I would like to extend my heartfelt congratulations to the Nigerian people and the ECOWAS community on the successful inauguration of the President-elect, His Excellency Bola Ahmed Tinubu, marking Nigeria’s 7th consecutive democratic transition.
I would also like to express my gratitude to the ECOWAS team for their tremendous efforts in bringing about this momentous occasion. Special appreciation goes to the ECOWAS Head of Mission, former President of Sierra Leone, His Excellency Dr. Ernest Koroma; His Excellency Baba Kamara, former National Security Adviser in Ghana and esteemed diplomat; the President of the ECOWAS Commission, Dr. Omar Alieu Touray; the Vice President of the ECOWAS Commission, Madam Damtien L. Tchintchibidja; His Excellency Musah Fatua, Commissioner for Political Affairs, and all other ECOWAS citizens who contributed to making this day possible. It is an incredible honor to share my thoughts and perspectives as we witness the transition of power from His Excellency President Muhammadu Buhari to the incoming President, His Excellency Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu.
Today, it is your turn!
I would like to congratulate President Buhari for his leadership over the past eight years and for his collaboration with ECOWAS in advancing regional integration. As the saying goes, “Anyone sent on an errand must come back and report to the one who sent them.” ECOWAS, you sent us on a mission, and the report is clear: Nigeria stands as a shining example. Your role in the 2023 elections, both as Africa’s largest economy and the powerhouse of the continent, speaks volumes about your commitment and accomplishments. Today, I am proud to inform the people of West Africa that ECOWAS remains one of the most transparent and peace-building institutions in the world. Elections are just one aspect of their core mandate; peacebuilding, mediation, and conflict resolution are equally important.
As the inauguration takes place today, ECOWAS can take pride in the successful execution of its mission for West Africa.
I extend my warm congratulations to the incoming President, His Excellency Bola Ahmed Tinubu, GCFR, as he assumes the responsibility of leading Nigeria today. The election of a new President always brings hope. Nigeria will look to President Tinubu with hope on his first day in office: hope for assuring security, peace, and stability; hope for healing and uniting a divided nation; hope for rising above party lines and forging a compelling force to move the nation forward with inclusiveness, fairness, equity, and justice; hope for a significant improvement in the economy; hope for sparking a new wave of prosperity.
It is essential to bring hope into the present, as deferred hope can weigh heavily on the heart.
The starting point should be achieving macroeconomic and fiscal stability. Just as no bird can fly with tied wings, the recently commissioned Dangote Refinery by President Buhari—the largest single-train petroleum refinery in the world—and its Petrochemical Complex will revolutionize Nigeria’s economy.
Congratulations to Aliko Dangote for his remarkable $19 billion investment!
In Nigeria, there is a common refrain calling for economic diversification. However, Nigeria’s most valuable asset is not its natural resources; it is the country’s human capital. I look forward to significant investments in human capital, equipping Nigeria with the skills necessary to compete globally in a rapidly digitized economy.
As a citizen of West Africa, I strongly believe that Nigeria must create wealth driven by its youth. We must move away from the notion of youth empowerment programs that provide handouts. What the youth need is investment. Unfortunately, the current banking system.