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President Buhari cautions against hate speech in independence broadcast

President Muhammadu Buhari commends the country’s armed forces in combating insurgency, in a nationwide broadcast to mark this year’s independence anniversary.

He said good governance and economic development cannot be sustained without an enabling environment of peace and security.

“Our gallant men and women in arms, through whose efforts we have been able to achieve the present results.”

Boko Haram has waged a decade long insurgency in the country.

He said the ministry of police affairs has been resuscitated to oversee the development and implementation of strategies to enhance internal security.

“These initiatives are being complemented by the ongoing recruitment of 10,000 constables into the Nigeria Police Force. This clearly demonstrates our commitment to arrest the incidence of armed robbery, kidnapping and other violent crimes across our nation.”

He said government remains resolute to combating militant attacks on oil and gas facilities in the Niger Delta and accelerate the Ogoni Clean-up to address long-standing environmental challenges in that region.

Hate speech

President Buhari advised against utterances that leads to hatred and distrust which he said only further leads to hostility and destruction.

Economic growth

He said the administration inherited a skewed economy but was turned around through focusing and building investment-driven Non-Oil Sector, which constituted 40%of Gross Domestic Product and comprised agriculture, livestock, agro-processing, arts, entertainment, mining and manufacturing activities that provide millions of jobs opportunities.

“Pursuant to these reforms, the economy has recovered and we have had 9 successive quarters of growth since our exit from 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, he said.

He announced that the executive and legislature were working together to 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.

In August this year, a Presidential Power Initiative to modernize the National Grid in 3 phases was launched: starting from 5 Gigawatts to 7 Gigawatts, then to 11 Gigawatts by 2023, and finally 25 Gigawatts afterwards. This he said, in partnership with the German Government and Siemens, will provide end-to-end electrification solutions that will resolve transmission and distribution challenges.

Transparency and good governance

He said Nigeria has international partnerships to combat tax evasion, smuggling, terrorism and illicit financial flows.

“An example is the US$300 million recently identified as part of the Abacha money-laundering case. The Federal Ministry of Justice is working with the US Department of Justice to conclude a Memorandum of Understanding to expedite the repatriation of these funds.

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, he lamented.

P&ID is a Irish firms that sued Nigerian government for breach of contract in a London court and was awarded $9bn dollars in damages.

However 2 senior officials of the firm have been convicted of fraud by a Nigerian court, thus declaring the contract process fraudulent and without due process.

A London court has since ruled that Nigeria can appeal the verdict.

President Buhari said Nigerians should question and confront corrupt practices, by reporting unethical practices or through whistleblowing.

Read the President message here

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