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  •  The Manufacturers Association of Nigeria MAN on Wednesday urged commercial banks and the Organised Private Sector OPS to join hands to grow the economy Mr Mansur Ahmed President of MAN gave the advice at the first National Stakeholders Conference organised by the Association of Corporate Affairs Managers of Banks ACAMB in partnership with the Chartered Institute of Bankers of Nigeria CIBN in Lagos The News Agency of Nigeria reports that the conference supported by Access Bank Ecobank FirstBank and Zenith Bank had Promoting Synergy Between the Banking Industry and the Organised Private Sector as the theme Ahmed said that the performance and development of both sectors were expedient for the sustainability of the economy hence the need for both sectors to work together to reduce poverty attract investment and boost economic growth The traditional industry bank lending relationship is no longer supporting the growth of the industry the bank and the economy as a whole Industry activities have massively declined showing rising number of moribund industries across the country and the increasing capital flight Based on this information it is important that the commercial banks and the industry should come together to chart new ways of supporting each other to the benefit of all There is no doubt that the industry needs the bank to increase investment and production while the bank needs the industry for interest payment incomes and equity subscription he said He therefore recommended that the commercial bank should develop corporate patriotism to strengthen the willingness to lend at the interest rate that supports both the industry and the banking sector for the sake of the economy He stressed the need to prioritise attention to industry foreign exchange requests particularly in this period of acute shortage Ahmed represented by Mr Ambrose Oruche Director Corporate Services of MAN also urged the banks to ensure that government or international development funds were well accessed without undue difficult conditionality He recommended the creation of a process that would support equipment acquisition in the industry and creation of funds to support industry bank joint venture for easy financing of specific industry business He also suggested the creation of a unit for business support and capacity development for the industry as well as a trade support unit Mr Ide Udeagbala President Nigerian Association of Chambers of Commerce Industry Mines and Agriculture NACCIMA represented by Mr Ayo Osinloye urged stakeholders to provide answers to the difficult challenges being faced by the private sector They face weak infrastructure especially in terms of power transportation and workspace They lack a collective voice and have relatively weak influence of policy formulation They have poor access to vital resources especially finance Udeagbala said Also speaking Mr Eboagwu Ezulu Deputy Director Financial System Stability Directorate of the Central Bank of Nigeria CBN advised the OPS to approach the development financing institutions for financial assistance I am aware that the Development Bank of Nigeria was established in collaboration with the CBN to provide funding as well as the Bank of Industry established to support the manufacturing sector Have we the manufacturing sector approached those entities to utilise the funds available rather than asking the commercial banks Banks are supposed to approach the CBN on behalf of their customers to solve these problems the commercial banks lend for credit purpose they have the primary responsibility to protect their depositors Ezulu said Dr Ken Opara the CIBN President noted that the organised private sectors were the real drivers of real sector growth and economic advancement through industrialisation job creation provision of goods and services and poverty alleviation Thus a well functioning financial system and a rigorous private sector are important drivers of national growth in terms of Gross Domestic Product employment generation economic stability and poverty reduction However I must admit that there are still a lot of untapped opportunity between these two critical sectors some of which are attributable to lack of proper handshake between the bodies Given the interdependence of both sector it has become imperative for both to work mutually for the growth of the nation s economy Opara said Earlier Mr Rasheed Bolarinwa President ACAMB said that the outlook of the conference was essentially to develop a workable roadmap for the two sectors to synergise for the benefit of the national economy Finance the essence of banking is the driving force for the private sector Capital is probably the primary factor of production On the other side the private sector as the end users of banking services and the largest sector of the economy is also conversely the driver of a sustainable and viral banking sector So I will say there is a symbiotic relationship between the two sectors banking is important to the private sector just as the private sector is important to the banks That explains why this conference is taking place So it is safe to conclude that the more active and synergistic the relationship between banking and private sector the more we are collectively able to develop and grow the national economy for sustainable Nigeria he said NewsSourceCredit NAN
    MAN tasks banks, OPS on economic growth
     The Manufacturers Association of Nigeria MAN on Wednesday urged commercial banks and the Organised Private Sector OPS to join hands to grow the economy Mr Mansur Ahmed President of MAN gave the advice at the first National Stakeholders Conference organised by the Association of Corporate Affairs Managers of Banks ACAMB in partnership with the Chartered Institute of Bankers of Nigeria CIBN in Lagos The News Agency of Nigeria reports that the conference supported by Access Bank Ecobank FirstBank and Zenith Bank had Promoting Synergy Between the Banking Industry and the Organised Private Sector as the theme Ahmed said that the performance and development of both sectors were expedient for the sustainability of the economy hence the need for both sectors to work together to reduce poverty attract investment and boost economic growth The traditional industry bank lending relationship is no longer supporting the growth of the industry the bank and the economy as a whole Industry activities have massively declined showing rising number of moribund industries across the country and the increasing capital flight Based on this information it is important that the commercial banks and the industry should come together to chart new ways of supporting each other to the benefit of all There is no doubt that the industry needs the bank to increase investment and production while the bank needs the industry for interest payment incomes and equity subscription he said He therefore recommended that the commercial bank should develop corporate patriotism to strengthen the willingness to lend at the interest rate that supports both the industry and the banking sector for the sake of the economy He stressed the need to prioritise attention to industry foreign exchange requests particularly in this period of acute shortage Ahmed represented by Mr Ambrose Oruche Director Corporate Services of MAN also urged the banks to ensure that government or international development funds were well accessed without undue difficult conditionality He recommended the creation of a process that would support equipment acquisition in the industry and creation of funds to support industry bank joint venture for easy financing of specific industry business He also suggested the creation of a unit for business support and capacity development for the industry as well as a trade support unit Mr Ide Udeagbala President Nigerian Association of Chambers of Commerce Industry Mines and Agriculture NACCIMA represented by Mr Ayo Osinloye urged stakeholders to provide answers to the difficult challenges being faced by the private sector They face weak infrastructure especially in terms of power transportation and workspace They lack a collective voice and have relatively weak influence of policy formulation They have poor access to vital resources especially finance Udeagbala said Also speaking Mr Eboagwu Ezulu Deputy Director Financial System Stability Directorate of the Central Bank of Nigeria CBN advised the OPS to approach the development financing institutions for financial assistance I am aware that the Development Bank of Nigeria was established in collaboration with the CBN to provide funding as well as the Bank of Industry established to support the manufacturing sector Have we the manufacturing sector approached those entities to utilise the funds available rather than asking the commercial banks Banks are supposed to approach the CBN on behalf of their customers to solve these problems the commercial banks lend for credit purpose they have the primary responsibility to protect their depositors Ezulu said Dr Ken Opara the CIBN President noted that the organised private sectors were the real drivers of real sector growth and economic advancement through industrialisation job creation provision of goods and services and poverty alleviation Thus a well functioning financial system and a rigorous private sector are important drivers of national growth in terms of Gross Domestic Product employment generation economic stability and poverty reduction However I must admit that there are still a lot of untapped opportunity between these two critical sectors some of which are attributable to lack of proper handshake between the bodies Given the interdependence of both sector it has become imperative for both to work mutually for the growth of the nation s economy Opara said Earlier Mr Rasheed Bolarinwa President ACAMB said that the outlook of the conference was essentially to develop a workable roadmap for the two sectors to synergise for the benefit of the national economy Finance the essence of banking is the driving force for the private sector Capital is probably the primary factor of production On the other side the private sector as the end users of banking services and the largest sector of the economy is also conversely the driver of a sustainable and viral banking sector So I will say there is a symbiotic relationship between the two sectors banking is important to the private sector just as the private sector is important to the banks That explains why this conference is taking place So it is safe to conclude that the more active and synergistic the relationship between banking and private sector the more we are collectively able to develop and grow the national economy for sustainable Nigeria he said NewsSourceCredit NAN
    MAN tasks banks, OPS on economic growth
    Economy2 months ago

    MAN tasks banks, OPS on economic growth

    The Manufacturers Association of Nigeria (MAN) on Wednesday urged commercial banks and the Organised Private Sector (OPS) to join hands to grow the economy.

    Mr Mansur Ahmed, President of MAN, gave the advice at the first National Stakeholders Conference organised by the Association of Corporate Affairs Managers of Banks (ACAMB) in partnership with the Chartered Institute of Bankers of Nigeria (CIBN) in Lagos.

