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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 capital”.