President Bola Tinubu conveyed his readiness to make difficult decisions, even if they resulted in temporary unpopularity, during a meeting with United Nations Secretary-General, António Guterres, at the UN headquarters in New York. The President emphasized the need to address challenges like poverty and hunger that have hindered Nigeria’s economic growth.
In a statement issued by the President’s media adviser, Ajuri Ngelale, Tinubu expressed his commitment to addressing these pressing issues that have hampered Nigeria’s development.
Furthermore, Tinubu conveyed that African nations would no longer tolerate situations where human rights advocacy is used by developed countries to obstruct the efforts of developing economies in tackling individuals who engage in illicit activities such as siphoning and smuggling Africa’s vast mineral resources. He noted that these individuals also smuggle in western-made weapons, thereby contributing to instability in Africa while enriching the wealthiest economies in the world.
The President expressed concern about the allocation of resources to the world’s poorest countries, where a significant portion is spent on overheads and administrative costs, undermining the intended purpose of aiding these nations. He stressed the need for a more effective utilization of resources to foster economic development and wealth creation in these countries.
Tinubu stated, “The poverty ravaging our continent and the question of security and counter-terrorism requires us to work in close and effective synergy. The world will ignore Nigeria at its own peril. If we engage in talk shops as real challenges wreak real havoc in real time, we will fail.
“The time to strike is now. The time to achieve real results is now. I fought for democracy. I was detained for democracy. I am now president and I am determined to prove that democracy can provide the development that our nation and our continent so urgently demands.
“Trace those of us here to our foundations and you will find that we have ties and links with poverty. We must not be ashamed of that history, but poverty is unacceptable. I am one of the lucky survivors of gripping poverty. Nigeria is truly a giant. Two hundred and forty million people and counting with a massive youth population.
“We are done saying too much. We seek much action. We have arisen out of poverty as individuals, but until our people have arisen out of that, we will not rest, even if it requires decisions at home that make me temporarily unpopular.”
The president also said, “We are facing the great challenge of scavengers ravaging our lands and oppressing our people on illegal mines – taking our gold and mineral wealth back to developed economies by stealth and violence against Nigerians.
“Where one’s human right ends, the rights of another begin. Most especially for self-protection. If we fight, they say ‘human rights,’ but we will now be aggressive and we will question motives. We will stop what is happening in our land. We require your effective collaboration.”