National Broadcast  Of President Buhari’s Democracy  Day Speech On June 12th, 2020


Buhari Administration's Fifth Anniversary Fact Sheet

Fellow Nigerians,

1. The 2020 celebration of Democracy Day marks 21 years of uninterrupted civil
administration in our dear country. This day provides us an opportunity to
reflect on our journey as a nation, our achievements and struggles.

2. It
is a day to honour our founding fathers who toiled to establish our republic
and every Nigerian who has worked tirelessly to sustain it.


3. We are
celebrating this year’s Democracy Day despite the COVID-19 pandemic which
afflicts our nation and the whole world.

4. It
is indeed a very difficult time for everyone especially those who have lost
loved ones to the virus and those whose sources of livelihood have been
severely constrained by the stringent measures we introduced at every level of
government to contain the virus and save lives.

5. The
dedication of our health and other essential services staff towards containing
this virus is a testament of our courage and resilience as a people and as a
great nation, and I use this opportunity to say thank you to all of you for
your service to the nation.

6.
Sustaining our democracy thus far has been a collective struggle, and I
congratulate all Nigerians and particularly leaders of our democratic
institutions on their resilience and determination to ensure that Nigeria
remains a shining example of democracy.

7. In
my 2019 Democracy Day address, I promised to frontally address the nation’s
daunting challenges, especially insecurity, economy and corruption. I therefore
find it necessary to give an account of my stewardship on this day.

8. We
have recorded notable achievements in the course of implementing our nine
priority objectives and are establishing a solid foundation for future success.

9. On
the economic front, our objectives have remained to stabilize the macroeconomy,
achieve agricultural and food security, ensure energy sufficiency in power and
petroleum products, develop infrastructure, fight corruption and improve
governance.

10. We
have witnessed eleven quarters of consecutive GDP growth since exiting
recession. The GDP grew from 1.91% in 2018 to 2.27% in 2019 but declined to
1.87% in the first quarter of 2020 as a result of the decline in global economic
activities due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

11.
Every single economy in the world has suffered a decline. Ours has been
relatively moderate.

12. In
order to stabilize the economy, the Monetary Authority took steps to build the
external reserves which resulted in improved liquidity in the foreign exchange
market. 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.

13.
Agriculture remains the key to our economic diversification strategy. The
Presidential Fertilizer Initiative programme continues to deliver significant
quantities of affordable and high-quality fertilizers to our farmers. This
initiative has also revived 31 blending plants and created a significant number
of direct and indirect jobs across the value chain.

14.
Government is also revamping the cotton, textile and garment sector via a CBN
Textile Revival Intervention Fund that would considerably reduce foreign
exchange spent on cotton and other textile imports.

15.
Through the food security initiative, we are promoting “Grow What We Eat” and
“Eat What We Grow”. I am also delighted that more and more Nigerians are taking
advantage of the opportunities in the agriculture and agri-business sector. I
assure you that government will continue to support the Agriculture sector
through the CBN Anchor Borrowers Programme and similar schemes.

16. To
protect our farming investments, we have deployed 5,000 Agro-Rangers and
employed 30,289 in our para-military agencies.

17. We
are also integrating rural communities to the formal economy by extending
access to credit and inputs to rural farmers and building feeder roads.

18. Our
efforts on growing non-oil exports have started to yield some results. For
instance, in the past year, our revenue from Cocoa and Sesame Seed increased by
$79.4 million and $153 million.

19.
Africa presents a huge opportunity for our export base diversification and we
are developing our strategy to grow intra-Africa trade through the Africa
Continental Free Trade Area Agreement.

20.
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%. We are confident that on-going efforts would result in further
improvement of this rating.

22. We
remain committed to expanding our mining sector. To this end, I have directed
the resuscitation of the Ajaokuta Steel Plant based on Government-to-Government
financing and a Public-Private Sector financing.

23.
With foreign and domestic investments and the participation of Small Scale
Miners, we are harnessing the supply value chain in gold production.

24. We
would also be launching a fully digitized mineral rights management platform
for quick processing of mineral rights application, digitization of records and
plugging revenue leakages.

25. The
Power Sector remains very critical to meeting our industrial development
aspirations and we are tackling the challenges that still exist in the delivery
of power through different strategies.

