*Blames global downturn, past governments for economic problems
12 September 2016, Sweetcrude, Abuja – President Muhammadu Buhari yesterday attributed the economic recession partly to the global downturn and the failure of past governments to save for the rainy day.
Buhari, who made the remark in his Eid-El-Kabir message to Nigerians, however, said his administration was committed to reflating the economy and improving the standard of living of Nigerians.
“Fellow compatriots, as you celebrate the Eid-El-Kabir, I salute your steadfastness in spite of the difficult economic times the country is going through,” Buhari said.
He noted that “The present recession is as a result of cumulative effects of worldwide economic downturn and failure in the past to plan and save for difficult times. It is impossible to separate the present from the past to appreciate the extent to which mistakes of the past are affecting everyday life today.
“I assure you that this administration is working around the clock to remove the hardship the country is going through. Rail and road construction, projects in the housing sector, support for farmers and for small and medium scale industries, youth and women’s empowerment programmes, support for the revival of industries are all designed to reinvigorate the economy and enhance living standards of ordinary people.”
While noting that his administration is getting security right and stopping corruption in its tracks, Buhari is confident that the government will get the economy right.
He added that “The lessons of the Eid are piety and sacrifice and, my dear brothers and sisters, you have exhibited these in equal measure.
“I enjoin Muslims to live by the dictates of Islam, to keep good relationships with their Christian brothers and sisters and as patriots to maintain the spirit of the Nigerian nation,” he said
Meanwhile, in a Sallah message to Muslims, Senate President Bukola Saraki urged Muslims to pray for peace and fast economic recovery.
He urged Nigerians to remain steadfast and committed to the cause of one, united and developed country.
Saraki observed that despite the economic challenges, the country, and its people have all that is required to come out better and stronger.
He called on all Nigerians to live in harmony with one another, irrespective of ethnic or religious affiliation, adding that the significance of the Eid-el-Kabir festival is to celebrate the true love and grace of Almighty Allah to mankind through sacrifice, devotion, and faith.
Saraki said: “I sincerely rejoice with all Nigerians, especially the Muslim faithful, on yet another Eid-el-Kabir, which is both a period of sacrifice and obedience to divine guidance and a time to share our resources with our neighbours, no matter how little.
“It is also a call on all of us to love one another, eschew all forms of violence, adhere strictly to the noble tenets of Islam and peaceful coexistence. We must not relent in being our brothers’ keeper and play our part to achieve the New Nigeria of our dreams.
“Truly, times are tough, but we are a tough people too. Therefore, I have no doubt that we shall overcome our present economic setback sooner than anticipated, if we all commit to the ideals of nation building.
“I also enjoin every one of us to contribute to strengthening the bond of unity and oneness that exists among us. This, I believe, will spur us to avoid negative tendencies that could derail our efforts at ensuring faster economic revival and socio-political stability.”
House of Representatives Speaker Yakubu Dogara also urged Islamic faithful to use this period for sober reflection.
In a message on his behalf by his Special Adviser (Media and Public Affairs),Turaki Hassan, Dogara noted that peaceful co-existence and understanding as well as, sustained prayers among citizens were essential amid the economic and security challenges, which, he said, are are not insurmountable.
“As we celebrate Eid-el-Kabir with our friends and families, we must never forget our country and its leadership in our prayers. Eid-el-Kabir celebration is a period of sacrifice and reflection, I urge us all to emulate the virtues of total obedience, sacrifice in faith and selfless service as demonstrated and exemplified by Prophet lbrahim,” the Speaker admonished.
He lamented the pains the citizens are undergoing, which are caused by decades of maladministration and the near collapse of a mono-product economy, but expressed confidence that the diversification drive of the President Buhari’s administration, coupled with its fiscal discipline and transparency, will return the nation to the path of true development and prosperity.
Dogara assured Nigerians that the House of Representatives is determined to work selflessly and tirelessly for the common good and the overall interest of the country and her citizens through effective, efficient and robust lawmaking, oversight, and representation.