…Recession will not last
President Muhammadu Buhari has admitted truly that Nigerians are passing through worst times following the current economic recession. But he has assured that recession will not last
The President stated yesterday in his anniversary speech to commemorate the country’s 56 years of independence.
“I know how difficult things are and how rough business is and I believe that this recession will not last.
President Buhari who spoke generally on the state of the nation and his administration’s steps to stabilize the country, both economically, politically and socially, said “I know that uppermost in your minds today is the economic crisis. The recession for many individuals and families is real. All my adult life I have always earned a salary and I know what it is like when your salary simply is not enough.
For some it means not being able to pay school fees, for others it’s not being able to afford the high cost of food (rice and millet) or the high cost of local or international travel, and for many of our young people the recession means joblessness, sometimes after graduating from university or polytechnic.
Whichever ways it was according to the President, the recklessness and seeming corruption at that time was why he sought to rule the country four times in order to correct the anomalies that finally plagued the country into recession.
He said concerted efforts and incredible sacrifices were been made across the country to return to stability, pointing however that, temporary problems should not blind or divert the country from the corrective course his administration has designed for the country. “We have identified the country’s salient problems and we are working hard at lasting solutions” he further assured.
The president who spoke passionately on the challenges faced by the administration which included corruption, the new militancy in the Niger Delta, infrastructural deficit, in power, roads, however assured that his government was working hard to bring succor to the populace by ensuring that militancy was curtailed, corruption fought to its standstill, while also government has released funds for road projects across the country.
On Security, we have made progress. Boko Haram was defeated by last December – only resorting to cowardly attacks on soft targets, killing innocent men, women and children.
“Besides Boko Haram, we are confronting other long-running security issues, namely herdsmen vs farmers, cattle rustling, kidnappings” adding that his administration is firmly resolved to tackle these challenges and to defeat them.
He further disclosed that a new insurgency has reared up its head in the shape of blowing up gas and oil pipelines by groups of Niger Delta Militants, warning that government will not allow these mindless groups to hold the country to ransom.
He spoke of his administration’s drive to CHANGE Nigeria by re-structuring the economy. According to the President, “Economies behavior is cyclical. All countries face ups and downs. Our own recession has been brought about by a critical shortage of foreign exchange. Oil price dropped from an average of hundred USD per barrel over the last decade to an average of forty USD per barrel this year and last” he said, but worse still, the damage perpetrated by Niger Delta thugs on pipelines sometimes reduced Nigeria’s production to below One million barrels per day against the normal two point two million barrels per day. Consequently, the naira is at its weakest, but the situation will stabilize as the situation was only temporary.
“Historically about half our dollar export earnings go to importation of petroleum and food products! Nothing was saved for the rainy days during the periods of prosperity. We are now reaping the whirlwinds of corruption, recklessness and impunity’, stressing that even though there are no easy solutions, but there are solutions nonetheless and Government is pursuing them in earnest..
He spoke of government plans to revamp the four refineries so that Nigeria can produce most of our petrol requirements locally, pending the coming on stream of new refineries and which way the country can save ten billion USD yearly in importing fuel.
On Agriculture, he disclosed that the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and the Central Bank have been mobilized to encourage local production of rice, maize, sorghum, millet and soya beans with a target to achieve domestic self-sufficiency in these staples by 2018, while government will revitalize and commercial all the moribund River Basin Authorities nationwide.
The president who commended Nigerians for their patience , perseverance and steadfastness, however, assured that he would strive to do the right things for country. “Let me commend Nigerians for your patience, steadfastness and perseverance. You know that I am trying to do the right things for our country,” he said, adding that the independence day was a day of celebration where the Nigerian people achieved the most of all desires, freedom and independence, and therefore pertinent to express gratitude to the founding fathers whom without their labor and efforts the country would not reap the bounties of this day.
…Recession will not last