    The News Agency of Nigeria reports that the conference supported by Access Bank, Ecobank, FirstBank and Zenith Bank had: “Promoting Synergy Between the Banking Industry and the Organised Private Sector,’’ as the theme.

    Ahmed said that the performance and development of both sectors were expedient for the sustainability of the economy; hence, the need for both sectors to work together to reduce poverty, attract investment and boost economic growth.

    “The traditional industry-bank lending relationship is no longer supporting the growth of the industry, the bank and the economy, as a whole.

    “ Industry activities have massively declined showing rising number of moribund industries across the country and the increasing capital flight.

    “ Based on this information, it is important that the commercial banks and the industry should come together to chart new ways of supporting each other to the benefit of all.

    “ There is no doubt that the industry needs the bank to increase investment and production while the bank needs the industry for interest payment incomes and equity subscription,’’ he said.

    He, therefore, recommended that the commercial bank should develop corporate patriotism to strengthen the willingness to lend at the interest rate that supports both the industry and the banking sector for the sake of the economy.

    He stressed the need to prioritise attention to industry foreign exchange requests, particularly in this period of acute shortage.

    Ahmed represented by Mr Ambrose Oruche, Director, Corporate Services of MAN, also urged the banks to ensure that government or international development funds were well accessed without undue difficult conditionality.

    He recommended the creation of a process that would support  equipment acquisition in the industry and creation of funds to support industry-bank joint venture for easy financing of specific industry business.

    He also suggested the creation of a unit for business support and capacity development for the industry as well as a trade support unit.

    Mr Ide Udeagbala, President, Nigerian Association of Chambers of Commerce, Industry, Mines and Agriculture (NACCIMA), represented by Mr Ayo Osinloye, urged stakeholders to provide answers to the difficult challenges being faced by the private sector.

    “They face weak infrastructure, especially in terms of power, transportation, and workspace.

    They lack a collective voice and have relatively weak influence of policy formulation.

    They have poor access to vital resources, especially finance,” Udeagbala said.

    Also speaking, Mr Eboagwu Ezulu, Deputy Director, Financial System Stability Directorate of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), advised the OPS to approach the development financing institutions for financial assistance.

    “I am aware that the Development Bank of Nigeria was established in collaboration with the CBN to provide funding as well as the Bank of Industry established to support the manufacturing sector.

    “Have we the manufacturing sector approached those entities to utilise the funds available rather than asking the commercial banks?

    “Banks are supposed to approach the CBN on behalf of their customers to solve these problems; the commercial banks lend for credit purpose, they have the primary responsibility to protect their depositors,’’ Ezulu said Dr Ken Opara, the CIBN President, noted that the organised private sectors were the real drivers of real sector growth and economic advancement through industrialisation, job creation, provision of goods and services and poverty alleviation.

    “Thus a well-functioning financial system and a rigorous private sector are important drivers of national growth in terms of  Gross Domestic Product, employment generation, economic stability and poverty reduction.

    “However, I must admit that there are still a lot of untapped opportunity between these two critical sectors some of which are attributable to lack of proper handshake between the bodies.

    “Given the interdependence of both sector, it has become imperative for both to work mutually for the growth of the nation’s economy,’’ Opara said.

    Earlier, Mr Rasheed Bolarinwa, President ACAMB, said that the outlook of the conference was essentially to develop a workable roadmap for the two sectors to synergise for the benefit of the national economy.

    “Finance, the essence of banking is the driving force for the private sector.  

    Capital, is probably the primary factor of production.

    “On the other side, the private sector, as the end users of banking services and the largest sector of the economy, is also conversely the driver of a sustainable and viral banking sector.

    “So, I will say there is a symbiotic relationship between the two sectors, banking is important to the private sector, just as the private sector is important to the banks.

    That explains why this conference is taking place.

    “So, it is safe to conclude that the more active and synergistic the relationship between banking and private sector, the more we are collectively able to develop and grow the national economy for sustainable Nigeria,’’ he said.

    (
    NewsSourceCredit: NAN

  •   By Ismaila Chafe Infrastructure President Muhammadu Buhari approved the creation of Infraco Plc a world class infrastructure development vehicle fully focused on Nigeria with a capital structure of N15 trillion The president revealed it on Saturday in a broadcast to mark this year s Democracy Day He expressed optimism that the company when fully functional will solve the country s infrastructure deficits and eventually transform the economy He also revealed that his administration had succeeded in accelerating infrastructure development through sensible and transparent borrowing improved capital inflow improved and increased income through the capture of more plates fiscal policies and prudent management of investment products in the Sovereign Fund According to him the rail system is not left out as the Itakpe Warri standard track rail was completed and put into service 33 years after construction began He said the Lagos Ibadan double track railway line which he inaugurated on June 10 2021 had started to operate We are working to ensure that our infrastructure strategy is the key to economic growth and that all Nigerians can feel it Building critical infrastructure in our ports also opens up opportunities for the Nigerian economy My approval for four new seaports using a public private partnership approach is based on the growth of the Nigerian economy These four seaports Lekki Deep Water Port Bonny Deep Water Port Ibom Deep Water Port and Warri Deep Water Port will create huge employment opportunities and foreign investment flows We have worked on deepening our eastern ports which has led to success such as the docking of three container ships at the port of Calabar a first in 11 years Likewise on October 30 2019 an LPG tanker operated by NLNG docked at Port Harcourt the first time an LPG vessel has called at one of the eastern ports As we invest in these new assets we have also made progress in ensuring that they are secure and protected In this regard I am also pleased to note the launch of the NIMASA Deep Blue project an integrated national security and waterway protection infrastructure that I recently commissioned This initiative is designed to add to the layer of security we have to protect our maritime sector he added The president also listed his administration s achievements in the agricultural sector to include the Anchor Borrowers Program which saw the country s main food import bill drop sharply from 2 23 billion in 2014 to 0 59 billion at the end of 2018 According to him the bill for rice imports alone has also risen from 1 billion to 18 5 million per year He observed that the Anchor Borrowers initiative had supported local production of rice maize cotton and cassava He revealed that the government had funded 2 5 million smallholder farmers cultivating about 3 2 million hectares of farmland across the country and created 10 million direct and indirect jobs Several other initiatives namely the Agricultural Small and Medium Enterprise Investment Program Non Oil Export Stimulation Facility Targeted Credit Facilities have been implemented in the 774 local governments In the manufacturing sector the 200 billion naira CBN BOI facility has financed the creation and operation of 60 new industrial hubs across the country creating around 890 000 direct and indirect jobs he added The President noted that the Nigerian Central Bank s Textile Intervention Facility of 50 billion naira has increased the capacity utilization of ginning plants from 30 percent to nearly 90 percent According to him the economic sustainability plan the national rebound plan for the COVID 19 pandemic developed in 2020 is currently being implemented He said the plan was primarily focused on the non oil sector which had experienced phenomenal growth contributing more than 90 to GDP growth in the first quarter of 2021 Although marginal we recorded GDP growth over two quarters Q2 2020 and Q1 2021 This is proof of successful execution of the PES by the federal government Buhari said his administration s vision of lifting 100 million poor Nigerians out of poverty within 10 years had been implemented and could be seen in the National Social Investment Program A first in Africa and one of the largest in the world with more than 32 6 million beneficiaries participating We now have a national social registry of poor and vulnerable households identified in 708 local government areas 8 723 neighborhoods and 86 610 communities in the 36 states and the CTF He further maintained that the administration s conditional cash transfer program had benefited over 1 6 million poor and vulnerable households comprising over eight million people saying that this provides a monthly allowance of N 10 000 per household The president revealed that he had recently approved the National Poverty Reduction and Growth Strategy Plan which complements existing plans to further reduce poverty in the country He said By the end of 2020 the Development Bank of Nigeria had disbursed 324 billion naira in loans to over 136 000 MSMEs through 40 participating financial institutions I should note that 57 percent of these beneficiaries are women while 27 percent are young people he said NAA NAN
    FG approves establishment of N15trn Infraco Plc to boost infrastructure dev’t – Buhari
      By Ismaila Chafe Infrastructure President Muhammadu Buhari approved the creation of Infraco Plc a world class infrastructure development vehicle fully focused on Nigeria with a capital structure of N15 trillion The president revealed it on Saturday in a broadcast to mark this year s Democracy Day He expressed optimism that the company when fully functional will solve the country s infrastructure deficits and eventually transform the economy He also revealed that his administration had succeeded in accelerating infrastructure development through sensible and transparent borrowing improved capital inflow improved and increased income through the capture of more plates fiscal policies and prudent management of investment products in the Sovereign Fund According to him the rail system is not left out as the Itakpe Warri standard track rail was completed and put into service 33 years after construction began He said the Lagos Ibadan double track railway line which he inaugurated on June 10 2021 had started to operate We are working to ensure that our infrastructure strategy is the key to economic growth and that all Nigerians can feel it Building critical infrastructure in our ports also opens up opportunities for the Nigerian economy My approval for four new seaports using a public private partnership approach is based on the growth of the Nigerian economy These four seaports Lekki Deep Water Port Bonny Deep Water Port Ibom Deep Water Port and Warri Deep Water Port will create huge employment opportunities and foreign investment flows We have worked on deepening our eastern ports which has led to success such as the docking of three container ships at the port of Calabar a first in 11 years Likewise on October 30 2019 an LPG tanker operated by NLNG docked at Port Harcourt the first time an LPG vessel has called at one of the eastern ports As we invest in these new assets we have also made progress in ensuring that they are secure and protected In this regard I am also pleased to note the launch of the NIMASA Deep Blue project an integrated national security and waterway protection infrastructure that I recently commissioned This initiative is designed to add to the layer of security we have to protect our maritime sector he added The president also listed his administration s achievements in the agricultural sector to include the Anchor Borrowers Program which saw the country s main food import bill drop sharply from 2 23 billion in 2014 to 0 59 billion at the end of 2018 According to him the bill for rice imports alone has also risen from 1 billion to 18 5 million per year He observed that the Anchor Borrowers initiative had supported local production of rice maize cotton and cassava He revealed that the government had funded 2 5 million smallholder farmers cultivating about 3 2 million hectares of farmland across the country and created 10 million direct and indirect jobs Several other initiatives namely the Agricultural Small and Medium Enterprise Investment Program Non Oil Export Stimulation Facility Targeted Credit Facilities have been implemented in the 774 local governments In the manufacturing sector the 200 billion naira CBN BOI facility has financed the creation and operation of 60 new industrial hubs across the country creating around 890 000 direct and indirect jobs he added The President noted that the Nigerian Central Bank s Textile Intervention Facility of 50 billion naira has increased the capacity utilization of ginning plants from 30 percent to nearly 90 percent According to him the economic sustainability plan the national rebound plan for the COVID 19 pandemic developed in 2020 is currently being implemented He said the plan was primarily focused on the non oil sector which had experienced phenomenal growth contributing more than 90 to GDP growth in the first quarter of 2021 Although marginal we recorded GDP growth over two quarters Q2 2020 and Q1 2021 This is proof of successful execution of the PES by the federal government Buhari said his administration s vision of lifting 100 million poor Nigerians out of poverty within 10 years had been implemented and could be seen in the National Social Investment Program A first in Africa and one of the largest in the world with more than 32 6 million beneficiaries participating We now have a national social registry of poor and vulnerable households identified in 708 local government areas 8 723 neighborhoods and 86 610 communities in the 36 states and the CTF He further maintained that the administration s conditional cash transfer program had benefited over 1 6 million poor and vulnerable households comprising over eight million people saying that this provides a monthly allowance of N 10 000 per household The president revealed that he had recently approved the National Poverty Reduction and Growth Strategy Plan which complements existing plans to further reduce poverty in the country He said By the end of 2020 the Development Bank of Nigeria had disbursed 324 billion naira in loans to over 136 000 MSMEs through 40 participating financial institutions I should note that 57 percent of these beneficiaries are women while 27 percent are young people he said NAA NAN
    FG approves establishment of N15trn Infraco Plc to boost infrastructure dev’t – Buhari
    General news1 year ago

