President Muhammadu Buhari has disclosed that his administration lifted 10.5 million people out of poverty in the last two years.
He made the disclosure this morning in his nationwide speech to make this year’s Democracy Day.
The president also expressed confidence that the target of lifting 100 million Nigerians out of poverty is achievable.
He said; “In the last two years, we lifted 10.5 million people out of poverty – farmers, small-scale traders, artisans, market women and the like.
“I am very convinced that this 100 million target can be met and this informed the development of a National Poverty Reduction with Growth Strategy.
“The specific details of this accelerated strategy will be unveiled shortly.
The president also restated his commitment to providing an enabling environment for a free, fair and credible electoral system under his tenure.
He, however, pointed out that Nigerians need to play their part by getting involved at any level by supporting a democratic system that works for all and not for a section or a select few and demand accountability from your elected leaders.
He added; “My commitment to bequeathing a sustainable democratic culture remains resolute, my pursuit of a fair society remains unshaken and my desire to see that Nigeria remains a country for each and every one of us has never been stronger.”
On the cries for marginalisation and restructuring, he said, “In responding to the challenges that this period imposes on us, government also recognises the need to acknowledge notions of marginalisation and agitations for constitutional amendments among various segments of our population.
“While this government is not averse to constitutional reform as part of our nation building process, everyone must understand that the primary responsibility for constitutional amendment lies with the National Assembly.
“This body which, as I said, is the arm of government responsible for constitutional changes, has concluded the preliminary stages of amending and improving our constitution in a way that majority of Nigerians will be happy with.
“Government is, however, willing to play a critical role in the constitutional amendment process without usurping the powers of the National Assembly in this regard.
“As a nation we have come very far from where we started and we are getting incrementally closer to where we ought to be.”
According to him, overcoming the present challenges is but one of a necessary process that the nation has to undergo so that Nigerians can come out stronger.
“The day I joined the Nigerian Army I was prepared to lay down my life for Nigeria.
“As your president I remain ever committed to upholding and defending Nigeria’s corporate existence. In adhering to the Fundamental Objectives and Directive Principles of State Policy notably Section 14(2)(b) I shall do all within my powers to ensure that the security and welfare of the people remain the primary purpose of government.
“I have, throughout my tenure, provided the security agencies with all they require relative to available resources and will be providing more as the dynamics unfold to put an end to our security problems.
“My strong belief in the Nigerian spirit gives me comfort that we are facing these challenges with renewed commitment to keep our country one,” he added.
The president further said when his administration decided to change Democracy Day from May 29 to June 12 in his first tenure, it was not only to honour the sacrifices of the men and women of our country who fought for the return to democracy.
“But also to demonstrate our commitment to satisfy the aspirations of the people and creating an environment for democracy to be an accepted way of life,” he said.