President Muhammadu Buhari has said that his administration has commenced the distribution of palliatives worth N10.9 billion to households and Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises.

He said this on Tuesday while delivering a speech via video-message, on the first day of the 75th session of the UN General Assembly.

According to him, the disbursement of the sum is part of efforts to reduce the suffering of Nigerians imposed by the COVID-19.

“In order to mitigate its impact on Nigerians, our administration has commenced the disbursement of the sum of N10.9 Billion to households and Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises as palliatives,” he said.

Speaking further, the president restated Nigeria’s commitment to working with other member states to promote the well-being of citizens.

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“I should also state that Nigeria is committed to working with other Member States in the spirit of global cooperation and solidarity to promote human health and general well-being.

“Nigeria will continue to partner with the WHO and some countries to ensure accelerated development and manufacturing, as well as uninhibited supply of safe and effective Coronavirus vaccines to all,” he said.

In addition, President Buhari noted that the government has established a N500 billion fiscal stimulus package and sustained delivery of humanitarian and social interventions to poor and vulnerable households, while our Central Bank has launched a N3.5 trillion-stimulus package to boost manufacturing and facilitate import substitution.

The theme of this year’s General Assembly is ‘The Future We Want, The United Nations We Need: Reaffirming Our Collective Commitment to Multilateralism- Confronting Coronavirus Through Effective Multilateral Action’.

See the full speech below.

STATEMENT DELIVERED BY HIS EXCELLENCY, MUHAMMADU BUHARI PRESIDENT OF THE FEDERAL REPUBLIC OF NIGERIA AT THE GENERAL DEBATE OF THE 75TH SESSION OF THE UNITED NATIONS GENERAL ASSEMBLY, 22ND SEPTEMBER 2020

Mr. President, Heads of State and Government, Secretary-General, Distinguished Delegates, Ladies and Gentlemen,

Let me on behalf of the Government and good people of Nigeria, congratulate you on your well-deserved election as President of the 75th Session of the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA). I would like to assure you of Nigeria’s readiness to avail the United Nations all necessary cooperation needed for the fulfillment of your mandate.

2. I wish to also thank the General Assembly for the support accorded His Excellency, Tijjani Muhammad-Bande during his tenure as President of the 74th Session of the General Assembly.

3. We acknowledge the accomplishments of the Assembly under his able leadership, particularly his efforts on attacking global poverty through the Global Coalition on Poverty Eradication.

4. We also commend the tremendous efforts of His Excellency, Antonio Guterres, Secretary-General of the United Nations, in steering the affairs of the organization during this challenging period of the Coronavirus pandemic, as well as his strong commitment to making the UN more efficient and responsive in its international responsibility.

Your Excellencies, Distinguished Delegates,

5. It is my privilege to use this opportunity to congratulate Member States on the 75th Anniversary of the United Nations. Over the past seven decades, the United Nations, as the People’s Assembly, has helped to stabilize the global community.

6. In addition to international peace and security, the UN has undertaken programmes on poverty eradication, women’s empowerment, youth development and humanitarian emergencies.

7. The theme of this year’s General Assembly – “The Future We Want, The United Nations We Need: Reaffirming Our Collective Commitment To Multilateralism – Confronting Coronavirus Through Effective Multilateral Action”, is indeed most appropriate and timely, as it captures our common desire for a renewed and revitalized organization in need of multilateral approaches to the many challenges facing the world.

THE FUTURE WE WANT

8. As we reflect on the future we want and the United Nations we need, we must realize that the peoples of the world not only look up to us: they count on us. If the United Nations system cannot mobilize the world to marshal out a truly effective and inclusive response to the Coronavirus pandemic, then the United Nations would have failed in its core mission of giving expression, direction and solution to the yearnings of the international community.
Excellencies,

9. The future we want must guarantee human rights, human dignity, human prospects and prosperity. The principles of “Leaving No One Behind and Doing No Harm” must be expressed through accountability, strategic growth initiatives and elimination of threats of all kinds.

