Jonathan’s Speech At Handover Note Presentation

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Here’s the president’s full speech at the handover note
presentation yesterday
Protocols
I welcome you all to this occasion of the formal
presentation of the Hand-over notes of my Administration to the in-coming
Administration of the President-Elect, General Muhammadu Buhari.
This event and tomorrow’s inauguration of a new administration
are truly historic as it is the first time in the history of our nation that we
are witnessing the democratic and orderly transfer of power at the Federal
level from one political party to another. 

The Hand-over notes which we now present, contain the
governance philosophy, strategies, policies, programmes and activities of my
Administration for the period – 2011-2015. Also to be found in the notes are
the objectives, targets and implementation strategies, achievements and
challenges of our key policies, schemes, initiatives as well as the status of
commitments and liabilities of the various MDAs.
  
As we hand over the affairs of the nation, it is appropriate
to recall that at inception, in May 2011, we committed ourselves to
consolidating national unity through democratization and good governance. Our
assessment then, and our firm belief ever since, is that the unity of Nigeria,
the security, well-being, greater freedoms and opportunities for all citizens
must remain the primary objectives of government.
The Agenda for National Transformation which we did our best
to implement consisted of clear and consistent governance strategies, policies,
plans, programmes and projects, in all facets of our national life. Emphasis
was placed on human and state security, democratization, sound economic
management, as well as structural and institutional reforms.
Our foremost concern was the unity of Nigeria.In keeping
with that concern, we engineered a process that began with a review of issues
outstanding from previous Constitutional Conferences by the Belgore Committee.
After that, we widened political consultations through a National Dialogue that
was orchestrated through the Okurounmu Committee. These culminated in the
all-inclusive National Conference which unanimously reaffirmed that Nigeria
must remain united and indivisible.
The Conference also made resolutions and recommendations for
serious constitutional, political and governance reforms, which we have
forwarded to the National Assembly for appropriate legislative action. It is
our hope that the incoming Government will accord the Report of the National
Conference the very high priority that it deserves, as a genuine expression of
the will of our people.
The recognition that the starting point for good governance
is the legitimacy of the government itself informed our commitment to promoting
free and fair elections.
  
