Contrary to a widely-held belief that President Muhammadu Buhari is not comfortable with women in official quarters, Minister of Finance, Kemi Adeosun, has said the President is a huge respecter of women.
President Buhari had been criticised for his reaction to his wife, Aisha Buhari’s recent criticism of his leadeship style and choice of appointees.
The President had, while on a visit to German chancellor, Angela Merkel, told reporters that his wife’s duties were limited to the kitchen, living room and “the other room” where she was supposed to take care of him.
Adeosun however said on a BBC programme on Friday that the fact that the President had women in sensitive positions meant he was no hater of women.
She added that her good working relationship with him has proved to her President Buhari prefers women in critical roles.
“I think the fact that he has appointed women into very senior positions says his view about women. I work with him very closely and I don’t see any misogynistic tendencies in him; in fact if for anything, I think he is very much in favour of women,” she said.
She also spoke on the economy, saying the Federal Government had in the last four months pumped an unprecedented N720 billion to boost infrastructure
Adeosun said economic growth would depend on global oil prices and how the economy responds to the spending stimulus fashioned out by the administration.
Among the spending plans she enumerated was the Affordable Housing Programme aimed at boosting home ownership in the country. She said the contractors for the programme moved to site this week.
“We have released about N720 billion in about four months and that is the highest ever and we are still going to do more in investing in infrastructure because that is what has held Nigeria back.”
“For a number of years and almost for a whole generation we were moving in the wrong direction depending on oil, we didn’t invest in infrastructure.
And everyone has known about the power challenges in Nigeria, the road challenges, the health challenges and the only thing that was just keeping us up was the high oil price and the high oil price has been stripped away and we have been laid bare, so it is going to take a bit of time to recover.”
She continued: “I didn’t say six months, I have refused to give a date and what I have said consistently is that we have to invest in infrastructure to get growth back again.
Who is going to predict when we are going to come out of recession? It is a function of many things. It is a function of global oil prices and how the economy responds to the spending stimulus. What we have said consistently is that if we stick to the plan that growth will return.
“We are doing the Affordable Housing Programme and the contractors have just moved to site this week and that is aimed at addressing the cost of living issue. “We understand the peoples pain and what we are trying to do is spend our money in a way that addresses that pain. “