26. We
are executing some critical projects through the Transmission Rehabilitation
and Expansion Programme including the:

a.
Alaoji to Onitsha, Delta Power Station to Benin and Kaduna to Kano;

b.
330kv DC 62km line between Birnin Kebbi and Kamba;

c.
Lagos/Ogun Transmission Infrastructure Project;

d.
Abuja Transmission Ring Scheme; and

e.
Northern Corridor Transmission Project.

27. Our
agreement with Siemens will transmit and distribute a total of 11,000 Megawatts
by 2023, to serve our electricity needs.

28. On
transportation, another critical sector to improving our economic
competitiveness, we are growing the stock and quality of our road, rail, air
and water transport infrastructure.

29.
Through the SUKUK-Funded Road Projects, a total of 412km of the targeted 643km
road projects have been completed, representing 64%.

30. The
Presidential Infrastructure Development Fund projects are also progressing very
well. On the 2nd Niger Bridge, piling work has been completed and the approach
roads are being constructed. 48% of work on this bridge has been achieved. We
have constructed 102km of the 376km Abuja – Kaduna – Kano Road, representing
38%, and the 42.9km Obajana – Kabba Road is 87.03% complete.

31.
Furthermore, the Federal Roads Maintenance Agency has completed routine
maintenance on over 4,000km of federal roads out of the 5,000km targeted.

32. We
are extending and upgrading our railway network too. We are introducing more
locomotives, coaches and wagons for the Abuja-Kaduna Rail Line. The Central
Ajaokuta – Itakpe – Warri Line has been completed and is being extended from
Itakpe to Abuja on one end and from Warri Town to Warri Port on the other.

33. The
Lagos-Ibadan Rail Line is 90% completed and would be extended to the Lagos Port
which would help address the long-standing grid-lock at the Apapa port.

34. The
Kano – Maradi Single Track Standard Gauge Railway, Coastal Railway Project and
Port Harcourt – Maiduguri Standard Gauge Railway, with its associated branch
lines running through the South Eastern and Gombe States, industrial park and
Bonny Deep Sea Port are all ready for concessioning.

35.
Government continues to make investments in the Aviation sector to position it
as a travel and trade hub in West Africa and the wider African continent.

36.
Airport Terminals in Abuja, Lagos, Kano and Port Harcourt are being expanded,
while the rehabilitation of the Enugu Airport is almost completed. All our
airports are being raised to international standards with the provision of
necessary equipment, especially navigational aids, to guarantee world class
safety standards.

37. For
the first time in over ten years, Nigeria is conducting bidding process for 57
Marginal Oil Fields to increase revenue and increase the participation of
Nigerian companies in oil and exploration and production business.

38. We
continue to grow local content in other areas of the oil and gas sector with
the disbursement of funds from the $200 million Nigerian Content Intervention
Fund to indigenous manufacturers and service providers.

39.
With sustained engagement of youths, opinion leaders and other stakeholders, we
have restored peace in the Niger Delta Region and maintained our oil production
levels.

40. The
Head office of the Niger Delta Development Commission will be commissioned
shortly. The Funding of sections I–IV of the East-West Road shall be pursued
with a view to completing the project by the end of 2021.

41.
Furthermore, I am determined to ensure that development meant for the people of
the Niger Delta get to them so I have authorised a Forensic Audit of the Niger
Delta Development Commission.

42.
Digital Economy continues to play an important role in our development agenda
as we move into the age of Artificial Intelligence.

43.
Since the creation of the Ministry of Communication and Digital Economy, the
National Digital Economy Policy and Strategy has been launched. Steps have been
taken to achieve a reduction of connectivity cluster gaps from 207 to 114 as
well as increase the level of 4G coverage by 30%.

44.
Nigeria remains committed to expanding access to quality education to enhance
the productivity of its citizens and would continue to pursue the enforcement
of free and compulsory basic education for the first 9 years of schooling.

45. In
pursuit of this, we have launched the Better Education Service Delivery for All
in 17 states, established additional 6 Federal Science and Technical Colleges
and currently executing a pro-active Teacher Training Plan with all states of
the Federation.

