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New Year Broadcast: Buhari: I’ll reorganise security apparatus, diversify economy

President Muhammadu Buhari has given assurance that his administration would reorganise the nation’s security apparatus in the New Year with a view to re-energizing the security personnel of the armed forces and the police.

This, he said, is in order to enhance their capacity to engage, push back and dismantle the operations of both internal and external extremist and criminal groups waging war against the country.

The President in his New Year message delivered this morning also reiterated the determination of his administration to diversify the nation’s economy just as he vowed to expedite the prosecution of all new and pending corruption cases in the country.

The President said his government would in the New Year work to reinforce the hopes of the people in their vision of a united and progressive Nigeria. Buhari added that he would be focusing on delivering key strategic priorities of his government under its “SEA” – (Security, Economy and Anti-Corruption) Agenda.

On security, he said would be: “Re-energizing and reorganizing the security apparatus and personnel of the armed forces and the police with a view to enhance their capacity to engage, push back and dismantle the operations of both internal and external extremist and criminal groups waging war against our communities in some parts of the country.

“In line with the current security challenges, we are facing as a nation, I would like to reiterate the promise I made recently when over 300 of our boys abducted from Government Science Secondary School, Kankara, Katsina State were successfully rescued by our security operatives.

“The professionalism shown by our security forces and the collaboration from all stakeholders across both State and Federal Governments that led to the successful rescue of the boys is a proof that Nigeria has the internal capacity to decisively deal with terror attacks on our citizens.

“However, we recognize that we rapidly have to move to a more proactive and preemptive posture to ensure that these sorts of traumatic incidents do not become a norm. Our administration is fully aware of the responsibility we have to protect the lives and property of all Nigerians, and we will not relent in learning and adapting to changing threats to our national security and civic wellbeing.”

Speaking about his plans to diversify the nation’s economy, Buhari said: “Our focus is on revamping the economy through the national economic diversification agenda that supports the primary goal of national food self-sufficiency.

This has helped reduce the growing food related inflationary figures and have in considerable measure positively impacted our food security status during the long months of the pandemic lockdown.

“We are also currently rebuilding our national infrastructure base and, in the process, introducing transformation through the rehabilitation, modernization, and expansion of the railway system, national roads and bridges both in rural and urban centres, alongside the airports and seaports.

“The reforms we have put in place in the power sector would guarantee increased efficiency in our drive to significantly expand the generation and distribution of electricity for use in homes and factories.”

The President added that his government was undertaking series of special interventions designed to boost job creation and support the entrepreneurial drive of our youths. “With the recent opening of our borders, we expect that the pent-up demand of legitimate cross-border and international trade will boost the fortunes of the many small businesses and agricultural enterprises that depend on Nigeria’s trade and commerce.

“The message to our West African neighbours is that Nigeria is once again fully open for those willing to conduct business in a fair and equitable way.” Speaking on his government’s efforts in fighting corruption, Buhari restated his determination to eradicate the menace through collaboration with all the arms of government to effectively prosecute the fight.

His words: “While we would be working with the Legislature to enact laws that would strengthen this fight, we would also be looking at reviewing some of our laws which would ensure that this fight is more effective.

On the part of the Executive, we would ensure the diligent and timely prosecution of corruption cases, while appealing to the judiciary to ensure that corruption cases are dispensed with expeditiously.”

Commenting further on various forms of violence across the country, the President observed that the fabric of inter-communal harmony woven through years of investment of efforts at building trust, mutual respect, and harmony has been threatened. He pointed out that insecurity as a challenge has direct repercussions on national economic stability, growth, and development serving as setback at critical points through the destruction of public and private investments.

“In parts of the country where chronic poverty, social exclusion, and disillusionment among sections of the youth were already a problem, the cycles of violence that have been unleashed by mindless groups like Boko Haram and others have thwarted the efforts of government to undertake the social policy and associated investments that could make a huge difference in the quality of life of our citizens,” he stressed.

While acknowledging that the progress so far achieved by his government may have fallen short of expectations, Buhari assured that he would not begrudge his critics for their view so long as they wish the best for the country. He, however, called on the people to carefully recall the circumstances of his coming into office; the facts on the ground and the resources at his disposal since 2015 with the accomplishments of the administration.

He said: “I am aware that for some of our compatriots, the progress we have registered since the inception of this administration is not nearly as fast or as sufficient as they would wish.

I do not begrudge them their views in so far as they signify a wish, in which we all share, for only the very best for our country. “Nevertheless, I call upon all Nigerians to carefully recall the circumstances of our coming to office, the facts on the ground and the resources at our disposal since 2015 with the accomplishments of this administration. “As a people, we have shown admirable resilience in the face of every adversity, an unmatched capacity to recover speedily from every setback, an unparalleled generosity of spirit when we resolve our differences, and a constant readiness to invest faith and hope in the destiny we share as a united country built on the diversity of its peoples.

“It is these attributes that underpin the Nigerian spirit of “can do, will do” that gives me hope that we shall yet get to destination and fulfil our calling together, especially with the solid resolutions we are setting in this New Year.

“Keeping our country on a forward march is a duty which we all have and share. In this regard, keeping our country safe from a resurgent cycle of COVID-19 as this administration finalizes its plans to procure and efficiently and effectively distribute the COVID-19 vaccines.”

He pledged to always play his part without fear or favour just as he called on all to do same in building a virile and prosperous country for the in-coming generation. The President added that the country in her over 60 years of existence as an Independent nation had experienced her lows and highs with a lot of challenges ranging from security and economic issues across the regions to the understandable #EndSARS protests that were mainly led by the youth which served notice to demand police reforms and accountability. According to him, his government heard, listened and was committed to fulfilling the five demands of the youth with the understanding that they meant well for the country. Noting that the youth represent the nation’s most valuable natural resource at home and abroad, Buhari acknowledged their ingenuity, creativity, innovation and entrepreneurial spirit.

“As a government we are committed to actively engaging with the creative energies of our young people. In this regard, we will partner with the legislature to develop an enabling environment to turn their passions into ideas that can be supported, groomed and scaled across regions. This will create vast opportunities in Fintech, agriculture, business process start-ups and in the entertainment industry,” he assured.

 

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