    FG approves establishment of N15trn Infraco Plc to boost infrastructure dev’t – Buhari

    By Ismaila Chafe

    Infrastructure

    President Muhammadu Buhari approved the creation of Infraco Plc, a world-class infrastructure development vehicle fully focused on Nigeria with a capital structure of N15 trillion.

    The president revealed it on Saturday in a broadcast to mark this year's Democracy Day.

    He expressed optimism that the company, when fully functional, will solve the country's infrastructure deficits and eventually transform the economy.

    He also revealed that his administration had succeeded in accelerating infrastructure development through sensible and transparent borrowing, improved capital inflow, improved and increased income through the capture of more plates. fiscal policies and prudent management of investment products in the Sovereign Fund.

    According to him, the rail system is not left out as the Itakpe-Warri standard track rail was completed and put into service 33 years after construction began.

    He said the Lagos-Ibadan double-track railway line, which he inaugurated on June 10, 2021, had started to operate.

    “We are working to ensure that our infrastructure strategy is the key to economic growth and that all Nigerians can feel it. Building critical infrastructure in our ports also opens up opportunities for the Nigerian economy.

    “My approval for four new seaports using a public-private partnership approach is based on the growth of the Nigerian economy.

    “These four seaports; Lekki Deep Water Port, Bonny Deep Water Port, Ibom Deep Water Port and Warri Deep Water Port will create huge employment opportunities and foreign investment flows.

    “We have worked on deepening our eastern ports, which has led to success, such as the docking of three container ships at the port of Calabar, a first in 11 years.

    “Likewise, on October 30, 2019, an LPG tanker operated by NLNG docked at Port Harcourt, the first time an LPG vessel has called at one of the eastern ports.

    “As we invest in these new assets, we have also made progress in ensuring that they are secure and protected.

    “In this regard, I am also pleased to note the launch of the NIMASA Deep Blue project, an integrated national security and waterway protection infrastructure that I recently commissioned.

    "This initiative is designed to add to the layer of security we have to protect our maritime sector," he added.

    The president also listed his administration's achievements in the agricultural sector to include the Anchor Borrowers Program which saw the country's main food import bill drop sharply from $ 2.23 billion in 2014. to $ 0.59 billion at the end of 2018.

    According to him, the bill for rice imports alone has also risen from $ 1 billion to $ 18.5 million per year.

    He observed that the Anchor Borrowers initiative had supported local production of rice, maize, cotton and cassava.

    He revealed that the government had funded 2.5 million smallholder farmers cultivating about 3.2 million hectares of farmland across the country and created 10 million direct and indirect jobs.

    “Several other initiatives, namely the Agricultural / Small and Medium Enterprise Investment Program, Non-Oil Export Stimulation Facility, Targeted Credit Facilities have been implemented in the 774 local governments.

    "In the manufacturing sector, the 200 billion naira CBN - BOI facility has financed the creation and operation of 60 new industrial hubs across the country, creating around 890,000 direct and indirect jobs," he added. .

    The President noted that the Nigerian Central Bank's Textile Intervention Facility of 50 billion naira has increased the capacity utilization of ginning plants from 30 percent to nearly 90 percent.

    According to him, the economic sustainability plan - the national rebound plan for the COVID-19 pandemic developed in 2020, is currently being implemented.

    He said the plan was primarily focused on the non-oil sector, which had experienced phenomenal growth contributing more than 90% to GDP growth in the first quarter of 2021.

    “Although marginal, we recorded GDP growth over two quarters; Q2 2020 and Q1 2021. This is proof of successful execution of the PES by the federal government.

    Buhari said his administration's vision of lifting 100 million poor Nigerians out of poverty within 10 years had been implemented and could be seen in the National Social Investment Program; “A first in Africa and one of the largest in the world, with more than 32.6 million beneficiaries participating.

    “We now have a national social registry of poor and vulnerable households, identified in 708 local government areas, 8,723 neighborhoods and 86,610 communities in the 36 states and the CTF.

    He further maintained that the administration's conditional cash transfer program had benefited over 1.6 million poor and vulnerable households comprising over eight million people, saying that "this provides a monthly allowance of N 10,000. per household ”.

    The president revealed that he had recently approved the National Poverty Reduction and Growth Strategy Plan which complements existing plans to further reduce poverty in the country.

    He said: “By the end of 2020, the Development Bank of Nigeria had disbursed 324 billion naira in loans to over 136,000 MSMEs, through 40 participating financial institutions.

