Nigeria’s President Bola Tinubu delivered his first speech at the 78th UN General Assembly where he highlighted five (5) main issues ranging from his economic reforms to climate change.
Tinubu noted that he welcomes partnerships with those who do not mind seeing Nigeria and Africa assume larger roles in the global community.
In his speech, he added that there are five important points he wants to highlight, which are:
“First, if this year’s theme is to have any impact at all, global institutions, other nations and their private sector actors must-see African development as a priority, not just for Africa but in their interests as well.
“Due to both longstanding internal and external factors, Nigeria’s and Africa’s economic structures have been skewed to impede development, industrial expansion, job creation, and the equitable distribution of wealth.
He added that for Nigeria to fulfil its duty to its people and the rest of Africa, we must create jobs, believe in a better future for our people and also lead by example.
He also noted that to foster economic growth and investor confidence in Nigeria, he removed the costly and corrupt fuel subsidy while also discarding a noxious exchange rate system in my first days in office, adding:
“I am mindful of the transient hardship that reform can cause. However, it is necessary to go through this phase in order to establish a foundation for durable growth and investment to build the economy our people deserve.
“We welcome partnerships with those who do not mind seeing Nigeria and Africa assume larger roles in the global community.
“The question is not whether Nigeria is open for business. The question is how much of the world is truly open to doing business with Nigeria and Africa in an equal, mutually beneficial manner.
He added that Direct investment in critical industries, opening their ports to a wider range and larger quantity of African exports and meaningful debt relief are important aspects of the cooperation Nigeria seeks.
His Second highlight is that Africa and the UN must affirm democratic governance as the best guarantor of the sovereign will and well-being of the people, adding that Military coups are wrong, as is any tilted civilian political arrangement that perpetuates injustice.
“The wave crossing parts of Africa does not demonstrate favour towards coups. It is a demand for solutions to perennial problems.
“Regarding Niger, we are negotiating with the military leaders. As Chairman of ECOWAS, I seek to help re-establish democratic governance in a manner that addresses the political and economic challenges confronting that nation, including the violent extremists who seek to foment instability in our region. I extend a hand of friendship to all who genuinely support this mission.
For his 3rd point, he noted that West Africa is locked in a protracted battle against 10 violent extremists.
“In the turmoil, a dark channel of inhumane commerce has formed. Along the route, everything is for sale. Men, women and children are seen as chattel.
“Yet, thousands risk the Sahara’s hot sand and the Mediterranean’s cold depths in search of a better life. At the same time, mercenaries and extremists with their lethal weapons and vile ideologies invade our region from the north.
“This harmful traffic undermines the peace and stability of an entire region. African nations will improve our economies so that our people do not risk their lives to sweep the floors and streets of other nations. We also shall devote ourselves to disbanding extremist groups on our turf.
In his fourth point, he added that an aspect of global trust and solidarity is to secure the continent’s mineral-rich areas from pilfering and conflict.
“ Many such areas have become catacombs of misery and exploitation. The Democratic Republic of the Congo has suffered this for decades, despite the strong UN presence there. The world economy owes the DRC much but gives her very little.
“The mayhem visited on resource-rich areas does not respect national boundaries. Sudan, Mali, Burkina Faso, CAR, the list grows.
“The problems also knock on Nigeria’s door. Foreign entities abetted by local criminals who aspire to be petty warlords have drafted thousands of people into servitude to illegally mine gold and other resources. Billions of dollars meant to improve the nation now fuel violent enterprises. If left unchecked, they will threaten peace and place national security at grave risk.
In his Fifth highlight, President Tinubu noted that climate change severely impacts Nigeria and Africa, adding that Northern Nigeria is hounded by desert encroachment on once arable land.
“Our south is pounded by the rising tide of coastal flooding and erosion. In the middle, the rainy season brings floods that kill and displace multitudes” he said.
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