From: Bamidele Fashube, Abuja
President Muhammadu Buhari on Wednesday pledged to address climate change issues and improve livelihoods of Nigerians in the next four years.
He made this known during his inaugural speech at the Eagle’s Square in Abuja.
“For the next four years, we will remain committed to improving the lives of people by consolidating efforts to address these key issues as well as emerging challenges of climate change, resettling displaced communities and dealing decisively with the new flashes of insecurity across the country, and the impacts on food scarcity and regional stability,” says Buhari.
“We are not daunted by the enormity of the tasks ahead. Instead, we are revived by this new mandate to work collaboratively with State and Local Governments, Legislators, the Diplomatic Corps and all Nigerians to rebuild and reposition our country as the heartbeat and reference point for our continent.”
Buhari noted that the country is blessed with water, arable land and other natural resources good enough to change lots of the people and position the country as global power.
“We have water, arable land, forests, oil and gas and vast quantities of solid minerals. We are blessed with an equable climate. However, the bulk of our real wealth lies in Agriculture, Livestock, Forestry and Mining. We possess all the ingredients of a major economic power on the world stage.”
However, he stressed need for collective efforts and political will to achieve the fete.
“What we require is the will to get our acts together. And our strength is in our people – our youth, our culture, our resilience, our ability to succeed despite the odds.
“A huge responsibility therefore rests on this and succeeding Administrations to develop, harness and fulfil our enormous potential into a force to be reckoned with globally.”
According to him, Nigeria has witnessed eight quarters of positive growth in the economy adding that the GDP is expected to grow by 2.7 percent this year.
He said the external reserves have risen to $45 billion which is noted is enough to finance over nine months of current import commitments.
“This Administration is laying the foundation and taking bold steps in transforming our country and liberating our people from the shackles of poverty,” Buhari added.
Speaking on developing rural economies, the President unveiled plans to integrate the locals to the national economic ‘grid’ through access to small-scale credits and inputs to rural farmers, credit to rural micro-businesses and opening up other critical feeder roads.
He said for small-scale enterprises in towns and cities, “we shall expand facilities currently available so that we continue to encourage and support domestic production of basic goods and reduce our reliance of imported goods as I will outline later.”