Tinubu pledges to empower Nigerians to combat poverty, criminality, terrorism


President Bola Tinubu on Saturday restated his
administration’s commitment to eliminating poverty, terrorism and all forms of
criminality in Nigeria.


Already, the Nigerian leader who is also Chairman of the
Economic Community of West African States, ECOWAS, said the administration is
currently implementing programmes and policies that would empower Nigerians to
combat the challenges of poverty, criminality and terrorism.


Tinubu, who was represented by his deputy, Vice President
Kashim Shettima, spoke during the passing-out parade of Cadets of the 70
Regular Course, Direct Short Service Course 27 (Army) and Direct Short Service
Course 31 (Air Force) of the Nigerian Defence Academy, NDA, in Kaduna.


Reading the President’s address titled, ‘The Heroes of
Nigeria’s Path to Prosperity and Security’, at the passing-out parade, Shettima
said, “Every day, every minute, we are reminded of the consequences of economic
and social disintegration around us.


“This is why we favour cooperation and the formation of
bilateral and multilateral alliances to create opportunities for our people.


“We are implementing programmes and policies to empower our
citizens to combat the challenges of poverty, criminality, and terrorism.


“From preparing for the food security crisis triggered by
the Russian-Ukrainian war, to responding to banditry attacks on farmers,
natural flood disasters, and the repercussions of military coups, this
administration has remained vigilant in devising solutions to mitigate their
impact and enhance national security.”


As part of moves to deal decisively with criminal elements,
Tinubu noted that his government has embarked on a new era in the country’s
national defence and security strategy.


This, he said, would be driven by a resolute commitment to
confront the substantial threats and challenges that confront the country
within the West African sub-region.


“I have directed all heads of defence and security
institutions to unite in their efforts to protect our nation’s integrity and
well-being, and as Chairman of the ECOWAS, we are diligently working to enhance
our regional conflict management and development mechanisms.


“To forge a path towards greater peace, stability, and
progress across West Africa and beyond is not negotiable,” he added.


The President noted, however, that in tackling poverty
inflicted on Nigerians by activities of the terror groups, he would treat every
region equally and give them a sense of belonging in his government.


He stated: “Distinguished ladies and gentlemen, justice is
the mainstay of prosperity, and so we are going to be fair to each region.


“Whether in tackling the secessionist elements disrupting
the peace and economic activities of the good people of the South-East or
doubling up our efforts in winning the counter-insurgency in the North East,
and whether in pursuing normalcy in the North-West or in making the
farmer-herder crises a thing of the past in the North-Central, every group will
be treated as equal and given a sense of belonging in our government.


“While I acknowledge that we have made bold decisions to
bolster our economy, even as some developed economies face the threat of recession,
our commitment remains resolute.


“We are intensifying our efforts to implement tangible
measures that will alleviate the hardships caused by the removal of fuel
subsidies and the unification of exchange rates.


“Our immediate actions, such as reducing taxes on strategic
manufacturing industries, distributing grains from the national reserve to
vulnerable demographics, providing fertilizer and farm inputs, and extending
soft loans to small and medium-scale industries, all serve as a clear message to
our nation.


“We stand firmly with our citizens, determined to guide our
country towards a path of accelerated economic growth and opportunities, where
no one lives on handouts.”


The President further said he was proud of the devotion and
dignity with which the NDA and its alumni have safeguarded Nigeria, noting that
the passing-out parade was not just a ceremony to honour the transition of the
graduands to a more active phase of duty to their fatherland.


According to him, the ceremony “stands as a symbol of our
enduring commitment to the ideals of patriotism and investment in our human


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