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Nigeria Decides: Full Text Of Buhari’s Campaign Speech To Nigerians [MUST READ]

Gbemileke Ajayi

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President Muhammadu Buhari has urged Nigerians to vote right in Saturday’s presidential and national assembly elections.

He also assured Nigerians of free, fair and creddible polls.

The president gave the assurance during a live broadcast on Thursday and monitored by PorscheClassy News.

His Full speech below.

“ Fellow Citizens,

“On Saturday, February 16, 2019, you will, once again, be called upon to choose the leaders who will pilot the affairs of our great nation for the next four years. This is a constitutional right which should be freely exercised by all eligible voters.

  1. I wish therefore to start by assuring all Nigerians that this Government will do its very best to ensure that the 2019 elections take place in a secure and peaceful atmosphere.
  2. It was indeed such free, fair and peaceful elections that made it possible for our Government to emerge, despite the fact that we were contesting against a long-standing incumbent party.
  3. And as your president and a fellow Nigerian, I ask that you come out and queue to fulfill this important obligation you have to yourselves and your fellow citizens – and to our common future.
  4. Let me at this point, reaffirm the commitment of the Federal Government to the conduct of free and fair elections in a safe and peaceful atmosphere. Just yesterday, I signed the Peace Accord alongside 72 other presidential candidates.
  5. I want to assure all Nigerians, the diplomatic community and all foreign election observers of their safety and full protection. Any comments or threats of intimidation from any source do not represent the position of the Federal Government of Nigeria.
  6. As Government has a critical role in maintaining the democratic traditions, so do citizens. I therefore urge you all, as good Nigerians, to take a personal interest in promoting and maintaining peace in your respective neighbourhoods during the elections. This is certainly not a time to allow personal, religious, sectional or party interests to drive us to desperation.
  7. At this point, I want to make a special appeal to our youth: Do not allow yourselves to be used to cause violence and destruction. The people who want to incite you are those preparing the ground for discrediting the elections. Having lost the argument, they fear losing the elections.
  8. When you elected me in 2015, it was essentially in consequence of my promise of CHANGE. We committed ourselves to improving security across the country, putting the economy on a sound footing and tackling rampant corruption, which had in many ways become a serious drawback to national development.
  9. Our Government spent the last 3 years and 9 months striving faithfully to keep this promise, in spite of very serious revenue shortages caused mainly by a sharp drop in international oil prices and an unexpected rise in the vandalisation of oil installations, which, mercifully have now been curtailed.
  10. We nevertheless pressed on in our quest to diversify the economy, create jobs, reduce commodity prices and generally improve the standard of living among our people.
  11. The damage that insecurity and corruption have done, over time, to our collective livelihood is incalculable. However, it is pleasing to note that our frontal attack on these twin evils is gaining momentum and bringing about visible progress.
  12. The recovery of the economy from recession is complete and Nigeria is back on the path of steady growth.
  13. The key to creating more jobs lies in accelerating this momentum of economic growth. Happily, we have succeeded in making the fundamental changes necessary for this acceleration, and we are now beginning to see the efforts bearing fruit.
  14. Our ease of doing business policies and programmes are already impacting medium, small and micro industries, as well as Manufacturing, Mining and Agriculture, among other key sectors.
  15. Our commitment to critical infrastructure – that is Roads, Rails, Bridges, Airports and Seaports – will create more jobs, improving the efficiency and competitiveness of our industries.
  16. Many of these projects are at different stages of completion, and those who use them regularly will attest to the fact that even while construction is ongoing, they are beginning to see reduced travel times. This will ultimately translate to reduced costs and greater convenience, making transportation, and business in particular, much easier.
  17. The economic recovery that we promised is well underway, as demonstrated by the recently released statistics. In 2018, the economy grew by 1.93%, with the Fourth Quarter growth being 2.38%, up from 1.81% in the Third Quarter.
  18. Remarkably, the strong economic performance was driven by the Non-Oil sector, which grew at 2% as at full year. Indeed, Non-Oil growth rose to 2.7% in the Fourth Quarter of 2018, up from 2.32% in the Third Quarter. These results further underscore our commitment to diversifying the economy away from the past dependence on Oil.
  19. Other indicators confirm the economy’s steady recovery. Our monthly food import bill has declined from $664 million in January 2015 to $160 million as at October 2018. Inflation fell from 18.72% in January 2017 to 11.44% in December 2018. Our External Reserves have risen from $23 billion in October 2016 to $43.12 billion as at 7th February 2019.
  20. Now that the recession is well behind us, our next task is to redouble our efforts, accelerate the growth and use it to create even more jobs for our people.
  21. The Executive Orders, No. 5, and No. 7 issued by me, and the recently approved National Infrastructure Maintenance Policy demonstrate our commitment to accelerated job creation and infrastructure development.
  22. We believe that Governments cannot simply proclaim jobs into existence. Job creation will only expand as a result of economic policies that enable the private sector to flourish, and this is the approach our Administration has taken.
  23. Executive Order No 5, which Promotes Nigerian Content in Contracts, as well as Science, Engineering and Technology, will preserve and prioritize job creation for our citizens.
