President Muhammadu Buhari says he hopes this year’s general election will be held peacefully and he will retire, having served the constitutionally required two terms.
The President said this at the State House, Abuja, when he received the Special Envoy of the President Evariste Ndayishimiye of the Republic of Burundi, who came with a message, later in the week.
Buhari said Nigeria would support Burundi in various ways as needed, saying this would be in the spirit of African solidarity and brotherhood.
Burundi’s Minister of Finance, Budget and Economic Planning, Mr. Audace Niyonzima, said his president sent good wishes for the New Year to Nigerians and President Buhari.
He also wished the country the best in the general elections scheduled for February and March this year.
“We pray that the elections will be peaceful and successful so that Nigeria maintains its reputation as a bastion of peace and stability,” the special envoy said.
On the Burundian leader’s request for assistance in the area of energy provision, particularly fuel, President Buhari said he knew what it felt like for a country to suffer from energy shortages.
Therefore, he promised that he would have the application investigated by the Nigerian National Petroleum Company Ltd.
President Buhari had signed the 21.83 trillion naira Budget 2023 and the Supplementary Appropriation Bill 2022 into law on Tuesday in Abuja.
The Nigerian News Agency (NAN) reports that the 2023 budget is the last to be prepared by the current administration as it finalizes.
While signing the budget, the president said that the aggregate expenditure of N21.83 billion increased by N1.32 billion on the executive’s initial proposal of N20.51 billion expenditure.
On the supplemental appropriation bill, the president said that the 2022 Supplemental Appropriation Act would allow the administration to respond to the havoc caused by recent flooding across the country in the infrastructure and agriculture sectors.
Buhari said his decision to enact the National Assembly-passed Appropriation Bill 2023 was to allow its implementation to begin without delay, considering the imminent transition process to another democratically elected government.
However, it ordered the Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning to engage with the legislature to review some of the changes made to the budget proposal.
The president directed the Ministry of Finance, Budget and National Planning to work for the early publication of the 2023 capital votes to allow MDAs to start the implementation of their capital projects on time.
According to him, this is to support efforts to deliver key projects and public services, as well as to improve the living conditions of Nigerians.
Regarding the 2022 Finance Bill, the president regretted that its revision approved by the National Assembly has not yet been finalized.
The president expressed the belief that the next administration will support the early submission of the annual appropriation bill to the National Assembly to ensure its approval before the start of the fiscal year.
Buhari expressed deep gratitude to Almighty God for his grace, and praised Nigerians’ continued resilience, understanding and sacrifice in the face of today’s economic challenges.
President Buhari also received Governor Hope Uzodinma of Imo at the Abuja Presidential Villa, where the president approved the deployment of advanced technology to address insecurity in the south-east.
Uzodinma, who spoke to House correspondents after the meeting with President Buhari, said he was in the village to thank the president for various supports and assistance given to the state.
According to him, with the president’s approval, advanced surveillance equipment will soon be delivered to the region that will enhance the fight against insecurity without collateral damage.
On January 5, the President also met with the All Progressive Congress (APC) gubernatorial candidate in Delta, Senator Ovie Omo-Agege.
Omo-Agege, who spoke to reporters after the closed-door meeting, dismissed the idea of firm control over Delta by the Peoples’ Democratic Party (PDP).
He said, “Delta is too ripe for the taking,” adding that it was a mistake to label Delta as a PDP state.
“Labeling Delta State as a PDP state is a very serious misconception. Delta is ripe for the taking. We are determined to get it done.”
Pinnacle Oil and Gas Ltd. chief executive Peter Mbah, who paid a thank-you visit to Chairman Buhari on Friday, identified a lack of adequate investment in the downstream sector as the cause of perennial fuel shortages and their attendant long queues. at gas stations across the country.
Mbah, who is the PDP gubernatorial candidate in Enugu state in the upcoming elections, said that to bridge the gap, Pinnacle Oil and Gas had invested around $1 billion to address the investment stagnation in the downstream sector. .
The president concluded the week with a closed-door meeting with Governor Babagana Zulum of Borno.
Zulum, speaking to House correspondents after the meeting, bragged that his state had been secured for general elections in February and March.
He assured the voting public of their safety before, during and after the elections.