NEW YEAR BROADCAST TO THE NATION BY GOODLUCK EBELE JONATHAN, GCFR, PRESIDENT OF THE FEDERAL REPUBLIC OF NIGERIA, JANUARY 1, 2015 PDF Print E-mail
Written by Vision Africa Magazine   
Thursday, 26 March 2015 13:54

NEW YEAR BROADCAST TO THE NATION  BY GOODLUCK EBELE JONATHAN, GCFR,  PRESIDENT OF THE FEDERAL REPUBLIC OF NIGERIA,  JANUARY 1, 2015

Dear Great People of our nation,

NEW YEAR BROADCAST TO THE NATION  BY GOODLUCK EBELE JONATHAN, GCFR,  PRESIDENT OF THE FEDERAL REPUBLIC OF NIGERIA,  JANUARY 1, 2015
1. I greet and felicitate with you all as we enter the New Year today. As we mark the beginning of this New Year, 2015, a new nation is being born.A new nation is being born because of the foundations we have all laid, working together for the good and progress of our dear fatherland.

2. I join you all in thanking God Almighty who has brought us this far, for continually bestowing His Grace upon us and for guiding our great nation safely through all the challenges of the past year.

3. This year, as in the year past, I reaffirm my commitment to work to ensure a secure future for our dear country and the generations yet unborn.

4. Last year, we celebrated our hundredth year of nationhood. The year brought us further progress, challenges and fresh opportunities.

5. We have contended with the normal challenges of nation-building and the unusual challenges of terrorism.

 

 

6. But we have continued to vigorously confront those who seek to destroy the bonds of unity that hold us together.

7. On this first day of the New Year, I want to pay special tribute to the gallant officers, men and women of our Armed Forces and other security agencies who have been in the forefront of the war against terrorism and violent extremism in our country and sub-region.

8. I also commend all Nigerians who have remained vigilant and cooperative with our security agencies in the fight against the common enemy.

9. We are re-equipping and re-positioning our armed forces to enhance their capacity to win the ongoing war against terror and insurgency.

10. Regrettably, terrorists have unleashed much pain and agony on our land. They have made widows of our mothers and sisters and  orphans of our children. They have shut down businesses, desecrated places of worship and brought untold hardship to both men and women. They have violated the culture and peaceful way of life in our country, which took generations to build.

11. They have destroyed countless schools and displaced people from their communities, driving them into exile.

12. I want to assure you that the terrorists will not get away with their atrocities. They will not win; they with be routed. As President, I feel the pain of all affected communities and families. I hear their cries and share their sorrow and pain.

13. We will not forget; we will not look the other way. We have done a lot of painstaking planning and work to resolve the current security challenge. We will bring justice to the savage terrorists known as Boko Haram. The members will be defeated.

14. That is the solemn commitment I make today as President of the Federal Republic, and Commander-in-Chief  of our Armed Forces.

15. By the special grace of God, the Federal Government, under my leadership, has continued, in the past four year to lead our country forward, even under the most trying circumstances.

16. The progress we have made in priority areas bears us testimony.

17. Amongst other achievements, we have rehabilitated and expanded our rail transportation network, successfully privatized power generation and distribution, significantly reformed and increased local participation in our oil and gas industry, and improved nationwide access to potable water from 57% in 2010, to 70% at present.

18. We have also made significant progress in improving access to primary, secondary and tertiary education by building and equipping more schools, including special Almajiri schools, and establishing additional universities to ensure that each state of the nation now has at least one Federal University.

19. Our national economy maintained a steady growth rate of close to seven per cent in the past four years and millions of fresh employment opportunities were created for our people as a direct consequence.

20. Recently, we launched the Youth Employment in Agriculture Programme (YEAP) and the $100 million dollars Government and Donor Fund for Agriculture Finance in Nigeria (FAFIN) to fast-track the positive transformation of our agricultural sector.

