President Muhammadu Buhari has assured Nigerians that his administration will use its remaining time in office to work on nine priority areas.
Buhari states this while receiving letters of credence from ambassadors of eight countries at the statehouse in Abuja on Tuesday. He listed the priority areas to include improved access to quality education, affordable health care and enhanced productivity.
The president said there is a need to prioritise people-focused policies as part of efforts to sustain Nigeria’s position as a profitable investment destination with unequalled incentives in all sectors.
“In our efforts to achieve a realistic domestic and foreign policy, as well as national development, we have identified the following nine priority areas to guide our policy directions over the next few years.
“Build a thriving and sustainable economy; enhance social inclusion and reduce poverty; enlarge agricultural output for food security and export; attain energy sufficiency in power and petroleum products and expand transport and other infrastructural development.
“Expand business growth, entrepreneurship and industrialization; expand access to quality education, affordable healthcare and productivity of Nigerians; build a system to fight corruption, improve governance and create social cohesion; and improve security for all,’’ he said.
While describing Nigerians as the “nation’s most prized assets,” Buhari said the nine priority mandates were already reflected in the economic recovery and growth plan, a medium-term initiative pioneered by the government to restore economic growth and development while leveraging the resourcefulness and resilience of the citizens.
The president urged the diplomats to use the opportunity of working in the country to improve relations with their governments and people.
“I have no doubt that you might have prior and in-depth knowledge of Nigeria’s huge potential which you will hopefully see for yourselves.
“I, therefore, urge you to go around the country, see things for yourselves and report to your home governments. This is important as you all are representatives of both your sending and host states,” Buhari said.
The president assured that Nigeria will remain steadfast in pursuing deeper and valuable relations among nations, without discrimination.
“Nigeria does not divide its partners into big and small; we value and respect every country, and with every country, we are ready to pursue dialogue as well as build cooperation on the basis of equality and constructive mutual respect.
“These include our cooperation in strengthening regional, continental and global peace and security, resolving complex issues, settling conflicts, as well as addressing dangerous threats to mankind, among which include terrorism, the proliferation of small arms and light weapons, human trafficking, cybercrimes, poverty, communicable diseases and epidemics,” he added.
Speaking on behalf of the ambassadors, Hocine Latil of Algeria said each of the diplomats remain committed to enhancing cooperation and seek advancement in mutual areas of interest.
He said the ambassadors would leverage the opportunity to further enhance implementation of the African Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCFTA) and learn from each other.
The other ambassadors/high commissioners are Luong Thinh of Vietnam; Benson Bana of Tanzania; Traore Kalilou of Cote d’Ivoire; Abakar Chahaimi of Chad; Jamal Barrow of Somalia; Brahim El Mami Buseif of Sahrawi Arab Republic and Mohammed Alibak of Iran.