Independence Day Broadcast by
His Excellency, President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan, GCFR
Wednesday 1st October, 2014
marks the 54th anniversary of our country’s independence as a sovereign
nation. This is also the tenth month of our journey into a new century,
having marked the centenary of our nation in January this year.
first one hundred years were marked by triumphs and tribulations, benefits
and burdens, opportunities and challenges. We made some far reaching
advances in building a strong, united and prosperous nation. We also
overcame the forces of disunity that culminated in a debilitating civil
war. We have also renewed our faith in one another, and in our country.
We have proven that we are truly a resilient nation.
my address to the nation last year, I did emphasize that we were in a
sober moment in our country. We are still in that mood in spite of the
many accomplishments of our administration. Our sombreness has to do with
the crises of nationhood occasioned by the activities of terrorist
elements who have done the unimaginable to challenge our unity as a
an occasion like this, it is important that we remember all the precious
souls that have been lost in the unprecedented war of terror unleashed on
some parts of our country by these individuals who want to compel us to
live our lives their way. They will not succeed!
their mission, they have maimed and raped. They have killed men, women and
children, rendering many children orphans and several women widows.
have made violence their ideology and are bent on destroying our
country. Dear countrymen and women, we will not allow them.
after night, day after day, our security forces continue to engage the
terrorists in battle. My gratitude goes out to our armed forces whose will
has been greatly challenged by this insurgency more than any other time,
since the civil war.
they have remained undaunted and unwearied in the face of constant
challenge and mortal danger. Driven by patriotic zeal, they are turning
the tide by their prowess and determination. As Commander-in-Chief, I will
continue to do all it takes to enable them to keep on inflicting
devastating blows at the heart of terror. Fellow Nigerians, it is our
collective duty as patriots to avail our men and women in uniform of all
the support they need to fight and win this war.
Administration is committed to making Nigeria safe for all Nigerians,
irrespective of our places of birth, how we worship God and our political
persuasion. To all those waging war against our country, I ask that you
lay down your arms and embrace peace.
those who have genuine grievances, I affirm that Nigeria will listen to
you, if you bring your grievances to the table of dialogue. To the good
people of Nigeria, let me restate that our task of building a better and
greater country must not waver.
we continue to deploy our resources in the fight against the terrorists,
we do recognize the great toll the conflict is taking on our people.
is why, to assist the afflicted, we have launched the Victims Support
Fund, an independent multi-sectoral charity, which will aggressively
solicit resources to augment Government’s statutory intervention, in
bringing succour to the injured, the displaced and the bereaved.
partnership with Nigerian business leaders and international partners, we
have also introduced theSafe Schools Initiative which is aimed at
promoting safe environments for education nationwide, starting with the
North East region.
Presidential Initiative for the North East,
a comprehensive programme to fast-track the economic restoration of this
region, which has been the epicentre of terrorist activity, has been set
overall objective is to do all we possibly can, to sustain in the
North-East, the momentum of economic advancement, which is on-going in
other parts of the country, despite the machinations of the terrorists and
should now be clear to anyone who was ever in doubt that these terrorists
do not mean well for anyone, of whatever religion or dispensation. Their
persistent choice of the weakest and most vulnerable in society, for
gruesome attack, provides an insight into their abnormal mind-set.
urge every Nigerian to put aside political, sectional or other parochial
considerations, and support whole-heartedly the efforts of the government
and the military, in checking this evil.
are grateful to the international community, and especially our neighbours
who are working closely with us in confronting this challenge, for their
increased partnership and solidarity. Our steady progress in weakening the
insurgency has certainly justified our cooperation.
