MAKING AN IMPACT

Nigeria 2019 | DIPLOMACY | INSIDE PERSPECTIVE

Contribution provided by the Presidency of Nigeria sourced from speeches made on January 1 and February 27.

HE Muhammadu Buhari
BIOGRAPHY
HE Muhammadu Buhari became President of Nigeria on May 29, 2015, and on February 23, 2019 he was re-elected for a second term, defeating the People's Democratic Party opponent Atiku Abubakar. Buhari joined the Nigerian army in 1961 and was Head of State from December 1983 to August 1985. During this time in office, his government worked to re-balance public finances and strengthen the country’s economy. Buhari gained a master’s in strategic studies from the United States Army War College (USAWC) in 1980, at the rank of Colonel, before becoming General Officer Commanding in August 1980. As the candidate for the All Progressives Party, Buhari won the 2015 election on a platform of anti-corruption and improved security, while his 2019 re-election was the result of his “4+4” campaign, which focused on the foundation he had created in his first mandate in order to bring Nigeria to the “next level.”

Dear compatriots,

First and foremost, I give thanks to Almighty God who has spared our lives to witness another victory for Nigerian democracy and victory for our party APC. I thank the millions of Nigerians who voted to re-elect me as your president for the next four years. I am deeply humbled and profoundly grateful to you for judging me worthy of continuing to serve you and for your peaceful conduct. Everyone can appreciate the progress the country has made since 2015. We have had our challenges: security, economic, political, and social. But we are resolved to combat and overcome them all.

Our economic policies are beginning to make the desired impact. Economic growth has resumed and is continuing to improve. Inflation is coming down steadily, there is stability in the exchange rate, and foreign exchange is readily available for genuine business. Foreign reserves are adequate and growing, capital inflows have increased, and the trade balance is positive. Moreover, I am pleased that the results of the priority we have placed on infrastructure are beginning to bear fruit. In 2016 and 2017, capital expenditure was up to NGN2.7 trillion, while over N800 million has been released under the current budget. This was complemented by the inception of the USD650-million Presidential Infrastructure Development Fund, which will focus initially on the Lagos-Ibadan expressway, the Second Niger Bridge, the Abuja-Kano expressway, and the Mambilla hydropower plant. Progress has been achieved in the transportation sector, too. The Abuja-Kaduna railway is up and running. The Itakpe-Warri line is being test-run before going commercial. The completed portion of the Abuja light rail project is facilitating movement to the airport. The Lagos-Ibadan railway is nearing completion with people already taking test rides on the completed portions. We are determined to work at the same pace on the Coastal Railway Line and the line from Port Harcourt to Maiduguri.
Our economic fundamentals are strong and, in the next four years by the grace of God, we are determined to stay the course in terms of partnerships with the private sector, support to the real sector, helping small businesses, providing infrastructure and an enabling business environment.

The new administration will intensify its efforts in security, restructure the economy, and fight corruption. We have laid down the foundation and are committed to seeing matters to the end. We will strive to strengthen our unity and inclusiveness so that no section or group will feel left behind or left out. The hard work to deliver a better Nigeria continues, building on the foundations of peace, rule of law, and opportunities for all. We will roll up our sleeves afresh and give it our all. We have no other motive than to serve Nigeria with our hearts and might, and to build a nation that we and future generations can be proud of.
I am very grateful to the over 15 million citizens who voted for me, those who contributed in many ways in the running of our successful campaign, and those at home and abroad who expressed confidence in me and the APC government. I thank you all. I can assure that you will see a country moving to the next level, as we consolidate on our fundamental areas of securing the country, reviving the economy, and fighting corruption.

Let me pay tribute here to those who lost their lives either through accidents or mindless violence during the course of these elections. My heart and thoughts are with the families of the victims. May God comfort and give them the fortitude to bear the loss. We are resolved to build a country in which the resources are utilized for the benefit of the largest number, and not appropriated by a privileged few in their never ending quest to satisfy their greed. We are on this mission together, and I assure you of a firm commitment to the ideals of a safe, secure, fair, just and prosperous country.
I thank you for your support and may God bless the Federal Republic of Nigeria.