Speech by President Muhammadu Buhari at the Ramadan Breaking of Fast with the Diplomatic Corps at the State House, Abuja on 30 June, 2016.
I welcome you all to this iftar dinner and I thank you for accepting my invitation. It has become an annual tradition which I am quite happy to maintain.
2. This Ramadan season is auspicious to me in one very important respect as it coincides with our administration’s first year in office. It has indeed been a challenging time for Nigeria. But our government has striven to meet these challenges head-on and with a proper commitment to address them. Much has been achieved but clearly much remains to be done.
3. As everyone knows, the security situation that we met at inception in May 2015 was one that portended great danger for the unity and territorial integrity of the country. Boko Haram was running rampant across the country seizing territories. Today, thanks to our motivated Armed Forces, Boko Haram has been technically defeated.
4. I assure you that we remain firm in our determination to completely annihilate the terrorist group, and we shall continue to count on the support of the international community as amply demonstrated during the recent Second Regional Security Summit. We are not letting off in our efforts to secure the release of Chibok School girls tragically seized. Our first priority is to rescue them unharmed by whatever means. We are living daily with the pains of the possible fate of these dear girls.
5. One ongoing impact of Boko Haram is the prevalence of Internally Displaced Persons in the North East. We are mobilising all available national resources and working with our international partners to comprehensively address this problem. Our main focus now is to ensure the safe return of the displaced and the rehabilitation of their communities. The Government is taking measures to ensure that the IDPs are resettled in their communities within the shortest possible time. To this end, we have commenced reconstruction of infrastructure in the affected towns and villages and we are committed to ensuring that full-scale economic activities pick up in those areas.
6. The security challenges the country faced in the past in the Niger Delta region has unfortunately reared its ugly head again. We are addressing the situation and are hopeful of a speedy resolution. No group of terrorists will divert this Government from engaging with all interest groups to tackle the problems of the Niger Delta, namely youth unemployment, poor infrastructure and ecological damage.
7. Concerning the economy, our budget has been passed and we are fully engaged in its strict implementation. We have also taken steps to stabilize our foreign exchange regime and address our petrol challenges. I would like to assure you that our doors are open for business. We are working earnestly to improve the environment for doing business. The dwindling oil price has necessitated diversification of the economy. We shall be laying greater emphasis on the development of the non-oil sector, especially in the areas of solid minerals, livestocks agriculture and manufacturing.
8. With regard to our war on corruption, we have received tremendous cooperation from our development partners in the recovery of looted funds. I urge them to sustain the tempo and ensure that the funds are repatriated to Nigeria as this will assist us in the pursuit of our development goals. I shall endeavour to pursue the recovery of all stolen funds and the prosecution of treasury looters in accordance with the law. The fight against corruption is one that this administration is resolutely determined to win.
9. Finally, let me state that Nigeria attaches great importance to its relations with each of your countries and organisations and will partner with you in trade, cultural exchanges and cooperation to tackle the common challenges all countries face in the 21st century.
Thank you, Ladies and Gentlemen and Happy Eid-il-fitr.