21. The Youth Employment in Agriculture Programme (YEAP) targets 750,000 market oriented young agricultural producers while the $100 million dollars Fund is to provide affordable long-term financing to support the development of small and medium agribusiness in the country.

22. This is addition to a N50 million Farm Mechanization Support Fund set up by the Central Bank to establish 1,200 agricultural equipment-hiring enterprises.

23. Both funds will become fully operational this year. Policies and programmes such as these to boost agricultural production remain topmost on the agenda of this administration.

24. Being very conscious of the inherent perils of our over-reliance on income from crude oil exports for national development, we have focused on accelerating the diversification of our economy.

25. The non-oil Sector which has grown by an average of 8% in the last few years, is now a major driver of growth of our economy.

26. The 2015 national budget, which is now before the National Assembly, is targeted at deepening our efforts at becoming a non-oil economy.

27. The budget also includes measures to ensure that the downturn in the price of oil does not affect our development plans and our national economy too adversely. We are adjusting our financial processes to safeguard our economy. We are also taking steps to ensure that the poor and the low and medium income earners do not bear the brunt.

28. In 2015, this administration will continue to lay the foundation for a vibrant economy that attracts significant Foreign Direct Investment and promotes policies that ensure economic stability.

29. We will ensure stability in the value of the Naira by striving to take away speculative behaviours that cause market exchange pressures.

30. We will continue to build and maintain healthy external reserves position and strengthen fiscal buffers.

31. We will continue to improve our payment systems and strengthen risk-based supervision mechanisms for Nigerian banks to ensure overall health and stability of the banking system.

32. We are introducing a broad spectrum of financial instruments to boost sector-specific enterprises areas in agriculture, Micro, Small and Medium Scale Enterprises (MSMEs), manufacturing, and oil and gas to enhance our aggregate supply capacity, reduce poverty, promote job creation and increase the general well-being of our people.

33. These efforts and other measures being spearheaded by relevant Ministries, Departments and Agencies are geared to ensure a secure future for Nigeria and create a much more prosperous country, where people live more peaceful and fulfilled lives.

Fellow countrymen and women,

34. As we enter an election year, I assure you that our administration will remain fully focused on providing good governance and the delivery of better public services to our people.

35. The coming campaigns and elections will not distract us from our ongoing work to significantly improve the living conditions of our people. And I urge all tiers of government not to be distracted as well.

36. The elections are very important for us as a country. Their successful conclusion will further strengthen our democratic institutions and place our beloved country even more firmly in the comity of truly democratic nations.

37. Given the challenges that have characterized some previous electoral contests in our country, the eyes of the world will certainly be on the conduct and outcome of our fifth post-military rule general elections.

38. I reassure all Nigerians and the international community of our firm commitment to free, fair and credible elections. My commitment to free elections and one man, one vote remains unwavering.

39. Our administration has worked hard in previous elections to prepare all key stakeholders including the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), security agencies and the electorate optimally, to ensure a progressively improved electoral process in the country under my watch. We will continue to do so for the coming elections.

40. We will continue to provide adequate funding to INEC and maintain the Commission's independence and isolate if from any form of interference or meddling in its day-to-day affairs. This shall continue to guarantee its impartiality and ability to conduct more credible and acceptable elections.

41. National security agencies will also be given all necessary support to enhance their ability to ensure that the elections are peaceful and violence-free. The Nigeria Police has already established an Elections Security Planning and Monitoring Unit.

42. I am optimistic that with the cooperation of all law-abiding citizens of the country, our commitment to have a peaceful and violence-free election will be actualized.

43. I will like to say this, once again, to my fellow politicians and political leaders. None of our political ambitions is worth the blood of any of our countrymen, women and children. The improvement of their lives and living conditions ought to be our primary motive and the driving force of our quest for political power and leadership positions.

44. Let us not promote sectionalism, disunity, intolerance, hate, falsehood or the malicious abuse of political opponents. Whatever we feel or seek, we must have a nation and people before we can dream of political ambitions. Let us put the nation and the people first.

