President Muhammadu Buhari yesterday said the current challenges facing the country are temporary and will soon become a thing of the past.
In his New Year message to Nigerians, President Buhari said that he is aware that Nigerians have experienced a lot of hardship over the past months, adding that living in the presidential villa has not insulated him from their sufferings.
He recalled that when he contested the general election and solicited for votes, he wanted to be that leader that keeps his promise, a leader who initiates positive and enduring change.
He said, “Welcome to the beginning of a New Year of the continuation of change in our beloved nation. 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.”
Buhari asserted that in the past seven months since the inauguration of his government on May 29, 2015, he and his team has focused on laying the right foundation for the country in order to bring about a change in the fortunes of the nation and its peoples, the change the electorate voted for during the presidential election.
“Nigerians will in due course begin to enjoy the fruits of all our ongoing work. 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.”
On the war against insurgents in the north east, President Buhari commended the Armed Forces for curtailing the insurgents, but pointed out that more work needs to done in the area of security.
He, however, maintained that the war against Boko Haram is not over yet until the insurgents are completely routed out and normalcy returned to the afflicted region.
On the fight against corruption he said: “Our crackdown on corruption will continue to be vigorously undertaken. 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.
“There is much work to do in other areas as well and I have charged all my ministers and other appointees to ensure that Nigerians experience positive changes in their lives in 2016.”
On the planned diversification of the economy from oil in 2016, President Buhari said, “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. Our challenges are many but our determination to succeed is strong and unshaken; so too is our confidence in God.
The president wished all Nigerians a very happy New Year.