  24. Executive Order 7, on the Road Infrastructure Development and Refurbishment Investment Tax Credit Scheme, seeks to mobilize private capital and capacity for infrastructure development.
  25. It responds to the demands of manufacturing and industrial complexes which wish to construct access roads without waiting for government, so long as they are allowed to recover the cost from taxes they would have paid to government.
  26. We expect that this approach will boost industrial expansion and rural development, consequently creating more jobs for our people.
  27. Similarly, our recently issued Maintenance Policy targets artisans, carpenters, welders, tailors, painters, bricklayers, electricians, plumbers, landscapers and many more Ordinary Nigerians at the base of our economic pyramid who will get regular and large-scale opportunities to improve themselves.
  28. It is an economic solution that also brings the relevant artisans and professionals into long term sustainable employment to maintain our Schools, Court Rooms, Hospitals, Police Stations, Federal Secretariats and other Public Buildings.
  29. Human Capital Development has also been a key priority for this Administration, which has increased investments in health and education. Innovative measures have been introduced to complement the traditional budgetary allocations to the relevant Ministries.
  30. For instance, Nigeria Sovereign Investment Authority has invested US$21 million in three healthcare projects as a Public Private Partnership with three Federal medical institutions. These include two modern Medical Diagnostic Centres located at Aminu Kano Teaching Hospital, Kano and the Federal Medical Centre, Umuahia; as well as one outpatient Cancer Treatment Centre in Lagos University Teaching Hospital, Lagos – which I commissioned on 9th February 2019.
  31. Of course, our radical commitment to developing Critical Infrastructure is the foundation upon which we will deliver an all embracing national prosperity and a shared commonwealth.
  32. There is no country that aspires to greatness without spending massively on its Critical Infrastructure. Rather than the discredited policy of ‘stomach infrastructure’, which could only benefit a few for a little while, we are focused on real infrastructural development for the growth of our economy and the long-term benefit of all Nigerians.
  33. When you voted for our message of CHANGE, you invited us to assume office and depart from that bad and most regrettable choice. We have responded by making a choice for real infrastructure of Roads in every State, Housing in 34 States, Power Stations across Nigeria, Rail from Lagos to Kano.
  34. The choice that now confronts us is whether we want to continue with real infrastructure development, which is the road to prosperity and jobs or return to the era of ‘stomach infrastructure’.
  35. Agricultural Self-Reliance and Food Security is also a choice we made in fulfilment of your mandate for change.
  36. Our Presidential Fertiliser Initiative has resulted in savings of US$150 million in foreign exchange due to local sourcing of inputs at 16 Blending Plants. It has also conserved N60 billion in Subsidies as well as supported tens of thousands of farmers and agro-dealers nationwide.
  37. Our Anchor Borrowers’ Programme has substantially raised local rice yields from as low as two Metric Tonnes per hectare, to as high as eight Metric Tonnes per hectare.
  38. Through this programme, the Central Bank of Nigeria has cumulatively lent over N120 billion to over 720,000 smallholder farmers cultivating 12 commodities across the 36 States and Abuja. Targeted crops and livestock have included cattle, poultry, fish, cassava, soybeans, ground nut, ginger, sorghum, rice, wheat, cotton and maize.
  39. As a result, we have seen a remarkable rise in the production of key agricultural commodities. I am pleased to note that in major departmental stores and local markets, there has been a surge in the supply of high quality Nigerian agricultural produce.
  40. Behind each of these products, are thousands of industrious Nigerians working in factories and farms across the nation. Our interventions have led to improved wealth and job creation for these Nigerians, particularly in our rural communities.
  41. Again, these outcomes have been a major departure from the previous focus on consuming imported food items, which literally exported our children’s jobs to food-exporting nations, whilst depleting our precious foreign exchange reserves. This, of course, caused a closure of our factories while keeping open other peoples’ factories.
  42. The choice made by this Administration to assist farmers directly and promote agriculture in every way possible has gone a long way to enhance our food security while enabling us to tackle poverty by feeding over nine million children daily under our Home-Grown School Feeding Programme. It also puts us clearly on the road to becoming a food secure and agriculture exporting nation.
  43. Next to Agriculture, we are focusing on Manufacturing Sector. The Purchasing Managers Index, which is the measure of manufacturing activities in an economy has risen for 22 consecutive months as at January this year, indicating continuous growth and expansion in our manufacturing sector.
  44. I will conclude by going back to where I started: that our choices have had consequences about employment and cost of living.
  45. In making your choice this time, please ask yourself whether, and in what ways, others will do anything different to address the issues of Agriculture, Infrastructure, Security, Good Governance and Fighting Corruption.
  46. If they are only hoping to do what we are already doing successfully, we are clearly your preferred choice.
  47. Think carefully and choose wisely. This time, it is a choice about consolidating on growth for Jobs and Prosperity.
  48. February 16th is all about a choice. But it is more than a choice between APC and the opposition. It is a choice about you, it is a choice between going back or keeping the momentum of CHANGE.
  49. The road to greater prosperity for Nigeria may be long, but what you can be assured of is a Leadership that is not prepared to sacrifice the future well-being of Nigerians for our own personal or material needs. You can be assured of my commitment to remain focused on working to improve the lives of all Nigerians.
  50. Thank you very much for listening. God bless you, and may God bless the Federal Republic of Nigeria.

