TRENDING SATIRE: ‘I Will Give Better Life to Nigerians on N6.06trn Budget of Change’ – President BUHARI BY GEORGE ELIJAH OTUMU/CNNiReport Journalist North America

‘Mr President, you have just signed into law the 2016 Budget, which you termed
Budget of Change, why did it take this long before you have to sign it bearing
in mind that millions of Nigerians are suffering?’

BUHARI: To start with, let me explain to you that the executive has never been
the cause of the delay. Nigerians know the truth. The problem had all the while
been the Parliamentarians in National Assembly, the Senate, to be precise, who
kept pandering with figures, injecting figures that we never included. The
Senate earlier came out with different figures that were trending all over the
social media which were not true. I told them (Senate) that was not our budget.
I stood my ground since I will never ever be part of any illegality. At last
they did the right thing which was why I eventually signed the 2016 Budget into

few seconds). By the time we begin to implement this budget of change almost
immediately, Nigerians will appreciate my service and dedication to this
country the more because my government will make life beautiful to Nigerians
and will offer them better living conditions.
 The budget is
intended to signpost a renewal of our commitment to restoring the budget as a
serious article of faith with the Nigerian people. This Administration is
committed to ensuring that henceforth the annual appropriation bill is
presented to the National Assembly in time for the passage of the Act before
the beginning of the fiscal year
.Through the 2016 budget, aptly titled
“Budget of Change’’, the government seeks to fulfill its own side of the
social contract. The Budget I have signed into law provides for aggregate
expenditures of N6.06trn. Further details of the approved budget, as well as
our Strategic Implementation Plan for the 2016 budget, will be provided by the
Honourable Minister of Budget and National Planning.
 In designing the
2016 budget, we made a deliberate choice to pursue an expansionary fiscal
policy despite the huge decline in government revenues from crude oil exports.
This is why we decided to enlarge the budget deficit at this time, to be
financed principally through foreign and domestic borrowings. All borrowings
will however be applied towards growth-enhancing capital expenditures.

George Otumu now
‘His Excellency, millions of Nigerians hold the opinion that Nigerian economy
is almost at the point of collapse. No money in circulation, no light, no job.
How will this your Budget of Change put food on Nigerians table and save the

BUHARI: I know the pains Nigerians are going through daily. Don’t forget that
it is when light is about to break that you witness the thickest darkness.

‘Mr. President, you are talking in riddles. Can you hit the nail on the head so
Nigerians at home and Nigerians in the Diaspora will know your plans for them
and the nation?’
BUHARI: George, I am a very thorough, disciplined retired military man, even
though I am a great democrat.
 We are experiencing
probably the toughest economic times in the history of our Nation. I want to
commend the sacrifice, resilience and toughness of all Nigerians young and old
who have despite the hardships continued to have hope and confidence of a great
future for Nigerians. But permit me to say that this government is also like
none other. We are absolutely committed to changing the structure of the
Nigerian economy once and for all.
 We are working night
and day to diversify the economy so that we never again have to rely on one
commodity to survive as a country. So that we can produce the food we eat, make
our own textiles, produce most of the things we use.

intend to create the environment for our young peoples to be able to innovate
and create jobs through technology.
 Despite the current
difficulties we will work extra-hard to achieve our revenue projections. Our
revenue generating agencies are coming under better management and are being
re-oriented. The implementation of the Treasury Single Account (TSA) is
expected to contribute significantly to improving transparency over government
 I cannot promise you that this will be
an easy journey, but in the interest of so much and so many we must tread this
difficult path. I can assure you that this government you have freely elected
will work with honesty and dedication, day and night to ensure that our country
prospers and that the prosperity benefits all Nigerians.
 I can assure you that Nigerians will no
loner pass through this pain again.

‘Mr President, I need to bring to your knowledge that there are various burning
national issues that I need to lay before you so Nigerians can hear directly
from you regarding your positions. Recently, there were reports of how some
Fulani Herdsmen wrecked havoc on Abia, Benue, Delta and Enugu States killing
hundreds of people, raping under age girls, setting houses ablaze which led to
lawlessness and commotion. Many Nigerians expect that you could have issued a
statement immediately reports emanate on how those blood-thirsty Fulani
Herdsmen were committing genocide, but you kept quiet’ (Interjection by Mr

BUHARI: Otumu, Otumu, Otumu…listen. How many times have I called you? I am a
pragmatic leader who takes his time to get to the root of every problems. I
don’t confront problems in a fire-brigade approach. I have looked critically at
the situation. No tribe or ethnic region in Nigeria is greater than the other.
I am the President of the whole of Nigeria which comprises every tribes, ethnic
groups in 774 local governments in Nigeria. I don’t condone lawlessness or
illegality under any guise. 
We are determined to secure all
Nigerians and I have told the Inspector-General of Police and other security
agencies, in very strong terms, to deal decisively with the attackers.

have expressed my personal condolences to the Catholic Bishop of Enugu, the
people of Ukpabi Nimbo and all other communities that have suffered fatalities
and other losses from the recent attacks. I assured the Bishops that I acted
with deliberation and moving methodically to implement my change agenda for the
good of the country. We need to rebuild our institutions methodically, we need
to change the way we do things. My administration is working very hard to
fulfill all the promises I made to Nigerians. My greatest motivating factor now
is the desire to bring positive change to Nigeria. In the last 10 years, crude
oil sold for more that $100 per barrel, but Nigeria did not save. That is why
we have found ourselves where we are today..

