President Muhammadu Buhari has expressed optimism that Nigeria will soon become a force to be reckoned with globally, adding that the country’s future is bright.
He made the declaration on Wednesday in his address to the nation to mark the country’s Democracy Day.
He said: “Fellow Nigerians, Your Highnesses, Your Excellencies, Ladies & Gentlemen, despite the challenges over the last four years, my optimism about Nigeria’s future is unshaken and Nigeria’s role in the world as an emerging economic force is without a doubt.
“Over the next four years, we are committed to assembling a strong team of Nigerians, and allies, to implement our transformative plans and proposals. We will see significant focus, resource and, where necessary reform, in tertiary and technical education to reposition Nigeria’s workforce for the modern technological age. We will accelerate investments in primary, secondary and tertiary healthcare programs, interventions and infrastructure as well as in upgrading of our medical personnel to stem the flight of our best-trained people.
“On food security, our farmers have made great strides in local production of rice, maize, cassava, poultry, fertilizer, fisheries and sesame. We remain resolute in supporting private sector in emphasizing backward integration and export expansion plans.
“Felling of trees to provide energy for domestic use is taking its toll on our rain forests, our ecology and our climate. Accordingly, we are taking steps to harness cleaner and more sustainable sources of electricity. We export over 2 million tons of cooking gas, yet we consume less than half a million tons.
“We will work to address this issue and support rural communities with challenges of safely switching from firewood to cooking gas. Dedicated agro-industrial processing zones will be developed on a PPP basis to increase farming yields, agricultural productivity and industrial output.”
President Buhari said his administration will consolidate on the achievements it recorded in the last four years, to enable the country take its rightful place as well as better the lives of citizens.
“Over 2,000 kilometers of ongoing Federal road and bridge projects across the country will be completed to reduce journey times and the cost of doing business. As I mentioned earlier, critical feeder roads will be built to facilitate easier transportation for people and goods from rural areas to major roads.
“We are at advanced stages of securing investments to modernize and expand our transmission and distribution infrastructure, ensuring that electricity is available and affordable for all Nigerians. Several rail, seaport and airport projects are at various stages of completion. We will open the arteries of transportation nationwide.
“It is a fact that Nigeria has more gas reserves than it has oil. Over the last four years, we have become a net exporter of urea, which is made from natural gas. We invite investors to develop more natural gas-based petrochemical projects,” he said.