President Muhammadu Buhari on Thursday in Abuja reiterated his administration’s determination to end the sordid and dubious business transactions of exporting crude and importing finished products into the country.
The president reaffirmed this in a nationwide broadcast to mark Nigeria’s 55th Independence Anniversary.
He said that already preliminary steps had been taken to sanitize the Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) and improve its operations so that the inefficiency and corruption could be reduced to a minimum level.
“Those of our refineries which can be serviced and brought back into partial production would be enabled to resume operations so that the whole sordid business of exporting crude and importing finished products in dubious transactions could be stopped,” he said.
According to him, in addition to sanitizing the NNPC, his administration has ordered for a complete audit of other revenue generating agencies mainly CBN, FIRS, Customs, NCC, for better service delivery to the nation.
The president stressed that prudent housekeeping was needed now more than ever in view of the sharp decline in world market oil prices.
“It is a challenge we have to face squarely. But what counts is not so much what accrues but how we manage our resources that is important.
“We have seen in the last few years how huge resources were mismanaged, squandered and wasted.
“The new APC government is embarking on a cleanup, introducing prudence and probity in public financing,” he added.
On power, the president said government officials had held a series of long sessions over several weeks about the best way to improve the nation’s power supply in the safest and most cost effective way.
He noted that the current improvement in the power supply was moderately encouraging.
“By the same token, supply of petrol and kerosene to the public has improved throughout the country.
“All the early signs are that within months the whole country would begin to feel a change for the better,” he said.
Buhari further reassured that his administration would continue to address challenges facing the three tiers of government to ensure peace and speedy transformation of the economy.
He noted that at an early stage, the Federal Government addressed the issue of salary arrears in many states, a situation, he said, was capable of degenerating into social unrest.
He said the APC government stepped in to provide short-term support to the owing states and enable them to pay off the backlog and restore the livelihood of millions of Nigerians.