President Muhammadu Buhari has stated that his government is currently grappling with “current economic challenges such as debt burden, growing inflation, living standards, and increasing unemployment,” which he blamed on the growing youthful population.

In his last Independence Day speech to Nigerians on Saturday morning, Buhari said his government had made some achievements across different sectors of the economy.
This is as he called on the Academic Staff Union of Universities, which has been on a seven-month-old strike, to return to the classroom.

News Direct observed that Buhari’s speech, as usual, lacked concrete promises and blueprints to address the country’s growing challenges, as the president made characteristic general remarks and comments about insecurity, economic downturns, and citizens’ impoverishment.

The president said, “We strengthened the institutions for tackling corruption and also cultivated international support, which aided the repatriation of huge sums of money illegally kept outside the country.” The increasing number of prosecutions and convictions, with associated refunds of large sums of money, is still ongoing. Furthermore, we will continue to block opportunities that encourage corrupt practices.
“In order to address insecurity, we worked methodically to reduce insurgency in the North East, militancy in the Niger Delta, ethnic and religious tensions in some sections of Nigeria, along with other problems threatening our country.

“Our efforts in re-setting the economy are manifested in Nigeria exiting two economic recessions by the very practical and realistic monetary and fiscal measures to ensure effective public financial management.” In addition, the effective implementation of the Treasury Single Account and cutting down on the cost of governance also facilitated early exits from recessions.

“We are confronting current economic challenges such as debt burden, growing inflation, living standards, and increasing unemployment accentuated by our growing youthful population. These problems are globally induced, and we will continue to ensure that their negative effects are addressed in our policies.

“This administration will continue to ensure that our fiscal policies are supported by a robust and contemporary monetary policy that recognizes our peculiarities in the midst of the growing global economic difficulties.”

As we continue to de-escalate the security challenges that confronted us at the inception of this administration, newer forms alien to our country begin to manifest, especially in the areas of kidnappings, molestations and killings of innocent citizens, and banditry, all of which are being addressed by our security forces.

“I share the pains Nigerians are going through and I assure you that your resilience and patience will not be in vain as this administration continues to reposition as well as strengthen the security agencies to enable them to deal with all forms of security challenges.”

At the inception of this administration in 2015, I provided the funding requirements of the security agencies, which was also improved in my second tenure in 2019 to enable them to surmount security challenges. We will continue on this path until our efforts yield the desired results.

“As we put in place all measures to ensure that Nigeria takes her place in the Community of Nations, we recognise the importance of a well-educated populace as a panacea to most of the challenges we face. We have, therefore, pursued policies and implemented programmes designed to create a literate and proficient society that ensures that citizens are provided with opportunities for life-long achievements.

“I must confess that I am very pained by the recurring disruption to our tertiary education system and I am using this Independence Day celebration to re-iterate my call for the striking Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) to return to the classroom while assuring them to deal with their contending issues within the limits of the scarce resources available.” This administration has made appreciable progress in redressing these issues that have been lingering for over eleven years.

“The Federal Government will continue to mobilize resources both internationally and nationally towards funding education to ensure that our citizens are well educated and skilled in various vocations in view of the fact that education is a leading determinant of economic growth and employment generation.”

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