Full text of President Muhammadu Buhari’s 2017 Independence broadcast

October 1 st remains a special date for all
Nigerians as this marks the day when we
attained one of the most precious of human
desires — freedom .
Over the years the country has gone through
trials and tribulations , but October 1st is
always a day for celebrations .
It is a day for thanks giving, reflection and re-
dedication .

It is also a day for remembrance . We should
remind ourselves of the recent journey from
1999 – 2015 , when our country happily returned
to democratic rule.
However, in spite of oil prices being an average
of $ 100 per barrel and about 2 .1 m barrels a
day, that great piece of luck was squandered
and the country ’s social and physical
infrastructure neglected.
We were left with no savings and huge
infrastructure deficit.

The APC Government’s Campaign rallying cry
to restore security , re-balance the economy and
fight corruption was not all rhetoric .
The country must first be secured . The
economy must be re-balanced so that we do
not depend on oil alone. We must fight
corruption which is Nigeria’s Number One
Enemy. Our Administration is tackling these
tasks in earnest.

In the past two years, Nigeria has recorded
appreciable gains in political freedom . A
political Party at the Centre losing elections of
State Governor, National Assembly seat and
even State Assemblies to the opposition parties
is new to Nigeria. Added to these are complete
freedom to associate, to hold and disseminate
opinions . Such developments clearly attest to
the country’s growing political development .
But like all freedoms, this is open to abuse .
Recent calls on re -structuring, quite proper in a
legitimate debate, has let in highly
irresponsible groups to call for
dismemberment of the country. We can not
and we will not allow such advocacy.

As a young Army Officer , I took part from the
beginning to the end in our tragic civil war
costing about 2 m lives, resulting in fearful
destruction and untold suffering. Those who
are agitating for a re- run were not born by
1967 and have no idea of the horrendous
consequences of the civil conflict which we
went through.
I am very disappointed that responsible
leaders of these communities do not warn their
hot -headed youths what the country went
through. Those who were there should tell
those who were not there, the consequences of
such folly .
At all events , proper dialogue and any desired
constitutional changes should take place in a
rational manner , at the National and State
Assemblies. These are the proper and legal
fora for National debate, not some lop -sided,
un-democratic body with pre – determined set
of objectives .

Government is keeping up the momentum of
dialogue with stakeholders in the Niger Delta
to keep the peace . We intend to address
genuine grievances of the communities .
Government is grateful to the responsible
leadership of those communities and will
pursue lasting peace in the Niger Delta .

On security, Nigerians must be grateful to our
gallant Armed Forces for rolling back the
frontiers of Boko Haram ’s terrorism, defeating
them and reducing them to cowardly attacks
on soft and vulnerable targets .
Nigeria is grateful to its neighbours and the
international community for the collective
efforts to defeat this world-wide menace of
Not even the most organized and most
equipped police and security forces in the
world can escape the menace of modern day
terrorism, as we have seen in recent years in
Europe and other parts of the world.
But we are not letting up . Our Armed Forces in
an effort to enhance the operational capability
of troops of OPERATION LAFIYA DOLE have
established Mobile Strike Teams in the North
East. These will ensure the final push to wipe
out the remnants of Boko Haram.

In addition , through targeted air strikes most
of the leadership and identified logistics bases
and routes of the insurgents have been
neutralized. The Armed Forces have
established a Naval presence in the Lake Chad
Basin as part of the coordinated military
efforts to curtail the movements or re-
emergence of the sect in the area.
Government is working round the clock to
ensure release of the remaining Chibok girls , as
well as other persons in Boko Haram captivity .
Government will continue to support the
Armed Forces and other security agencies to
fight not only terrorism, but kidnapping,
armed robberies, herdsmen/ farmers violence
and to ensure peace, stability and security in
our country.