    "I should note that 57 percent of these beneficiaries are women while 27 percent are young people," he said. (NAA)

    (NAN)

  •   SPEECH BY HIS EXCELLENCY MUHAMMADU BUHARI PRESIDENT AND COMMANDER IN CHIEF OF THE ARMED FORCES FEDERAL REPUBLIC OF NIGERIA ON THE OCCASION OF COMMEMORATION AND CELEBRATION OF DEMOCRACY DAY ON 12TH JUNE 2021 Fellow Nigerians I join you all today to commemorate and celebrate our Democracy Day It is a celebration of freedom and a victory for one people one country and one Nigeria 2 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 3 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 4 The indefatigable CAN DO Spirit of the Nigerian has sustained us and would keep pushing us to put these challenges behind us 5 Unfortunately some of these challenges came in the shape of violent outrages leading to the loss of lives of many of our dear compatriots and the destruction of some of our infrastructure including those devoted to improving our democratic processes 6 Once again I want to render my sincere and heart felt condolences to the families and friends of our gallant service men and women who lost their lives in the line of duty and as a sacrifice to keep Nigeria safe 7 I extend the same condolence to the families and friends of our country men women and children who were unfortunate victims of such senseless arsons kidnappings and murders 8 I also share the pains of families and direct victims of ransom seeking kidnaped victims who went through unimaginable trauma in the course of their forced imprisonment 9 Let me assure my fellow citizens that every incident however minor gives me great worry and concern and I immediately order security agencies to swiftly but safely rescue victims and bring perpetrators to justice Fellow Nigerians 10 When you elected me as your President in 2015 you did so knowing that I will put an end to the growing insecurity especially the insurgency in the North East but the unintended consequences of our scattering them in the North East pushed them further in country which is what we are now facing and dealing with 11 We will by the Grace of God put an end to these challenges too 12 Unfortunately like in most conflict situations some Nigerian criminals are taking undue advantage of a difficult situation and profiteering therefrom with the misguided belief that adherence to the democratic norms handicaps this Administration from frontally and decisively tackling them 13 We are already addressing these obstacles and we will soon bring some of these culprits to justice 14 We are at the same time addressing the twin underlying drivers of insecurity namely poverty and youth unemployment 15 Interventions led by Government and the Central Bank of Nigeria driving economic growth over the past 6 years are targeted mostly to the agricultural services infrastructure power and health care sectors of the economy 16 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 17 Rice import bill alone dropped from 1 billion to 18 5 million annually 18 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 19 Several other initiatives namely AgriBusiness Small and Medium Enterprise Investment Scheme the Non oil Export stimulation Facility the Targeted Credit Facilities operated across the 774 Local Governments 20 In the manufacturing sector the CBN BOI 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 21 The CBN s N50 billion Textile Sector intervention Facility increased capacity utilization of ginneries from 30 to nearly 90 22 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 23 Though marginal we have recorded GDP growth over two quarters Q2 2020 and Q1 2021 This is evidence of a successful execution of the ESP by the Federal Government 24 My vision of pulling 100 million poor Nigerians out of poverty in 10 years has been put into action and can be seen in the National Social Investment Programme a first in Africa and one of the largest in the world where over 32 6m beneficiaries are taking part We now have a National Social register of poor and vulnerable households identified across 708 local government areas 8 723 wards and 86 610 communities in the 36 States and the FCT 25 Our conditional cash transfer program has benefited over 1 6 million poor and vulnerable households comprising more than 8 million individuals This provides a monthly stipend of N10 000 per household 26 I have also recently approved the National Poverty Reduction with Growth Strategy Plan that augments existing plans to further reduce poverty in Nigeria 27 As at the end of 2020 the Development Bank of Nigeria had disbursed 324 billion Naira in loans to more than 136 000 MSMEs through 40 participating Financial Institutions I am to note that 57 of these beneficiaries are women while 27 are the youth 28 We are able to do all these and still accelerate our infrastructure development through sensible and transparent borrowing improved capital inflow improving and increasing revenue through capturing more tax bases and prudent management of investment proceeds in the Sovereign Wealth Fund Fellow Nigerians 29 Our infrastructure revolution continues with key projects attaining critical milestones under the Presidential Infrastructure Development Fund The Second Niger Bridge The Lagos Ibadan Expressway and the Abuja Kaduna Zaria Kano Expressway 30 I have also approved the establishment of Infraco Plc a world class infrastructure development vehicle wholly focused on Nigeria with a capital structure of N15 trillion 31 The rail system is not left out as the Itakpe Warri standard gauge rail was completed and commissioned 33 years after construction began The Lagos Ibadan double track railway line which I have just commissioned has commenced operations 32 We are focused on ensuring that our infrastructure drive is key to economic growth and one that can be felt by every Nigerian Building critical infrastructure in our ports is also opening up opportunities for the Nigerian economy 33 My approval for 4 new seaports using a Public Private Partnership approach is hinged on growing the Nigerian economy These four sea ports Lekki Deep Sea Port Bonny Deep Sea Port Ibom Deep Sea Port and Warri Deep Sea port will create massive job opportunities and foreign investment inflows 34 We have worked at deepening our Eastern ports leading to success like having three container ships berth at Calabar port a first in 11 years Similarly on October 30 2019 an LPG tanker operated by NLNG berthed in Port Harcourt the first time an LPG ship is berthing at any of the Eastern Ports 35 As we invest in these new assets we have also made strides in ensuring that they are secured and protected In this regard I am also pleased to note the launch of the NIMASA Deep Blue project which is an Integrated National Security and Waterways Protection Infrastructure that I recently commissioned This initiative is designed to add to the layer of security we have to safeguard our maritime sector Dear Nigerians 36 I will be the first to admit that in spite of our efforts and achievements which are there for all to see there is still much more to be done and we are doing our best in the face of scarce resources and galloping population growth rate that consistently outstrips our capacity to provide jobs for our populace Our over all economic target of lifting 100 million Nigerians out of poverty in 10 years is our goal notwithstanding COVID 19 37 In the last two years we lifted 10 5 million people out of poverty farmers small scale traders artisans market women and the like 38 I am very convinced that this 100 million target can be met and this informed the development of a National Poverty Reduction with Growth Strategy The specific details of this accelerated strategy will be unveiled shortly 39 In the last one year Nigeria and the whole world faced COVID 19 for which no one was fully prepared 40 Our response to the pandemic involved making hard choices in balancing livelihoods and public health concerns You are all living witnesses to how successful this has been due to a number of pro active measures put in place Our response to COVID 19 is globally acclaimed 41 We were able to ensure that the various lockdown measures did not impact too negatively on the ability of ordinary Nigerians to continue sustaining their livelihoods 42 During the pandemic we disbursed N5 000 to 1 million Nigerians using a Rapid Response Register and advanced N20 000 to 750 000 beneficiaries of the Conditional Cash Transfer Progamme and provided 1 37 million Nigerians with palliatives from CACOVID 43 At the same time the Federal Government released 109 000 metric tonnes of food reserve stocks and 70 000 metric tonnes of grains to the poor and vulnerable in all 36 states of the federation 44 In addition Government reduced interest rates from 9 to 5 for struggling businesses and extended credit facilities to 548 345 beneficiaries Fellow Nigerians 45 When this administration decided to change our Democracy Day from 29th May to June 12th in my first tenure it was not only to honour the sacrifices of the men and women of our country who fought for the return to democracy but also to demonstrate our commitment to satisfy the aspirations of the people and creating an environment for democracy to be an accepted way of life 46 As your President I remain committed to providing an enabling environment for a free fair and credible electoral system under my tenure 47 However you need to play your part by getting involved at any level you can supporting a democratic system that works for all and not for a section or a select few and demand accountability from your elected leaders 48 My commitment to bequeathing a sustainable democratic culture remains resolute my pursuit of a fair society remains unshaken and my desire to see that Nigeria remains a country for each and every one of us has never been stronger 49 In responding to the challenges that this period imposes on us Government also recognises the need to acknowledge notions of marginalisation and agitations for constitutional amendments among various segments of our population 50 While this government is not averse to constitutional reform as part of our nation building process everyone must understand that the primary responsibility for constitutional amendments lies with the National Assembly 51 This body which as I said is the arm of government responsible for constitutional changes has concluded the preliminary stages of amending and improving our constitution in a way that the majority of Nigerians will be happy with 52 Government is however willing to play a critical role in the constitutional amendment process without usurping the powers of the National Assembly in this regard 53 As a nation we have come very far from where we started and we are getting incrementally closer to where we ought to be 54 Overcoming the present challenges is but one of a necessary process that we have to undergo as a nation so that we can come out stronger The day I joined the Nigerian Army I was prepared to lay down my life for Nigeria 55 As your President I remain ever committed to upholding and defending Nigeria s corporate existence 56 In adhering to the Fundamental Objectives and Directive Principles of State Policy notably section 14 2 b I shall do all within my power to ensure that the Security and welfare of the people remain the primary purpose of government 57 I have throughout my tenure provided the security agencies with all they require relative to available resources and will be providing more as the dynamics unfold to put an end to our security problems 58 My strong belief in the Nigerian spirit gives me comfort that we are facing these challenges with renewed commitment to keep our country one 59 I thank you for your patience and attention and more importantly your resolve to join hands in making Nigeria the country of our dream Happy Democracy Day God Bless us All God Bless the Federal Republic of Nigeria NAN
