President Muhammadu Buhari on Thursday urged law-abiding citizens to always provide community level Intelligence to relevant authorities to check the activities of insurgents, bandits and other criminals across the country.
The president made the call in a broadcast to commemorate the 60th Independence anniversary of the nation in Abuja.
Buhari stressed that his administration would remain committed to its constitutional duty of safeguarding the lives and property of innocent Nigerians.
“As a government, we remain committed to our constitutional duty of securing the lives and property of the citizenry.
“I, however, call on the citizenry to also support government by providing the necessary community-level intelligence in addressing these challenges,” he said.
Besides, the president expressed the commitment of his administration to strengthening the nation’s economy so as to provide sustainable means of livelihood for as many Nigerians as possible to eradicate abject poverty in the society.
Buhari said: “I want to re-emphasise my dedication and commitment; a dedication and commitment that propelled my public service career and informed my quest to continually seek for an opportunity to improve the lives of Nigerians, set the country on the path of prosperity and lead the country to a better future.
“This administration has been focused on rebuilding and laying the foundations for a sustainable Nigeria.
”Of course, we have met and are still meeting the challenges inherent in any rebuilding initiative – more so that of a nation like Nigeria that has undergone avoidable levels of deprivation – but can be surmounted if we all work together.
“I wish to reiterate that our people and our spirit of excellence remain our most important asset.
“In this wise, the need to return to our age-old ethical and high moral values would be necessary and this informed my launching of the National Ethics and Integrity Policy on Sept. 28, 2020.
“The policy would not implement itself and the first contact of the visibility of its implementation is the public service, whose ongoing reforms are expected to be sustainable and give a radical re-direction in providing services to all Nigerians.”
On the economy, the president lamented that Nigeria had suffered a significant drop in its foreign exchange earnings and internally generated revenue (IGR), as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Fellow Nigerians, in addition to public health challenges of working to contain the spread of coronavirus, we have suffered a significant drop in our foreign exchange earnings and internal revenues due to 40-per-cent drop in oil prices and steep drop in economic activities; leading to a 60-per-cent drop in government revenue.”
According to him, the Federal Government is grappling with the dual challenge of saving lives and livelihoods in the face of drastically reduced resources.
Buhari stressed that the situation had led to the recent deregulation of the nation’s petroleum sector because sustaining the level of petroleum prices was no longer feasible.
“In this regard, sustaining the level of petroleum prices is no longer possible. The government, since coming into office, has recognised the economic argument for adjusting the price of petroleum.
“But the social argument about the knock-on effect of any adjustment weighed heavily with the government.
“Accordingly, in the last three years, we have introduced unprecedented measures in support of the economy and to the weakest members of our society in the shape of `Tradermoni’, `Farmermoni’, school feeding programme, job creation efforts and agricultural intervention programmes.
“No government in the past did what we are doing with such scarce resources,” he added.
The president stated that his administration had managed to keep things going in spite of the disproportionate spending on security.
“Those in the previous governments, from 1999 to 2015, who presided over the near destruction of the country, have now the impudence to attempt to criticise our efforts.
“In the circumstances, a responsible government must face realities and take tough decisions,” he said.
On the recent adjustment in the petroleum prices in Nigeria, Buhari said that the decision was necessary to safeguard the economy.
He also justified the decision of the government by comparing the current prices of a litre of petrol in other oil-producing countries with that of Nigeria.
His words: “We sell now at N161 per litre. A comparison with our neighbours will illustrate the point:
a Chad which is an oil producing country charges N362 per litre
b. Niger, also an oil producing country sells 1 litre at N346.
c. In Ghana, another oil producing country, petroleum pump price is N326 per litre.
“Further afield, Egypt charges N211 per litre. Saudi Arabia charges N168 per litre. It makes no sense for oil to be cheaper in Nigeria than in Saudi Arabia.
“Fellow Nigerians, to achieve the great country we desire, we need to solidify our strength, increase our commitment and encourage ourselves to do that which is right and proper even when no one is watching,”
Buhari pledged that his administration would continue to focus on rebuilding and laying the foundation for a sustainable Nigeria.