reserve to 46 billion and it is growing.
We have promised that by next year, we will grow it to 50 billion and if that is not good economic management then tell me what is.
Also, people need to consider the huge resources that President Buhari is pumping into the economy to assist the poor.
The Social Safety Net of President Buhari is unprecedented. It has never been done anywhere in the world.