President Muhammadu Buhari on Friday urged Nigerians to welcome 2022 with hope, envision a year of continued progress against nation’s combined challenges arising from security and socio-economic issues.
The president stated this in his 2022 New Year message released by the Media Unit of the State House, Abuja, on Friday.
President Buhari noted that in spite of the nation’s challenges in 2021, it was also a year in which his administration executed successfully, key projects, programmes, and initiatives to fulfil the promises made under the Security, Economy Anti-corruption (SEA) agenda.
He said: “In spite of the challenges we have faced as a Nation, the good news is that we have so far recorded four consecutive quarters of growth after the negative growth rates recorded in Quarter II and Quarter III of 2020 due to the effect of the COVID-19 pandemic.
“As we welcome 2022, let us, with hope, envision a year of continued progress against our combined challenges arising from security and socio-economic issues.
“As it is said, the past is but a story told, the future will still be written in gold.
“Let us be united in our fight to keep our Nation united against all odds and with gratitude, celebrate life in this new epoch.’’
The president revealed that his administration had given greater attention to fighting corruption and other related offences which he said, had been a bane to the growth and prosperity of the nation.
According to him, the nation has made major strides and breakthroughs through the innovative use of technology and forensics in the investigative and prosecutorial procedures with commendable results to show that the anti-corruption drive of the administration is succeeding.
“In the meantime, the accomplishments that have been recorded so far can be traced to the dedication of the Nation’s anti-corruption Agencies who have received the necessary support needed to effectively prosecute their duties,’’ he added.
On security challenges, the president noted that the persistent insecurity in certain parts of the country may have threatened to unravel the incremental gains achieved in the real sectors of the economy and in the administration’s overall objective to position the nation on the irreversible trajectory of sustainable growth and progress.
He, however, assured that his administration would remain resolute in its commitments towards addressing nation’s security and socio-economic challenges.
The president said: “There is no doubt that the issue of Security remains at the front burner of priority areas that this Administration has given utmost attention to.
“As a follow up to our promise to re-energize and reorganize the security apparatus and personnel of the armed forces and the police, it is on record that this administration has invested heavily in re-equipping our military in line with upgrading the platforms and firepower required to tackle the current challenges being faced in the country.
“The net results of these efforts have been the number of insurgents and bandits who have willingly surrendered to our Security Forces and continue to do so through various channels and the Safe Corridor created for that purpose.
“Government, however, realizes that victory on the battlefield is just one aspect of sustainable victory.
“We know that to fully win this war, we must also win the peace and real security lies in winning the hearts and minds of the affected citizens.
“To this end, working with our international partners and neighbouring countries, we would be deploying multi-faceted solutions that will be targeted at addressing human security at the grassroots, before it leads to insecurity.’’
President Buhari saluted the gallant military, police officers, and other security agents who had lost their lives in the cause of protecting the territorial integrity of the nation against both internal and external aggressors.
He assured their families that their sacrifices would not be in vain.
“We equally remember and commiserate with Nigerians who have lost loved ones as a result of insecurity in different parts of the country.
“Every life matters and every single death caused by any form of insecurity is a matter of personal concern to me both as a citizen and as the President of this great country.
“We remain fully committed to upholding the constitutional provisions that protect all Nigerians from any form of internal and external aggression,’’ he added.
The president wished all citizens “a very happy and prosperous New Year.’’