It also motivated innovations in the management and conduct
of elections which we undertook. Hopefully, in the years ahead, those
innovations will be properly and fully implemented so that Nigerians will be
even more assured of the integrity of the electoral system and the legitimacy
of any government that it produces.
To strengthen the
social contract between the government and the governed, we institutionalized
the rule of law as well as the independence of the legislature and the
judiciary.  We also promoted group and
individual freedoms. As a result, there is vast expansion in democratic, social
and economic space for all citizens.
Our nation and citizens faced many new challenges over
the past four years but the greatest was the vastly increased menace of Boko
Haram with their mindless terror, mass killings, utter ruthlessness, kidnapping
of innocent children and other unspeakable acts of brutality.
We should all
remember that Boko Haram’s emergence predated our administration going as far
back as 2002. The group however became extremely malignant with the killing of
its leader, Mohammed Yusuf in July 2009.
It therefore became
an urgent task for us to effectively confront the great threat Boko Haram posed
to the security and well-being of our people. To do so, we overhauled and
virtually reinvented our security architecture to confront Boko Haram and its
insurgency. We re-organized our security apparatus. We re-equipped and fully
motivated our forces.
Victory is now in
sight and within our reach. However, the cost in blood of citizens and heroes;
and the diversion of national treasure from urgent needs for development have
been very high. While more than 500 women and children have been rescued from
the clutches of Boko Haram thus far by our security forces, it remains my
sincere hope and prayer that our beloved daughters from Chibok will soon be
reunited with us.
I wish to thank the
Nigerian people for their resilience and patience. I also wish to pay very
special and personal tribute to all the men and women of our valiant armed
forces and security agencies. Their sacrifice and dedication have brought us
thus far.
While striving to
overcome our national security challenges, we still gave necessary attention to
economic development. Our goal was to achieve long-term economic growth and
stability, improve the quality and quantum of infrastructure and enhance human
capital development.
Our financial system
reforms included the Treasury Single Account [TSA] that unified the structure
of government accounts for all MDAs and thereby brought order to cash flow
management; and Government Integrated Financial Management Information System
[GIFMIS] was introduced to plug leakages and waste of resources. The Integrated
Payroll and Personnel Information System [IPPIS] weeded out 60,450 ghost
workers in 359 out of 425 MDAs, yielding N185.4 billion in savings to the
Federal government.
Improved Revenue Mobilization was achieved through
improvements in the laws and compliance measures. In 2013 alone, these measures
resulted in a 69% rise in Federal tax revenues from N2.8 trillion to N4.8
trillion. Also, Waiver Policy and Trade Facilitation were reformed to create a
more rational regime. Our emphasis shifted to granting waivers to specific
sectors instead of individual companies and the Sovereign Wealth Fund was
established to provide stabilization from external shocks, provide funding for critical
infrastructure and savings for future generations.
Our Financial Sector
reforms addressed the issues of inefficiencies in the coordination and
monitoring of the financial system. Our policies promoted transparency, better
risk management, new banking models and payment systems. We established the
Assets Management Corporation of Nigeria as a resolution mechanism for toxic
banking assets. We strengthened banking supervision and enhanced public
confidence in Nigerian Banks.
Similarly, we undertook innovative reforms for job creation
and repositioned the manufacturing, agriculture and housing sectors.
Specifically, it was observed that over the years, job creation did not keep
pace with economic growth. Thus unemployment, especially amongst the youth was
assuming alarming dimensions.
To address this, my
administration made job creation a key consideration for all programmes in the
Transformation Agenda. Emphasis was also shifted towards empowering youths to
become entrepreneurs rather than job seekers, through such initiatives as Youth
Enterprise with Innovation in Nigeria (YOU-WIN), Graduate Internship Scheme
(GIS), the SURE-P Technical Vocational Education and Training Programme (TVET)
and the Youth Employment in Agriculture Programme (YEAP).
Manufacturing in Nigeria faces many challenges, including
poor power supply, high cost of input, high cost of doing business, multiple
taxation, poor infrastructure and lack of synergy with the labour market.  To address these problems, we launched several
programmes and initiatives including the National Industrial Revolution Plan
and a new National Automobile Policy designed to boost domestic car production
and expand existing capacity. Since then, five new private vehicle assembly
plants have been established.
Agriculture is critical to national survival and yet the
sector was besieged with many problems. By year 2010, Nigeria was the second
largest importer of food in the world, spending about N1.3 trillion on the
importation of fish, rice and sugar alone.
The reforms we introduced in agriculture dramatically
increased local production of staple food and saved us vast amounts of money
that we would have spent on the importation of food items. 
To address the glaring inadequacy of critical national
infrastructure, we focused on the Power Sector, Roads, Railways, Aviation,
Ports and Harbours as well as on Water and Sanitation, Information and
Communication Technology.

My government introduced the Power Sector Roadmap in
2010.Since then, we have privatized the generation and distribution aspects in
a most transparent process. Obstacles to the private sector investments in
power supply were removed and we developed cost effective electricity tariff to
make the sector more attractive. It remains our hope that the successor
companies to PHCN and also the private sector will step forward with the
necessary investment to make the power reform work.
  
The major challenge in the road sector in Nigeria is the
high cost of building roads and it continues to rise. The other challenge is
the fact that because of regular use, roads are one of the fastest depreciating
assets in developing countries.
To address this, Government has developed the required legal
and regulatory framework and created opportunities for Private Public
Partnership (PPP) in road construction and maintenance.
  
From Ore/Benin Road, Lagos/Ibadan Expressway to the
Kano/Maiduguri dualisation projects, we made concerted efforts to address
age-long problems of delays in construction, design defect, neglect and
ineffective maintenance. The construction of the historic Second Niger Bridge
has also commenced, and on completion, it will open new and far-reaching
opportunities for greater trade and interaction among our people.
In the Aviation Sector, our government developed a Master
Plan to institutionalise safety and security, and to develop infrastructure at
the airports and local airlines. We embarked on the reconstruction and
rehabilitation of 22 airports nationwide. Construction work on five new
international terminals in Lagos, Abuja, Port Harcourt, Kano and Enugu are also
on-going.
There has been a revolution in rail transportation. We
rehabilitated the old narrow gauge network and ensured that it has served our
people steadily for three years running with new coaches and improved expanded
services nationwide.
We are in the construction stages of a new national network
for standard gauge speed-train services, with the new rail line segment, from
Abuja to Kaduna, successfully completed. In addition, we have initiated the
process for the construction of an ultramodern coastal rail line that will run
from Lagos to Calabar, with a link to Onitsha.
We have also successfully completed the dredging of River
Niger, from Warri in Delta State to Baro in Niger State, and completed
construction works for the Onitsha River Port. Other River Ports at Baro,
Lokoja and Oguta, are at advanced construction stages. Working with the states
and development partners, we have facilitated the process towards the
development of two new deep sea ports at Lekki in Lagos, and Ibaka in Akwa
Ibom. We have also implemented reforms to streamline the clearing regime in
existing ports, increasing cargo turnover time and easing business for all
users.
In the oil and gas sector, our local content policy has
continued to empower Nigerian companies, particularly in technical and
engineering projects. The Gas Revolution Industrial Park in Delta State is
unprecedented in the subsector, and will not only deliver Africa’s biggest
industrial park, but all the accompanying benefits to local industry and job
creation.
We recognized Human Capital as the most important agent for
transformational development. Our reforms in this sector focused on Health,
Education and Social Development and also on Women and Youth Empowerment and
Social Safety Nets.
In the Health sector, the comprehensive National Strategic
Health Development Plan (NSHDP) of 2011 laid the foundation for widening access
and improving the quality of healthcare with lower infant mortality rates and
higher life expectancy for the populace.Our effective curtailment of the Ebola
epidemic has continued to receive worldwide acclaim as an example in prompt and
effective national disease management. On our watch, guinea-worm has been
eradicated from Nigeria and we are on the verge of wiping out polio entirely.
  
