8 WORRYING Points From President Buhari’s 2018 Speech
At 7am today, President Muhammadu Buhari made a public speech announcement to the citizens of Nigeria. He talked about the pressing needs of his fellow Nigerian citizens, his plan for Nigeria in 2018,the roads he will do in 2018,he also talked about the 2019 election and how it should be a free and fair election. Here are the key points he made in his speech :-
1:-The Issue Of Fuel Scarcity
He said that the NNPC had taken measures to ensure availability at all depots and he is determined to get to the root of this collective blackmail of all Nigerians and ensure that whichever groups are behind this manipulated hardship will be prevented from doing so again.
2:- The Infrastructural Deficit
He said he is going to make significant in-roads in advancing road, rail and power projects across the country.
The Ministry of Power, Works and Housing is one of the drivers of this Government’s commitment to renew and increase Nigeria’s stock of infrastructure in order to achieve global economic competitiveness as targeted under the Economic Recovery and Growth Plan.
With regards to Railways, He has set ambitious targets. Already in construction stage is the Lagos-Kano Standard Gauge Railway.
The line should reach Ibadan from Lagos by the end of 2019 and will carry two million passengers per year and five million tons of cargo will be transported every year giving a substantial boost to the country’s economy.
Construction of the Kano – Kaduna segment is expected to commence this year and reach Kaduna by the end of 2019. By the end of 2021 the two ends will be joined so that we will have standard gauge railway across the main North-South trading route.
The Abuja – Kaduna route will be boosted by additional rolling stock next Thursday and will be able to handle one million commuters annually.
At the same time he has approved and negotiations will be concluded in the first part of this year for the Port Harcourt to Maiduguri line covering Aba, Owerri, Umuahia, Enugu, Awka, Abakaliki, Makurdi, Lafia, Jos, Bauchi, Gombe, Yola and Damaturu. The Abuja to Itakpe line will go through Baro and terminate in Warri with construction of a new seaport at Warri.
Negotiations are also advanced for the construction of other railway lines, firstly from Kano to Maradi in Niger Republic passing through Kazaure, Daura, Katsina, Jibia to Maradi.
Secondly, Lagos to Calabar the “Coastal Rail” through Ore, Benin, Agbor, Asaba, Onitsha, Sapele, Ughelli, Warri, Yenagoa, Otuoke, Port Harcourt, Aba, Uyo and Calabar. In the next few years, all these Nigerian cities will be linked by functional modern rail systems, giving enormous boost to the social and economic life of our people.
3:- Improve Power Supply
Several moribund projects have been revived. Repairs of Afam Power Station added 110MW in 2017 and another 240MW will be added this year through a private investment partnership.
Katsina Power Project is now being tested and producing 10MW of power from wind for the first time in Nigeria. It should be fully operational this year.
The Zungeru 700MW Hydroelectric Power Project, stalled by court cases is due for completion in 2019. The transmission and other requirements to operate the 30MW Gurara Phase 1 Hydroelectric Plant, the 40MW Kashimbilla Hydroelectric Plant and the 215 MW Kaduna Gas/LPG/Diesel Power Plant will also be completed this year.
A landmark project, Mambilla Hydroelectric Power Project is at last taking off. This project has been on the drawing Board for 40 years, but now the engineering, procurement and construction contract for the 3,050MW project has been agreed with a Chinese joint venture Company with a financing commitment from the government of China. Completion is targeted for 2023.
The Transmission Company of Nigeria can now distribute all the 7,000MW that can be generated. TCN and the Niger Delta Holding Company have added 1,950MVA of 330 down to 132KV transformer capacity of 10 transmission stations and 2,930MVA of 132 down to 33KV transformer capacity of 42 sub-stations including Ikot Ekpene, Aba, Alagbon, Ajah, Ejigbo, Funtua and Zaria.
This Administration is working with the privatised distribution Companies to overcome the continuing challenges of distribution.
You will recall that it was not until last year that we got out of the economic recession into which the country had fallen as a consequence of past unsustainable economic policies which projected short-term illusory growth.
The government is slowly stabilizing the economy.
Diversification efforts have resulted in improved output particularly in agriculture and solid minerals sectors. The relative exchange rate stability has improved manufacturing sector performance.
He says we have to get used to discipline and direction in economic management. The days of business as usual are numbered.
He had this to say
By the same token, I am today appealing to enterprising Nigerians with ideas and unemployed graduates and other able-bodied and literate men and women with ideas not to just sit and wait for employment from the government or the Organized Private Sector. Great nations are built by enterprising people who turn their hands to anything that circumstances dictate.
5:- Political Development
The strong case for a closer look at the cost of government and for the public services long used to extravagance, waste and corruption to change for the better. He assured that government is ever receptive to ideas which will improve governance and contribute to the country’s peace and stability.
6:- The Next Election Season
As the electioneering season approaches politicians must avoid exploiting ethnicity and religion by linking ethnicity with religion and religion with politics. Such must be avoided at all costs if we are to live in harmony.
In this respect the rest of Nigeria could learn from the South Western States who have successfully internalized religion, ethnicity and politics.
Political discourse should be conducted with civility, decorum and in a constitutional manner. We all have a collective responsibility to strengthen our democracy and entrench the rule of law. We should draw encouragement from the series of bye-elections conducted by INEC last year which were generally violence free and their outcomes adjudged to be free and fair.
He offered thanks to the Armed forces, the Police, other para-military forces and traditional authorities who are working round the clock to ensure that you and I go about our normal business in reasonable safety.
With regard to rampant cases of kidnappings, He is taking immediate short-term measures to combat this new evil creeping into our societies. Tighter police methods and swift and severe punishment for those proved to be engaged in kidnapping are on the way.
With respect to Niger Delta, Government is still engaging responsible leadership of the Communities to help in identifying and addressing genuine grievances of the region. Our clean-up programme in collaboration with the United Nations is making satisfactory progress.
Finally he expressed his heartfelt thanks to all Nigerians who prayed for him during his illness last year.
I feel deeply humbled by your prayers and good wishes and I am more determined than ever to serve you to the best of my ability.