    Full Speech of President Buhari on Democracy Day
      SPEECH BY HIS EXCELLENCY MUHAMMADU BUHARI PRESIDENT AND COMMANDER IN CHIEF OF THE ARMED FORCES FEDERAL REPUBLIC OF NIGERIA ON THE OCCASION OF COMMEMORATION AND CELEBRATION OF DEMOCRACY DAY ON 12TH JUNE 2021 Fellow Nigerians I join you all today to commemorate and celebrate our Democracy Day It is a celebration of freedom and a victory for one people one country and one Nigeria 2 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 3 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 4 The indefatigable CAN DO Spirit of the Nigerian has sustained us and would keep pushing us to put these challenges behind us 5 Unfortunately some of these challenges came in the shape of violent outrages leading to the loss of lives of many of our dear compatriots and the destruction of some of our infrastructure including those devoted to improving our democratic processes 6 Once again I want to render my sincere and heart felt condolences to the families and friends of our gallant service men and women who lost their lives in the line of duty and as a sacrifice to keep Nigeria safe 7 I extend the same condolence to the families and friends of our country men women and children who were unfortunate victims of such senseless arsons kidnappings and murders 8 I also share the pains of families and direct victims of ransom seeking kidnaped victims who went through unimaginable trauma in the course of their forced imprisonment 9 Let me assure my fellow citizens that every incident however minor gives me great worry and concern and I immediately order security agencies to swiftly but safely rescue victims and bring perpetrators to justice Fellow Nigerians 10 When you elected me as your President in 2015 you did so knowing that I will put an end to the growing insecurity especially the insurgency in the North East but the unintended consequences of our scattering them in the North East pushed them further in country which is what we are now facing and dealing with 11 We will by the Grace of God put an end to these challenges too 12 Unfortunately like in most conflict situations some Nigerian criminals are taking undue advantage of a difficult situation and profiteering therefrom with the misguided belief that adherence to the democratic norms handicaps this Administration from frontally and decisively tackling them 13 We are already addressing these obstacles and we will soon bring some of these culprits to justice 14 We are at the same time addressing the twin underlying drivers of insecurity namely poverty and youth unemployment 15 Interventions led by Government and the Central Bank of Nigeria driving economic growth over the past 6 years are targeted mostly to the agricultural services infrastructure power and health care sectors of the economy 16 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 17 Rice import bill alone dropped from 1 billion to 18 5 million annually 18 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 19 Several other initiatives namely AgriBusiness Small and Medium Enterprise Investment Scheme the Non oil Export stimulation Facility the Targeted Credit Facilities operated across the 774 Local Governments 20 In the manufacturing sector the CBN BOI 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 21 The CBN s N50 billion Textile Sector intervention Facility increased capacity utilization of ginneries from 30 to nearly 90 22 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 23 Though marginal we have recorded GDP growth over two quarters Q2 2020 and Q1 2021 This is evidence of a successful execution of the ESP by the Federal Government 24 My vision of pulling 100 million poor Nigerians out of poverty in 10 years has been put into action and can be seen in the National Social Investment Programme a first in Africa and one of the largest in the world where over 32 6m beneficiaries are taking part We now have a National Social register of poor and vulnerable households identified across 708 local government areas 8 723 wards and 86 610 communities in the 36 States and the FCT 25 Our conditional cash transfer program has benefited over 1 6 million poor and vulnerable households comprising more than 8 million individuals This provides a monthly stipend of N10 000 per household 26 I have also recently approved the National Poverty Reduction with Growth Strategy Plan that augments existing plans to further reduce poverty in Nigeria 27 As at the end of 2020 the Development Bank of Nigeria had disbursed 324 billion Naira in loans to more than 136 000 MSMEs through 40 participating Financial Institutions I am to note that 57 of these beneficiaries are women while 27 are the youth 28 We are able to do all these and still accelerate our infrastructure development through sensible and transparent borrowing improved capital inflow improving and increasing revenue through capturing more tax bases and prudent management of investment proceeds in the Sovereign Wealth Fund Fellow Nigerians 29 Our infrastructure revolution continues with key projects attaining critical milestones under the Presidential Infrastructure Development Fund The Second Niger Bridge The Lagos Ibadan Expressway and the Abuja Kaduna Zaria Kano Expressway 30 I have also approved the establishment of Infraco Plc a world class infrastructure development vehicle wholly focused on Nigeria with a capital structure of N15 trillion 31 The rail system is not left out as the Itakpe Warri standard gauge rail was completed and commissioned 33 years after construction began The Lagos Ibadan double track railway line which I have just commissioned has commenced operations 32 We are focused on ensuring that our infrastructure drive is key to economic growth and one that can be felt by every Nigerian Building critical infrastructure in our ports is also opening up opportunities for the Nigerian economy 33 My approval for 4 new seaports using a Public Private Partnership approach is hinged on growing the Nigerian economy These four sea ports Lekki Deep Sea Port Bonny Deep Sea Port Ibom Deep Sea Port and Warri Deep Sea port will create massive job opportunities and foreign investment inflows 34 We have worked at deepening our Eastern ports leading to success like having three container ships berth at Calabar port a first in 11 years Similarly on October 30 2019 an LPG tanker operated by NLNG berthed in Port Harcourt the first time an LPG ship is berthing at any of the Eastern Ports 35 As we invest in these new assets we have also made strides in ensuring that they are secured and protected In this regard I am also pleased to note the launch of the NIMASA Deep Blue project which is an Integrated National Security and Waterways Protection Infrastructure that I recently commissioned This initiative is designed to add to the layer of security we have to safeguard our maritime sector Dear Nigerians 36 I will be the first to admit that in spite of our efforts and achievements which are there for all to see there is still much more to be done and we are doing our best in the face of scarce resources and galloping population growth rate that consistently outstrips our capacity to provide jobs for our populace Our over all economic target of lifting 100 million Nigerians out of poverty in 10 years is our goal notwithstanding COVID 19 37 In the last two years we lifted 10 5 million people out of poverty farmers small scale traders artisans market women and the like 38 I am very convinced that this 100 million target can be met and this informed the development of a National Poverty Reduction with Growth Strategy The specific details of this accelerated strategy will be unveiled shortly 39 In the last one year Nigeria and the whole world faced COVID 19 for which no one was fully prepared 40 Our response to the pandemic involved making hard choices in balancing livelihoods and public health concerns You are all living witnesses to how successful this has been due to a number of pro active measures put in place Our response to COVID 19 is globally acclaimed 41 We were able to ensure that the various lockdown measures did not impact too negatively on the ability of ordinary Nigerians to continue sustaining their livelihoods 42 During the pandemic we disbursed N5 000 to 1 million Nigerians using a Rapid Response Register and advanced N20 000 to 750 000 beneficiaries of the Conditional Cash Transfer Progamme and provided 1 37 million Nigerians with palliatives from CACOVID 43 At the same time the Federal Government released 109 000 metric tonnes of food reserve stocks and 70 000 metric tonnes of grains to the poor and vulnerable in all 36 states of the federation 44 In addition Government reduced interest rates from 9 to 5 for struggling businesses and extended credit facilities to 548 345 beneficiaries Fellow Nigerians 45 When this administration decided to change our Democracy Day from 29th May to June 12th in my first tenure it was not only to honour the sacrifices of the men and women of our country who fought for the return to democracy but also to demonstrate our commitment to satisfy the aspirations of the people and creating an environment for democracy to be an accepted way of life 46 As your President I remain committed to providing an enabling environment for a free fair and credible electoral system under my tenure 47 However you need to play your part by getting involved at any level you can supporting a democratic system that works for all and not for a section or a select few and demand accountability from your elected leaders 48 My commitment to bequeathing a sustainable democratic culture remains resolute my pursuit of a fair society remains unshaken and my desire to see that Nigeria remains a country for each and every one of us has never been stronger 49 In responding to the challenges that this period imposes on us Government also recognises the need to acknowledge notions of marginalisation and agitations for constitutional amendments among various segments of our population 50 While this government is not averse to constitutional reform as part of our nation building process everyone must understand that the primary responsibility for constitutional amendments lies with the National Assembly 51 This body which as I said is the arm of government responsible for constitutional changes has concluded the preliminary stages of amending and improving our constitution in a way that the majority of Nigerians will be happy with 52 Government is however willing to play a critical role in the constitutional amendment process without usurping the powers of the National Assembly in this regard 53 As a nation we have come very far from where we started and we are getting incrementally closer to where we ought to be 54 Overcoming the present challenges is but one of a necessary process that we have to undergo as a nation so that we can come out stronger The day I joined the Nigerian Army I was prepared to lay down my life for Nigeria 55 As your President I remain ever committed to upholding and defending Nigeria s corporate existence 56 In adhering to the Fundamental Objectives and Directive Principles of State Policy notably section 14 2 b I shall do all within my power to ensure that the Security and welfare of the people remain the primary purpose of government 57 I have throughout my tenure provided the security agencies with all they require relative to available resources and will be providing more as the dynamics unfold to put an end to our security problems 58 My strong belief in the Nigerian spirit gives me comfort that we are facing these challenges with renewed commitment to keep our country one 59 I thank you for your patience and attention and more importantly your resolve to join hands in making Nigeria the country of our dream Happy Democracy Day God Bless us All God Bless the Federal Republic of Nigeria NAN
    Full Speech of President Buhari on Democracy Day
    General news1 year ago

