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Buhari says government is addressing drivers of insecurity

Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari has assured Nigerians that the government is addressing the twin shocks of poverty and youth unemployment,…

Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari has assured Nigerians that the government is addressing the twin shocks of poverty and youth unemployment, which are the underlying drivers of insecurity in the country.In a nationwide television broadcast to commemorate and celebrate the Democracy Day on Saturday, Buhari noted that “as with all democracies, we will always be going through improvement processes in our desire to reach the goal of a mature democracy, a strong, evolved and integrated nation state to be reckoned with globally.

“In the last two years we have witnessed and overcome a good number of testy challenges that would have destroyed other nations especially relating to our collective security.”

He, however, said that “the indefatigable ‘CAN DO Spirit’ of the Nigerian has sustained us and would keep pushing us to put these challenges behind us”.

According to him, some of these challenges came in the shape of violent outrages leading to the loss of lives of many of the nation’s compatriots and the destruction of some of our infrastructure, including those devoted to improving our democratic processes.

He rendered his sincere and heart-felt condolences to the families and friends of the nation’s gallant service men and women who lost their lives in the line of duty and also the families and friends of Nigerian men, women and children who were unfortunate victims of such senseless arsons, kidnappings and murders.

Buhari disclosed that the interventions led by government and the Central Bank of Nigeria in driving economic growth over the past 6 years are targeted mostly to the agricultural, services, infrastructure, power and healthcare sectors of the economy.

“In the Agricultural sector, for instance, the Anchor Borrowers Programme resulted in sharp decline in the nation’s major food import bill from $2.23billion in 2014 to US$0.59billion by the end of 2018.

“Rice import bill alone dropped from $1 billion to $18.5 million annually.

This initiative supported local production of rice, maize, cotton and cassava. Government financed 2.5 million small-holder farmers cultivating about 3.2 million hectares of farmland all over the country and created 10 million direct and indirect jobs,” he said.

According to Buhari, several other initiatives included the AgriBusiness/Small and Medium Enterprise Investment Scheme, the Non-oil Export stimulation Facility, the Targeted Credit Facilities operated across the 774 Local Governments.

He added that in the manufacturing sector the CBN – Bank Of Industry  N200 billion facility financed the establishment and operations of 60 new industrial hubs across the country, creating an estimated 890,000 direct and indirect jobs, while the CBN’s N50 billion Textile Sector intervention Facility increased capacity utilization of ginneries from 30% to nearly 90%.

“The Economic Sustainability Plan – our rebound plan for the COVID-19 pandemic developed in 2020 is currently being executed. The plan is primarily focused on the non-oil sector, which has recorded phenomenal growth contributing over 90% to the GDP growth in Q1 2021,” he added.

The Nigerian leader who turned his broadcast into a report card of the six-years of his administration also assured Nigerians that he would adhere to the Fundamental Objectives and Directive Principles of State Policy which requires him to ensure that ‘’the security and welfare of the people remain the primary purpose of government”.

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