New Year 2023 Message from President Buhari
My compatriots and compatriots,
A very happy and prosperous new year to you.
First, I would like to thank and honor the Almighty who helped us through the year 2022 and has given us a chance to see another year. Each New Year is an opportunity to reflect on the past year, reposition yourself, and move on with the New.
As we celebrate the chance to be alive in the year 2023, we must also acknowledge the passing of our brothers and sisters who did not make it to this new year. May their souls rest in perfect peace.
This year is particularly important to me because this message is essentially a farewell. After having the honor of serving you, my countrymen, for more than seven years, my term as your President in the most revered tradition of our ongoing and maturing democracy must necessarily come to an end. In the next five months we would have gone to the polls and elected a new president along with new governors and a plethora of other elected officials at both the national and state levels.
All of these electoral and democratic principles are working together because of the transcendent beliefs, beyond partisan politics, of you, the great citizen of Nigeria. In addition, my personal commitment and executive promise to ensure that the 2023 elections, which are diligently conducted by INEC, are free and fair. The collective electoral will and the votes of Nigerians will be fulfilled, even in the twilight moments of my turn.
Reflecting on the year 2022 allows us as a government to examine our legacy of successes and challenges. As we celebrate our victories and review the obstacles, we must all understand that governance is a continuum, which still places a transitional responsibility on this administration to provide the incoming government with an unbiased and objective roadmap to 2023. We as Nigeria; a country united under the will of God and actively growing as one indivisible entity, they have been trained year after year, decade after decade, to weather all stormy waters and emerge stronger and better where others have fallen and disintegrated. This has made us a unique nation throughout the world and on our continent.
In the year 2023 Nigerians go to the polls to exercise our right to vote and elect a new administration, it is an important year for our country to ensure we have another smooth transition of government, to whoever the people have decided. This administration’s historic Election Amendment Act will ensure that we have free and fair elections across the country. We as Nigerians must also take responsibility to ensure that we participate in ensuring that the 2023 elections are free and fair by not engaging in anti-state activities and other nefarious acts that may affect the conduct of the polls. We must also resist any attempt to be used by politicians to riot in any way to disrupt elections. We as a government will ensure that such activities are carried out to the full force of the law.
As our law enforcement agencies continue to make the country proud, we must continue to help our patriotic forces by providing much-needed community intelligence. It is our collective responsibility to ensure that Nigeria remains safe and peaceful for all of us. Therefore, we have a duty and an obligation to support our troops and intelligence agencies by being vigilant and reporting anything suspicious. The fight against the insurgency in the Northeast region has continuously registered very clear victories in the last year. The federal government and the Borno state government have begun the return journey of internally displaced persons to their ancestral homes previously occupied by insurgents. Furthermore, more than 82,000 insurgents with their families have surrendered to the Nigerian army. The rehabilitation program (Operation Safe Corridor) is currently processing several surrendered insurgents. The fight against banditry, kidnapping and other crimes in the Northwest and other regions is gaining momentum and showing very clear results. One of which is the resumption of train service along the Kaduna corridor to Abuja.
In the aftermath of the EndSars, our administration heeded and instituted the ongoing Police Reform program based on a new Presidential Vision for Police in Nigeria. This new vision is framed in a clear roadmap that transcends the mandate of this administration and is based on six principles: a) Building trust and legitimacy b) Leadership, accountability and supervision c) Technology and digital media d ) Community Policing and Crime Reduction e) Training and Education of Officers f) Financing, Welfare, Welfare and Security of Officers.
This reform program is largely in its foundational phase, but it has recorded notable successes in improving police welfare and pay. Other achievements have been the ongoing training of 500 police cadet instructors to enable a better training regime for the first batch of 10,000 new cadets in 2022 with a further batch of 10,000 by 2023. In support of these reforms has been the sourcing new material for the Nigerian Police must constantly improve its constitutional responsibility to enforce law and order, protect life and property, and peace and security on the streets.
Despite the current global economic crisis, we have been able to weather the storms. Inflation around the world is at an all time high, the Federal Government has been determined through its economic interventions to stay afloat during this period. 2022 brought a combined impact of ongoing wars and COVID-19 side effects. Despite creating its own fiscal challenges, we have continued to subsidize our energy costs to protect households from the inflationary pressure of high energy costs. In 2023, we are focused on building on our GDP and sustaining the huge increase in non-oil GDP growth.
Nigeria’s Start-up Bill has been passed into law. This is considered a big step in reducing our unemployment numbers by boosting job creation and supporting the entrepreneurial drive of our youth. If you remember, in my 2021 New Year’s speech, I mentioned the need to secure the future of our youth by recognizing that our youth are our most valuable natural resource, at home and abroad. In this sense, we work with the legislature to develop a law that allows turning their passions into ideas that can be supported, prepared and scaled in all regions. 2023 will see the implementation of the Nigerian Start-up Act across the country.
The year 2023 would indeed be a time when we would work to solidify ourselves in delivering key strategic priorities under our “SEA” Agenda (Security, Economy and Anti-Corruption). Some of the key priority areas where we would direct our attention and strengths include:
a. Focus on SAFETY; We will continue to engage, push back, and dismantle the operations of internal and external criminal groups and extremists waging war against our communities across the country. We will also focus on ensuring that free and fair elections are held in February 2023. Our security forces are working together to ensure that the victories we have won in the war against insurgency, banditry, secession and other crimes are upheld. and get more victories.
b. For the ECONOMY; our approach would be to maintain and build economic growth through the national economic diversification agenda that supports the goal of national food self-sufficiency and growth in non-oil sources. The ongoing infrastructure revolution by our administration will see us deliver key projects across the country in power, rail, highway, ports, and technology.
C. ANTI-CORRUPTION: In our administration’s anti-corruption campaign, we have created new records in this fight, going from 117 convictions in 2017 to 3,615 convictions in December 2022. We, as a government, are committed to ridding our nation in every way . of corruption, through collaboration with all branches of the Government to effectively carry out this fight.
As we receive the New Year, let us look with hope to 2023, the year to move as a Nation towards unity, progress and prosperity. I offer my own personal congratulations, taking into account the varying opinions and interpretations of our executive legacies. I welcome and accept both praise and criticism in equal measure, confident that I did my best to serve our beloved country Nigeria and I pray that the next president will also take up the slack and continue the race to make Nigeria one of major countries in the world at the end of this century.
Long live the Nigerian spirit of oneness, togetherness and unity. Long live the Federal Republic of Nigeria. A happy and prosperous new year.
God bless you.
President, Federal Republic of Nigeria.