Thursday, 4 February 2016

Excerpts From PMB’s Address To The EU Parliament.

President Muhammadu Buhari on Wednesday addressed the European Parliament at Strasbourg, France.

Below are excerpts from President Buhari’s address to the EU Parliament.

President Buhari addressed the Parliament on key issues, bothering on the Nigerian Economy, Democracy, Chibok girls, Boko Haram, Immigration, Job Creation, Visas, Economic Partnership Agreements (EPAs), Oil Theft, Open Economic Borders and Climate Change. Continue.....

Nigerians noted the huge contributions Europe made towards the realisation of acceptable, free and fair elections in our country. Today, I will, tell this August gathering that the European investments are beginning to bear fruits. I am one of the returns-on-the European-investments of a democratic Nigeria. Indeed, the present regime is the product of democratic choice consciously made by the people of Nigeria through the ballot box.

Democracy has come to stay in Nigeria. Sooner than many of us would have imagined, Nigeria will be counted among the most stable, strong and virile democracies in Africa. There may be strifes and stresses but these can be contained by the safety mechanisms of an electoral democracy.

The drama that took place at the National Collation Centre was a momentarily frightening situation, unleashed by desperate agents of the status quo, with the purpose of maintaining their grip on the national resources for their selfish interests.

As I have stated in other fora, the action of Nigeria’s former President, Goodluck Ebele Jonathan, is commendable.For the first time in the history of Nigeria, a Presidential Candidate and sitting President, conceded electoral defeat in defiance of calls by strong forces and agents and benefactors of the regime not to do so.

In light of this, I wish to seize this opportunity to thank individual EU Member States for their various assistance towards the success of the Nigerian military onslaught against the Boko Haram terror elements. Many European Union Member States have pledged to support our efforts towards the rescue of the kidnapped Chibok School Girls. It may interest you to know that in a recent meeting, I had with parents of the Chibok Girls, I assured them that Government would not rest until all the Girls are rescued alive and reunited with their families. I remain fully committed to this pledge.

Indeed, all the Local Government Areas that were hitherto under the control of the Boko Haram terrorists in Adamawa, Borno and Yobe States in the North-Eastern flank of Nigeria, have been recaptured.

Nigeria wishes to acknowledge and share the concerns expressed by the European Union with respect to the influx of migrantsfrom Africa,through the Mediterranean Sea, with its attendant loss of lives. In this regard, Nigeria will collaborate with the European Union to address illegal migration to Europe.

In this year’s budget, the Government has provided for over Five-Hundred Thousand graduate employment in the teaching profession alone.We are equally collaborating with the States and Local Governments, to strengthen Skills Acquisition Centres, in order to train the teeming youth in various vocational skills, so that they can be self-employed, and eventually, become employers of labour.

It is in the light of this understanding that I wish to propose the reciprocal visa waivers for holders of Nigerian Diplomatic and Official Passports attending official Meetings and Conferences in Europe.

The Economic Partnership Agreement (EPAs) between the European Union, African, Caribbean and Pacific Group of States (ACP), collectively endorsed by the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), is yet to be signed by Nigeria and few others. During Economic Partnership Agreement negotiations, Nigeria raised some pertinent technical issues that were yet to be addressed.

Nigeria is facing the challenges of oil-theft and illegal bunkering in the Niger Delta as well as recovery of illicit funds. It is therefore expedient to raise these issues with you, Distinguished Parliamentarians. In this regard, Nigeria solicits the cooperation of the European Parliament to support the efforts aimed at stemming these vices.

Our attempt to restore security, curve corruption and fight crime will result not only in improving social stability in Nigeria but will re-open the doors for full economic relations with Europe and outside world, those who wish to invest in our country have vast opportunity and we intend to guarantee the security of people and investments brought to Nigeria.

During this all-important global event, I declared my country’s position on Climate Change.I reiterate, here, that it portends serious threats to Nigeria’s security and development. Nigeria is watching helplessly as Lake Chad is drying up. This has monumental consequences on the people living in the Lake Chad Basin, whose livelihood has, for generations, been dependent on the resources of the lake. These resources are fast dissipating, throwing communities out of jobs.

It is pertinent to mention that all the Lake Chad contiguous states are facing the effects of Climate Change. Collectively we are under obligation to face these common challenges. Our collective efforts may not be enough as we are constrained by the dearth of funds,technology and manpower to initiate the right solutions. We are therefore, calling for quick global actions to address the issues. Indeed, these will serve in part, as panaceas to the issues facing the countries sharing the Lake Chad resources.

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