Nigerian President, Muhammadu Buhari has said the nation is currently faced with challenges bigger than its income.
According to him,it’s the major challenge that must be overcome before any progress can be recorded.
The President added that although the government has been challenged on all fronts from security, absence of critical infrastructure, poverty to unemployment, the essence of the Next Level Agenda is to consolidate on the achievements of the last four.
He added that among many challenges governments all over the world face, funding is the major one because it is the life wire of governance, without which, government cannot deliver.
President Buhari stated this yesterday at the National policy and development summit held in Abuja.
The President was represented by the Permanent Secretary, office of the Secretary to the Government the Federation, Mr. Andrew David.
He said that the summit will not only afford us the opportunity to interrogate the strategies adopted by the government to actualize the next level agenda to overcome our national challenges but also to interrogate the prospects and anticipated challenges with the intention to proffer solutions.
He said, “Though the government has been challenged on all fronts – from security, absence of critical infrastructure, poverty to unemployment. The essence of the Next Level Agenda is to consolidate on the achievements of the last four.
“Therefore the summit will not only afford us the opportunity to interrogate the strategies adopted by our government to actualize the next level agenda to overcome our national challenges but also to interrogate the prospects and anticipated challenges with the intention to proffer solutions.
“As we all know, among many challenges governments all over the world face, funding is the major one because it is the life wire of governance. Without it, government cannot deliver.
“After funding, comes strategies and human resource needed to succeed. The strategies and human resource needed for our government to succeed are all there. Funding is always the challenge and corruption. This explains the governance strategy of our government that combines anticorruption and critical interventions delivery.
“Another challenge is the absorptive capacity of our national economy to support our developmental needs and plan at the movement. On a balance, our national challenges are more than our national income. It is a major challenge that must be overcome as a nation if we are to make progress.
“As a government we, are interested in solutions that will help propel Nigeria to the next level we envisaged. As you deliberate on these issues and many more therefore, it is hoped you would proffer solutions that would enable government to overcome these challenges.
“Although, as a government, we have been striving to prioritize and balance between the welfare of Nigerians and infrastructural needs of the country. This we have been doing through pragmatism that enable our government to simultaneously concentrate on social investment and infrastructure provisioning.
“The Reports of the Monthly Policy Dialogue Series is hereby acknowledged, especially the one that dealt succinctly on funding the Next Level Agenda. The challenges and prospects as documented are well noted. This will further enable government to tackle funding challenges as highlighted by stakeholders at the Dialogue
“We appreciate the contribution of Hon. Ibrahim Bapetel and his hard working team to the governance process. Their contributions have assisted in a much significant way to rejigging retreat for government ministers.
“The retreat now includes training, deliverables and targets amongst others. This is one of the major milestones the first summit that interrogated the change Agenda achieved.
“Today, as a result of the recommendation of the summit, the opaque nature of the NNPC as noted by the report of the first summit is being gradually overcome. We now have an NNPC that is declaring profit and has also gone ahead to collaborate with the National Assembly to enact the Deep Shore Act 2019 that gives us more leverage over our oil resources. It is the first of its kind in our recent history.
“Ladies and gentlemen, let me assure you at this juncture that the report of this commit will not go to waste. Recommendations contained therein would be implemented to the betterment of the hard working people of Nigeria. A lot needed to be done to pull Nigeria and Nigerian out of poverty. This we are committed to.”