10. In our quest to provide a future of hope and prosperity for Nigerians, our administration has embarked on measures to ensure enhanced national resilience. We intend to achieve this through the implementation of the Economic Sustainability Plan and the Medium Term National Development Plans for the period 2020-2025 and 2026-2030. We expect that these ambitious initiatives will deliver sustainable economic growth and development to Nigeria.

THE UNITED NATIONS WE NEED

11. Predicated on the values that inspired its creation, the United Nations we need has to remain an agent of progress, by giving expression to the tenets of multilateralism, solidarity and international cooperation. It is within the context of this rules-based multilateral order that the world can find solutions to its many problems.

CONFRONTING COVID-19 THROUGH EFFECTIVE MULTILATERAL ACTIONS

12. The world is currently in the grips of the Coronavirus pandemic. Regrettably, our communities and countries are losing lives. The Coronavirus pandemic has devastated the world economy and strained the capabilities of the health system of many countries, including our own country.

13. In the aftermath of Coronavirus outbreak in Nigeria, we prioritized vulnerable groups, including women, children, older persons and the unemployed, in our efforts to provide medical and social assistance to cushion the socio-economic effects of the disease.

14. Accordingly, we have expanded our National Social Register, to include an additional 1 million Nigerians. Our National Social Investment Programme (NSIP) has been the vehicle for reaching out to the poor and vulnerable members of the Nigerian population, as well as providing cover for over 22 million households.

15. I use this opportunity to commend the efforts of the United Nations and the World Health Organization in combating the Coronavirus pandemic.

16. I note, with appreciation, the $2 Billion United States Dollars Global Humanitarian Response Plan launched by the UN Secretary-General to fund the Coronavirus response in the poorest countries of the world.

17. I also commend his call for cease-fire in conflict areas, to enable humanitarian assistance reach groups vulnerable to Coronavirus.
Excellencies,

18. I should also state that Nigeria is committed to working with other Member States in the spirit of global cooperation and solidarity to promote human health and general well-being. Nigeria will continue to partner with the WHO and some countries to ensure accelerated development and manufacturing, as well as uninhibited supply of safe and effective Coronavirus vaccines to all.

POVERTY ERADICATION

19. In order to mitigate its impact on Nigerians, our administration has commenced the disbursement of the sum of N10.9 Billion to households and Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises as palliatives.

20. In addition, we have established a five hundred billion (N500 billion) fiscal stimulus package and sustained delivery of humanitarian and social interventions to poor and vulnerable households, while our Central Bank has launched a N3.5 trillion-stimulus package to boost manufacturing and facilitate import substitution.

21. The international community will need to cooperate in addressing the scourge of poverty, particularly in developing countries. It is in this regard, that we commend the President of the 74th General Assembly for launching an Alliance for Poverty Eradication in June.

22. We encourage global leaders, particularly leaders from the global North, to support the Alliance at this time when the COVID-19 pandemic is reversing gains made in the achievement of the 2030 Sustainable Development Goals and is pushing an additional half a billion people into extreme poverty.

SUSTAINABLE GROWTH AND DEVELOPMENT

Mr. President,

23. As we mark the beginning of the UN Decade of Action for the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals, Nigeria has made significant strides in domesticating the SDGs.

24. There is an ongoing re-alignment of the National Statistical System (NSS) with the requirements and indicators of the SDGs. This is expected to ensure effective tracking and monitoring of the SDGs and guide SDG interventions across the country.

25. Nigeria has also developed its home-grown Integrated Sustainable Development Goals model (iSDG Model) – an analytical framework for assessing how policy-making can better address the indivisible nature of the SDGs.

DISARMAMENT, INTERNATIONAL PEACE AND SECURITY
Excellencies,

26. Nigeria remains deeply concerned over the illicit trade, transfer, and circulation of small arms and light weapons, particularly on the continent of Africa.

27. We urge the international community to renew efforts to stem this traffic and promote the Arms Trade Treaty in order to codify accountability in the on-going battle against trans-border crimes, including terrorism and acts of piracy.

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