We must free our people from poverty – Buhari


President Muhammadu Buhari, yesterday expressed the commitment of his administration to lifting Nigerians out of poverty, describing employment as “the quickest way to escape poverty.”

The President spoke while declaring open the Katsina Economic and Investment Summit, organized by the state government in partnership with Vanguard Newspapers. According to him: “Employment is the quickest way to escape poverty.

And we must lift our people out of poverty. But for this laudable transformation to occur, every player must do his best, including the Federal Government, but in particular, the people and government of Katsina State.

For global players, some of whom I am pleased to see represented here, to take the deep plunge, they must be offered attractive incentives.

The Katsina State Government appears to make “I can’t refuse” offers to investors through a liberal set of tax incentives, infrastructural support, faster and shorter government responses to business requests.” He said it was only through massive provision of employment opportunities that all tiers of government could reduce the level of poverty among the people.

President Buhari commended Governor Aminu Masari for offering attractive incentives to local and foreign investors who would subsequently provide employment opportunities to the people of the state. He reiterated his determination to end poverty through ending corruption, broadly-shared economic growth, investing in the nation’s economy and creating jobs.

The president noted that the overall objective of the summit, was to stimulate local investment and attract Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) to the manufacturing sector, agri-business, solid minerals, power, hospitality industry, and other services.

“Creatively and purposefully applied, these should help to bridge gaps in capital, management skills and technology, where they are most severe, and support the competences of local companies and the workforce towards world standards,” Buhari declared.

He said this would enable both local and foreign manufacturers and service companies alike, to stand with the best in servicing local and global markets.

According to the President, these generous offers were the minimum required to attract the critical investor being courted in every country and region of the world.

For President Buhari; “It is in this context that today’s Summit takes on an additional significance: APC government of my home state has strongly embraced this vision by assembling the world to be part of this summit.

“As I said, Federal Government alone cannot deliver on the high expectations of our people. Katsina State government and people have shown the way by assembling the brightest and best from the business world.

The brightest and the best from the development partner community; the best and the brightest from MDAs and regulatory bodies. Katsina State is doing its part.” I chose Bakare to silence ‘bigot’ critics Dismissing claims by critics that he was a religious bigot, President Buhari noted that “One of the four attempts to get here (Presidency) was with Tunde Bakare. When people said I’m a religious bigot, I decided to take a pastor so that I can shut their mouths up. “So, Tunde Bakare has decided to be with me all the time.”

Earlier, Governor Aminu Masari said the essence of the historic summit was to stimulate local investment for direct foreign intervention. The governor reeled out concessions ranging from tax holiday, provision of free land to prospective investors in the state.

According to him, the state was blessed with natural resources that could move it out of poverty. How to end farmers, herdsmen’s crises In another development, President Muhammadu Buhari has challenged state governors to find lasting solutions to the persistent cases of farmers/herdsmen crisis in the country.

He gave the challenge at an interactive session with members of Katsina Elders’ Forum organised by the Katsina State Government in Katsina. He tasked the governors to go back to a comprehensive study and report carried out by the defunct Petroleum Trust Fund, PTF, on how best to address farmers/herdsmen conflicts.

According to him: “When I was in PTF we did a comprehensive report on grazing reserves and cattle routes across the country. Grazing reserves were carved out; cattle routes were marked out, dams, water and veterinary clinics were also established with the help of our leaders, traditional and district heads at that time.

Any herdsman, who allowed his cattle to destroy farm land then, would be fined and when he failed to pay his cattle would be sold to pay the fine, and if there was remaining change the amount would be handed over to him.”



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