President Muhammadu Buhari on Wednesday advised Nigerians to lower their expectations of his government, saying there is no quick fix for Nigeria’s gargantuan problems.
Speaking in Beijing, China, at a meeting with members of the Nigerian Community in China, Mr. Buhari said it would take some painful, long steps to reverse the damage done to the country in the past years.
“We hear proposals for short cuts or quick wins,” Femi Adesina, special adviser on media and publicity, quoted the president as saying. “However, all we need to do is look at our history to know that there are no quick wins or short cuts in fixing Nigeria. The many decades of damage and destruction cannot be repaired overnight.
“Clearly, our vision of a diversified and inclusive economy will not be achieved overnight. It will be a long, and in some cases, painful journey. I am very confident we will get there. But we must start that journey now.
“The reform program we are implementing is not because oil prices are below $45 per barrel today. It is because when oil prices were over $100 per barrel, majority of Nigerians were still suffering. They were simply forgotten and left behind. So, our reforms are to ensure that the majority of Nigerians are not left behind.”
President Buhari also reaffirmed his total commitment to winning the war against corruption, saying corruption was an arch-enemy of the nation which had destroyed the lives of many Nigerians.
“I ask for your support to make our vision of stamping out corruption a reality in the shortest possible time,” Mr. Buhari said. “Whoever is caught will not be spared.
“The government is still being dared, but those who are sensible should have learnt a lesson. Those who are mad, let them continue in their madness.
He also warned vandals and saboteurs blowing up oil and gas installations in Nigeria to desist immediately or face the same drastic action being taken against extremist Boko Haram sect by the Armed Forces.
“I am aware that in the last two weeks, the national grid collapsed a number of times. I hope this message will reach the vandals and saboteurs who are blowing up pipelines and installations.
“We will deal with them the way we dealt with Boko Haram.”
Mr. Buhari assured the Nigerian Community that the Federal Government was working very hard to overcome current national challenges and deliver on its promise of a better Nigeria.
President Buhari also assured the Nigerian community that his administration was fulfilling its promise of improving security across the country.
“When we came into office in 2015, Boko Haram insurgents occupied 14 Local Government Areas. Today, I am pleased to say the insurgents have been routed out of these local governments and their capacity to fight as a force has been significantly degraded.
“We will continue working hard to ensure that the group is eliminated. This is achievable. And we will not settle for anything less,” he said.