The Federal Government’s decision to establish gas plants locally rather than bankroll an importation spree has been described as patriotic and a major difference between the Muhammadu Buhari administration and its predecessors.

“The nation’s dire oxygen need would have presented another God-sent opportunity for unscrupulous officials in previous PDP-led administrations to indulge in a procurement binge with the attendant embezzlement of funds and depletion of the country’s external reserves,” the Buhari Media Organisation (BMO) noted in a statement signed by its Chairman Niyi Akinsiju and Secretary, Cassidy Madueke.

“We welcome the decision of the Federal Government to set up gas plants in 38 locations across the country and approval of funds for the repair of oxygen plants in five hospitals as the Federal Government tackles the resurge in Covid-19 infections across the country. It is a commendable and timely response befitting the patriotic posture of the Buhari administration.

“It is a decision that signals this administration’s intent and resolves to mobilize every available human and material resource to tackle the Covid-19 pandemic. In this regard, the efforts of the Nigerian Government have been nothing other than exceptional.

“The approval given on Wednesday by the Federal Executive Council (FEC) presided over by Vice President Yemi Osinbanjo to source badly-needed oxygen from domestic sources rather than from overseas is heartwarming and a brave show of confidence in our ability as a nation to meet critical industrial requisition on which human lives depend.

“This is how the government response to national emergencies is conducted. Apparently, the President is working with data and proactively taking this decision to provide the capacity to anticipate the needs for oxygen. More impressively, the President, rather than take the easy path of resorting to importation that a party like PDP in power would have preferred, ordered for local production. That is President Muhammadu Buhari for you, unapologetic in his confidence in the Nigerian spirit. The advantages are job opportunities, deepening operations in the gas manufacturing subsector, easy accessibility for users, and cheaper purchase costs. With one masterstroke, the President has eliminated the incubation of a corruption value-chain around this commodity while conserving our external reserves.

Bemoaning the previous PDP-controlled administrations’ profligacy, BMO noted that there would be no scarcity of oxygen, a basic medical and scientific supply if previous governments had chosen to be responsible with our country’s resources. “We are, yet again, doing more with less—and during a pandemic.

“A time comes when a nation takes the less glamorous path to self-reliance, believing in itself and its ability to solve its own problems without seeking external help. Nigerians should celebrate this ‘Yes, We Can’ moment as we applaud President Buhari and his administration for investing in ourselves. Let the oxygen flow from within and Nigeria will emerge healthier and stronger.

“Taken alongside other reforms which this administration has initiated in the nation’s oil and gas sector to improve local content capacity, we are confident that this country is on the right path to self-sufficiency and prosperity.”