Speech By President Buhari At A Banquet During His 2-Day Visit To Lagos
SPEECH BY HIS EXCELLENCY, MUHAMMADU BUHARI, PRESIDENT OF THE FEDERAL REPUBLIC OF NIGERIA AT A BANQUET
DURING HIS 2-DAY VISIT TO LAGOS STATE, MONDAY 23RD JANUARY, 2023
I am delighted to be here in Lagos State, on a two-day Official Visit to commission landmark infrastructure projects by the Lagos State Government and the private sector.
I would like to start by thanking the Governor of Lagos State, His Excellency, Babajide Sanwo-Olu and the people of Lagos, for the colourful reception that my team and I received today on our arrival in the state.
Earlier today, it was my pleasure to commission the Lekki Deep Sea Port, and the Imota Rice Mill, two projects that are very much in line with our Administration’s vision of economic diversification and food security.
The Lekki Deep Sea Port is driven by my vision to bequeath a legacy of poverty elimination through provision of job-creating infrastructure, I placed all matters related to the operationalization of Lekki Deep Seaport on top priority by giving unalloyed backing to the Nigerian Ports Authority and its supervising ministry, the Federal Ministry of Transportation.
With the commencement of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) Agreement which we are signatory, the distinctive features of Lekki Deep Seaport such as full automation which positions it for quick cargo and vessel turn around will greatly enhance the competitiveness of Nigeria’s exports especially agro-allied products in the international marketplace, grow local jobs, increased FOREX inflow and position Nigeria to maximize the opportunities inherent in the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA)Agreement.
Secondly, the Bestaf Lubricant at MRS commissioned, is a testament to provision of enabling environment. The 200m litre lubricant plant, which covers the whole value chain of lubricants and the first of its kind in West Africa, will prevent the importation of sub-standard products, stop capital flight, and contribute to generation of foreign exchange for the country, through products exported by Bestaf. This plant will go a long way in ensuring that the plants and machinery which are used in Nigeria, have extended lifetime from the use of high quality lubricants.
Tomorrow, I look forward to commissioning the historic first Phase of the Blue Line of the Lagos Rail Mass Transit, the John Randle Centre for Yoruba Culture and History, among others.
Lagos is proudly Nigeria’s economic nerve center, as well as the leading subnational economy in Africa. It is also a place with which I am very familiar, having lived and served here for long periods during my military career.
I am therefore no stranger to the rich culture and remarkable hospitality for which Lagos and its people are famous. It is therefore always a pleasure for me to return to Lagos, and to see the remarkable changes taking place constantly.
The Federal Government, under this Administration, has always strived to support the growth and development of Lagos State:
a. We have approved important fiscal waivers required to deliver on key infrastructure projects, including customs duties for BRT Buses, LAG-RIDE vehicles, as well as Rolling Stock for the Blue and Red Rail Lines.
b. Lagos was one of the pioneer beneficiaries of our Road Infrastructure Tax Credit Scheme, which has transformed the Apapa-Oshodi-Oworonshoki Expressway, and will deliver a brand-new access road to the new Lekki Deep Sea Port.
c. Lagos has benefited from our Sukuk Bond projects — the nearby Ahmadu Bello Way being one of the major roads reconstructed using Sukuk funding.
d. The allocation of Right of Way of the Lagos-Ibadan Standard Gauge Railway Line, for use by the Lagos Mass Rail Transit’s Red Line.
e. Substantial financial support at the height of the Covid-19 pandemic.
f. The handover of the International Airport Road to the Lagos State Government, for reconstruction.
g. The ongoing redevelopment of the National Theatre, Iganmu, in partnership with Lagos State Government.
We have been very clear that our Administration is one that will support and work with State Governments to achieve our mutually-held goal of laying a sustainable foundation for lasting progress and development in Nigeria.
I am delighted that the alignment between Lagos State and the Federal Government, since 2015, has more than delivered on the dividends of democracy for the good people of the State.
These projects being commissioned today would not have happened without close collaboration between the Federal and Lagos State Governments, and the involvement of the private sector as well.
Indeed, our commitment to unleashing the full potential of Nigeria’s private sector should never be in doubt. Through various policies, legislation and executive orders, we have worked very hard to facilitate private enterprise in Nigeria.
The results of this can be seen in the many thriving businesses across Lagos State, in manufacturing, oil and gas, creative industries, services, digital economy and many more, creating tens of thousands of jobs and economic opportunities for Nigerians.
For example, between them, the Lekki Deep Sea Port and the Imota Rice Mill alone are projected to create more than three hundred thousand (300,000) direct and indirect jobs, and generate economic benefits valued at well over two hundred billion United States Dollars (USD 200 Billion).
These labour intensive projects fit well to this Administrations plan to lift 100 million Nigerians out of poverty in 10 years.
I have no doubt whatsoever that posterity will be kind to us on account of these landmark projects and successes.
Let me note that the sheer number of projects lined up for commissioning during my Visit to Lagos is impressive. I thank you, Mr. Governor for keeping the electoral promises which you made to Lagosians. You have been a true Ambassador of the progressive politics that defines our party, and which has been the guiding vision of our Administration, from Day 1.
I also acknowledge the excellent work that you did, working closely with the Federal Government and other stakeholders, to protect Lagos State from the worst effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.
There is so much for us to be proud of, that we have worked hand-in-hand to achieve. Equally, there is still so much ahead for us to collaborate on.
The possibilities for the future are immense and exciting. In the four months until the end of our administration, we will continue to work with unwavering vigour and commitment, to fulfill the promises we made to Nigerians.
Thank you and God Bless the Federal Republic of Nigeria.