Nigeria President Muhammadu Buhari addressed Nigerians on the first day of the new year.
Most Nigerians are actually looking forward to a better year, having passed through a very turbulent 2020.
In the broadcast, Buhari outlined the government’s plans for Nigerians in the new year.
We have picked out 12 prominent things he said in his broadcast below:
Borders are open to neighbours ready for fair, equitable business
President Muhammadu Buhari said the message to the West African neighbours with the recent opening of the country’s borders was that Nigeria was “fully open” for those willing to conduct business in a fair and equitable way.
He said: “With the recent opening of our borders, we expect that the pent-up demand of legitimate cross-border and international trade will boost the fortunes of the many small businesses and agricultural enterprises that depend on Nigeria’s trade and commerce.”
Challenges will be faced head-on
The President restated his pledge to ensure that the ongoing challenges in the country are faced head-on with renewed determination and with all the appropriateness and urgency required.
2020, a very tough year
President Buhari said 2020 was a very tough year that put “our national resilience and ability to survive these tough times” to test due to the challenges posed on collective humanity by the novel COVID-19 pandemic.
The President, however, said that it gave renewed hope that “we will again brave any storms that lay ahead in 2021 and beyond.”
He said 2020 came with a lot of challenges ranging from security and economic issues across the regions to “understandable protests that were mainly led by our youths and served notice to the demand for police reforms and accountability.”
The future of the Nigerian youths
Buhari, who used the occasion of New Year to reaffirm his commitment to the people of Nigeria, especially the youth who needed collective encouragement and support, stressed the need to secure the future of the youth in order to secure the nation.
“As a Government, we are committed to actively engaging with the creative energies of our young people.
“In this regard, we will partner with the legislature to develop an enabling environment to turn their passions into ideas that can be supported, groomed and scaled across regions.
“This will create vast opportunities in fintech, agriculture, business process startups and in the entertainment industry,” he added.
Buhari pledges to reorganise armed forces, police
Buhari said: “Some of the key priority areas we would direct our attention and strengths to include: “re-energizing and reorganizing the security apparatus and personnel of the armed forces and the police with a view to enhance their capacity to engage, push back and dismantle the operations of both internal and external extremist and criminal groups waging war against our communities in some parts of the country.”
Diversification agenda has reduced food inflation
“On the economy, our focus is on revamping the economy through the national economic diversification agenda that supports the primary goal of national food self-sufficiency.
“This has helped reduce the growing food related inflationary figures and have in considerable measure positively impacted our food security status during the long months of the pandemic lock down.”
We will eradicate corruption through collaboration’
“On the anti-corruption drive of our administration, we have recorded substantial gains so far and this year, we are committed to continuing along the path of eradicating corruption, through collaboration with all the arms of Government to effectively prosecute this fight.”
He said: “I am aware that for some of our compatriots, the progress we have registered since the inception of this administration is not nearly as fast or as sufficient as they would wish.
“I do not begrudge them their views in so far as they signify a wish, in which we all share, for only the very best for our country.
“Nevertheless, I call upon all Nigerians to carefully recall the circumstances of our coming to office, the facts on the ground and the resources at our disposal since 2015 with the accomplishments of this administration.”
Reinforcing hope in 2021
President Buhari said his administration will use the year 2021 to “work to reinforce the hopes of fellow Nigerians in the vision of a united and progressive Nigeria.”
Boko Haram, others thwarted efforts to improve quality of life
He said in parts of the country where chronic poverty, social exclusion, and disillusionment among sections of the youth were already a problem, the cycles of violence that have been unleashed by mindless groups like Boko Haram and others have thwarted the efforts of government to undertake the social policy and associated investments that could make a huge difference in the quality of life of our citizens.
Persistent violence threatened inter-community harmony
He said the persistence of various forms of violence has meant that in the most affected parts of the country, the fabric of inter-communal harmony woven through years of investment of effort at building trust, mutual respect, and harmony has been threatened.
Stopping terror attacks needs more proactive, pre-emptive postures
Buhari said the administration recognised that; “we rapidly have to move to a more proactive and preemptive postures” to ensure that terror attacks on citizens “do not become a norm.”
“Our administration is fully aware of the responsibility we have to protect the lives and property of all Nigerians, and we will not relent in learning and adapting to changing threats to our national security and civic wellbeing,” he added.