It's a tradition for the President/leader of a country to deliver a speech to the general public on every national festive day. So here we go;
President Buhari's full speech as we celebrate 56 years as an independent Nation.
Note : it's quite lengthy, but worth reading, because, it will give you a knowledge of what this government is up about.
Today – 1st October is a day of celebration for us Nigerians.
On this day, 56 years ago our people achieved the most
important of all human desires – freedom and independence.
We should all therefore give thanks and pray for our founding
fathers without whose efforts and toil we would not reap the
bounties of today.
2. I know that uppermost in your minds today is the economic
crisis. The recession for many individuals and families is real.
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.
3. I know how difficult things are, and how rough business is.
All my adult life I have always earned a salary and I know
what it is like when your salary simply is not enough. In every
part of our nation people are making incredible sacrifices.
4. But let me say to all Nigerians today, I ran for office four
times to make the point that we can rule this nation with
honesty and transparency, that we can stop the stealing of
Nigeria’s resources so that the resources could be used to
provide jobs for our young people, security, infrastructure for
commerce, education and healthcare.
5. I ran for office because I know that good government is the
only way to ensure prosperity and abundance for all. I remain
resolutely committed to this objective.
6. I believe that this recession will not last.
7. Temporary problems should not blind or divert us from the
corrective course this government has charted for our nation.
We have identified the country’s salient problems and we are
working hard at lasting solutions.
8. To re-cap what I have been saying since the inception of
this administration, our problems are security, corruption and
the economy, especially unemployment and the alarming level
9. 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
10. Nigerians should thank our gallant men of the Armed
Forces and Police for rescuing large areas of the country
captured by insurgents. Now, residents in Borno, Yobe and
Adamawa States, as well as several neighbouring states go
about their daily business in relative safety. People can go to
mosques, churches, market places in reasonable safety.
11. Commuters can travel between cities, towns and villages
without fear. Credit for this remarkable turn-round should go to
our Armed Forces, the Police, various sponsored and private
vigilante groups, the local traditional leaders. Security is a top
to bottom concern and responsibility.
12. Besides Boko Haram, we are confronting other long-
running security issues, namely herdsmen vs farmers, cattle
rustling, kidnappings. This Administration is firmly resolved to
tackle these challenges and to defeat them.
13. A new insurgency has reared up its head in the shape of
blowing up gas and oil pipelines by groups of Niger Delta
Militants. This Administration will not allow these mindless
groups to hold the country to ransom.
14. What sense is there to damage a gas line as a result of
which many towns in the country including their own town or
village is put in darkness as a result? What logic is there in
blowing up an export pipeline and as a result income to your
state and local governments and consequently their ability to
provide services to your own people is reduced?
15. No group can unlawfully challenge the authority of the
Federal Government and succeed. Our Administration is fully
sympathetic to the plight of the good people of Niger Delta and
we are in touch with the State Governments and leaderships of
the region. It is known that the clean-up of the Ogoniland has
started. Infrastructural projects financed by the Federal
Government and post amnesty programme financing will
16. We have however, continued to dialogue with all groups
and leaders of thought in the region to bring lasting peace.
17. Corruption is a cancer which must be fought with all the
weapons at our disposal. It corrodes the very fabric of
government and destroys society. Fighting corruption is Key,
not only to restoring the moral health of the nation, but also to
freeing our enormous resources for urgent socio-economic
18. In fighting corruption, however, the government would
adhere strictly by the rule of law. Not for the first time I am
appealing to the judiciary to join the fight against corruption.
19. The Third Plank in this Administration’s drive to CHANGE
Nigeria is re-structuring the economy. Economies behaviour 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.
20. 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.
21. But this is 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.
22. There are no easy solutions, but there are solutions
nonetheless and Government is pursuing them in earnest. We
are to repair our four refineries so that Nigeria can produce
most of our petrol requirements locally, pending the coming on
stream of new refineries. That way we will save ten billion USD
yearly in importing fuel.
23. At the same time, the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and
the Central Bank have been mobilized to encourage local
production of rice, maize, sorghum, millet and soya beans. Our
target is to achieve domestic self-sufficiency in these staples
24. Already farmers in thirteen out of thirty six states are
receiving credit support through the Central Bank of Nigeria’s
Anchor Borrowers Programme. Kebbi state alone this year is
expected to produce one million tonnes of locally grown rice,
thanks to a favourable harvest this year. As part of the 13
states, Lagos and Ogun are also starting this programme. Rice
alone for example costs Nigeria two billion USD to import.
25. The country should be self-sufficient in basic staples by
2019. Foreign exchange thus saved can go to industrial revival
requirements for retooling, essential raw materials and spare
parts. It is in recognition of the need to re-invigorate
agriculture in our rural communities that we are introducing
the LIFE programme.
26. Government recognises that irrigation is key to modern
agriculture: that is why the Ministries of Agriculture and Water
Resources are embarking on a huge programme of
development of lakes, earth dams and water harvesting
schemes throughout the country to ensure that we are no
longer dependent on rain-fed agriculture for our food
27. In addition, government is introducing Water Resources Bill
encompassing the National Water Resources Policy and
National Irrigation and Drainage Policy to improve
management of water and irrigation development in the
country. We are reviving all the twelve River Basin Authorities,
I. Anambra – Imo
II. Benin – Owena
III. Chad Basin
IV. Cross River
V. Hadejia – Jama’are
VI. Lower Benue
VII. Lower Niger
VIII. Niger Delta
IX. Ogun – Osun
X. Sokoto – Rima
XI. Upper Benue
XII. Upper Niger
28. The intention is eventually to fully commercialise them to
better support crop production, aqua –culture and accelerated
29. This Administration is committed to the revival of Lake
Chad and improvement of the hydrology and ecology of the
basin. This will tune in with efforts to rehabilitate the thirty
million people affected by the Boko Haram insurgency in the
Lake Chad basin countries.
