- Says Nigeria facing challenges, pledges to get economy running
Tobi Soniyi and Dele Ogbodo in Abuja
President Muhammadu Buhari has assured existing and potential investors in Nigeria of adequate protection of their lives, investments and property.
Speaking at a bilateral meeting yesterday with President Jacob Zuma of South Africa in New York, on the sidelines of the 71st Session of the United Nations General Assembly, Buhari said the security situation in Nigeria had become very much better and conducive.
Buhari also said advances being made against Boko Haram insurgents went beyond degradation through just force of arms.
He said: “The de-radicalisation process is also going on, and we are achieving some measure of success. Even suicide bombing is becoming rare, as the local people are themselves rejecting indoctrination by the insurgents.”
Buhari said Nigeria was working hard to diversify the economy and expressed willingness to collaborate with South African businessmen especially in the areas of mining and agriculture, for the mutual benefit of the two countries.
In his remarks, Zuma recollected his visit to Nigeria earlier this year which he described as “very successful.”
He added that he was interested in the promotion of economic and trade partnerships between the two countries.
At another bilateral meeting with President Macky Sall of Senegal, both Buhari and the Senegalese President expressed their happiness at the good cropping season being experienced in their countries.
The two presidents also reviewed the situation in Guinea Bissau and concluded that political leaders in the country should make sacrifices to guarantee peace and development of the country.
Meanwhile, Buhari yesterday admitted that the Nigerian project is presently facing challenges on every facet of the society.
While pledging to get the economy out of the woods, he said the solutions to the challenges must be fast tracked to get the economy up and running again.
To set Nigeria on the path of greatness and prosperity, Buhari, stated that complete elimination of all forms of corrupt practices must be in the front burner, adding that this must be in the collective consciousness of every Nigerian.
The president, who was represented by the Head of Service of the Federation (HoSF), Mrs. Winifred Oyo-Ita, made the disclosure at the 2016 Nigerian Institute of Management (NIM) annual conference in Abuja.
According to him, the theme, Building a New Nigeria: strategic options and policy, chosen by the institute is apt and relevant towards charting a new course and national reorientation because of the present state of affairs in the country.
He admitted that the theme is in tandem with the policy and working agenda of the present administration.
He said: “You will agree with me that great a nation is the reward of great leadership built on good governance. This is our motivation and value proposition.
“My administration will, therefore, continue to fight corruption and associated social vices at all levels until they are exterminated from our body polity.
“By choosing this theme as the focus of this year’s Conference, the Institute has further demonstrated in thought and deed that it is committed to supporting government in achieving its drive to reposition and turn around the nation’s economy.”
On the need for Nigerians to imbibe the institute’s code of conduct, he said: “I therefore, call on the Institute to ensure that its code of conduct becomes a culture for all Nigerians through their interaction and collaboration with the National Orientation Agency (NOA) and other relevant agencies that will support this cause.
“If all Nigerians align themselves with the Institute’s code conduct, Nigeria shall become an enviable nation.”
The president, said government has not relented in its resolve to ensure that it delivers the dividends of democracy to Nigerians through good governance, especially in the areas of providing security, fighting corruption, employment generation and diversification of the economy.
He, however commended the contributions and support of the NIM towards national development and the professionalism it has demonstrated in the areas of public policy advocacy and other programmes on topical issues affecting Nigeria.
“I further challenge the Institute to improve its visibility at public sessions of the National Assembly when Bills are being considered so as to make more robustprofessional management input that will be most relevant in the public domain.
“To set this country on the path of greatness and prosperity, complete elimination of all forms of corrupt practices must be in the front burner and our collective consciousness always.” he said.
In his remark, the president of NIM, Prof. Munzali Jibril, blamed past leaders for the mismanagement of the nation’s resources, adding, that this has accounted for the low development indices over the years.
While, blaming the present challenges of the economy on over dependence on oil, he said Nigeria has only succeeded in building strong individuals and weak institutions.
He said: “As the world’s seventh largest producer of oil, the nation had earned stupendous income (trillions of dollars) from the resource and, therefore, has no business being poor and underdeveloped.”
While advocating for the diversification of the economy, he called on members of the institute to do away with avarice, self aggrandisement, contract splitting and over invoicing, greed and other vices that are common place in the work place.