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October 1, 2019 at 3:33 PMKCEE
President Muhammadu Buhari on Tuesday addressed the nation.
The President gave the speech on the occasion of Nigeria’s 59th independence anniversary.
Change can only be delivered if we are united in purpose, as individuals and as a nation. We must all remain committed to achieving this positive and enduring Change.
Good governance and economic development cannot be sustained without an enabling environment of peace and security. In the last four years, we have combatted the terrorist scourge of Boko Haram. We owe a debt of gratitude to our gallant men and women in arms, through whose efforts we have been able to achieve the present results.
We remain equally resolute in our efforts to combat militant attacks on our oil and gas facilities in the Niger Delta and accelerate the Ogoni Clean-up to address long-standing environmental challenges in that region.
Our attention is increasingly being focused on cyber-crimes and the abuse of technology through hate speech and other divisive material being propagated on social media. Whilst we uphold the Constitutional rights of our people to freedom of expression and association, where the purported exercise of these rights infringes on the rights of other citizens or threatens to undermine our National Security, we will take firm and decisive action.
The path of hatred and distrust only leads to hostility and destruction. I believe that the vast majority of Nigerians would rather tread the path of peace and prosperity, as we continue to uphold and cherish our unity.
The economy has recovered and we have had 9 successive quarters of growth since our exit from the recession. The exchange rate in the last 3 years has remained stable, with robust reserves of US$42.5 billion, up from US$23 billion in October 2016.
Learning from the mistakes of the past, this Administration is committed to responsibly managing our oil wealth endowments. We will continue to prudently save our oil income and invest more in the non-oil job-creating sectors.
As we push to diversify the economy, we still remain focused on optimising the revenues generated from the oil and gas sector. We will working with the Legislature, soon pass the Petroleum Industry Bill and amendments to the Deep Offshore Act and Inland Basin Production Sharing Contracts Act into law, to ensure Government obtains a fair share of oil revenues, whilst encouraging private sector investment.
We will also continue our fight against illegal bunkering of crude oil and the smuggling of refined petroleum products across our borders, including the diligent prosecution and conviction of offenders found guilty of these acts.
I remain confident that Nigerians will have affordable and uninterrupted electricity supply in the not too distant future.
Our revenue-generating and reporting agencies will come under much greater scrutiny, going forward, as the new performance management framework will reward exceptional revenue performance, while severe consequences will attend failures to achieve agreed revenue targets.
We are also committed to ensuring that the inconvenience associated with any painful policy adjustments, is moderated, such that the poor and the vulnerable, who are most at risk, do not bear the brunt.
Our ongoing N500 billion Special Intervention Programme continues to target these vulnerable groups, through the Home-grown School Feeding Programme, Government Economic Empowerment Programme, N-Power Job Creation Programme, loans for traders and artisans, Conditional Cash Transfers to the poorest families and social housing scheme. To institutionalise these impactful programmes, we created the Ministry for Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development which shall consolidate and build on our achievements to date.
We are determined to ensure that transparency and good governance are institutionalised in public service.
We must commit to installing a culture of Good Governance in all we do. This Administration has fought against corruption, by investigating and prosecuting those accused of embezzlement and the misuse of public resources.
The P&ID Arbitral Award has underscored the manner in which significant economic damage has been caused by the past activities of a few corrupt and unpatriotic Nigerians. The policies that we are putting in place today are to ensure such criminal and unpatriotic acts do not go without consequences.
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