President Muhammadu Buhari on Monday, January 1, 2018 delivered a message to all Nigerians in a live broadcast as earlier revealed by his media aides on Sunday, December 31, 2017.
In the 2,011-word speech, the president revealed new government projects, his administrations concerns and many more.
Legit.ng team has gathered the top 9 points in the speech which was aired live at 7am on private and public-owned television and radio stations.
1. Not a merry Xmas or happy New Year
President Buhari admitted that the fuel scarcity made the yuletide season a very tough one for Nigerians.
"...I am saddened to acknowledge that for many this Christmas and New Year holidays have been anything but merry and happy. Instead of showing love, companionship and charity, some of our compatriots chose this period to inflict severe hardship on us all by creating unnecessary fuel scarcity across the country."
2. Fuel scarcity culprits are in big trouble
President Buhari vowed to deal with those behind the fuel scarcity that made December 2017 a very tough period for Nigerians.
"I am 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."
3. Many roads and rail lines will be made functional in 2018
The president says the administration would see to construction and repairs of many roads in the country. It hopes to use these to also boost the economy in the new year and also achieve some of Nigeria's climate change goals.
"This train service will stimulate economic activities in the Federal Capital and provide residents with an efficient and safe transportation system. Twelve railway sub-stations around the capital over a 45.2 kilometre route will serve as a catalyst and a pull factor to the economy of the area. The Light Rail System will reduce traffic congestion and carbon emission in line with the Administration’s policy on climate change."
4. SUKUK bond to rescue 25 major highways
The SUKUK bond which the federal government acquired recently will be put to use after much waiting. The bond will be used to finance projects on 25 major highways across the country.
"Twenty five major highways will be funded under the N100b SUKUK facility. Each geo-political zone will benefit by an equal amount of N16.67b."
5. Nigerians have more electric power in their homes
President Buhari says the country's power industry has improved greatly and Nigerians now have more 'light' in their homes than ever before.
"...(Power) generation has now reached 7,000MW. On December 8, 2017 the country achieved 5,155MW of power delivered to consumers, the highest level ever recorded."
6. The economy is really beginning to get better
The president says the policies and strategies of the administration is gradually pulling Nigeria's economy out of the poor state it was in mostly through 2017.
"The government is slowly stabilizing the economy.
"It was in order to change the steady and steep decline that we adopted the more sustainable policies and programmes captured in the Economic Recovery Plan. Diversification efforts have resulted in improved output particularly in agriculture and solid minerals sectors. The relative exchange rate stability has improved manufacturing sector performance."
7. Able-bodied Nigerians should get up and work!
President Buhari says Nigerians should not expect the government to always give them jobs but they should get up and create jobs for themselves and make a living from it. This, he says, is how great nations are built.
"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."
8. I am not for restructuring
For the first time, President Buhari spoke about the debate on restructuring of Nigeria's political system. The president stated in clear terms that he does not think what Nigeria needs right now is restructuring.
According to him, what Nigerians need is how to make systems work well not to change the system entirely.
"In respect of political developments, I have kept a close watch on the on-going debate about “Restructuring”. No human law or edifice is perfect. Whatever structure we develop must periodically be perfected according to changing circumstances and the country’s socio-economic developments.
"We Nigerians can be very impatient and want to improve our conditions faster than may be possible considering our resources and capabilities. When all the aggregates of nationwide opinions are considered, my firm view is that our problems are more to do with process than structure."
9. It is electioneering year, politicians be careful!
President Buhari has issued a warning to politicians as the 2019 elections draw closer. He noted that for Nigeria to remain united, politicians must shun divisive methods of politicking.
He prescribes the model of southwest states who have ensured that politics, religion and ethnicity are not allowed to upset their communities.
"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."
10. New methods to combat high rate of kidnapping are on the way
The president gave assurances on an end to consistent kidnappings across the country.
"With regard to rampant cases of kidnappings, we are 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."
Merry Crisis: Nigeria’s fuel saga - on Legit.ng TV