    Full Speech of President Buhari on Democracy Day

    SPEECH BY HIS EXCELLENCY, MUHAMMADU BUHARI, PRESIDENT AND COMMANDER IN CHIEF OF THE ARMED FORCES FEDERAL REPUBLIC OF NIGERIA ON THE OCCASION OF COMMEMORATION AND CELEBRATION OF DEMOCRACY DAY ON 12TH JUNE, 2021

     

    Fellow Nigerians,

     

    I join you all today to commemorate and celebrate our Democracy Day.  It is a celebration of freedom and a victory for one people, one country and one Nigeria.

    2.    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.

    3.    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.

    4.    The indefatigable CAN DO Spirit of the Nigerian has sustained us and would keep pushing us to put these challenges behind us.

    5.    Unfortunately some of these challenges came in the shape of violent outrages leading to the loss of lives of many of our dear compatriots and the destruction of some of our infrastructure, including those devoted to improving our democratic processes.

    6.    Once again, I want to render my sincere and heart-felt condolences to the families and friends of our gallant service men and women who lost their lives in the line of duty and as a sacrifice to keep Nigeria safe.

    7.    I extend the same condolence to the families and friends of our country men, women and children who were unfortunate victims of such senseless arsons, kidnappings and murders.

    8.    I also share the pains of families and direct victims of ransom-seeking, kidnaped victims who went through unimaginable trauma in the course of their forced imprisonment.

    9.    Let me assure my fellow citizens that every incident, however minor gives me great worry and concern and I immediately order security agencies to swiftly but safely rescue victims and bring perpetrators to justice.

    Fellow Nigerians,

    10.  When you elected me as your President in 2015, you did so knowing that I will put an end to the growing insecurity, especially the insurgency in the North East, but the unintended consequences of our scattering them in the North East pushed them further in-country which is what we are now facing and dealing with.

    11.  We will, by the Grace of God put an end to these challenges too.

    12.  Unfortunately, like in most conflict situations, some Nigerian criminals are taking undue advantage of a difficult situation and profiteering therefrom with the misguided belief that adherence to the democratic norms handicaps this Administration from frontally and decisively tackling them.

    13.  We are already addressing these obstacles and we will soon bring some of these culprits to justice.

    14.  We are, at the same time addressing the twin underlying drivers of insecurity namely poverty and youth unemployment.

    15. Interventions led by Government and the Central Bank of Nigeria driving economic growth over the past 6 years are targeted mostly to the agricultural, services, infrastructure, power and health care sectors of the economy.

    16.  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.

     

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

    18.  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.

    19.  Several other initiatives, namely AgriBusiness/Small and Medium Enterprise Investment Scheme, the Non-oil Export stimulation Facility, the Targeted Credit Facilities operated across the 774 Local Governments.

    20.  In the manufacturing sector the CBN – BOI 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.

    21.  The CBN’s N50 billion Textile Sector intervention Facility increased capacity utilization of ginneries from 30% to nearly 90%.

    22.  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.

    23.  Though marginal we have recorded GDP growth over two quarters; Q2 2020 and Q1 2021.  This is evidence of a successful execution of the ESP by the Federal Government.

    24.  My vision of pulling 100 million poor Nigerians out of poverty in 10 years has been put into action and can be seen in the National Social Investment Programme, a first in Africa and one of the largest in the world where over 32.6m beneficiaries are taking part. We now have a National Social register of poor and vulnerable households, identified across 708 local government areas, 8,723 wards and 86,610 communities in the 36 States and the FCT.

     25.  Our conditional cash transfer program has benefited over 1.6 million poor and vulnerable households comprising more than 8 million individuals. This provides a monthly stipend of N10,000 per household.

     26.  I have also recently approved the National Poverty Reduction with Growth Strategy Plan that augments existing plans to further reduce poverty in Nigeria.

    27.  As at the end of 2020, the Development Bank of Nigeria had disbursed 324 billion Naira in loans to more than 136,000 MSMEs, through 40 participating Financial Institutions. I am to note that 57% of these beneficiaries are women while 27% are the youth.

    28.  We are able to do all these and still accelerate our infrastructure development through sensible and transparent borrowing, improved capital inflow, improving and increasing revenue through capturing more tax bases and prudent management of investment proceeds in the Sovereign Wealth Fund.

    Fellow Nigerians,

    29.  Our infrastructure revolution continues with key projects attaining critical milestones under the Presidential Infrastructure Development Fund; The Second Niger Bridge, The Lagos- Ibadan Expressway and the Abuja-Kaduna-Zaria-Kano Expressway.

    30.  I have also approved the establishment of Infraco Plc, a world-class infrastructure development vehicle wholly focused on Nigeria with a capital structure of N15 trillion.

    31.  The rail system is not left out as the Itakpe-Warri standard gauge rail was completed and commissioned 33 years after construction began. The Lagos-Ibadan double track railway line which I have just commissioned has commenced operations.

    32.  We are focused on ensuring that our infrastructure drive is key to economic growth and one that can be felt by every Nigerian. Building critical infrastructure in our ports is also opening up opportunities for the Nigerian economy.

    33.  My approval for 4 new seaports using a Public-Private-Partnership approach is hinged on growing the Nigerian economy. These four sea ports; Lekki Deep Sea Port, Bonny Deep Sea Port, Ibom Deep Sea Port and Warri Deep Sea port will create massive job opportunities and foreign investment inflows.

    34.  We have worked at deepening our Eastern ports leading to success like having three container ships berth at Calabar port, a first in 11 years.  Similarly, on October 30 2019, an LPG tanker operated by NLNG berthed in Port Harcourt, the first time an LPG ship is berthing at any of the Eastern Ports.

    35.  As we invest in these new assets, we have also made strides in ensuring that they are secured and protected. In this regard I am also pleased to note the launch of the NIMASA Deep Blue project – which is an Integrated National Security and Waterways Protection Infrastructure that I recently commissioned. This initiative is designed to add to the layer of security we have to safeguard our maritime sector.

