New Year: Nigerians’ problems are temporary, says Buhari


buaPresident Muhammadu Buhari on Thursday assured Nigerians that the various challenges they were going through would be a thing of the past under his leadership.

Buhari made the promise in a New Year message he personally signed and made available to journalists by the Presidency’s Media and Publicity Unit.

The President pointed out that despite living inside the comfort of the Presidential Villa, Abuja, he was not insulated from the difficulties being faced by Nigerians across the country.

He identified some of the sufferings to include long fuel queues and the difficulty in acquiring foreign exchange, among others.

Buhari insisted that the challenges were temporary because his administration was working hard to make things better.

He described 2016 as the year of the continuation of change in the country.

The President said, “I am aware that Nigerians have experienced a number of significant hardships over the past months. Living in the State House has not alienated me from your daily sufferings.

“I am aware of the lengthy queues at fuel stations and of the difficulties businesses have faced in acquiring foreign exchange. These challenges are only temporary; we are working to make things better.

“When I presented myself to you as a presidential candidate and asked you to vote for me, I wanted to be a leader who keeps his promises. I wanted to be a leader, who restores the people’s hope in those elected to serve them. I wanted to be a leader who initiates positive and enduring change.

“I am still totally committed to being that kind of leader. Unforeseen circumstances and other distractions notwithstanding, I shall still do my utmost best to keep every promise I made to Nigerians during my election campaign.”

Buhari explained that since his inauguration on May 29, 2015, his administration had focused on laying the right foundations for the change Nigerians voted for during the presidential election.

He promised that Nigerians would, in due course, begin to enjoy the fruits of all ongoing work.

He added that the efficient implementation of the 2016 budget proposals would address many of the socio-economic issues that were of concern to the people.

The President said despite the successes being recorded in the fight against terror and the ongoing anti-corruption war, his government would do more.

According to him, his government would not consider the terror war as concluded until the terrorists had been completely routed and normalcy restored to all parts of the country.

On anti-corruption war, Buhari called on the courts to support his administration’s efforts and help in the recovery of stolen funds by speedily concluding trials and showing that impunity no longer had a place in the country.

The President added, “One area in which Nigerians, especially those in the North-East, have already begun to experience major change is in the war on terror.

“I commend our Armed Forces for significantly curtailing the insurgency which has ravaged the North-East of Nigeria over the past few years.

“However, there is still a lot of work to be done in the area of security. Our Armed Forces will maintain, consolidate and build on their successes in the war against Boko Haram and violent extremism.

“This government will not consider the matter concluded until the terrorists have been completely routed and normalcy restored to all parts of the country that have been adversely affected by the Boko Haram insurgency.

“Our crackdown on corruption will continue to be vigorously undertaken. I urge the courts to support our efforts and help in the recovery of stolen funds by speedily concluding trials and showing that impunity no longer has a place in our country.

“We must reduce our country’s reliance on oil. We must diversify our economy. And we must do all we can to promote job creation.

“Our challenges are many but our determination to succeed is strong and unshaken. So too is our confidence in God.

“I wish you all a very Happy New Year.”

Meanwhile, the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Yakubu Dogara, said on Thursday that Nigerians would begin to feel the real impact of the change promised by the All Progressives Congress-led Federal Government in 2016.

In his New Year message to Nigerians, Dogara stated that the change would start with the passage of the N6.08tn 2016 budget by the National Assembly.

However, he called on Nigerians to be ready to work harder and support the agenda of the government under the leadership of President Muhammadu Buhari.

His message was contained in a statement by his Special Adviser on Media and Public Affairs, Mr. Turaki Hassan.

Part of the statement reads, “When passed into law and faithfully executed, it (the budget) will not only lift the common man from abject poverty, it will also usher in the much needed opportunities for innovation and investment that are the engines of economic growth and prosperity.”

But for the change to have an impact, Dogara added that “the people must go to work to make it happen as government alone cannot solve all our problems.”

The Deputy Speaker, Mr. Yusuf Lasun, offered similar assurances in his New Year message.

Like Dogara, the deputy speaker placed much hope on the budget, adding that the National Assembly was fully in support of Buhari to make Nigerians have a better life in 2016.

Part of a statement by his Chief Press Secretary, Mr. Wale Oladimeji, reads, “It is my appeal to Nigerians that we support the government of the day as it tries to address some of the fundamental problems confronting the growth of our country like unemployment, unstable power, deplorable roads and unacceptable health care delivery.

“As House of Representatives, we are determined to throw our weight behind the President in tackling corruption.

“It is our belief that anyone caught in corrupt acts should be made to face the wrath of the law because corruption has been the bane of the development of this country.”