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ADDRESS TO THE NATION BY HIS EXCELLENCY, MUHAMMADU BUHARI, PRESIDENT OF THE FEDERAL REPUBLIC OF NIGERIA ON THE ENDSARS PROTESTS, 22ND OCTOBER, 2020

ADDRESS TO THE NATION BY HIS EXCELLENCY, MUHAMMADU BUHARI, PRESIDENT OF THE FEDERAL REPUBLIC OF NIGERIA ON THE ENDSARS PROTESTS, 22ND OCTOBER, 2020

Fellow Nigerians,

 

It has become necessary for me to address you having heard from many concerned Nigerians and having concluded a meeting with all the Security Chiefs.

 

2. I must warn those who have hijacked and misdirected the initial, genuine and well – intended protest of some of our youths in parts of the country, against the excesses of some members of the now disbanded Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS).

 

3. On Monday 12th October, I acknowledged the genuine concerns and agitations of members of the public regarding the excessive use of force by some members of SARS.

 

4. The choice to demonstrate peacefully is a fundamental right of citizens as enshrined in Section 40 of our Constitution and other enactments; but this right to protest also imposes on the demonstrators the responsibility to respect the rights of other citizens, and the necessity to operate within the law.

 

5. As a democratic government, we listened to, and carefully evaluated the five-point demands of the protesters. And, having accepted them, we immediately scrapped SARS, and put measures in place to address the other demands of our youth.

 

6. On approving the termination of SARS, I already made it clear that it was in line with our commitment to the implementation of extensive Police reforms.

 

7. Sadly, the promptness with which we have acted seemed to have been misconstrued as a sign of weakness and twisted by some for their selfish unpatriotic interests.

 

8. The result of this is clear to all observers: human lives have been lost; acts of sexual violence have been reported; two major correctional facilities were attacked and convicts freed; public and private properties completely destroyed or vandalised; the sanctity of the Palace of a Peace Maker, the Oba of Lagos has been violated. So-called protesters have invaded an International Airport and in the process disrupted the travel plans of fellow Nigerians and our visitors.

 

9. All these executed in the name of the ENDSARS protests. I am indeed deeply pained that innocent lives have been lost. These tragedies are uncalled for and unnecessary. Certainly, there is no way whatsoever to connect these bad acts to legitimate expression of grievance of the youth of our country.

 

10. The spreading of deliberate falsehood and misinformation through the social media in particular, that this government is oblivious to the pains and plight of its citizens is a ploy to mislead the unwary within and outside Nigeria into unfair judgement and disruptive behaviour.

 

11. On the contrary, both our deeds and words have shown how committed this administration has been to the wellbeing and welfare of citizens, even with the steadily dwindling revenues, and the added responsibilities and restrictions due to the Coronavirus pandemic.

 

12. Government has put in place measures and initiatives principally targeted at youths, women and the most vulnerable groups in our society. These included our broad plan to lift 100 million Nigerians out of poverty in the next 10 years; the creation of N75 billion National Youth Investment Fund to provide opportunities for the youths and the Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSME) Survival Fund, through which government is:

 

a. paying three months salaries of the staff of 100,000 micro, small – and medium – enterprises,

b. paying for the registration of 250,000 businesses at the Corporate Affairs Commission,

c. giving a grant of N30,000 to 100,000 artisans; and

d. guaranteeing market for the products of traders.

 

13. These are in addition to many other initiatives such as;

a. Farmermoni,

b. Tradermoni,

c. Marketmoni,

d. N-Power,

e. N-Tech and

f. N-Agro.

 

14. No Nigerian Government in the past has methodically and seriously approached poverty-alleviation like we have done.

 

15. With regard to the welfare of police personnel, the National Salaries, Income and Wages Commission has been directed to expedite action on the finalization of the new salary structure of members of the Nigeria Police Force. The emoluments of other paramilitary services are also being reviewed upwards.

 

16. In order to underscore the importance of education in preparing youths for the future, this administration has come up with a new salary structure and other incentives for our teachers.

 

17. Let me at this point reaffirm the Federal Government’s commitment to preserving the unity of this country.

 

18. We will continue to improve good governance and our democratic process, including through sustained engagement.

 

19. We shall continue to ensure that liberty and freedom, as well as the fundamental rights of all citizens are protected.

 

20. But remember that government also has the obligation to protect lives and properties, as well as the right of citizens to go about their daily businesses freely and protected from acts of violence.

 

21. To our neighbours in particular, and members of the international community, many of whom have expressed concern about the ongoing development in Nigeria, we thank you and urge you all to seek to know all the facts available before taking a position or rushing to judgment and making hasty pronouncements.

