APC Next Level Kick Off Speech
*SPEECH BY HIS EXCELLENCY PRESIDENT MUHAMMADU BUHARI, AT THE ‘NEXT LEVEL’ EVENT: THE ACHIEVEMENTS AND PROJECTIONS OF THE BUHARI ADMINISTRATION*,
*AT STATE HOUSE CONFERENCE HALL, ABUJA*
*18TH NOVEMBER, 2018*
Four years ago, we promised Nigerians real change – in what we do and how we do it. Nigerians sent a clear message in the last election, and our platform offered a new, ambitious plan for a secure, prosperous and corruption-free country.
2.We have worked hard to fulfill our promises - and while the road may have been difficult, over the last three and a half years, we have laid the foundations for a strong, stable and prosperous country for the majority of our people.
3.Foundational work is not often visible, neither is it glamorous - but it is vital to achieving the kind of country we desire. Judging by the depth of decay, deterioration and disrepair that Nigeria had sunk into, we are certain that these past few years have put us in good stead to press on the NEXT LEVEL of building an even stronger nation for our people.
4.First things had to come first. We were a nation at war - but we delivered on our commitment to secure the territorial integrity of our nation in the face of a raging insurgency that devastated many parts of the North East.
5.We liberated 17 Local Government Areas from the grip of insurgency. Brokering and sustaining peace in the Niger Delta has also been crucial to stabilizing the polity. Despite the difficult circumstances presented by weak oil prices and reduced oil production, we delivered on our commitment to make public investments to spur economic growth, job creation, and broad-based prosperity.
6.Agriculture continues to expand our economic base, as do our investments in deficient infrastructure across the length and breadth of this nation.
7.We implemented a responsible and transparent fiscal plan for the challenging economic times that saw us doing more even with lesser oil revenues. Grand scale corruption perpetrated at the highest level of government is now a thing of the past, just as the Treasury Single Account has made it more difficult for Ministries, Departments and Agencies to exercise the unrestrained liberties that helped foster a climate conducive to corruption.
8.The nation’s wealth is now being invested in capital projects to expand infrastructure and connect people, goods and opportunities by rail, road and air. Also, the Federal Government supported state governments with bailouts that enabled them to pay workers on their payroll.
9.We took an unprecedented step towards creating a fairer and more equitable society by implementing Africa’s biggest social investment programme. Through the National Social Investment Programme, we are providing direct support to over 13 million Nigerians who need it by giving relief and assistance to unemployed youth, our children, the weak and vulnerable as well as small and medium businesses.
10.But even as we lay the foundation for a stable and prosperous nation, we acknowledge there is still much to do. The Next Level of effort focuses on job creation across various sectors. From an enlargement of the N-Power programme to investing in technology and creative sector jobs to Agriculture and revolutionizing access to credit for entrepreneurs and artisans, there is scope for over 15 million new jobs. The march away from a mono-economy must continue with our industrialization plan coming to fore.
11.With specific plans underway to exploit the comparative advantage of the geo political zones and different states by developing 6 Industrial Parks and 109 Special Production and Processing Centres (SPPCs) across each senatorial district, our incremental move away from oil dependence is assured.
12.In addition, our development of the Special Economic Zones will quickly concretize our Made in Nigeria for Export (MINE) plan. To sustain food production and value addition, our mechanization policy for agriculture will make tractors and processors easily accessible and available for farmers across Nigeria.
13.We will continue a wide scale training policy, prioritizing technology to reach the demography of young people within the productive sector on a massive scale even as we create jobs and growth within our economy.
14.We believe that our people who are still in poverty have a direct way out and up through our expanded National Social Investment Programme. We believe we can implement the painstaking and comprehensive; policy and work we have done to bring an end to the perennial conflict between farmers and herders- a conflict which is heightened by a struggle for land, water and pasture and the effects of climate change and every now and then, opportunistic and cynical manipulation by political actors.
15.We are implementing a blend of measures that ensures that justice, order, modernization and new economic paradigms emerge.
16.Perhaps our biggest ambition yet is the overhaul of our education sector. Every child counts - and simply, whatever it takes to prepare our teachers, curriculum and classrooms to attain the right educational goals that grow our country, will be done.
17.We will remodel 10,000 schools every year and retrain our teachers to impart science, technology, engineering, art and mathematics using coding, animation, robotics to re-interpret our curriculum.
18.We know that, to succeed, moral integrity and conscience must continue to form the dominant character of our nation and its leadership. Corruption is an existential threat to Nigeria. Despite the gains we have made in closing the gates, we know that there is still much ground to cover to stop systemic corruption.
19.We are committed to deepening the work we started this first term such that the nation’s assets and resources continue to be organized and utilized to do good for the common man.
20.The next four years will be quite significant for our country. Nigeria is faced now with a choice. To keep on building a new Nigeria or to go back to its tainted past which favoured only an opportunistic few.
21.Our choices will surely shape us, defining clearly our economic security and our future prosperity. Nigeria, more than ever before, needs a stable and people-focused government to move the development of our country forward.
22.Join us on this journey to the NEXT LEVEL of a prosperous, strong and stable Nigeria! Nigerians, WE ARE ALL GOING HIGHER!
23.The achievements and projections I have enumerated above are just a summary of what we have done and what we intend to do in our next term, if Nigerians graciously give us a second term mandate. A lot more of the details are contained in the two documents that I have here with me, which I will present shortly.
24.I am not unmindful of the fact that today is the day that Presidential and National Assembly campaigns kick off. I urge all candidates and the supporters of all political parties to go about the campaigns peacefully and decently. As I always say, we have no other country but Nigeria. Let us not set it ablaze because of politics or sectional interests.
25.It is now my pleasure and privilege to present to you the two documents: The first one is a Manual containing our major achievements and experiences, to guide all our supporters as we begin campaigns nationwide. The second is the “NEXT LEVEL” a document that captures our aspirations and projections for the next four years. I trust that you will find the time to review both very carefully.
I thank you and may God bless our country.u