President Muhammadu Buhari on Wednesday expressed optimism that Nigerians will feel the impact of programmes and projects executed by his government when he would have left office in 2023.
The President, who spoke while inaugurating the new board of the Nigeria Sovereign Investment Authority (NSIA), disclosed that his “government operates on the agenda for long term change which we all agree is inevitable. Change happens whether you are ready for it or not”.
Anaedoonline.ng reports the Change was the campaign slogan of then Candidate Muhammadu Buhari and his All Progressives Congress in the build-up to the 2015 presidential election. For the 2019 polls, the ‘Change’ agenda of the President and his party gave way to ‘Next Level’.
Going by the above comment of the President, the section of Nigerians who feel betrayed or disappointed for not experiencing the promised Change will now understand that the “Change” they voted for in 2015 was meant to be a long-term phenomenon.
Buhari disclosed that both the public and private sectors in Nigeria have partnered with the NSIA on strategic projects within the past four years.
According to him, “On the public sector partnership, we are working with the NSIA on strategic infrastructure projects such as the Second Niger Bridge, the Lagos – Ibadan Express Way and the Abuja – Kano Road, to mention a few.
“On the private sector collaborations, we have projects such as the Presidential Fertiliser Initiative, the Presidential Artisanal Gold Mining Initiative and the NSIA Healthcare Development and Investment Company amongst many.
“Although these projects and programmes have immediately created jobs from a development standpoint, the wider impact on society will only be felt in years to come.”
Buhari, at the brief inauguration ceremony held at the State House, Abuja, tasked the board to make more investments that support economic diversification, as global oil prices were projected to drop to around $40 per barrel by 2030.
He restated his administration’s commitment to implementing long term projects and programmes that create jobs for Nigerians, adding that the appointment of the nine-man board was a call to duty, action and performance.
“As representatives of the Federation, you are required to continue to drive the performance of the Authority to deliver benefits to all Nigerians.
“You must bear in mind that the National Economic Council, your Governing Council and Nigerians as a whole will hold you accountable for this mandate.
“Periodically, you will be required to provide evidence of your stewardship at the Governing Council Meetings where your performance will be assessed.
“The bar before you is very high and all of us are counting on you to deliver. If you do, I assure you that Government and indeed all Nigerians will be unflinching in their support for you,’’ the President said.
The President recounted that NSIA, which is one of Nigeria’s premier economic institutions, was conceived to be a store of wealth that may be drawn upon at times of economic challenges thereby encouraging external investors and lenders.
He expressed delight that so far the institution has discharged its mandate dutifully, stating that, “this is why we prioritized the appointment of a new Board to ensure that the Authority does not lose steam and can continue to benefit from the oversight it needs to deliver on its mandate.
“The new Board we assembled has a crop of seasoned, eminently qualified, and experienced professionals.
“We expect these individuals to bring their wealth of experience to bear, in the next phase of NSIA’s journey,” he said.
The President also used the occasion to thank the last Board of Directors whose tenure ended in May 2021.
While acknowledging their commitment, dedication and contributions to the implementation of the objectives of the Authority, Buhari said: “This distinguished group of patriotic Nigerians heeded the call to serve and deployed the best of their abilities to oversee the affairs of the Authority on behalf of the nation over the last four years“.
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