President Muhammadu Buhari on Wednesday in his speech during the June 12 Democracy Day celebration, promised to take 100 million Nigerians out of poverty in the next 10 years.
“With leadership and a sense of purpose, we can lift 100 million Nigerians out of poverty in 10 years,” Buhari said.
“This task is by no means unattainable. China has done it. India has done it. Indonesia has done it. Nigeria can do it. These are all countries characterized by huge burdens of population. China and Indonesia succeeded under authoritarian regimes. India succeeded in a democratic setting. We can do it,” he added.
He further noted that his government would ensure rapid growth in the economy in order to successfully move the country out of poverty.
“We now have witnessed 8 quarters of positive growth in the economy and our GDP is expected to grow by 2.7 percent this year,” he said.
“Our external reserve has risen to 45 billion dollars, enough to finance over nine months of current equal commitments,” he added.
On how he intends to transform Nigeria to a rich country and take citizens out of poverty, he said;
“First we will take steps in integrating the rural economy to national economic grade by extending access to input to rural farmers as well as credit to rural micro businesses and opening up many critical feeder roads,” he said.
“Secondly, all small scale enterprises in towns and cities would share facilities currently available so that we can continue to encourage and support domestic production of basic goods to improve our lives.’’
President Buhari added that his; administration is laying the foundation and taking bold steps in transforming our country and liberating our people from the shackles of poverty.
Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, the President of the Senate of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, Ahmed Lawan; and the Speaker of the National House of Representatives, Femi Gbajabiamila; attended the event.
Former Nigerian leaders including Olusegun Obasanjo, Goodluck Jonathan, Ibrahim Babangida and Abdulsalam Abubakar were absent at the event which was held at the Eagle Square in Abuja.
Leaders and diplomats from around Africa and the world attended the event. Those who were present include; Paul Kagame, the president of Rwanda; George Weah of Liberia; Mohamed Ould Abdel Aziz of Mauritania; Denis Sassou Nguesso of Congo; President Macky Sall of Senegal; President Nana Akufo-Addo of Ghana; and President Adama Barrow of Gambia.