46. In
our revision of the operations of specialized education funds and to implement
reforms that would optimize their benefits to the sector, we have adopted a
Public-Private Sector Partnership for provision of infrastructure and also
collaborate with the private sector to create jobs.

47. Our
pursuit of affordable housing for the low and middle-income earners has
received a boost with the delivery of 1,200 housing units, provision of 520
service plots with infrastructure through a Public Private Sector partnership
and the issuance of 868 mortgages totaling N7.7 Billion. Similarly, Home
Renovation Loans totaling N16.2 Billion have been granted to 19,210 people.

48. To
enable sustainable access to safe and sufficient water to meet the social,
cultural, environmental and economic development needs of all Nigerians, we
continue to expand our water supply, irrigation and dam facilities.

49. The
Completion of Amauzari, Amla Otukpo and other 42 Earth Dams with combined job
creation of about 43,354 direct jobs and 71,172 indirect jobs, would provide
more support for irrigation agriculture and water supply.

50. To
further institutionalize our effort in this regard, I signed the Executive
Order 009 on Ending Open Defecation in Nigeria.

51. In
order to improve our forest cover and in fulfilment of my commitment at the
74th Session of the United Nations General Assembly in 2019, we have commenced
the planting of 25 million trees. This initiative will also contribute to our
effort to mitigate the effect of climate change.

52. In
the area of security, we remain unshaken in our resolve to protect our national
infrastructure including on-shore and off-shore oil installations, secure our
territorial waters and end piracy in the Gulf of Guinea.

53.
Ending insurgency, banditry and other forms of criminality across the nation is
being accorded appropriate priorities and the men and women of the Armed Forces
of Nigeria have considerably downgraded such threats across all geo-political
zones.

54. 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.

55. 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.

56. 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.

57. 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.

58. As
part of the strengthening of our internal security architecture, the Ministry
of Police Affairs was created.

59.
Amongst others, Government has expanded the National Command and Control Centre
to nineteen states of the federation, resuscitated the National Public Security
Communication System and commenced the implementation of the Community Policing
Strategy.

60.
Government has similarly established a Nigerian Police Trust Fund as a
public-private sector vehicle for alternative sources of funding security
activities.

61. To
reduce security challenges through our external borders especially smuggling of
oil products out of the country, inflow of small arms and drugs into the
country and equally protect our local manufacturers, we introduced operation
“Ex-Swift Response” closing our borders from August 20th 2019, and have
considerably succeeded in meeting its objectives as well as improving our
national revenue.

62. Our
Government has continued to work to reduce social and economic inequality
through targeted social investment programmes, education, technology and
improved information.

63. Our
Social Investment Programme has continued to be a model to other nations and
has engaged 549,500 N-Power beneficiaries, 408,682 beneficiaries of the
Conditional Cash Transfer Programme and 2,238,334 beneficiaries of the Growth
Enhancement and Empowerment Programme. This is being done in collaboration with
the States.

64.
Similarly, “Marketmoni” and “Tradermoni” Programmes have provided affordable
loans to small and micro scale enterprises to grow their businesses. Under the
National Home-Grown School Feeding Programme, over 9,963,729 children are being
fed to keep them in school and improve their nutritional status.

65.
Fellow Nigerians, the year 2020 has been like none other. In January 2020, the
COVID-19 was declared a global pandemic by the World Health Organization. The
number of global infections has risen from less than 8,000 shared between China
and eighteen other countries to over 7million spread over 216 countries and on
all continents.

66.
Nigeria recorded its first case of COVID-19 on February 27th 2020 and within
the first 100 days, I have had cause to address the nation on three occasions
within one month, which underscores the gravity of this pandemic.

67.
There is no doubt that this pandemic has affected the global economy and all
known socio-economic systems. It has also brought grief and pain to families that
have lost their loved ones. Like many Nigerians, I feel the grief and pain not
only as your President but also as someone who has lost a close member of my
staff and some relatives and friends.

68. In
order to have a robust National response, I approved a Presidential Task Force
on COVID-19 to provide guidance and leadership in tackling the pandemic
nationwide.

69.
State Governments also constituted their own COVID-19 Task Forces.
Complementing this was the establishment of a National Emergency Operations
Centre responsible for providing technical and professional guidance in the
National Response.

