President Muhammadu Buhari has said he is aware that in the past couple of months, Nigerians have had to endure significant hardships, pointing out that his living in the State House has not detached him from their daily sufferings.
This is just as he called on the judiciary to support his administration in the recovery of stolen funds by speedily concluding trials and showing that impunity no longer has a place in Nigeria.
In his New Year message to the nation, President Buhari vowed to vigorously continue with the crackdown on corruption during his tenure.
“Our crackdown on corruption will continue to be vigorously undertaken”, he said.
“I urge the courts to support our efforts and help in the recovery of stolen funds by speedily concluding trials and showing that impunity no longer has a place in our country”.
While acknowledging that a lot still needed to be done, Mr. Buhari disclosed that he had charged all his ministers and other appointees to ensure that Nigerians experience positive changes in their lives in 2016.
“We must reduce our country’s reliance on oil. We must diversify our economy. And we must do all we can to promote job creation”, he said.
While ushering Nigerians into the New Year, Mr. Buhari said he would continue with the change already began by his administration, pleading with them not to despair despite the present economic realities.
He said, “I am aware that Nigerians have experienced a number of significant hardships over the past months. Living in the State House has not alienated me from your daily sufferings.
“I am aware of the lengthy queues at fuel stations and of the difficulties businesses have faced in acquiring foreign exchange. These challenges are only temporary; we are working to make things better.
“When I presented myself to you as a presidential candidate and asked you to vote for me, I wanted to be a leader who keeps his promises. I wanted to be a leader who restores the people’s hope in those elected to serve them. I wanted to be a leader who initiates positive and enduring CHANGE.
“I am still totally committed to being that kind of leader. Unforeseen circumstances and other distractions notwithstanding, I shall still do my utmost best to keep every promise I made to Nigerians during my election campaign”.
Mr. Buhari said in the past seven months since it was inaugurated, his administration had focused on laying the right foundation for the change Nigerians voted for during the presidential election.
“Nigerians will in due course begin to enjoy the fruits of all our ongoing work”, he assured.
“The effective and efficient implementation of our 2016 budget proposals will address many of the socio-economic issues that are of current concern to our people”.
The president said one area in which Nigerians, especially those in the northeast, had already begun to experience major change, was in the war on terror.
He, therefore, commended the Armed Forces for significantly curtailing the insurgency which had ravaged the region over the past few years.
He added, “However, there is still a lot of work to be done in the area of security. Our Armed Forces will maintain, consolidate and build on their successes in the war against Boko Haram and violent extremism.
“This government will not consider the matter concluded until the terrorists have been completely routed and normalcy restored to all parts of the country that have been adversely affected by the Boko Haram insurgency”.
Mr. Buhari said his administration will remain strong and unshaken, while reposing confidence in God to help it deliver on its promises.