    Dear Nigerians,

    36.  I will be the first to admit that in spite of our efforts and achievements which are there for all to see, there is still much more to be done and we are doing our best in the face of scarce resources and galloping population growth rate that consistently outstrips our capacity to provide jobs for our populace. Our over-all economic target of lifting 100 million Nigerians out of poverty in 10 years is our goal notwithstanding COVID-19.

    37.  In the last two years we lifted 10.5 million people out of poverty – farmers, small-scale traders, artisans, market women and the like.

    38.  I am very convinced that this 100 million target can be met and this informed the development of a National Poverty Reduction with Growth Strategy. The specific details of this accelerated strategy will be unveiled shortly.

    39.  In the last one year, Nigeria and the whole world faced COVID-19 for which no one was fully prepared.

    40.  Our response to the pandemic involved making hard choices in balancing livelihoods and public health concerns.  You are all living witnesses to how successful this has been due to a number of pro-active measures put in place.  Our response to COVID-19 is globally acclaimed.

    41.  We were able to ensure that the various lockdown measures did not impact too negatively on the ability of ordinary Nigerians to continue sustaining their livelihoods.

    42.  During the pandemic, we disbursed N5,000 to 1 million Nigerians using a Rapid Response Register and advanced N20,000 to 750,000 beneficiaries of the Conditional Cash Transfer Progamme and provided 1.37 million Nigerians with palliatives from CACOVID.

    43.  At the same time the Federal Government released 109,000 metric tonnes of food reserve stocks and 70,000 metric tonnes of grains to the poor and vulnerable in all 36 states of the federation.

    44.  In addition, Government reduced interest rates from 9% to 5% for struggling businesses and extended credit facilities to 548,345 beneficiaries.

    Fellow Nigerians,

    45.  When this administration decided to change our Democracy Day from 29th May to June 12th in my first tenure, it was not only to honour the sacrifices of the men and women of our country who fought for the return to democracy but also to demonstrate our commitment to satisfy the aspirations of the people and creating an environment for democracy to be an accepted way of life.

    46.  As your President, I remain committed to providing an enabling environment for a free, fair and credible electoral system under my tenure.

    47.  However, you need to play your part by getting involved at any level you can supporting a democratic system that works for all and not for a section or a select few and demand accountability from your elected leaders.

    48.  My commitment to bequeathing a sustainable democratic culture remains resolute, my pursuit of a fair society remains unshaken and my desire to see that Nigeria remains a country for each and every one of us has never been stronger.

    49.  In responding to the challenges that this period imposes on us, Government also recognises the need to acknowledge notions of marginalisation and agitations for constitutional amendments among various segments of our population.

    50.  While this government is not averse to constitutional reform as part of our nation building process, everyone must understand that the primary responsibility for constitutional amendments lies with the National Assembly.

    51.  This body which, as I said, is the arm of government responsible for constitutional changes has concluded the preliminary stages of amending and improving our constitution in a way that the majority of Nigerians will be happy with.

    52.  Government is, however, willing to play a critical role in the constitutional amendment process without usurping the powers of the National Assembly in this regard.

    53.  As a nation we have come very far from where we started and we are getting incrementally closer to where we ought to be.

    54.  Overcoming the present challenges is but one of a necessary process that we have to undergo as a nation so that we can come out stronger.  The day I joined the Nigerian Army I was prepared to lay down my life for Nigeria.

    55.  As your President I remain ever committed to upholding and defending Nigeria’s corporate existence.

    56.  In adhering to the Fundamental Objectives and Directive Principles of State Policy notably section 14(2)(b) I shall do all within my power to ensure that the Security and welfare of the people remain the primary purpose of government.

    57.  I have, throughout my tenure, provided the security agencies with all they require relative to available resources and will be providing more as the dynamics unfold to put an end to our security problems.

    58.  My strong belief in the Nigerian spirit gives me comfort that we are facing these challenges with renewed commitment to keep our country one.

    59.  I thank you for your patience and attention and more importantly your resolve to join hands in making Nigeria the country of our dream.

    Happy Democracy Day! God Bless us All, God Bless the Federal Republic of Nigeria.

     

    (NAN)

  •   By Ismaila Chafe President Muhammadu Buhari approved the creation of Infraco Plc a world class infrastructure development vehicle fully focused on Nigeria with a capital structure of N15 trillion The president revealed it on Saturday in a broadcast to mark this year s Democracy Day He expressed optimism that the company when fully functional will solve the country s infrastructure deficits and eventually transform the economy He also revealed that his administration had succeeded in accelerating infrastructure development through sensible and transparent borrowing improved capital inflow improved and increased income through the capture of more plates fiscal policies and prudent management of investment products in the Sovereign Fund According to him the rail system is not left out as the Itakpe Warri standard track rail was completed and put into service 33 years after construction began He said the Lagos Ibadan double track railway line which he inaugurated on June 10 2021 had started to operate We are working to ensure that our infrastructure strategy is the key to economic growth and that all Nigerians can feel it Building critical infrastructure in our ports also opens up opportunities for the Nigerian economy My approval for four new seaports using a public private partnership approach is based on the growth of the Nigerian economy These four seaports Lekki Deep Water Port Bonny Deep Water Port Ibom Deep Water Port and Warri Deep Water Port will create huge employment opportunities and foreign investment flows We have worked on deepening our eastern ports which has led to success such as the docking of three container ships at the port of Calabar a first in 11 years Likewise on October 30 2019 an LPG tanker operated by NLNG docked at Port Harcourt the first time an LPG vessel has called at one of the eastern ports As we invest in these new assets we have also made progress in ensuring that they are secure and protected In this regard I am also pleased to note the launch of the NIMASA Deep Blue project an integrated national security and waterway protection infrastructure that I recently commissioned This initiative is designed to add to the layer of security we have to protect our maritime sector he added The president also listed his administration s achievements in the agricultural sector to include the Anchor Borrowers Program which saw the country s main food import bill drop sharply from 2 23 billion in 2014 to 0 59 billion at the end of 2018 According to him the bill for rice imports alone has also risen from 1 billion to 18 5 million per year He observed that the Anchor Borrowers initiative had supported local production of rice maize cotton and cassava He revealed that the government had funded 2 5 million smallholder farmers cultivating about 3 2 million hectares of farmland across the country and created 10 million direct and indirect jobs Several other initiatives namely the Agricultural Small and Medium Enterprise Investment Program Non Oil Export Stimulation Facility Targeted Credit Facilities have been implemented in the 774 local governments In the manufacturing sector the 200 billion naira CBN BOI facility has financed the creation and operation of 60 new industrial hubs across the country creating around 890 000 direct and indirect jobs he added The President noted that the Nigerian Central Bank s Textile Response Facility of 50 billion naira has increased the capacity utilization of ginning plants from 30 percent to nearly 90 percent According to him the economic sustainability plan the national rebound plan for the COVID 19 pandemic developed in 2020 is currently being implemented He said the plan was primarily focused on the non oil sector which had experienced phenomenal growth contributing more than 90 to GDP growth in the first quarter of 2021 Although marginal we recorded GDP growth over two quarters Q2 2020 and Q1 2021 This is proof of successful execution of the PES by the federal government Buhari said his administration s vision of lifting 100 million poor Nigerians out of poverty within 10 years had been implemented and could be seen in the National Social Investment Program A first in Africa and one of the largest in the world with more than 32 6 million beneficiaries participating We now have a national social registry of poor and vulnerable households identified in 708 local government areas 8 723 neighborhoods and 86 610 communities in the 36 states and the CTF He further maintained that the administration s conditional cash transfer program had benefited over 1 6 million poor and vulnerable households comprising over eight million people saying that this provides a monthly allowance of N 10 000 per household The president revealed that he had recently approved the National Poverty Reduction and Growth Strategy Plan which complements existing plans to further reduce poverty in the country He said By the end of 2020 the Development Bank of Nigeria had disbursed 324 billion naira in loans to over 136 000 MSMEs through 40 participating financial institutions I should note that 57 percent of these beneficiaries are women while 27 percent are young people he said NAA NAN
    FG approves establishment of N15trn Infraco Plc
      By Ismaila Chafe President Muhammadu Buhari approved the creation of Infraco Plc a world class infrastructure development vehicle fully focused on Nigeria with a capital structure of N15 trillion The president revealed it on Saturday in a broadcast to mark this year s Democracy Day He expressed optimism that the company when fully functional will solve the country s infrastructure deficits and eventually transform the economy He also revealed that his administration had succeeded in accelerating infrastructure development through sensible and transparent borrowing improved capital inflow improved and increased income through the capture of more plates fiscal policies and prudent management of investment products in the Sovereign Fund According to him the rail system is not left out as the Itakpe Warri standard track rail was completed and put into service 33 years after construction began He said the Lagos Ibadan double track railway line which he inaugurated on June 10 2021 had started to operate We are working to ensure that our infrastructure strategy is the key to economic growth and that all Nigerians can feel it Building critical infrastructure in our ports also opens up opportunities for the Nigerian economy My approval for four new seaports using a public private partnership approach is based on the growth of the Nigerian economy These four seaports Lekki Deep Water Port Bonny Deep Water Port Ibom Deep Water Port and Warri Deep Water Port will create huge employment opportunities and foreign investment flows We have worked on deepening our eastern ports which has led to success such as the docking of three container ships at the port of Calabar a first in 11 years Likewise on October 30 2019 an LPG tanker operated by NLNG docked at Port Harcourt the first time an LPG vessel has called at one of the eastern ports As we invest in these new assets we have also made progress in ensuring that they are secure and protected In this regard I am also pleased to note the launch of the NIMASA Deep Blue project an integrated national security and waterway protection infrastructure that I recently commissioned This initiative is designed to add to the layer of security we have to protect our maritime sector he added The president also listed his administration s achievements in the agricultural sector to include the Anchor Borrowers Program which saw the country s main food import bill drop sharply from 2 23 billion in 2014 to 0 59 billion at the end of 2018 According to him the bill for rice imports alone has also risen from 1 billion to 18 5 million per year He observed that the Anchor Borrowers initiative had supported local production of rice maize cotton and cassava He revealed that the government had funded 2 5 million smallholder farmers cultivating about 3 2 million hectares of farmland across the country and created 10 million direct and indirect jobs Several other initiatives namely the Agricultural Small and Medium Enterprise Investment Program Non Oil Export Stimulation Facility Targeted Credit Facilities have been implemented in the 774 local governments In the manufacturing sector the 200 billion naira CBN BOI facility has financed the creation and operation of 60 new industrial hubs across the country creating around 890 000 direct and indirect jobs he added The President noted that the Nigerian Central Bank s Textile Response Facility of 50 billion naira has increased the capacity utilization of ginning plants from 30 percent to nearly 90 percent According to him the economic sustainability plan the national rebound plan for the COVID 19 pandemic developed in 2020 is currently being implemented He said the plan was primarily focused on the non oil sector which had experienced phenomenal growth contributing more than 90 to GDP growth in the first quarter of 2021 Although marginal we recorded GDP growth over two quarters Q2 2020 and Q1 2021 This is proof of successful execution of the PES by the federal government Buhari said his administration s vision of lifting 100 million poor Nigerians out of poverty within 10 years had been implemented and could be seen in the National Social Investment Program A first in Africa and one of the largest in the world with more than 32 6 million beneficiaries participating We now have a national social registry of poor and vulnerable households identified in 708 local government areas 8 723 neighborhoods and 86 610 communities in the 36 states and the CTF He further maintained that the administration s conditional cash transfer program had benefited over 1 6 million poor and vulnerable households comprising over eight million people saying that this provides a monthly allowance of N 10 000 per household The president revealed that he had recently approved the National Poverty Reduction and Growth Strategy Plan which complements existing plans to further reduce poverty in the country He said By the end of 2020 the Development Bank of Nigeria had disbursed 324 billion naira in loans to over 136 000 MSMEs through 40 participating financial institutions I should note that 57 percent of these beneficiaries are women while 27 percent are young people he said NAA NAN
    FG approves establishment of N15trn Infraco Plc
    Economy1 year ago

