This Recession Will Not Last, Buhari Reassures Nigerians

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President Muhammadu Buhari today reassured Nigerians that the current economic recession being experienced in the country, which has led to hardship and suffering by the populace, will not last.

The President encouraged citizens not to allow “Temporary problems” to “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,” he said.

“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.

“I believe that this recession will not last,” Buhari declared, in a spee ch to mark the country’s 56th independence anniversary.

The president added that the destruction of oil and gas facilities in the Niger Delta has drastically reduced Nigeria’s crude oil output “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,” he vowed.

Buhari said his administration is working hard to reduce Nigeria’s huge spendings on food importation as well as the importation of refined petroleum products.

He said: “We are going 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.

“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 by 2018.”

On the issue of power supply, president Buhari said his administration was able to raise power generation to 5000 megawatts “for the first time in our history”.

He regretted, however that “renewed militancy and destruction of gas pipelines caused acute shortage of gas and constant drop in electricity output available on the grid.”

He said that government is “engaging with responsible leadership in the (Niger Delta) region to find lasting solutions to genuine grievances of the area”, warning that “we will not allow a tiny minority of thugs to cripple the country’s economy.”

Buhari added that efforts were on “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.”

With regards to road construction, President Buhari disclosed that a total of N720.5 billion has so far been released this year to cater for capital projects

He added that “the Ministry of Power, Works and Housing has received one hundred and ninety seven point five billion naira. Work on several highways has now resumed.”

He said a lot of underground work is ongoing to rehabilitate the Nation’s railway system.

Buhari noted that Nigeria is partnering with China in that regard and very soon, many rail lines across the country, including “the Lagos-Calabar railway will also be on stream.”






     

     

    The President said: “We have initiated the National Housing Programme. 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.”

    Buhari said Nigeria’s international image has tremendously improved as “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.”

    He promised that the “programmes I have outlined will revive the economy, restore the value of the naira and drive hunger from our land.”

     

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