45. Let us all conduct our electoral campaigns with the highest possible decorum and civility towards political opponents. Let us give INEC the fullest possible support and cooperation it requires to conduct credible and violence-free elections in 2015.

46. After the 2011 general elections, some unpatriotic elements embarked on an orgy of violence, resulting in the destruction of lives and property. That will not be allowed to happen this time around. This government will act decisively against anyone who disrupts the public peace, before, during or after the 2015 general elections.

47. All Nigerians, of voting age, are free to vote based on their convictions. It is our duty to defend and protect that basic right, and let no one be in doubt, we will.

48. Fellow Nigerians, I urge all of you to enter the New Year with renewed zeal and patriotism, to serve our fatherland with love, honesty, faithfulness and hope for a greater tomorrow.

49. As I have always maintained, none of the challenges before us is insurmountable. We must come together as a people and work with single-minded unity of purpose to overcome them.

50. Nigeria is a key country in Africa. We must work together to maintain our strategic position and collaborate with others to move the continent forward. I can for peace in Africa and an end to all conflicts in our continent. I urge of Africans to promote democracy in their respective countries to ensure faster development of the continent and faster economic and political integration.

51. We will continue to pray and offer hands of fellowship and assistance to or our fellow Africans suffering from the Ebola Virus Disease. I urge all Nigerians to show compassion and contribute in whatever way we can to help our African brothers and sisters.

52. As we go into this New Year, I salute the indomitable and resilient spirit of our people will become wealthier. Government will continue with programme deliberately designed to create more jobs for our youth, to enable them contribute more to the growth and development of our nation.

53. With our collective prayers and efforts, we will grow our economy and our people will become wealthier. Government will continue with programmes deliberately designed to create more jobs for our youth, to enable them contribute more to the growth and development of our nation.

54. Let us continue our march to the future, towards the attainment of our collective vision of a strong, united, prosperous and harmonious nation  a secure nation for us and for our coming generations.

55. I wish you all a happy and fulfilling 2015.

56. God bless the Federal Republic of Nigeria.

57. Happy New Year, Nigeria!

58. I thank you all.

 

Fellow Nigerians:

1. Today marks the 54th anniversary of our country's independence as a sovereign nation. This is also the tenth month of our journey into a new century, having marked the centenary of our nation in January this year.

2. The first one hundred years were marked by triumphs and tribulations, benefits and burdens, opportunities and challenges. We made some far reaching advances in building a strong, united and prosperous nation. We also overcame the forces of disunity that culminated in a debilitating civil war. We have also renewed our faith in one another, and in our country. We have proven that we are truly a resilient nation.

3. In my address to the nation last year, I did emphasize that we were in a sober moment in our country. We are still in that mood in spite of the many accomplishments of our administration. Our somberness has to do with the crises of nationhood occasioned by the activities of terrorist elements who have done the unimaginable to challenge our unity as a people.

4. On an occasion like this, it is important that we remember all the precious souls that have been lost in the unprecedented war of terror unleashed on some parts of our country by these individuals who want to compel us to live our lives their way. They will not succeed!

5. In their mission, they have maimed and raped. They have killed men, women and children, rendering many children orphans and several women widows.

6. They have made violence their ideology and are bent on destroying our country. Dear countrymen and women, we will not allow them.

7. Night after night, day after day our security forces continue to engage the terrorists in battle. My gratitude goes out to our armed forces whose will has been greatly challenged by this insurgency more than any other time, since the civil war.

8. Yet, they have remained undaunted and unwearied in the face of constant challenge and mortal danger. Driven by patriotic zeal, they are turning the tide by their prowess and determination. As Commander-in-Chief, I will continue to do all it takes to enable them to keep on inflicting devastating blows at the heart of terror. Fellow Nigerians, it is our collective duty as patriots to avail our men and women in uniform of all the support they need to fight and win this war.

9. This Administration is committed to making Nigeria safe for all Nigerians, irrespective of our places of birth, how we worship God and our political persuasion. To all those waging war against our country, I ask that you lay down your arms and embrace peace.

