President Jonathan’s speech during his hand over of notes to Buhari

Posted: May 28, 2015 in NaijaSpecial

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Below is the full text of what outgoing President
Goodluck Jonathan said at the handing over
notes event to incoming President Muhammadu
Buhari at the Presidential Villa, Abuja, today.

1. 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.
2. 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.
3. 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.
4. 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.
5. 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.
6. 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.
7. 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.
8. 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.
9. 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.
10. 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.
11. 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.
12. 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.
13. 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.
14. 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.
15. 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.
16. 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.
17. 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.
18. 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.
19. 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
.​
20. 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.
21. 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).
22. 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.
23. 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.
24. 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.
25. 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.
26. 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.
27. 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.
28. 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.
29. 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.
30. 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.
31. 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.
32. 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.
33. 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.
34. 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 sub-​sector, and will not only deliver Africa’s
biggest industrial park, but all the
accompanying benefits to local industry and job
creation.
35. 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.
36. 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.
37. 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.
38. 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.
39. 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.
40. 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
.​
41. 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.
42. 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.
43. 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.
44. 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.
45. 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.
46. There is no doubt that challenges still
abound, but they are surmountable and
overwhelming national transformation remains
realisable, with continuity, commitment and
consistency.
47. Nigeria is blessed with citizens that will
always remain faithful, firmly committed to
national unity, accelerated political, social and
economic development.
48. 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.
49. May God Almighty continue to bless our dear
country, Nigeria.
50. I thank you all.

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