Nigeria at 59: 5 key takeaways from President Buhari's Independence Day speech

Pictures from Nigeria’s 59th Independence Day celebrations at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.
  • Nigeria celebrates low-key independence anniversary amid security challenges, sluggish economic growth, and uncertainties.
  • On Nigeria's 59th independence anniversary, President Buhari says his government is planning to accelerate sustainable and inclusive economic growth.
  • We look at 5 takeaways from his speech regarding Nigerian economy.

Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari said his government is working to promote sustainable and inclusive economic growth.

President Buhari dropped this in his Independence Day address to mark Nigeria’s 59th Independence anniversary in Abuja on Tuesday, October 1st.

He said his All Progressives Congress (APC) led administration inherited a skewed economy, still pushing economic mess that characterised the last four years onto the previous administration-led by the main opposition party, Peoples Democratic Party (PDP)

After the Nigerian economy recovered from its worst recession in 2017, it has been growing at a slow pace and the country needs radical economic policies to fix loopholes.

Here are 5 takeaways from his speech as regards the Nigerian economy:

To increasingly welcome and encourage private capital for infrastructural development through Public-Private Partnerships. "Through the Road Infrastructure Tax Credit Scheme, which I initiated in January this year, we are giving incentives to private sector inflow of over N205 billion in 19 Nigerian roads and bridges of 794.4km across in 11 States of the Federation."

He said his government is serious about reforming the power sector.

In August this year, we launched the Presidential Power Initiative to modernise the National Grid in 3 phases: starting from 5 Gigawatts to 7 Gigawatts, then to 11 Gigawatts by 2023, and finally 25 Gigawatts afterwards. This programme, in partnership with the German Government and Siemens, will provide end-to-end electrification solutions that will resolve our transmission and distribution challenges.

President Buhari said the recently constituted an Economic Advisory Council will advise the government on inclusive and sustainable macroeconomic, fiscal and monetary policies.

He stated further that his government will be committed to ensuring that the inconvenience associated with any painful policy adjustments, is moderated, such that the poor and the vulnerable, who are most at risk, do not bear the brunt.

The president said the merger of the Ministry of Finance with the Ministry of Budget and National Planning will ensure proper scrutiny of revenue-generating agencies and reward exceptional revenue performance, while severe consequences will attend failures to achieve agreed revenue targets.

He observed that the nation’s population growth rate had remained among the highest in the world, presenting both challenges as well as opportunities.

It is our collective responsibility to ensure that we provide adequate resources to meet the basic needs of our teeming youth.”

He said his government will continue to invest in education, health, water and sanitation, as well as food security, to ensure that their basic needs are met, while providing them with every opportunity to live peaceful, prosperous and productive lives.

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