10. To those who have genuine grievances, I affirm that Nigeria will listen to you, if you bring your grievances to the table of dialogue. To the good people of Nigeria, let me restate that our task of building a better and greater country must not waver.

11. While we continue to deploy our resources in the fight against the terrorists, we do recognize the great toll the conflict is taking on our people.

12. This is why, to assist the afflicted, we have launched the Victims Support Fund, an independent multi-sectoral charity, which will aggressively solicit resources to augment Government's statutory intervention, in bringing succor to the injured, the displaced and the bereaved.

13. In partnership with Nigerian business leaders and international partners, we have also introduced the Safe Schools initiative which is aimed at promoting safe environments for education nationwide, starting with the North East region.

14. The Presidential initiative for the North East, a comprehensive programme to fast-track the economic  restoration of this region, which has been the epicenter of terrorist activity, has been set up.

15. Our overall objective is to do all we possibly can, to sustain in the North-East, the momentum of economic advancement, which on-going in other parts of the country, despite the machinations of the terrorists and their sponsors.

16. It should now be clear to anyone who was ever in doubt that these terrorists do not mean well for anyone, of whatever religion or dispensation. Their persistent choice of the weakest and most vulnerable in society, for gruesome attack, provides an insight into their abnormal mind-set.

17. I urge every Nigerian to put aside political, sectional or other parochial considerations, and support whole-heartedly the efforts of the government and the military, in checking this evil.

18. We are grateful to the international community, and especially our neighbors who are working closely with us in confronting this challenge, for their increased partnership and solidarity. Our steady progress in weakening the insurgency has certainly justified our cooperation.

19. Fellow Nigerians, in my independence anniversary address last year, I informed you that we had taken cognizance of the suggestion over the years by well-meaning Nigerians on the need to focus attention on rebuilding and strengthening the ligaments of our union. It was in that regard the we announced the convening of a National Dialogue on the future of our beloved country.

20. We have successfully delivered on that promise as we established the 2014 National Conference headed by Justice Legbo Kutigi. After months of deliberations, which did not come without its challenges, the conference concluded its assignment and has handed its Report to me.

21. I have made a firm commitment that we would act on the recommendations of the conference. This, I have started by setting up the Ministerial Committee headed by the Honourable Attorney General of the Federation to work out the modalities for implementing the Report. Every promise I make, God willing, I will see to its fulfillment. I assure you, we shall implement the report.

22. One major lesson which the 2014 National Conference has taught us as a country is that, a multi-ethnic country like ours, must learn to embrace painstaking dialogue until consensus is established.

23. To me, the National Conference is the greatest centenary gift to our country that we must cherish and sustain.

24. Fellow Nigerians, our 54 year-journey as a nation has not been easy. There have been tough periods, but the Nigerian spirit and the unflagging resilience of our people have seen us though. We will continue to march forward to greater heights.

25. We have been able to sustain a big, strong and influential country with a robust economy. We are currently in our sixteenth year of uninterrupted democratic rule, daily improving on the consolidation of our democratic process.

26. Our Administration has made a commitment to ensure that we build and sustain a democratic infrastructure anchored on free and fair elections.  International and local observers have attested to the positive evolution of electoral credibility and we cannot afford to relent.

27. We will continue to ensure that the will of the electorate prevails so that political leaders would be reminded at all times that there is a day of reckoning when they have to go back to the people at the polls. Election days must not be days of violence and death. We must remain vigilant to ensure that our electoral process is characterized by peace, security and transparency.

28. I enjoin the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), all security agencies, politicians and the electorate to work conscientiously and peacefully, together, to consolidate on the gains of the recent elections. Free and fair elections have come to stay; nothing else will be acceptable to our people.

29. My dear countrymen and women, occasions such as this present an opportunity to thank God for our country and to report to you, on our journey so far.