BIG STORY

Sanwo-Olu Reviews Administration’s Strides; Says Education, Security, Infrastructure Key Priority

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Lagos State Governor, Mr. Babajide Sanwo-Olu, has highlighted key components of his administration, which he said are aimed at delivering his Greater Lagos vision.

The Governor named education, security, improvement of infrastructure as well as upgrading of the environment as some of the sectors his government will invest in to achieve a greater Lagos.

Governor Sanwo-Olu made the revelation while answering questions as a guest on Channels television’s flagship programme, Sunrise Daily on Wednesday.

While enumerating the success story of his administration in the last 196 days, the Governor said a lot of achievements have been recorded in the area of security of lives and property of the residents.

The Governor said: “At a period like this – going to the end of the year, criminal activities are usually on the increase because people want to do things to make quick money. We are working on salvaging the situation. We have a new Commissioner of Police who has hit the ground running from the first day he came in.

“You heard of the unfortunate incident of an expatriate that was stabbed to death by domestic staff recently. I was up till 2am last Friday because we were tracking the suspects. The Commissioner of Police led the team and we were able to apprehend the two suspects.

“Policing and security come in two ways. It comes with intelligence.

What kind of information do you have prior to or after the event? You really don’t know who has a criminal tendency by mere looking at their faces. We must have more men out there on the streets and we must have the ability to be able to respond when there is a distress call.

“That’s why we keep increasing the number of vehicles we provide for them. We keep supporting them with a lot of communication gadgets. We keep saying to them that whatever they need to be able to respond when the distress comes, which is often sudden, we’ll give to them. When we do the analysis, it will be an issue of how well we are able to track and get the perpetrators of these acts.”

The Governor reiterated his administration’s commitment to adopt technology to combat crimes and reduce them to the barest minimum.

He said: “One of the things we realize is that security is also going tech. You need a lot of technology and devices to monitor crimes, and whilst we are doing a lot of hard things, we are also building up technology. Next year, we are building a new Control and Command Center as part of our Safe City project and Mega-City security deliverables. We are going to bring to Lagos all those security measures you see in developed Nations.

“At the first phase, we will install about 2,200 high definition cameras across the State. From a CCTV, we can view, review, monitor and track incidents as they happen. We will also train officials. These are some of the things that will happen in the first quarter of next year”

On the issue of the Nigerian Union of Road Transport Workers (NURTW), the Governor said: “The NURTW is a national body of the Nigerian Labour Congress. It is a registered trade union organization.’’

“Like other unions, they are under the supervision of the State government. We regulate and supervise them. And we have warned that they could be proscribed if they don’t conduct themselves well.

