President Muhammadu Buhari Monday in Abuja said his administration remains
resolute and focused on delivering on the three-pronged promises of
securing the lives and properties of Nigerians, halting the pillage of the
economy by corrupt public officials, and creating employment opportunities
for the youths.
Receiving the Board of Directors of the Nigerian Economic Summit Group at
the State House, President Buhari said the initial economic challenge
posed by recession was already dwindling, with the economy smarting out
and posting better results on falling inflation rates, higher foreign
reserve and better ranking on ease of doing business.
“If you look critically into the 2018 budget, we have already taken into
account key issues of more stable electricity, construction of roads and
rails, and the airport concession’’ he said.
The President said the government will work more to accelerate and
increase momentum in agriculture, power, gas, manufacturing and
processing, while commending the Chinese government for its support in
improving infrastructure in Nigeria.
“We send our gratitude to the Chinese for all their support to Nigeria.
Since Independence, no country has helped our country on infrastructural
development like the Chinese. In some projects, the Chinese help us with
85 per cent payment, and soft loans that span 20 years. No country has
done that for us,’’ he said.
The President assured Nigerians that the rising attacks on communities by
herdsmen will soon be brought under control by security forces deployed to
the vulnerable areas across the country.
He said the unfortunate incident of attacks, which had resulted in loss of
lives and properties, had already brought sorrow and hardship on many
Nigerians, with the government deeply affected.
President Buhari said the government will continue to strengthen its
relationship with the NESG, especially in integrating its recommendations
into policies that will improve the livelihood of all Nigerians.
In his remark, the chairman of the NESG Board of Directors, Kyari Abba
Bukar, commended the government for the “pragmatic approach’’ in engaging
with citizens of Niger Delta region which had translated into steady rise
in oil production.
“Your Excellency, we salute your courage in providing support to the
states that have had fiscal challenges. We recognise that without the
intervention of the Presidency, many state governments would have been
unable to pay salaries last year,’’ he said.
Bukar said the outlook on the economy remained upwardly positive,
projecting a 3.5 per cent GDP growth, urging the President to pay more
attention on the herdsmen attacks, which could reverse the gains recorded
in the agricultural sector.