Jonathan preaches peace to Nigerians in New Year message
President Goodluck Jonathan has urged Nigerians to place the higher interests of national unity, peace, stability and progress above all other considerations.
The President also asked and work harder in their particular fields of human endeavour to contribute more significantly to the attainment of the country's collective aspirations.
'The time for that re-dedication is now, not tomorrow,' Jonathan said in a New Year message to the nation.
The president also underscored the need for all Nigerians to rededicate themselves to contributing meaningfully to further enrich Nigeria's national heritage.
'Whatever challenges we may have faced, whatever storms we may have confronted and survived, Nigeria remains a truly blessed country, a country of gifted men and women who continue to distinguish themselves in all spheres of life, a country whose diversity remains a source of strength.'
He assured Nigerians of the government's commitment to ensuring progressive development and the consolidation of peace, unity and democratic governance.
'Despite several continuing domestic and global challenges, for us in Nigeria, the year 2013 witnessed many positive developments which we will strive to build upon in 2014,' President Jonathan said.
He pointed out that positive improvements have been recorded in the power, agriculture, health and other sectors of the economy, emphasising that his administration will ensure that the improvement is sustained.
Jonathan added that Nigeria plans a Centenary celebration in 2014, a hundred years after the amalgamation of the Northern and Southern protectorates on January 1, 1914.
He said, 'As we enter our Centennial year, there is still much work ahead. We are determined to sustain our strong macroeconomic fundamentals, to strengthen our domestic institutions, and to invest in priority sectors. These investments will create more jobs for our youth. Government will at the same time, continue to scale-up investments in safety nets and the Millennium Development Goals to take care of the poor and the vulnerable so that they too can share in our growth and prosperity.
'In 2014, we will continue to prioritize investments in key sectors such as infrastructure development, power, roads, rail transportation and aviation,' the president said.
He emphasised that January 1 2014 'is not just the beginning of a new year, but the end of a century of national existence and the beginning of another.
'It is a moment for sober reflection and for pride in all that is great about Nigeria,' he added.