Accountability will secure future of Nigerian youths, says Buhari
Congratulates Bio in Sierra Leone’s run-off
President Muhammadu Buhari yesterday in Abuja said the insistence on probity, transparency and accountability in the public and private sectors is to secure the future of the country for all Nigerians, especially the youths.
Receiving a Letter of Credence from the Head of Delegation of the European Union to Nigeria, Ketil Iversen Karlsen, at the State House, President Buhari said his administration would continually promote the culture of honesty and integrity in service, which will guarantee a better future for the youth.
“Our insistence on probity is to encourage people to be accountable, and accept honesty as a lifestyle so as to secure the future of our youths,’’ he said.
The president said more than 60 per cent of Nigerians fall into the age category of youths and deserve to inherit a stable and prosperous country that they can be proud of, adding that the government will work assiduously to prevent waste and the depletion of resources by corrupt Nigerians.
President Buhari told Karlsen that Nigeria had been reluctant to sign the Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) among ECOWAS countries because of the need to protect the economy, especially the industries and small businesses that currently provide jobs for majority of Nigerians.
The president said that signing the agreement would expose the industries and small businesses to external pressures and competitions, which could lead to closures and job losses.
“We are not enthusiastic about signing the EPA because of our largely youthful population. We are still struggling to provide jobs for them, and we want our youths to be kept busy.
“Presently, our industries cannot compete with the more efficient and highly technologically driven industries in Europe. We have to protect our industries and our youths,’’ he said.
President Buhari, who commended the EU for its support for the rehabilitation of the North East, noted that the Nigerian economy was already being repositioned to attract more investments that will create jobs.
In his remarks, Karlsen said the EU will continue to support this administration in the areas of security, economy and the fight against corruption.
He said the EPA was designed to accommodate and protect some economies that would find it difficult to compete.
“We are hopeful that there will be a signature on the agreement,’’ he added.
The president also received Letters of Credence from the Ambassador of Italy, Dr. Stefano Pontesilli and the Ambassador of Spain, Mr. Marcelino Cabanas Ansorena.
In another development, President Buhari has congratulated Julius Maada Bio on his victory as the new President of Sierra Leone after the presidential election run-off on March 31.
The President in a statement signed by his Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Femi Adesina yesterday commended the people of Sierra Leone on the successful conduct of the presidential election run-off as well as the parliamentary and local council elections held on March 7, 2018.
With the elections concluded and following the trend of recently held peaceful elections in West Africa, President Buhari urged all stakeholders in Sierra Leone to work together for the peace, security and development of the country.
He enjoined all those with grievances over the outcome of the elections to seek constitutional means of resolving them, stressing that nothing should be done to endanger the peace and stability of the country in particular and the sub-region in general.
The Nigerian leader saluted the resilient spirit of Sierra Leoneans, who, he said have clearly demonstrated their ability to manage their own affairs and consolidate on the country’s progress after a post-conflict era.
He also commended the immediate past president, Ernest Bai Koroma, for his commitment to a credible electoral process and spirited efforts at bringing stability and positive changes to the nation during his presidency.
President Buhari said he looks forward to working with President Bio for the growth, prosperity and stability of their nations, and West Africa.