President Muhammadu Buhari has disclosed that addressing security challenges, boosting the economy to recover from COVID-19 impact, and strengthening the ant–corruption war to restore sanity across the country would be the administration’s priority for 2021.
Buhari added that the three priorities were considered as the major areas the country experienced challenges in 2020 and that addressing it in 2021 would reinforce Nigerians hope and believes in the vision to ensure a united and progressive country that works for all irrespective of status.
The President, who listed the administration’s priorities for 2021 in a New Year broadcast on Friday, stressed that the administration would direct its strength towards the three areas, acronym ‘SEA’.
He said: “The year 2021 will indeed be a year where we will work to reinforce the hopes of fellow Nigerians in the vision of a united and progressive Nigeria. This administration would continue focusing on delivering key strategic priorities under our “SEA” – (Security, Economy, and Anti-Corruption) Agenda”.
On security, Buhari emphasised that restructuring the country’s security apparatus including the personnel towards enhancing their capacity to engage, push back and dismantle the operations of both internal and external extremist as well as criminal groups waging war against the country.
The president, who described insecurity as a challenge that has direct repercussions on the country’s national economic stability, growth, and development, noted that the violence unleashed by Boko Haram and others have thwarted efforts of government to undertake the social policy and associated investments that could make a huge difference across the country.
He argued that part of the solution to addressing it was exhibited when stakeholders across both State and Federal Governments collaborated to ensure the rescue of over 300 schoolboys in Katsina State further proved that Nigeria has the internal capacity to decisively deal with terror attacks.
Buhari added that the government recognised that solutions to the challenge must be prompt, assuring that the administration “will not relent in learning and adapting to changing threats to our national security and civic wellbeing”.
On Economy, the President explained that ongoing diversification of the country’s economy has aided national food self-sufficiency, saying, this has helped reduce the growing food-related inflationary figures and have in considerable measure positively impacted our food security status during the long months of the pandemic lockdown.
“We are also currently rebuilding our national infrastructure base and, in the process, introducing transformation through the rehabilitation, modernization, and expansion of the railway system, national roads and bridges both in rural and urban centres, alongside the airports and seaports.
“The reforms we have put in place in the power sector would guarantee increased efficiency in our drive to significantly expand the generation and distribution of electricity for use in homes and factories”, he added.
While explaining that the administration was currently undertaking a series of special interventions to boost job creation and assist the youths in their entrepreneurial drive, Buhari said that the reopening of the country’s border was expected to assist business owners to get market for their goods.
The president, meanwhile, cautioned that Ghana and other West African countries that the country would only welcome anyone aiming to do business legitimately as stipulated by the international protocols.
On the anti-corruption drive of our administration, he noted that though the government recorded substantial gains but appealed to the judiciary to expedite action on cases concerning sharp practices in the country.
While assuring that the administration would continuously sustain the path of eradicating corruption, through collaboration with all the arms of Government to effectively prosecute it, the president said: “we would be working with the Legislature to enact laws that would strengthen this fight, we would also be looking at reviewing some of our laws which would ensure that this fight is more effective.
“On the part of the executive, we would ensure the diligent and timely prosecution of corruption cases, while appealing to the judiciary to ensure that corruption cases are dispensed with expeditiously.
“The persistence of various forms of violence has meant that in the most affected parts of the country, the fabric of inter-communal harmony woven through years of investment of effort at building trust, mutual respect, and harmony has been threatened”.