President Muhammadu Buhari has said many Nigerians do not appreciate their country until they visit other countries.
Speaking at a State Banquet in Kano to conclude his one-day official visit to the State after commissioning several projects executed by the Federal and State governments and the private sector, Buhari described ongoing infrastructure development across the country as ‘fantastic’.
He implored citizens to appreciate what they have as the situation in the country is not dire when compared with other countries.
‘‘We have a great country but we do not appreciate it until we visit our neighbours and other countries where the preoccupation is for people to have one good meal a day.
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‘‘When I fly by helicopter, the number of high-rise buildings I see and the amount of development on the ground are fantastic. We thank God. We thank God. We thank God,’’ he said.
Buhari, in a statement issued by his spokesman, Femi Adesina, urged the elite to encourage and inspire young people to embrace education, saying whether we like it or not we are going to leave the country for them.
‘They must embrace education for education’s sake. Technology has made it possible for short cuts but nothing can replace real learning. Please encourage the children to learn.”
He congratulated Governor Abdullahi Ganduje of Kano State for doing very well on infrastructure, adding that his recent State visits to Kogi, Yobe, Lagos and Katsina have shown that the respective governors have done very well, within the confines of funds available to them.
On security, the President, who described Boko Haram as a fraudulent organization with links to international groups bent on destroying Nigeria, said his administration had succeeded in decimating the terror group, limiting their capacity to inflict harm.
Earlier, while paying homage to the Emir of Kano, Alhaji Aminu Ado Bayero, President Buhari urged Nigerians to respect traditional institutions and accord them the honour they deserve.
The President inaugurated the Emir’s Council Chambers at the Palace.
The Emir of Kano, who underscored the importance of the visit, thanked President Buhari for granting approval to the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to extend the deadline for the phasing out of old currency notes, and by implication the implementation of the cashless policy.
‘‘This is an indication that the President is focused on alleviating the plight of the citizenry and indeed a listening leader,’’ he said.
The royal father expressed appreciation to the federal and States government for the developmental projects in the State as well as the support to the Emirate.
He added that the ongoing electioneering campaigns should serve as an opportunity for politicians to understand the challenges facing the people and devise a means to solving them.
He prayed for peaceful elections, as well as peace and prosperity of the country.
The President had commenced his visit to the State with the inauguration of Dala Inland Dry Port hosted by Kano State Government in collaboration with the Federal Government.
Adesina said the Inland Dry Port Project was conceived as part of the Federal Government’s Ports Reform Programme designed to decongest the seaports, while also taking shipping and port services closer to importers and exporters in the hinterland.
The President also inaugurated the Nigeria Sovereign Investment Authority (NSIA)-funded 10MW Haske Solar Plant in a 24-hectare land in Kumbotso Local Government of Kano State.
President Buhari also commissioned the Family Homes Funds Estate, Darmanawa, Kano, which consists of 469 affordable housing units with ancillary infrastructure.