‘Mr President, that brings me to the next question of corruption which mostly
involves elites and public office holders that are supposed to serve the people
but serving their pockets. How are we sure that the implementation of the
N6.06trn Budget of Change will not be squandered by kleptomaniac in some of the

BUHARI: We have put in place a strong mechanism, tracker to monitor the
stage-by-stage implementation of the 2016 Budget. We know all Nigerians and
members of International Community are monitoring us closely. Insha Allah, we
will never fail Nigerians. For national security reasons, I will not go into
full details of how and what we have done to catch and arrest any public
official found to be stealing, misappropriating or squandering our collective
wealth that is determined to bring smile on the faces of Nigerians. That may be
possible in time past, but never again. Anyone caught will face the music and
end in jail.
 I make no excuses as this Government of the All
Progressives Congress (APC) is determined to tackle headlong all socio –
economic ills that have troubled our nation and we shall evolve solutions to
emerging threats to our well being and the realization of sustainable
development as well as growth anchored on equity and social justice.

will be traveling on Tuesday, May 10, 2016 to London to participate in the
international Anti-Corruption Summit which will be held in the British capital
on Thursday, May 12, 2016. As an internationally recognised leader in the
global fight against corruption, I will be playing a prominent part in the
summit which will be hosted by Prime Minister David Cameron of Great Britain with
many other Heads of State and Government in attendance. I am to deliver the
summit’s opening, keynote address titled: “Why We Must Tackle Corruption
Together” at a pre-summit conference of development partners, the
Commonwealth Enterprise and Investment Council, Transparency International and
other civil society groups on Wednesday, May 11, 2016. Corruption is a cancer.
It is a monster that we all must get rid-off collectively as a nation. There is
never a development where corruption is prevalent or present. I hate
corruption, since it is an enemy to progress. Thereafter, I will join other
participating heads of State and Government at special plenary sessions on
Exposing Corruption, Tackling Corruption and Driving out Corruption.

returning to Abuja on Friday, May 13, 2016 Insha Allah, I will be having a
separate meeting with Prime Minister Cameron to discuss ongoing Nigeria-Britain
collaboration in the war against corruption and terrorism, as well as other
issues, including trade and economic relations between both countries.

‘Finally, Mr President. What are you doing to ensuring all stolen funds of
Nigeria Overseas are repatriated into the nation’s coffer to speedily help
Nigerian Economy?’

BUHARI: Otumu, I want to really thank you for your thoughtfulness in this
question. On May 5 in Abuja I urged the United Nations Office for Drugs and
Crime (UNODC) to facilitate the faster recovery of Nigeria’s stolen wealth
stashed abroad. I told the Executive Secretary of UNODC, Mr Yury Fedotov we are
looking for more cooperation from the EU, United States, other countries and
international institutions to recover the nation’s stolen assets, particularly
proceeds from the stolen crude oil. It is taking very long and Nigerians are
becoming impatient. My administration has worked very hard in the past 11
months to reverse the very negative global perception of Nigeria on corruption.
Our genuine efforts to deal with corruption and drugs have earned us
international respect and this has encouraged us to do more. We know that by
fighting the scourge of drugs and corruption and rebuilding trustworthiness,
integrity, good business practices, and imposing discipline on youths to avoid
drugs, we are not doing a favour to the international community, we are doing a
favour to ourselves. I have also promised that my administration will work with
the UN agency to rehabilitate young Nigerians who have been misled into
consumption of illicit drugs and drug trafficking.

‘Mr President, I really want to thank you so much for this rare opportunity
where despite your daily tight schedule, you have decisively dealt on various
national issues that Nigerians are anxious about. Without sounding like Oliver
Twist, what is your message to Nigerians in Diaspora, especially the Hausa
community that are also doing greatly Abroad in their various businesses?’

BUHARI: Nijeriya a wajen jihar, ciki har da Hausa al’umma kiyaye kirki,
mutunci, da mutunci, kuma horo a matsayin watchwords. Ya kamata su ci gaba da
za a rike da kyau image Nijeriya. Kuma ko da yaushe tuna cewa gida gida. Muna
bukatar dukan su, su zo gida da kuma shiga da mu gina mafi Nigeria, inda kowa
da kowa zai iya riƙe kansa high ba tare da jin kunya ba. Tare, za mu gina New
Nigeria mu mafarki (Meaning: Nigerians in Diaspora, including Hausa community
should keep honesty, integrity, dignity and discipline as their watchwords.
They should continually be maintaining the good image of Nigeria. And always
remember that home is home. We need all of them to come home and join us to
build a greater Nigeria, where everyone can hold his head high without being
ashamed. Together, we will build the New Nigeria of our dream).
Elijah Otumu, thank you for this enjoyable interview all the way from United
States of America. This administration is proud of you and every other
Nigerians Abroad that are making the nation great. 


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