 

22. In the circumstances, I would like to appeal to protesters to note and take advantage of the various well-thought-out initiatives of this administration designed to make their lives better and more meaningful, and resist the temptation of being used by some subversive elements to cause chaos with the aim of truncating our nascent democracy.

 

23. For you to do otherwise will amount to undermining national security and the law and order situation. Under no circumstances will this be tolerated.

 

24. I therefore call on our youths to discontinue the street protests and constructively engage government in finding solutions. Your voice has been heard loud and clear and we are responding.

 

25. And I call on all Nigerians to go about their normal businesses, and enjoin security agencies to protect lives and properties of all law abiding citizens without doing harm to those they are meant to protect. Let me pay tribute to officers of the Nigeria Police Force who have tragically lost their lives in the line of duty.

 

26. I would like to thank those state Governors, traditional and religious leaders who have appealed for calm and restraint. I also thank youth leaders who have restrained their followers from taking the law into their hands.

 

27. This government respects and will continue to respect all the democratic rights and civil liberties of the people, but it will not allow anybody or groups to disrupt the peace of our nation.

 

Thank you all. God bless the Federal Republic of Nigeria.

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CLOSING ADDRESS BY HIS EXCELLENCY, MUHAMMADU BUHARI, PRESIDENT OF THE FEDERAL REPUBLIC OF NIGERIA, AT THE FIRST YEAR MINISTERIAL PERFORMANCE REVIEW RETREAT STATE HOUSE CONFERENCE CENTRE, ABUJA

 

8TH SEPTEMBER, 2020

 

Protocols:

 

The last two days have provided an opportunity for us to undertake an objective assessment of our stewardship of the contract we have signed with the Nigerian people since the inception of our second tenure as a Government.

 

  1.     From the report on the Scorecard and engagement with participants at this retreat, it is encouraging to note that progress has been made on all fronts, in spite of the multiple challenges that have arisen since our coming to office.

 

  1.     I therefore commend your efforts, commitment and resilience to the cardinal aspiration of this Administration. As I stated in my opening remarks yesterday, ‘the Nigerian people expect dedication and commitment by all of us in implementing polices, programmes and projects to improve the quality of their lives and set Nigeria on the path of prosperity.

 

  1.     Let me reassure all Nigerians that this Administration remains resolute in initiating programmes aimed at improving the quality of lives and uplifting 100 million Nigerians out of poverty over the next ten years.

 

  1.     The proceedings of the last two days have been designed to ensure the attainment of Ministerial deliverables is on track and to accelerate achievement of the Nine Priority Areas in the face of current challenges.

 

  1.     Distinguished participants, the discussions at the retreat have revealed that our country has what it takes to weather through the storms of contemporary challenges.

 

  1.     Within these few days we have examined the numerous policies, programmes and projects the Administration has embarked upon which are targeted at lifting our people from the shackles of poverty, protect their lives and properties and ensure equitable distribution of the nation’s wealth.

 

  1.     We aim to gradually close the gap between the different classes to bring joy to a greater number of the citizens.

 

  1.     I am glad that these policies, programmes and projects have recorded appreciable successes. Our renewed vigor on agriculture has been demonstrated through our Anchor Borrowers Programme and the Presidential Fertilizer Initiative.

 

  1. We have made progress on the railway projects with a view to connecting different parts of the country. The Lagos-Ibadan rail line is up and working. The Abuja-Kaduna rail line is efficiently running.

 

  1. Arrangements are being made to complete the Ibadan – Kano, commence the Port Harcourt – Maiduguri line which will connect the Southern and Eastern States to the Northern States.

 

  1.   Work is ongoing at the 2nd Niger Bridge and is at 46% completion. We hope to commission the project before the end of our tenure in 2023.

 

  1.   Several contracts have been awarded to rehabilitate, reconstruct and construct our arterial roads, to reduce the hardship to commuters and increase economic activities across the States.

 

  1.   We have flagged off the Ajaokuta-Kaduna-Kano (AKK) Gas Pipeline Project which is being developed at this critical time in Nigeria’s commitment to increasing our infrastructure assets and promote the use of gas in the domestic market.

 

  1.   Our anticorruption fight requires no emphasis. We have made consistent efforts to build strong institutional capacities in the fight against corruption by strengthening our anti-corruption Agencies, including  the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, Independent Corrupt Practices and other related offences Commission, the Code of Conduct Bureau and Code of Conduct Tribunal supported by a Presidential Advisory Committee on Anti-Corruption, such that they work independently and jointly, being guided by Law.