With respect to the economy, the Government
has remained pro-active in its diversification
policy. The Federal Government’s agricultural
Anchor Borrowers Programme , which I
launched in November 2015, has been an
outstanding success with :
· N 43 .92 billion released through the CBN and
13 participating institutions,
· 200 , 000 small holder farmers from 29 states
of the federation benefitting,
· 233 , 000 hectares of farmland cultivating eight
commodities, namely Rice, Wheat , Maize ,
Cotton, soya -beans, Poultry, Cassava and
Groundnuts, in addition to fish farming .
These initiatives have been undertaken in close
collaboration with the states. I wish to
commend the efforts of the Governors of
Kebbi, Lagos , Ebonyi and Jigawa States for
their support to the rice and fertilizer

Equally commendable are contributions of the
Governors of Ondo, Edo, Delta , Imo , Cross
River, Benue , Ogun, Kaduna and Plateau States
for their support for the Presidential initiative
for palm oil, rubber , cashew, cassava , potatoes
and others crops.
With the abundance of rainfall last year and
this year, agriculture has enjoyed Divine
Since December last year , this Administration
has produced over 7 million 50Kg bags of
fertilizer. Eleven blending plants with a
capacity of 2 .1 million metric tons have been
reactivated. We have saved $150 million in
foreign exchange and N 60 billion in subsidy.
Fertilizer prices have dropped from N 13 ,000
per 50Kg bag to N 5, 500 .
Furthermore, a new presidential initiative is
starting with each state of the Federation
creating a minimum of 10,000 jobs for
unemployed youths , again with the aid of
CBN’s development finance initiatives .
Power remains a huge problem. As of
September 12th, production of power reached
an all — time high of 7, 001 Megawatts.
Government is increasing its investment,
clearing up the operational and financial log
jam bedeviling the industry . We hope to reach
10,000 Megawatts by 2020.

Key priorities include better energy mix
through solar and Hydro technologies. I am
glad to say that after many years of limbo,
Mambilla Power Project has taken off .
Elsewhere in the economy the special window
created for manufacturers, investors and
exporters, foreign exchange requirements has
proved very effective . Since April , about $ 7
billion has come through this window alone.
The main effect of these policies is improved
confidence in the economy and better
investment sentiments.

The country has recorded 7 consecutive
months of lower inflation , Naira rate is
beginning to stabilize , appreciating from N 525
per $ 1 in February this year to N 360 today .
Broad-based economic growth is leading us out
of recession.
Furthermore, in order to stabilize the polity ,
the Federal Government gave additional
support to states in the form of:
·State Excess Crude Account loans,
·Budget Support Facility,
·Stabilization Fund Release
to state and local government as follows :
·N 200 billion in 2015
·N 441 billion in 2016
·N 1 trillion in 2017
Altogether totaling N 1. 642 trillion .

This was done to enable states to pay
outstanding salaries, pensions and small
business suppliers who had been all but
crippled over the years.
In addition , the Government’s current N 500
billion Special Intervention Programme is
targeting groups through ;
· Home Grown School Feeding Programme ,
· N – Power Job creation to provide loans to
small-scale traders and artisans,
· Conditional Cash Transfer ,
·Family Homes Fund and
·Social Housing Scheme

Fellow Nigerians,
We are fully aware that fighting corruption
was never going to be a straightforward task.
We expected corrupt elements to use any
weapon to fight back , mainly judicial
obstruction and political diversion. But we are
determined to eradicate corruption from our
body politic.

In this fight , the Government has :
·Empowered teams of prosecutors ,
·Assembled detailed databases ,
·Accelerated the recovery of stolen funds
The Administration ’s new institutional reforms
·Enforcing Treasury Single Account,
·Whistle- Blowers Policy,
·Integrated Payroll Personnel and Information
We have signed multi-lateral cooperation
agreements on criminal matters with friendly
countries. There are signs of increasing
cooperation from the Judiciary. Recently the
Chief Justice of the Federation directed Heads
of all our Courts of first instance and Appeal to
accelerate hearings of corruption cases and
dismiss any judicial officers found to have been
Justice Salami has just been appointed to chair
the Judiciary’s anti- graft committee.
Government expects a lot from this

I commend the National Assembly for
refocusing on its oversight committees . They
should, in addition , ensure swift passage of
enabling corruption laws . But fighting
corruption is a bottom to top operation. I call
on all Nigerians to combat corruption at every
turn. By not asking for and refusing to accept a
bribe, by reporting unethical practices or by
blowing a whistle , together we can beat
corruption. The government for its part will
work for accountability at all levels – Federal,
State and Local Governments . CHANGE will
then be real.

As we enter the second half of our term of
office, we intend to accelerate progress and
intensify our resolve to fix the country ’s
challenges and problems .
Thank you and a happy holiday to all of you.

God bless our country 

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