President Bola Tinubu has urged the military to be more vigilant and committed to safeguarding the country.
The president said this on Saturday in Kaduna during the passing-out parade of 707 cadets of the Nigerian Defence Academy.
The cadets commissioned into the armed forces were of the 70 regular course and direct short service course 27 (Army) and 31 (Air Force).
Mr Tinubu, represented by Vice President Kashim Shettima, said his administration remained committed to addressing all security challenges and would support the military in that respect.
He reminded the military and all Nigerians that without vigilance, efforts to fortify and stabilise the country would remain unattainable.
Mr Tinubu said that the new military officers “will find themselves in a dynamic landscape that is marked by combat and regimental realities vastly different from those encountered by their predecessors.
“The future of our great country doesn’t only rest upon your valour, but also on the curricula with which the warriors and scholars are formed.”
The president assured that the government would implement programmes and policies to empower citizens to combat the challenges of poverty, criminality, and terrorism.
Mr Tinubu added that the administration was preparing for the food security crisis triggered by the Russian-Ukrainian war and responding to banditry attacks on farmers, natural flood disasters, and the repercussions of military coups.
“This administration has remained vigilant in devising solutions to mitigate their impacts and enhance national security.
“At this critical juncture, we are embarking on a new era in our national defence and security strategy.
“It will be driven by a resolute commitment to confront the substantial threats and challenges that confront us within the West African sub-region,” Mr Tinubu added.
The president said he had directed all heads of defence and security institutions to unite in their efforts to protect the nation’s integrity and well-being.
In addition, he said that the ECOWAS, which he currently presided over, was making serious efforts to strengthen the region’s mechanisms for development and conflict management.
“Forging a path towards greater peace, stability, and progress across West Africa and beyond is not negotiable.
“While I acknowledge that we have made bold decisions to bolster our economy, even as some developed economies face the threat of recession, our commitment remains resolute.”
He also spoke about the government’s efforts to cushion the effects of fuel subsidy removal.
“We are intensifying our efforts to implement tangible measures that will alleviate the hardships caused by the removal of fuel subsidies and the unification of exchange rates.
“Our immediate actions, such as reducing taxes on strategic manufacturing industries, distributing grains from the national reserve to vulnerable demographics, providing fertilizer and farm inputs, and extending soft loans to small and medium-scale industries, all serve as a clear message to our nation.
“We stand firmly with our citizens, determined to guide our country towards a path of accelerated economic growth and opportunities where no one lives on handouts,” Mr Tinubu pledged.
He commended the NDA for its immense contribution to national security and charged it to invest in scientific research and technological innovations and develop prototypes and concepts to enhance national security.