 

  1.   We have also worked to address emergent cases of insecurity and insurgency in the country with innovative approaches such as “Operation Safe Corridor,” which de-radicalize, rehabilitate, and reintegrate willingly surrendered Boko Haram members into the larger society. Our security operations in the Niger Delta, North Central and North Western States are yielding desired results. We hope to get rid of bandits, kidnappers and other criminal elements in these regions.

 

  1.   The advent of COVID-19 pandemic and its attendant negative effect is being addressed through the constitution of a Presidential Task Force for proper coordination and the launch of the 12-month Economic Sustainability Plan to cushion the effect of the pandemic on our citizens and business owners.

 

  1.   Your Excellencies, Distinguished participants, I am confident that the lessons we have learned in the last one year of implementation of policies, programmes and projects, deliberations and resolutions from the different sessions, and experience sharing from various speakers will serve as the needed tool to propel every Ministry to the next level of achievement.

 

  1. More importantly, the trust reposed in us by Nigerians remains the ultimate driving force. We cannot afford to lose focus, regardless of the challenges. Our eyes must therefore remain fixed on the ultimate goal.

 

  1.  More than ever before, I charge us all to play as a team, because that is what we are. A convoy is however only as strong as its slowest vessel.

 

  1.   To this end, the days of insufficient collaboration, coordination and synergy among implementing Ministries, Departments, and Agencies should be over.

 

  1.   In this regard, I have directed that a Central Delivery Coordination Unit at the Office of the Secretary to the Government of the Federation should be revived to ensure the much-needed synergy and focus on results. The Secretary to the Government of the Federation is to ensure regular reports on progress are submitted.

 

  1.   I have to charge all of you to defend the Government vigorously and not allow irresponsible and politically motivated activists to keep spreading patent falsehoods about this government. Information to the public should be better packaged. Go on the offensive. We are proud of our achievements and we should blow our own trumpets.

 

  1.   Let me also reiterate that all submissions for my attention or meeting requests be channeled through the Chief of Staff, while all Federal Executive Council matters be coordinated through the Secretary to the Government of the Federation.

 

  1.   I have directed the Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, the Governor of Central Bank of Nigeria, and all other responsible Agencies to ensure speedy and timely release of funds to MDAs for implementation of the N2.3Trillion Economic Sustainability Plan and the Capital Projects in the 2020 Budget.

 

  1.   I also enjoin Ministers to ensure that funds released are utilized efficiently and transparently in implementing the programmes and projects along the Nine Priorities of Government.

 

  1.   I am hereby charging Ministers, Permanent Secretaries and all Heads of Parastatals to be continuously conscious of their commitments and responsibilities. On behalf of the people of Nigeria, I demand the uttermost level of performance, deliverables, and results.

 

  1.  I look forward to a result-oriented year, with tremendous benefits that will continue to change the lives of our people positively.

 

I thank you for your attention and God bless the Federal Republic of Nigeria.

Categories
Abuja Abuja News Africa APC Breaking News City News

CLOSING ADDRESS BY HIS EXCELLENCY, MUHAMMADU BUHARI, PRESIDENT OF THE FEDERAL REPUBLIC OF NIGERIA, AT THE FIRST YEAR MINISTERIAL PERFORMANCE REVIEW RETREAT STATE HOUSE CONFERENCE CENTRE, ABUJA

 

8TH SEPTEMBER, 2020

 

Protocols:

 

The last two days have provided an opportunity for us to undertake an objective assessment of our stewardship of the contract we have signed with the Nigerian people since the inception of our second tenure as a Government.

 

  1.     From the report on the Scorecard and engagement with participants at this retreat, it is encouraging to note that progress has been made on all fronts, in spite of the multiple challenges that have arisen since our coming to office.

 

  1.     I therefore commend your efforts, commitment and resilience to the cardinal aspiration of this Administration. As I stated in my opening remarks yesterday, ‘the Nigerian people expect dedication and commitment by all of us in implementing polices, programmes and projects to improve the quality of their lives and set Nigeria on the path of prosperity.

 

  1.     Let me reassure all Nigerians that this Administration remains resolute in initiating programmes aimed at improving the quality of lives and uplifting 100 million Nigerians out of poverty over the next ten years.

 

  1.     The proceedings of the last two days have been designed to ensure the attainment of Ministerial deliverables is on track and to accelerate achievement of the Nine Priority Areas in the face of current challenges.

 

  1.     Distinguished participants, the discussions at the retreat have revealed that our country has what it takes to weather through the storms of contemporary challenges.

 

  1.     Within these few days we have examined the numerous policies, programmes and projects the Administration has embarked upon which are targeted at lifting our people from the shackles of poverty, protect their lives and properties and ensure equitable distribution of the nation’s wealth.