    FG approves establishment of N15trn Infraco Plc

    By Ismaila Chafe
    President Muhammadu Buhari approved the creation of Infraco Plc, a world-class infrastructure development vehicle fully focused on Nigeria with a capital structure of N15 trillion.
    The president revealed it on Saturday in a broadcast to mark this year's Democracy Day.
    He expressed optimism that the company, when fully functional, will solve the country's infrastructure deficits and eventually transform the economy.
    He also revealed that his administration had succeeded in accelerating infrastructure development through sensible and transparent borrowing, improved capital inflow, improved and increased income through the capture of more plates. fiscal policies and prudent management of investment products in the Sovereign Fund.
    According to him, the rail system is not left out as the Itakpe-Warri standard track rail was completed and put into service 33 years after construction began.
    He said the Lagos-Ibadan double-track railway line, which he inaugurated on June 10, 2021, had started to operate.
    “We are working to ensure that our infrastructure strategy is the key to economic growth and that all Nigerians can feel it. Building critical infrastructure in our ports also opens up opportunities for the Nigerian economy.
    “My approval for four new seaports using a public-private partnership approach is based on the growth of the Nigerian economy.
    “These four seaports; Lekki Deep Water Port, Bonny Deep Water Port, Ibom Deep Water Port and Warri Deep Water Port will create huge employment opportunities and foreign investment flows.
    “We have worked on deepening our eastern ports, which has led to success, such as the docking of three container ships at the port of Calabar, a first in 11 years.
    “Likewise, on October 30, 2019, an LPG tanker operated by NLNG docked at Port Harcourt, the first time an LPG vessel has called at one of the eastern ports.
    “As we invest in these new assets, we have also made progress in ensuring that they are secure and protected.
    “In this regard, I am also pleased to note the launch of the NIMASA Deep Blue project, an integrated national security and waterway protection infrastructure that I recently commissioned.
    "This initiative is designed to add to the layer of security we have to protect our maritime sector," he added.
    The president also listed his administration's achievements in the agricultural sector to include the Anchor Borrowers Program which saw the country's main food import bill drop sharply from $ 2.23 billion in 2014. to $ 0.59 billion at the end of 2018.
    According to him, the bill for rice imports alone has also risen from $ 1 billion to $ 18.5 million per year.
    He observed that the Anchor Borrowers initiative had supported local production of rice, maize, cotton and cassava.
    He revealed that the government had funded 2.5 million smallholder farmers cultivating about 3.2 million hectares of farmland across the country and created 10 million direct and indirect jobs.
    “Several other initiatives, namely the Agricultural / Small and Medium Enterprise Investment Program, Non-Oil Export Stimulation Facility, Targeted Credit Facilities have been implemented in the 774 local governments.
    "In the manufacturing sector, the 200 billion naira CBN - BOI facility has financed the creation and operation of 60 new industrial hubs across the country, creating around 890,000 direct and indirect jobs," he added. .
    The President noted that the Nigerian Central Bank's Textile Response Facility of 50 billion naira has increased the capacity utilization of ginning plants from 30 percent to nearly 90 percent.
    According to him, the economic sustainability plan - the national rebound plan for the COVID-19 pandemic developed in 2020, is currently being implemented.
    He said the plan was primarily focused on the non-oil sector, which had experienced phenomenal growth contributing more than 90% to GDP growth in the first quarter of 2021.
    “Although marginal, we recorded GDP growth over two quarters; Q2 2020 and Q1 2021. This is proof of successful execution of the PES by the federal government.
    Buhari said his administration's vision of lifting 100 million poor Nigerians out of poverty within 10 years had been implemented and could be seen in the National Social Investment Program; “A first in Africa and one of the largest in the world, with more than 32.6 million beneficiaries participating.
    “We now have a national social registry of poor and vulnerable households, identified in 708 local government areas, 8,723 neighborhoods and 86,610 communities in the 36 states and the CTF.
    He further maintained that the administration's conditional cash transfer program had benefited over 1.6 million poor and vulnerable households comprising over eight million people, saying that "this provides a monthly allowance of N 10,000. per household ”.
    The president revealed that he had recently approved the National Poverty Reduction and Growth Strategy Plan which complements existing plans to further reduce poverty in the country.
    He said: “By the end of 2020, the Development Bank of Nigeria had disbursed 324 billion naira in loans to over 136,000 MSMEs, through 40 participating financial institutions.
    "I should note that 57 percent of these beneficiaries are women while 27 percent are young people," he said. (NAA)

    (NAN)