30. The second plank in our economic revival strategy is
centred on the Ministry of Power, Works and Housing. The
Ministry will lead and oversee the provision of critical
infrastructure of power, road transport network and housing
31. Power generation has steadily risen since our
Administration came on board from three thousand three
hundred and twenty four megawatts in June 2015, rising to a
peak of five thousand and seventy four megawatts in February
32. For the first time in our history the country was producing
five thousand megawatts. However, renewed militancy and
destruction of gas pipelines caused acute shortage of gas and
constant drop in electricity output available on the grid.
33. There has been during the period June 2015 to September
2016 big improvement in transmission capacity from five
thousand five hundred megawatts to the present seven
thousand three hundred megawatts.
34. There were only two system collapses between June and
December 2015, but due to vandalism by Niger Delta militants
the over-all system suffered 16 system collapses between
March and July 2016 alone. As I have said earlier, we are
engaging with responsible leadership in the region to find
lasting solutions to genuine grievances of the area but we will
not allow a tiny minority of thugs to cripple the country’s
35. In the meantime, government is going ahead with projects
utilizing alternate technologies such as hydro, wind, and solar
to contribute to our energy mix. In this respect, the Mambilla
Hydro project, after many years of delay is taking off this year.
Contract negotiations are nearing completion with Chinese
firms for technical and financial commitments.
36. The project is to be jointly financed by Nigeria and the
Chinese-Export-Import Bank. In addition, fourteen Solar Power
Projects have had their power purchase agreements
concluded. Hence the plan to produce one thousand two
hundred megawatts of solar electricity for the country would be
realized on schedule.
37. And in line with the objective of government to complete all
abandoned projects across the country, the Rural
Electrification Agency’s projects needing completion are
provided for in the 2016 Budget. Bringing electricity to rural
areas will help farmers, small scale and cottage industries to
integrate with the national economy.
38. Roads Construction and Rehabilitation has taken off. The
sum of twelve billion naira was allocated to this sector in the
2015 Budget, not enough even to pay interest on outstanding
39. Notwithstanding the budgetary constraints, the current
budget allocated two hundred and forty billion naira for
highway projects against twelve billion naira in 2015. Many
contractors who have not been paid for three years have now
remobilized to sites. Seven hundred and twenty point five
billion naira has so far been released this budget year to
40. The Ministry of Power, Works and Housing has received
one hundred and ninety seven point five billion naira. Work on
the following highways has now resumed.
1. Dualization of Calabar – Itu Road in Cross River/Akwa Ibom
2. Dualization of Lokoja – Benin Road, Ehor – Benin city, Edo
3. Re-construction of outstanding sections of Benin –
Shagamu Express way, Edo/Ogun States.
4. Expansion works on Lagos – Ibadan Dual carriageway,
5. Rehabilitation of Onitsha – Enugu Expressway, Anambra/
6. Rehabilitation and Reconstruction of Enugu – Port Harcourt
Dual carriageway, Abia/Rivers States.
7. Rehabilitation of Hadejia – Nguru Road, Jigawa State.
8. Dualization of Kano – Katsina Road, Kano State.
9. Dualization of Kano – Maiduguri Road, Borno State.
10. Dualization of Azare – Potiskum Road, Azare – Sharuri
Road, Bauchi State.
11. Rehabilitation of Ilorin – Jebba – Mokwa – Birnin Gwari
Road, Kwara State.
12. Construction of Oju/Lokoja – Oweto Bridge over River
Benue, Benue State.
41. Other major highways are in the queue for rehabilitation or
42. Already contractors have recalled about nine thousand
workers laid off and Government expects that several hundreds
of thousands of workers will be reengaged in the next few
months as our public works programme gains momentum.
43. On railways, we have provided our counterpart funding to
China for the building of our standard gauge Lagos -Kano
railway. Meanwhile, General Electric is investing two point two
billion USD in a concession to revamp, provide rolling stock,
and manage the existing lines, including the Port Harcourt-
Maiduguri Line. The Lagos-Calabar railway will also be on
44. We have initiated the National Housing Programme. In
2014 four hundred million naira was voted for Housing. In 2015
nothing. Our first budget this year is devoting thirty five point
six billion naira. Much of the house building will be private –
sector led but Government is initiating a pilot housing scheme
of two thousand eight hundred and thirty eight units uniformly
spread across the 36 states and FCT.
45. We expect these units to be completed within 4 – 6
months. These experimental Nigeria House model Units will be
constructed using only made in Nigeria building materials and
components. This initiative is expected to reactivate the
building materials manufacturing sector, generate massive
employment opportunities and develop sector capacity and
46. The programmes I have outlined will revive the economy,
restore the value of the naira and drive hunger from our land.
47. Abroad, Nigeria’s standing has changed beyond belief in
the last 18 months. We are no longer a pariah state. Wherever I
go, I have been received with un-accustomed hospitality.
Investors from all over the world are falling over themselves to
come and do business in Nigeria. This government intends to
make business environment more friendly because we can not
develop ourselves alone.
48. All countries, no matter how advanced, welcome foreign
investments to their economy. This is the essence of
globalization and no country in the 21st century can be an
island. Our reforms are therefore designed to prepare Nigeria
for the 21st century.
49. Finally, let me commend Nigerians for your patience,
steadfastness and perseverance. You know that I am trying to
do the right things for our country.
50. Thank you and may God bless our country.