 

  1.     We aim to gradually close the gap between the different classes to bring joy to a greater number of the citizens.

 

  1.     I am glad that these policies, programmes and projects have recorded appreciable successes. Our renewed vigor on agriculture has been demonstrated through our Anchor Borrowers Programme and the Presidential Fertilizer Initiative.

 

  1. We have made progress on the railway projects with a view to connecting different parts of the country. The Lagos-Ibadan rail line is up and working. The Abuja-Kaduna rail line is efficiently running.

 

  1. Arrangements are being made to complete the Ibadan – Kano, commence the Port Harcourt – Maiduguri line which will connect the Southern and Eastern States to the Northern States.

 

  1.   Work is ongoing at the 2nd Niger Bridge and is at 46% completion. We hope to commission the project before the end of our tenure in 2023.

 

  1.   Several contracts have been awarded to rehabilitate, reconstruct and construct our arterial roads, to reduce the hardship to commuters and increase economic activities across the States.

 

  1.   We have flagged off the Ajaokuta-Kaduna-Kano (AKK) Gas Pipeline Project which is being developed at this critical time in Nigeria’s commitment to increasing our infrastructure assets and promote the use of gas in the domestic market.

 

  1.   Our anticorruption fight requires no emphasis. We have made consistent efforts to build strong institutional capacities in the fight against corruption by strengthening our anti-corruption Agencies, including  the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, Independent Corrupt Practices and other related offences Commission, the Code of Conduct Bureau and Code of Conduct Tribunal supported by a Presidential Advisory Committee on Anti-Corruption, such that they work independently and jointly, being guided by Law.

 

  1.   We have also worked to address emergent cases of insecurity and insurgency in the country with innovative approaches such as “Operation Safe Corridor,” which de-radicalize, rehabilitate, and reintegrate willingly surrendered Boko Haram members into the larger society. Our security operations in the Niger Delta, North Central and North Western States are yielding desired results. We hope to get rid of bandits, kidnappers and other criminal elements in these regions.

 

  1.   The advent of COVID-19 pandemic and its attendant negative effect is being addressed through the constitution of a Presidential Task Force for proper coordination and the launch of the 12-month Economic Sustainability Plan to cushion the effect of the pandemic on our citizens and business owners.

 

  1.   Your Excellencies, Distinguished participants, I am confident that the lessons we have learned in the last one year of implementation of policies, programmes and projects, deliberations and resolutions from the different sessions, and experience sharing from various speakers will serve as the needed tool to propel every Ministry to the next level of achievement.

 

  1. More importantly, the trust reposed in us by Nigerians remains the ultimate driving force. We cannot afford to lose focus, regardless of the challenges. Our eyes must therefore remain fixed on the ultimate goal.

 

  1.  More than ever before, I charge us all to play as a team, because that is what we are. A convoy is however only as strong as its slowest vessel.

 

  1.   To this end, the days of insufficient collaboration, coordination and synergy among implementing Ministries, Departments, and Agencies should be over.

 

  1.   In this regard, I have directed that a Central Delivery Coordination Unit at the Office of the Secretary to the Government of the Federation should be revived to ensure the much-needed synergy and focus on results. The Secretary to the Government of the Federation is to ensure regular reports on progress are submitted.

 

  1.   I have to charge all of you to defend the Government vigorously and not allow irresponsible and politically motivated activists to keep spreading patent falsehoods about this government. Information to the public should be better packaged. Go on the offensive. We are proud of our achievements and we should blow our own trumpets.

 

  1.   Let me also reiterate that all submissions for my attention or meeting requests be channeled through the Chief of Staff, while all Federal Executive Council matters be coordinated through the Secretary to the Government of the Federation.

 

  1.   I have directed the Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, the Governor of Central Bank of Nigeria, and all other responsible Agencies to ensure speedy and timely release of funds to MDAs for implementation of the N2.3Trillion Economic Sustainability Plan and the Capital Projects in the 2020 Budget.

 

  1.   I also enjoin Ministers to ensure that funds released are utilized efficiently and transparently in implementing the programmes and projects along the Nine Priorities of Government.

 

  1.   I am hereby charging Ministers, Permanent Secretaries and all Heads of Parastatals to be continuously conscious of their commitments and responsibilities. On behalf of the people of Nigeria, I demand the uttermost level of performance, deliverables, and results.

 

  1.  I look forward to a result-oriented year, with tremendous benefits that will continue to change the lives of our people positively.

 

I thank you for your attention and God bless the Federal Republic of Nigeria.