Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari addressed the nation on New Year’s Day, pledging to tackle security problems, revive the economy and distribute coronavirus vaccines. But some Nigerians are skeptical Buhari and his government can live up to the promises.
In his nearly 20-minute televised address, Buhari said his government would take a different approach to key issues in 2021.
“We rapidly have to move to a more proactive and preemptive culture to ensure that these sorts of incidents do not become a norm, and we will not relent in adapting to changing threats to our national security and civic well-being,” he said.
Nigeria’s economy, hit hard by the corornavirus pandemic, contracted by more than 3 percent last year. Authorities project a recovery in the first quarter of this year and are taking steps toward achieving that goal. In December, the president ordered the reopening of Nigeria’s borders, closed in August 2019 to cut down on illegal trade.
Buhari also said his government would promote a “National Food Self Sufficiency” program, to boost local production and reduce dependence on imports. He also said his administration would acquire and distribute COVID-19 vaccines by the end of the year.