Sanwo-Olu spoke about the State government’s plans for the construction of the 4th mainland bridge, saying his administration will make use of private equity to achieve the project.

“Two weeks ago, we advertised for the expression of interest from construction firms around the world for the 4th mainland bridge project. Our total budget for next year is about $3 billion and that’s the highest in the country. The 4th mainland bridge, from the design, we have seen that it is a 37-kilometer road. We cannot handle it alone so we are going to use private equity.

‘‘We have advertised. We have the alignment, we have the right of way and all of the biometric study. Let everyone worldwide come and play a role.

The Governor also spoke extensively on his plan for the education sector, saying the state government is determined to elevate the status of the primary education to a very competitive level.

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BIG STORY

BREAKING: Sigh Of Relief As Electricity Workers Suspend Nationwide Strike

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The National Union of Electricity Employees (NUEE) has suspended its strike embarked upon on Wednesday to draw the federal government’s attention to the plight of its members.

Following a meeting with officials of the federal government, the union accepted to discontinue the one-day-old strike.

According to the National President of NUEE, Comrade Joe Ajaero, who confirmed the outcome of the meeting to THISDAY, the workers’ grievances were conclusively addressed.

He said that all the concerns of the union and its members were addressed at the talks which lasted till the wee hours of today.

“We have concluded deliberations and all issues were addressed, but we are awaiting implementation. Meanwhile, our strike action is suspended,” Ajaero said.

Following the expiration of the 21 days ultimatum issued by NUEE to the Minister of Power, Saleh Mamman, to implement their demands, and the failure of the minister to dialogue with the union before the ultimatum which lapsed midnight Tuesday, a nationwide blackout was imminent as electricity workers began indefinite strike Wednesday morning.

The strike led to the shutting down of most of the offices of Distribution Companies (Discos) across the country.

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BIG STORY

Trouble Brews In FIRS As Workers Rejects Fowler’s Handover To Aina, Demand Handover To Senior Director

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Twenty-four hours after the change of guard at the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS), members of staff of the Service have given the authorities till Friday for the most senior director to take over as acting chairman.

Mr. Babatunde Fowler handed over to Abiodun Aina, Coordinating Director, Domestic Taxes Group after President Muhammadu Buhari named Muhammad M. Nami to replace him as chairman and sent his name to the Senate for confirmation.

According to a communique sent to the Acting Executive Chairman, the workers, under the aegis of the Joint Union Council of FIRS, threatened that they cannot guarantee industrial harmony after Friday if Aina continues to act as chairman.

The FIRS claimed that Aina, “does not have the basic qualification/requirement (HND or BSc) to be employed into the Service.”

Besides, the union said Aina’s appointment to the position of Coordinating Director “was against the provision of Section 2.19 of FIRS Human Resource Policies and Processes which states as follows: Appointment to the post of Coordinating Director shall be made by the Board on the recommendation of the Executive Chairman.”

Aina’s appointment they claim should “be open to all confirmed Directors of the Service and it shall be competitive based on experience, competence, and seniority, as he was never a director in the Service rather a Senior Special Assistant to the erstwhile Chairman of FIRS.”

They also claimed that “his name is not on the seniority list of confirmed FIRS staff and FIRS directors on the staff nominal roll rather on the list of Contract Staff of FIRS.”

At the end of the emergency meeting, union members resolved that “in accordance with the Presidential Directive, the seniority list should be followed and the appropriate person be directed to act, pending assumption of duty of the New FIRS executive chairman.

“That if by close of work on Friday, 13th December 2019, no action is taken to this effect, Union will no longer guaranty further industrial harmony in the system.”

The communique was signed by Okere Samson (JUC Chairman); Idris Hassan Abdulrahaman (JUC Vice-Chairman); Lekwot Friday Thomas (JUC Secretary); Jimoh Idowu; Kenechukwu Oliver; Shehu M.D; Esther Acheme; Jane Akinbami; Abba Dalhatu; Akpabio N.M; Ajoge J.Y; Akorga Lucy; Ohiwere Ahmed A; Abubakar Abeni; Hussaini Moses; Nwoha Godwin and Habiba Adekunle.

The union leaders sent copies of the communique to Finance Minister Mrs. Zainab Ahmed, Association of Senior Civil Servants of Nígeria President and his Nigeria Civil Service Union counterpart.

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