Nigerians, in my independence anniversary address last year, I informed
you that we had taken cognizance of the suggestion over the years by
well-meaning Nigerians on the need to focus attention on rebuilding and
strengthening the ligaments of our union. It was in that regard that we
announced the convening of a National Dialogue on the future of our
have successfully delivered on that promise as we established the 2014
National Conference headed by Justice Legbo Kutigi. After months of
deliberations, which did not come without its challenges, the conference
concluded its assignment and has handed its Report to me.
have made a firm commitment that we would act on the recommendations of
the conference. This, I have started by setting up the Ministerial
Committee headed by the Honourable Attorney General of the Federation to
work out the modalities for implementing the Report. Every promise I make,
God willing, I will see to its fulfilment. I assure you, we shall
implement the report.
major lesson which the 2014 National Conference has taught us as a country
is that, a multi-ethnic country like ours, must learn to embrace
painstaking dialogue until consensus is established.
me, the National Conference is the greatest centenary gift to our country
that we must cherish and sustain.
Nigerians, our 54 year-journey as a nation has not been easy. There have
been tough periods, but the Nigerian spirit and the unflagging resilience
of our people have seen us through. We will continue to march forward to
have been able to sustain a big, strong and influential country with a
robust economy. We are currently in our sixteenth year of uninterrupted
democratic rule, daily improving on the consolidation of our democratic
Administration has made a commitment to ensure that we build and sustain a
democratic infrastructure anchored on free and fair elections.
International and local observers have attested to the positive evolution
of electoral credibility and we cannot afford to relent.
will continue to ensure that the will of the electorate prevails so that
political leaders would be reminded at all times that there is a day of
reckoning when they have to go back to the people at the polls. Election
days must not be days of violence and death. We must remain vigilant to
ensure that our electoral process is characterised by peace, security and
enjoin the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), all security
agencies, politicians and the electorate to work conscientiously and
peacefully, together, to consolidate on the gains of the recent
elections. Free and fair elections have come to stay; nothing else will be
acceptable to our people.
dear countrymen and women, occasions such as this present an opportunity
to thank God for our country and to report to you, on our journey so far.
power sector reform is on course with the ultimate objective of generating
enough electricity to power our homes, industries and businesses. We are
making giant strides in the Agricultural Sector which we are
re-positioning to diversify our economy. We will continue to upgrade our
infrastructure to make life easier for all and create an enabling
environment for enterprise to flourish.
the last four years, the implementation of the Nigerian Content Act in the
Oil and Gas Sector has ensured major increase in the participation of
indigenous Oil and Gas companies in the industry. Several critical
infrastructure projects have been commissioned and commenced. The level of
indigenous asset ownership has greatly increased and utilisation of
Nigerian-owned and built assets such as marine vessels and rigs is being
has been maximised local value addition by encouraging the manufacture of
equipment components and parts within the country. There has also been
massive growth in indigenous participation in the provision of goods and
services to the upstream sector from 10% to 60% within the last four
following the rebasing of our economy, every international monitoring and
ratings agency now acknowledges Nigeria as the largest economy in Africa,
with a Gross Domestic Product of five hundred and ten billion dollars
($510 billion) which also places us as the 26th largest economy in the
world. This is progress.
in the year, we launched the Nigeria Industrial Revolution Plan(NIRP)
and the National Enterprise Development Programme (NEDEP) with the
stated objective of fast tracking inclusive growth, job creation,
enterprise development and industrialisation.
success of these policies is already evident in the increased value
addition in the agricultural and manufacturing sectors.
line with our objective of encouraging the production of made-in-Nigeria
vehicles and making Nigeria a regional hub for the automobile industry, a
number of foreign auto manufacturers have established plants in Nigeria,
complementing the laudable efforts of our local vehicle manufacturers who
have also demonstrated great innovation and competitiveness.
have also launched a special support programme for Micro, Small and
Medium Enterprises with an initial intervention fund of two hundred
and twenty billion naira (N220 b). This is in addition to the Presidential
Job Creation Board which I inaugurated recently with the charge to
create three million jobs annually.
demonstration of our Administration’s commitment to addressing Nigeria’s
housing deficit, we have commenced the new mortgage re-finance programme
with the establishment of the Nigerian Mortgage Re-finance Company.