In the Education sector, our objectives are clear and
precise. They emphasise expansion of access and the upgrade of quality. I am
proud that we have widened access by establishing 18 more Federal Universities
and other specialized polytechnics. We strengthened TETFUND and used it to
boldly address the problems of inadequate infrastructure in the existing
institutions.
I am particularly proud of our efforts with regards to Early
Childhood Education and Out-of-School Children. We provided modern hybrid Almajiri
Education Programme in the North, attended to schooling needs of boys in the
South-East and ensured the construction of special girls’ schools in 13 States
of the Federation to improve girl-child education. We expanded opportunities
for open and distance learning and provided scholarships at all levels to help
improve access to quality education for bright and promising Nigerians.
We have promoted gender-mainstreaming with commensurate
priority and opportunities for our womenfolk, beginning with ensuring that not
less than 30 per cent of key Federal appointments go to women. Other
initiatives that we have taken include: the National Gender Policy,
Establishment of Gender Units in Federal MDAs, Women Empowerment Training
Programmes, Micro-Credit for Women, Social Safety Net Programmes and the
Conditional Cash Transfer (CCT) Scheme. 
My Administration has emphasized giving a free hand to our
Anti-corruption agencies such as the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission
(EFCC) and the Independent Corrupt Practices Commission (ICPC). We preferred
that they mature into strong institutions instead of being the images, the
hammer and the anvil of a strong man. We must encourage them to abide by the
rule of law and due process instead of resorting to dramatic or illegal actions
orchestrated for cheap applause.
Beyond the very impressive records of enhanced convictions
by statutory anti-corruption agencies like the EFCC and ICPC, our other
strategy has been to fashion economic policies that deliver higher deterrence
and frustrate concealment. In this regard, the Bureau of Public Procurement has
played a central role and impacted strongly on the fight against corruption.
In Sports, we have improved our national performance in team
and individual events. The disappointment of not qualifying to defend our
African Football Championship was cushioned by a decent FIFA World Cup
appearance, an Under-17 World Cup win in addition to other victories in other
international football tournaments and the Paralympics. We have also encouraged
excellence in other sports, apart from football, resulting in exceptional
performance in international sporting events, especially in athletics.
Our foreign policy position remains strong. In October 2013,
Nigeria was elected as a non-permanent member of the United Nations Security
Council for the second time on our watch. Our country had only served in that
capacity thrice before 2011, since independence in 1960. Our Administration
also played a leading role in the resolution of security and political
challenges in our sub-region, particularly in Niger, Cote D’Ivoire, Mali,
Guinea-Bissau and Burkina Faso.
In addition, we increased engagement with Nigerians in the
diaspora who contribute so much in remittances to their fatherland. Our
Administration successfully encouraged more of them to invest in Nigeria and
others to return home and join in the task of nation-building.
In summary, Your Excellency, distinguished ladies and
gentlemen, our administration has done its best to intervene robustly and
impact positively on key aspects of our national life.
There is no doubt that challenges still abound, but they are
surmountable and overwhelming national transformation remains realisable, with
continuity, commitment and consistency.
  
Nigeria is blessed with citizens that will always remain
faithful, firmly committed to national unity, accelerated political, social and
economic development.
As we hand over the reins of government, I believe that our
nation is secure, our democracy is stable, and the future is bright. Let us all
work together, and with greater resolve, continue to build a stronger and more
prosperous nation.
  
May God Almighty continue to bless our dear country,
Nigeria.
I thank you all.

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