President Muhammadu Buhari in a June 12 Democracy Day address said he was using the occasion to give an account of his stewardship, noting that agriculture remains key to the nation’s economic diversification strategy.
In a speech that addressed various sectors of the economy including agriculture, power, mining and transport, the President noted that “GDP grew from 1.91 per cent in 2018 to 2.27 per cent in 2019 but declined to 1.87 per cent in the first quarter of 2020 as a result of the decline in global economic activities due to the COVID-19 pandemic.”
President Buhari said, “In order to stabilize the economy, the Monetary Authority took steps to build the external reserves which resulted in improved liquidity in the foreign exchange market. The external reserves grew from $33.42 billion on April 29th 2020 to about $36.00 billion in May, 2020 which is enough to finance seven months of import commitments.
“Agriculture remains the key to our economic diversification strategy. The Presidential Fertilizer Initiative programme continues to deliver significant quantities of affordable and high-quality fertilizers to our farmers. This initiative has also revived 31 blending plants and created a significant number of direct and indirect jobs across the value chain.
“Government is also revamping the cotton, textile and garment sector via a CBN Textile Revival Intervention Fund that would considerably reduce foreign exchange spent on cotton and other textile imports.”
The President added that “We remain committed to expanding our mining sector. To this end, I have directed the resuscitation of the Ajaokuta Steel Plant based on Government-to-Government financing and a Public-Private Sector financing.”
Relating to the power sector, President Buhari said that “The Power Sector remains very critical to meeting our industrial development aspirations and we are tackling the challenges that still exist in the delivery of power through different strategies. We are executing some critical projects through the Transmission Rehabilitation and Expansion Programme including the: Alaoji to Onitsha, Delta Power Station to Benin and Kaduna to Kano; 330kv DC 62km line between Birnin Kebbi and Kamba; Lagos/Ogun Transmission Infrastructure Project; Abuja Transmission Ring Scheme; and Northern Corridor Transmission Project.”
He said the Siemens will transmit and distribute a total of 11,000 Megawatts by 2023.
The president also gave updates on the Second Niger Bridge and the Lagos-Ibadan rail project.
“On the 2nd Niger Bridge, piling work has been completed and the approach roads are being constructed. 48 per cent of work on this bridge has been achieved. We have constructed 102km of the 376km Abuja – Kaduna – Kano Road, representing 38 per cent, and the 42.9km Obajana – Kabba Road is 87.03 per cent complete.
“The Lagos-Ibadan Rail Line is 90 per cent completed and would be extended to the Lagos Port which would help address the long-standing gridlock at the Apapa port.”
Speaking on Niger Delta issues, President Buhari said, “Furthermore, I am determined to ensure that development meant for the people of the Niger Delta get to them so I have authorised a Forensic Audit of the Niger Delta Development Commission.”
He said Nigeria remains committed to expanding access to quality education to enhance the productivity of its citizens and would continue to pursue the enforcement of free and compulsory basic education for the first nine years of schooling.