30. Our power sector reform is on course with the ultimate objective of generating enough electricity to power our homes, industries and businesses. We are making giant strides in the Agricultural Sector which we are re-positioning to diversify our economy. We will continue to upgrade our infrastructure to make life easier for all and create an enabling environment for enterprise to flourish.

31. Over the last four years, the implementation of the Nigerian Content Act in the Oil and Gas Sector has ensured major increase in the participation of indigenous Oil and Gas companies in the industry. Several critical infrastructure projects have been commissioned and commenced. The level of indigenous asset ownership has greatly increased and utilization of Nigerian-owned and built assets such as marine vessels and rigs is being progressive enforced.

32. There has been maximized local value addition by encouraging the manufacture of equipment components and parts within the country. There has also been massive growth in indigenous participation in the provision of goods and services to the upstream sector from 10% to 60% within the last four years.

33. Today, following the rebasing of our economy, every international monitoring and ratings agency now acknowledges Nigeria as the largest economy in Africa, with a Gross Domestic Product of five hundred and ten billion dollars ($510 billion) which also places us as the 26th largest economy in the world. This is progress.

34. Earlier in the year, we launched the Nigeria Industrial Revolution Plan (NIRP) and the National Enterprise Development Programme (NEDEP) with the stated objective of fast tracking inclusive growth, job creation, enterprise development and industrialization.

35.The success of these policies is already evident in the increased value addition in the agricultural and manufacturing sectors.

36. In line with our objective of encouraging the production of made-in-Nigeria vehicles and making Nigeria a regional hub for the automobile industry, a number of foreign auto manufacturers have established plants in Nigeria, complementing the laudable efforts of our local vehicle manufacturers who have also demonstrated great innovation and competitiveness.

37. We have also launched a special support programme for Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises with an initial intervention fund of two hundred and twenty billion naira (N220b). This is in addition to the Presidential Job Creation Board which I inaugurated recently with the charge to create three million jobs annually.

38. In demonstration of our Administration's commitment to addressing Nigeria's housing deficit, we have commenced the new mortgage re-finance programme with the establishment of the Nigerian Mortgage re-finance Company. It is expected that, in addition to creating additional housing units across the country, this initiative also represents a huge job creation opportunity.

39. We have recorded notable success in the social sector. Nigeria has been globally acknowledged for reducing extreme hunger by more than half, with the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) formally presenting the country with an award for achieving the Millennium Development Goal on Hunger three years ahead of the  2015 target date set for the Millennium Development Goals.

40. This progress is as a result of the deliberate policy of government to increase capacity in our agricultural sector of which  the first step was to address and eliminate the graft in our fertilizer procurement system and ensure that the product gets directly to the farmer. We are expanding our irrigation infrastructure to ensure that our farmers have sufficient water supply for dry season farming.

41. A benefit of these combined actions is that our national food import bill has declined from  1 naira (6.9billion dollars) in 2009 to 684.7 billion naira (4.35 billion dollars) by December 2013, and continues to decline.

42. Modern hybrid schools are being provided for less priviledge children across the country, resulting in significant increase in the national school enrolment figure.

43. In order to further enhance access to education at the tertiary level, fourteen new Federal Universities have been established; and , to encourage persons of exceptional abilities, our Administration has also introduced a Presidential Scholarship Scheme based strictly on excellence and merit.

44. On infrastructure, we are building roads, bridges, and new rail lines to make it easier to traverse Nigeria and increase the integration of our people and our ability to do business with each other. In this regard, we have commenced the process of building the Second Niger Bridge. The Loko-Oweto Bridge over River Benue in Nasarawa and Benue State, will significantly reduce travel time by road between Northern and Southern Nigeria. The on-going dredging of the River Niger up to Baro in Niger State is opening up large parts of the Nigerian hinterland to maritime activity.

45. The Zungeru and Mambilla Hydro-electric power projects are on course, and the Kashimbilla dam which we started a few year ago, is nearing completion. The successful privatization of our power sector will in the long run enhance industrial growth. Policies such as this and others have raised Nigeria to the enviable status of being the number one recipient of Foreign Direct Investment in Africa in the past year.

