President Muhammadu Buhari has once again highlighted his successes and achievement in office from 2015.
President Buhari who spoke during a nationwide broadcast to commemorate the 2020 Democracy Day also promised to remain committed to rule of law and press freedom and would continue to ensure that both tenets of democracy are abided by his administration.
The president boasted that his administration has recorded notable achievements in the course of implementing its nine priority objectives and it is establishing a solid foundation for future success, which includes increase in GDP from 1.91% in 2018 to 2.27% in 2019; increase in external reserves grew from $33.42 billion on April 29th 2020 to about $36.00 billion in May, 2020 which is enough to finance seven months of import commitments; as well as gains made on the economic front, Buhari said that Nigeria witnessed eleven quarters of consecutive GDP growth since exiting recession.
On Agriculture, he assured of government’s continued support in the through the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) Anchor Borrowers Programme and similar schemes noting that Nigeria has risen by 25 places on the World Bank’s Ease of Doing Business ranking from 146th to 131st and is now rated as one of the top ten reforming countries.
He said: “The development is due to the Visa on Arrival policy, consistent promotion of initiatives that expand facilities available to Micro Small and Medium Scale Enterprises, robust electronic registration and payment system, seamless processing of business registration and reduction of cost of registering business by 50%. We are confident that on-going efforts would result in further improvement of this rating.
“All the Local Governments that were taken over by the Boko Haram insurgents in Borno, Yobe and Adamawa have long been recovered and are now occupied by indigenes of these areas who were hitherto forced to seek a living in areas far from their ancestral homes.
“The total collapse of the economies of these areas, which constituted a threat to our food security, has also been reversed with the gradual recovery of farming and other economic activities.
“I regret recent sporadic incidents with tragic loss of lives in Katsina and Borno States as a result of criminals taking advantage of COVID-19 restrictions. Security Agencies will pursue the perpetrators and bring them to swift justice.
“I must implore state and local governments to revamp their intelligence assets so that the Security Agencies can nip in the bud any planned attacks in remote rural areas. I send my heartfelt condolences to all the relatives and communities affected.”
He assured that Nigeria remains unshaken in the area of security and that ending insurgency, banditry and other forms of criminality across the nation is being accorded appropriate priorities.
Speaking on COVID-19 and its impact on the economy of the nation, Buhari said that the pandemic has disrupted the economic system and to ensure its functioning while still addressing the spread, the Federal Government put in place a number of various non-pharmaceutical measures to slow down the spread of the virus in addition to a progressive re-opening of the economy.
He disclosed that as part of the strategy to create jobs in reducing the effect of COVID-19 on our youths, he has directed the employment of 774, 000 Nigerians.
According to him, the youths will be engaged in Special Public Works Programme aimed at cushioning the effects of economic downturn.
Speaking on press freedom and rule of law, Buhari said, “This administration is focused on ensuring that Nigeria would always be governed by the rule of law and I would do my utmost to uphold the constitution and protect the lives and property of all Nigerians.
“Government has initiated a number of policies and programmes designed to promote the legal rights of Nigerians, facilitate the institutionalization of a responsive legal system, provide support to all constituted bodies in implementing their mandates and improve our custodial system of justice.
“I would also like to convey our deep appreciation to members of the press for your doggedness in the struggle for attainment of democracy since the beginning of our nationhood.
“I must admit that the relationship between the media and successive governments has not always been perfect. But there is no denying the fact that you have been an effective watchdog for the society especially in holding public officers to account.
“It is sad that in the course of securing our democracy, some of your colleagues have had to pay a heavy price.
“We will continue to guarantee freedom of the press as we place a high premium on responsible journalism that is devoid of hate speech, fake news and other unethical professional conduct.”