Read the full text of the President’s speech here:
YOU SHOULD NOT MISS THESE HEADLINES FROM NIGERIAN TRIBUNE
Buhari Expresses Shock Over Boko Haram’s Attack On Gubio
President Muhammadu Buhari has expressed deep shock at Boko Haram’s attack on Gubio village, Borno State in which the terrorists killed many people. A statement issued in Abuja on Wednesday night by Garba Shehu, Senior Special Assistant to the President (Media & Publicity) said as news of “one the most brutal terrorist… Read full story
Foreign Herdsmen: No Law Stopping Cross-Border Movements ― FG
Despite the menace posed by foreign herdsmen, the Federal Government has said that there are currently no laws preventing cross-border movements. The Minister of Interior, Rauf Aregbesola, who stated this on Wednesday at the end of the Federal Executive Council (FEC) meeting at the Presidential Villa in Abuja, however… Read full story
Police Arrest Man For Raping 40 Women In Kano
The Police Command in Kano State has arrested a 32-year-old man, Muhammad Alfa, for allegedly raping 40 women in the past one year in the state. The Spokesman of the Command, DSP Abdullahi Haruna, confirmed the arrest in a statement on Wednesday in Kano… Read full story
I Have No Problem With Makinde ― Alaafin
The Alaafin of Oyo, Oba Lamidi Adeyemi, on Wednesday, said he held no grudge against Governor Seyi Makinde. There had been insinuations that Oba Adeyemi had ill-feeling towards Makinde following the recent siting of a mobile police force squadron in Ago-Are, Oke-Ogun area of the state… Read full story
Africa’s COVID-19 Cases Over 200,000 ― WHO
The World Health Organisation (WHO) says confirmed novel coronavirus (COVID-19) cases in Africa are more than 200,000. The WHO Regional Office for Africa in Brazzaville, Congo, gave the update on its official twitter handle @WHOAFRO… Read full story
UPDATE: FEC To Initiate Tougher Action Against Rapists
The Federal Executive Council (FEC) has announced that more decisive action is to be taken against rapists henceforth as the government has expressed worries about the upsurge in the menace. This followed a presentation by the Minister of Women Affairs, Mrs Pauline Tallen, to the council meeting presided over… Read full story
Nigeria, India, DR Congo Home To Over 33% Of World’s Poorest, Says World Bank
The World Bank has said that more than a third of the world’s poorest people live in Nigeria, India and Democratic Republic of Congo, even as the COVID-19 pandemic pushes about 100 million people into extreme poverty. Those who live on less than $1.90 per day are categorised as being in extreme poverty… Read full story
COVID-19: Kogi Directs Workers On Levels 01-10 To Resume
Governor Yahaya Bello of Kogi State has directed civil servants on Salary Grade Levels 01-10 to return to work on June 15. The directive was contained in a statement issued in Lokoja on Wednesday by the state Head of Service, Mrs Deborah Ogunmola… Read full story
Another Death In Aso Rock As Aisha Buhari Loses Protocol Officer
Wife of President Muhammadu Buhari, Aisha Buhari, on Wednesday, announced that she lost a protocol officer, Sani Yekini, after battling with diabetes. Aisha, who made the announcement in a tweet on her official Twitter handle, described Yekini who has been working with her for four years as “a very committed… Read full story
COVID-19: Senator Ndume Advocates Part-Time Status For Lawmakers, Reduction In Salary
Senator representing Borno south and Chairman, Senate Committee on Army, Ali Ndume, has advocated part-time status for lawmakers in the country due to the dwindling effect of COVID-19. In a statement made available to newsmen on Wednesday, the lawmaker who sought for the office of Senate President last… Read full story
N2.2bn Land Scam: Deposed Emir Sanusi Appeals Judgment
The deposed Emir of Kano Muhammadu Sanusi II, on Wednesday, appealed a judgment delivered by a Federal High Court dismissing his right of fair hearing against the Kano state Public Complaints and Anti-Corruption Commission. Counsels to the emir, Messrs Dikko and Mahmoud, filed the appeal on Wednesday… Read full story
Orange Juice Excellent For Tooth Disorders, Heart Diseases —Experts
THE orange contains a variety of health-promoting properties. The fruit is a rich source of protective food ingredients like vitamin A, B, C and calcium. Recent studies have proven its superiority to any other fruit as a source of calcium. The orange also contains sodium, potassium, magnesium, copper, sulphur and chlorine… Read full story
EDITORIAL: The Story Of Majek Fashek
BY the time he died on June 1, aged 57, Majekodunmi Faseke, or simply Majek Fashek to his distraught fans all over the world, had lived his life to full circle. Of course, he was not an old man, but he had arguably seen it all. From the low, deprived, humble beginnings of childhood and the boisterous struggling years of adolescence to the peak of prominence and global fame, then back to the ebb of existence, Majek Fashek had seen it all. Not many older persons could claim to have fumbled and tumbled through life than the man fondly referred to as the Rainmaker… Read full story