President Muhammadu Buhari on Friday, 12th June addressed Nigerians on the occasion of the 2020 democracy day in the country.
Naija News recalls before now, democracy day and hand over day was celebrated in Nigeria on May 29 but was changed in 2018 by President Buhari.
Below are some of the major highlights of what President Buhari said in his speech to Nigerians on Friday.
1. 21 years of uninterrupted democratic practice in Nigeria is not only worth celebrating but an opportunity to reflect on our journey as a nation, our achievements and struggles.
2. The President in his speech also commended the dedication and service of health workers as well as all others in the frontline of combating the coronavirus pandemic. He also commiserated with those who have lost loved ones to the pandemic.
3. President Buhari noted that his administration has recorded notable achievements in the course of implementing the nine priority objectives promised to Nigerians including insecurity, economy and corruption.
4. Nigeria’s economic growth has been moderate since exiting recession while that of many other countries has suffered a decline.
5. The 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.
6. The government will continue to support agricultural efforts to make the nation self-sufficient, diversify the economy and encourage those who are returning to the farm.
7. 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. 21.
This 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%.
8. The government remains committed to infrastructural developments despite dwindling resources due to the oil crisis and the global COVID-19 pandemic.
9. In terms of security and ending insurgency, banditry and other forms of criminality across the nation, the president noted that appropriate priorities is being accorded and the men and women of the Armed Forces of Nigeria have considerably downgraded such threats across all geo-political zones.
He added that 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.
He however noted that the recent killings by the insurgents are regrettable while the security agencies have been mobilized to arrest the situation and bring it under control.
10. The government has continued to work to reduce social and economic inequality through targeted social investment programmes, education, technology and improved information such as N-Power, school feeding programme, conditional cash transfer, trader moni, market moni, etc.
11. Nigeria would always be governed by the Rule of Law and Buhari promised that his administration would do the utmost to uphold the constitution and protect the lives and property of all Nigerians.
12. The President also noted the contribution of other arms of the government – the judiciary and legislature as well as the efforts of other professionals including the media in sustaining the country.
He promised to always guarantee the freedom of the press.
13. Nigerians, as we celebrate this year’s Democracy Day, let us remember that notwithstanding our aspirations, humanity and indeed democracy is under the threat of COVID-19. Nigeria has survived many crises before and came out stronger. I am confident that by God’s grace we shall overcome this one and emerge stronger and more purposeful.
You can read the full text of the President’s speech here.