Speech by His Excellency, President Bola Ahmed Tinubu, GCFR, President and Chief Commander of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, on the Occasion of Nigeria’s 63rd Independence Anniversary, Sunday, October 1, 2023.
I am honored to speak to you today on the occasion of our nation’s 63rd independence anniversary, both as the President of our beloved country and as a fellow Nigerian.
On this significant day, let us pay tribute to our founding fathers and mothers, whose activism, dedication, and leadership breathed life into the idea of Nigeria as a sovereign and independent nation. They emerged from the shadows of colonialism to lay the foundation for modern Nigeria.
Let us reaffirm that every Nigerian is endowed with sacred rights and individual gifts bestowed upon us by God. No one among us is greater or lesser; we are all equal. The triumphs and trials of our nation shall define us, and no external force shall deter us from our rightful place and destiny. Nigeria belongs to all of us; cherish and love it as your own.
Our country, Nigeria, is exceptional in its diversity and character. We are a tapestry of various ethnicities, religions, traditions, and cultures, bound together by intangible yet robust bonds. We share a common desire for peace, progress, prosperity, harmony, tolerance, and justice.
Building a nation that upholds these noble principles for a diverse population has been both a blessing and a challenge. Some believed that Nigeria should have never existed, predicting its disintegration. They were mistaken. Our nation stands firm, and we shall endure.
This year marked a significant milestone as we elected the 7th consecutive civilian government through a democratic process. It reaffirmed our commitment to democracy and the rule of law.
During my inauguration, I made promises to reshape and modernize our economy, secure the lives, liberty, and property of our citizens, and implement bold reforms. I announced the end of the fuel subsidy, which has brought hardships to many. I understand your pain, but we must endure this moment for a better future.
Those who advocated for the continuation of the fuel subsidy and outdated foreign exchange policies were like those who built their homes on unstable ground. I am determined to build our nation on solid and safe foundations, even if it means enduring some discomfort.
Reforms may be painful, but they are essential for our greatness and future prosperity. We carry the costs now to achieve a future where the nation’s wealth is equitably shared among all, eradicating hunger, poverty, and hardship.
I recognize the burden our people bear, and my government is working tirelessly to alleviate it. Here is our plan:
- Public sector reforms to stabilize the economy.
- Fiscal and monetary policies to combat inflation, encourage production and ensure security.
- Support for the poor and vulnerable.
- A provisional wage increment to enhance the federal minimum wage for low-grade workers.
- An Infrastructure Support Fund for states to invest in critical areas.
- Introduction of safer, more affordable Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) buses to lower transport costs.
- Investment funding for promising enterprises.
- Increased support for micro, small, and medium-sized enterprises.
- Expansion of cash transfer programs to an additional 15 million vulnerable households.
- Rebuilding the capacities of our security services and enhancing intelligence sharing.
- Ensuring key appointments are in line with the Constitution and prioritize women, youth, and the physically challenged.
- Continuous collaboration with civil society organizations, labor unions, and the National Assembly for the betterment of Nigeria.
The journey ahead requires courage, compassion, and commitment. Let fear and hatred not guide us; instead, let us unite as one indivisible entity to build a better Nigeria. I promise to remain dedicated and serve faithfully. I invite you all to join this endeavor to transform our nation into a better version of itself. Together, we can, we must, and we shall succeed.
Happy 63rd Independence Anniversary, and may God bless the Federal Republic of Nigeria. Thank you for listening.