It is expected that, in addition to creating additional housing units
across the country, this initiative also represents a huge job creation
have recorded notable success in the social sector. Nigeria has been
globally acknowledged for reducing extreme hunger by more than half, with
Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) formally presenting the country
with an award for achieving the Millennium Development Goal on Hunger
three years ahead of the 2015 target date set for the Millennium
progress is as a result of the deliberate policy of government to increase
capacity in our agricultural sector of which the first step was to address
and eliminate the graft in our fertilizer procurement system and ensure
that the product gets directly to the farmer. We are expanding our
irrigation infrastructure to ensure that our farmers have sufficient water
supply for dry season farming.
benefit of these combined actions is that our national food import bill
has declined from 1.1 trillion naira (6.9 billion dollars) in 2009 to
684.7 billion naira (4.35 billion dollars) by December 2013, and continues
hybrid schools are being provided for less privileged children across the
country, resulting in significant increase in the national school
order to further enhance access to education at the tertiary level,
fourteen new Federal Universities have been established; and, to encourage
persons of exceptional abilities, our Administration has also introduced a
Presidential Scholarship Scheme based strictly on excellence and merit.
infrastructure, we are building roads, bridges, and new rail lines to make
it easier to traverse Nigeria and increase the integration of our people
and our ability to do business with each other. In this regard, we have
commenced the process of building the Second Niger Bridge. The Loko-Oweto
Bridge over River Benue in Nasarawa and Benue States, will significantly
reduce travel time by road between Northern and Southern Nigeria. The
on-going dredging of the River Niger up to Baro in Niger State is opening
up large parts of the Nigerian hinterland to maritime activity.
Zungeru and Mambilla Hydro-electric power projects are on course, and the
Kashimbilla dam which we started a few years ago, is nearing completion.
The successful privatisation of our power sector will in the long run
enhance industrial growth. Policies such as this and others have raised
Nigeria to the enviable status of being the number one recipient of
Foreign Direct Investment in Africa in the past year.
result of this infrastructure drive is that two and a half million jobs
have been created over the past two years. This is a record, which we are
committed to improve upon to continue to provide jobs for our youth.
unprecedented number of Airports across the country, are not only being
reconstructed at the same time, but being re-equipped and reassessed with
emphasis on maintaining global standards.
Nigerians, the goals we set to achieve for our country involve expanding
the frontiers of economic freedom. Let us therefore unite with one heart
and one mind. All our people must have access to the good things of life.
All our people must be empowered to pursue the gift of life with
happiness. This is our country;we must build it for our common posterity.
we move into an election year, desperate moves to overheat the polity are
becoming a regular occurrence. Our political leaders in particular must
know that the contest for power should not translate to the destruction of
contest for the leadership of our country must yield good governance, and
not ungovernable spaces. The love of country should rank higher than our
must remain committed to a united and indivisible Nigeria within
democratic parameters. The protection of individual rights, liberty,
equality before the law, freedom of thought, and a progressive pursuit of
a sound economy must be our goal.
cannot end this address without commenting on the deadly Ebola Virus
Disease (EVD) which was sadly brought into our country recently. My
directives to the Federal Ministry of Health saw the ministry leading the
charge in curtailing the spread of this deadly scourge and managing its
impact. This is how it should be:swift, effective and comprehensive action
in defence of citizens.
must be pointed out that the Ebola battle is still raging elsewhere in our
sub-region. I therefore enjoin all our citizens to continue to adhere
strictly to all the guidelines that have been given by our health
officials to keep Ebola out of our country.
appreciate and welcome the spirit of collaboration, unity and partnership
with which we confronted the threat of the Ebola Virus Disease. I thank
all Nigerians for working together to prevent what could have become a
major epidemic. I particularly thank the medical personnel, some of whom
made the ultimate sacrifice.
is the spirit which we must demonstrate at all times as we face up to our
challenges as a nation: one people, united by a common resolve, in the
pursuit of one common national interest.
we look forward to another year in our national life, I am more than
confident that our tomorrow will be better than
our yesterday and today. Nigeria has got the human and material resources
to excel and we shall lead the way in that journey to our manifest
countrymen, brothers and sisters, in all our plans, and in all our words
and our actions, we must stand together in love and unity, as one people
are one people from the womb of one Nigeria. We are brothers and sisters.
We are one family. We are Nigerians.
bless the Federal Republic of Nigeria.