46. The result of this infrastructure drive is that two and a half million jobs have been created over the past two years. This is a record, which we are committed to improve upon to continue to provide jobs for our youth.

47. An unprecedented number of Airports across the country, are not only being reconstructed at the same time, but being re-equipped and reassessed with emphasis on maintaining global standards.

48. Fellow Nigerians, the goals we set to achieve for our country involve expanding the frontiers of economic freedom. Let us therefore unite with one heart and one mind. All our people must have access to the good things of life. All our people must be empowered to pursue the gift of life with happiness. This is our country; we must build it for our common posterity.

49. As we move into an election year, desperate moves to overheat the polity are becoming a regular occurrence. Our political leaders in particular must know that the contest for power should not translate to the destruction of the polity.

50. The contest for the leadership of our country must yield good governance,  and not ungovernable spaces. The love of country should rank higher than our individual ambitions.

51. We must remain committed to a united and indivisible Nigeria within democratic parameters. The protection of individual right, liberty, equality before the law, freedom of thought, and a progressive pursuit of a sound economy must be our goal.

52. I cannot end this address without commenting on the deadly Ebola Virus Disease (EVD) which was sadly brought into our country recently. My directives to the Federal Ministry of Health saw the ministry leading the charge in curtailing the spread of this deadly scourge and managing its impact. This is how it should be: swift, effective and comprehensive action in defence of citizens.

53. It must be pointed out that the Ebola battle is still raging elsewhere in our sub-region. I therefore enjoin all our citizens to continue to adhere strictly to all the guidelines  that have been given by our health officials to keep Ebola out of our country.

54. I appreciate and welcome the spirit of collaboration, unity and partnership with which we confronted the threat of the Ebola Virus Disease. I thank all Nigerians for working together to prevent what could have become a major epidemic. I particularly thank the medical personnel, some of whom made the ultimate sacrifice.

55. This is the spirit which we must demonstrate at all times as we face up to our challenges as a nation: one people, united by a common resolve, in the pursuit of one common national interest.

56. As we look forward to another year in our national life, I am more than confident that our tomorrow will be better than our yesterday and today. Nigeria has got the human and material resources to excel and we shall lead the way in that journey to our manifest destiny.

57. Fellow countrymen, brothers and sisters, in all our plans, and in all our words and our actions, we must stand together in love and unity, as one people under God.

58. We are one people from the womb of one Nigeria. We are brothers and sisters. We are one family. We are Nigerians.

59. God bless the Federal Republic of Nigeria.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Last Updated on Thursday, 26 October 2017 07:34
 

Feature Past Edition

African Matters


Warning: Creating default object from empty value in /home/visionaf/public_html/magazine/modules/mod_latestnews/helper.php on line 109

Warning: Creating default object from empty value in /home/visionaf/public_html/magazine/modules/mod_latestnews/helper.php on line 109

Warning: Creating default object from empty value in /home/visionaf/public_html/magazine/modules/mod_latestnews/helper.php on line 109

Warning: Creating default object from empty value in /home/visionaf/public_html/magazine/modules/mod_latestnews/helper.php on line 109

Warning: Creating default object from empty value in /home/visionaf/public_html/magazine/modules/mod_latestnews/helper.php on line 109

Warning: Creating default object from empty value in /home/visionaf/public_html/magazine/modules/mod_latestnews/helper.php on line 109

Warning: Creating default object from empty value in /home/visionaf/public_html/magazine/modules/mod_latestnews/helper.php on line 109

Warning: Creating default object from empty value in /home/visionaf/public_html/magazine/modules/mod_latestnews/helper.php on line 109

Warning: Creating default object from empty value in /home/visionaf/public_html/magazine/modules/mod_latestnews/helper.php on line 109

Warning: Creating default object from empty value in /home/visionaf/public_html/magazine/modules/mod_latestnews/helper.php on line 109
The Suspension of Nigeria CBN Governor is it constitutional?.
 

Explore what we do