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Join me on the battlefront, Buhari tells in-coming lawmakers


General Muhammadu Buhari
General Muhammadu Buhari

President-elect, General Muhammadu Buhari has identified the problems confronting the country and his presidency and called on the in-coming National Assembly members to join him on the “battle front” to overcome these challenges.

Gen. Buhari who was addressing the lawmakers at an induction ceremony organised for them by the National Institute for Legislative Studies in Abuja, said that general insecurity and insurgency, especially in the North East geo-political zone of the country, devastation and environmental degradation in the Niger Delta, decline in revenues due to fall in oil prices, endemic corruption and unacceptably poor provision of power supply were some of daunting problems that must be confronted.

He also listed de-industrialization, unacceptably high levels of unemployment, especially youth unemployment and lack of development in the agricultural and solid minerals sectors as part of the challenges that would face the incoming government which he would need the support of the legislators to tackle.

“I see these development challenges as the mission of my presidency. I need the support of the members of the National Assembly on the battle front,” he said.

To grapple with these challenges, Buhari told the legislators that “appropriate policies need to be put in place and such policies may have to be translated into laws.

“Secondly, the oversight functions of the legislature is critical in ensuring that policies are implemented effectively and transparently. Therefore, my mission to bring integrity into governance would better succeed if complemented with a strong culture of transparent oversight.

“Thirdly, we need to collaborate on the budget process and restructuring of the public sector so as to collectively tackle the menace of high recurrent cost at the expense of capital and human development” and lastly, he said, “there is an urgent need to contain this high state of insecurity. All of you are representing various communities. We need to work together to address the problem from both its roots and manifestations. The strongest mitigating forces at this point are to redress the power sector deficits, encourage investments that are job creating and focus on human development and reconstruction. We also need to deploy efforts in conflict resolution and peace building in all our communities.”

The President-elect who told the legislators that they are in the threshold of history, acknowledged the maturity exhibited by the political class, the professionalism of the security agencies, the competence and resilience of the electoral commission and the doggedness of Nigerians during the last elections.

While also paying tribute to President Goodluck Jonathan “for accepting the results of the election before final announcement was made,” Buhari noted that “the legislature is a critical component and necessary ingredient of democracy and good governance”, stressing that ” for a president to be successful in addressing community development and general welfare of the various people of the country, he or she would benefit from working closely and in harmony with the legislative arm of government.”

He, therefore, pledged to commit himself “to working with the legislature as development partners motivated by the desire to deliver good governance.”

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