70. The
overall objective of the PTF COVID-19 is to ensure that the pandemic does not
overwhelm our health systems, while ensuring that we maintain an effective Case
Management System to help in containing the spread of the virus.

71. The
impact of the pandemic has disrupted our 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.

72. As
part of the strategy to create jobs in reducing the effect of COVID-19 on our
youths, I directed the employment of 774, 000 Nigerians. These youths will be
engaged in Special Public Works Programme aimed at cushioning the effects of
economic downturn. Each of the 774 local government areas in the country will
be allotted 1,000 slots. I am pleased to report that this programme has
commenced.

73. I
receive regular briefing from the PTF on COVID-19. I note that the National
Response relies on Science, Data and Experience in taking decisions. This
informed my approval for the ease of lock down phase to ensure a balance
between lives and livelihoods.

74. I
am confident that the steps being taken by the PTF would result in flattening
the COVID-19 curve. I, therefore, implore all Nigerians to abide by the
approved guidelines and protocols. There is hope for us all if we take
individual and collective responsibility.

75.
Government is determined to turn this COVID-19 challenge into a motivation to
action by building a nation-wide public health care system that will help us
overcome the COVID-19 pandemic and prepare for any future outbreak.

76.
Already, we have begun to look inward and I charge our inventors, researchers
and scientists to come up with solutions to cure COVID-19.

77.
Government has continued to implement accountability and transparent policies
through the Open Government Partnership and the transparency portal on
financial transactions. Similarly, we have strengthened auditing and
accountability mechanisms so as to ensure that rules and regulations are
followed strictly.

78.
Anti-Corruption Agencies have secured more than 1,400 convictions and also
recovered funds in excess of N800 billion. These monies are being ploughed into
development and infrastructure projects.

79. The
Public Service of Nigeria remains the bedrock for the formulation and
implementation of policies, programmes and projects in the country. This
accounts for why it continues to evolve especially as new socio-economic
challenges emerge for Government to address.

80. I
will continue to give all the necessary support for the on-going reforms
designed to return discipline, integrity and patriotism as the hallmark of the
public service.

81. In
the face of dwindling resources and rising cost of governance, I have
authorized that the White Paper on the Rationalisation of Government
Parastatals and Agencies be reviewed for implementation.

82. Our
youth population remains a source of strength in achieving development
objectives. In this regard, we would continue to concentrate in developing
their skills, providing them with opportunities to express their entrepreneurial,
research and industrial capacities as well as ample opportunity to take
leadership positions in the service of the nation.

83. The
commitment of this Administration to the well-being of people living with
disabilities remains unwavering. Government recognises their contributions to
development. I have directed that all relevant Government agencies pay special
attention to the peculiarities of persons with disabilities in the formulation
and implementation of their policies and programmes, and where suitable their
employment.

84.
Nigerian women remain a particular treasure to this nation and for this reason
this Administration has continued to give them a place of pride in the affairs
of our country.

85. I
salute your courage, enterprise and resilience as well as your contributions to
national development. I wish to assure all our women of this administration’s
determination to fight Gender Based Violence through the instrumentality of the
law and awareness creation. I am particularly upset at recent incidents of rape
especially of very young girls. The Police are pursuing these cases with a view
to bringing perpetrators of these heinous crimes to swift justice.

86.
Government continues to recognize and harness the power of the media for
positive development. The reforms of the broadcast and advertising industries
including digital switch over and continuous engagement through town hall
meetings remain central to accurate and credible information dissemination.

87. Our
culture provides the basis for our existence as a people and a nation. In
preserving iconic aspects of our national culture, this government has been
pursuing the recovery of artefacts removed from Nigeria, promoting heritage
sites and festivals and working towards designating some of our heritage sites
as UNESCO World Heritage Centres.

88.
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.

89.
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.

90. The
National Assembly has been an important partner in our quest to sustain our
democracy and achieve our development objectives.

91. I
therefore greatly thank the leadership and members of the Senate and the House
of Representatives for their invaluable support at all times.

92. I
will 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.

93. 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.

94. We
will continue to guarantee freedom of the Press as we place high premium on
responsible journalism that is devoid of hate speech, fake news and other
unethical professional conduct.

95.
Fellow 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.

96. Thank you for
listening. God bless the Federal Republic of Nigeria.

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