Buhari, who said this in his broadcast to the nation to mark the country’s 59th independence anniversary, also stated that he had directed the release of N600bn for capital project implementation from the 2019 budget in the next three months.
Speaking on the Special Intervention Programme, which is under the supervision of the office of the Vice-President, Prof Yemi Osinbajo, the President stated, “Our ongoing N500bn Special Intervention Programme continues to target vulnerable groups, through the home-grown School Feeding Programme, Government Economic Empowerment Programme, N-Power, Job Creation Programme, loans for traders and artisans, Conditional Cash Transfers to the poorest families and social housing scheme.
“To institutionalise these impactful programmes, we created the Ministry for Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development which shall consolidate and build on our achievements to date. To the beneficiaries of these programmes, I want to reassure you that our commitment to social inclusion will only increase.”
He also said the newly set up Economic Advisory Council would advise him on inclusive and sustainable macroeconomic, fiscal and monetary policies.
He also said that as of June this year, total capital releases from the 2018 budget, stood at N1.74trn to underscore the commitment of his administration to build infrastructure and take Nigerians out of poverty.
The President noted that for change to happen, all Nigerians must support him and think like him to get the country from the old ways of doing things.
On security, he said, “In the last four years, we have combated the terrorist scourge of Boko Haram. We owe a debt of gratitude to our gallant men and women in arms, through whose efforts we have been able to achieve the present results. We are also grateful to our neighbours and allies – within the region and across the world – who have supported us on this front.
“The capacity of our armed forces to defend our territorial integrity continues to be enhanced by the acquisition of military hardware as well as continued improvements in the working conditions of our service men and women.
“The Ministry of Police Affairs has been resuscitated to oversee the development and implementation of strategies to enhance internal security. My recent assent to the Nigerian Police Trust Fund (Establishment) Act has created a legal framework to support our Police with increased fiscal resources to enhance their law enforcement capabilities.
“We remain equally resolute in our efforts to combat militant attacks on our oil and gas facilities in the Niger Delta and accelerate the Ogoni Clean-up to address long-standing environmental challenges in that region.
“The recent redeployment of the Niger Delta Development Commission from the Office of the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, to the Ministry of Niger Delta Affairs underscores our commitment to enhance the living standards of our communities in the Niger Delta, through coordinated and appropriate programmes.
Speaking further, he said, “This administration inherited a skewed economy, where the oil sector comprised only 8 per cent of Gross Domestic Product but contributed 70 per cent of government revenue and 90 per cent foreign exchange earnings over the years. Past periods of relatively high economic growth were driven by our reliance on oil sector revenues to finance our demand for imported goods and services.
“Regrettably, previous governments abandoned the residual investment-driven non-oil sector, which constituted 40 per cent of Gross Domestic Product and comprised agriculture, livestock, agro-processing, arts, entertainment, mining and manufacturing activities that provide millions of jobs for able-bodied Nigerians and utilise locally available raw materials and labour for production.
“To address this imbalance, our commitment to achieving economic diversification has been at the heart of our economic strategies under the Economic Recovery and Growth Plan, which I launched on the 5th of April, 2017.