The president also said he supported the Central Bank of Nigeria’s decision to ensure alignment between monetary policy and fiscal policy.
He, however, promised that the federal government would keep a close look on how the recent measures affect the naira and the economy.
“But we cannot get away from the fact that a strong currency is predicated on a strong economy. And a strong economy pre-supposes an industrial productive base and a steady export market. The measures we must take may lead to hardships,” he emphasised.
He said the last twelve months had been spent collaborating with all arms of government to revive institutions so that to make them more efficient and fit for purpose.
“That means a bureaucracy better able to develop and deliver policy. That means an independent judiciary, above suspicion and able to defend citizen’s rights and dispense justice equitably.
“That means a legislature that actually legislates effectively and above all; that means political parties and politicians committed to serving the Nigerian people rather than themselves.
“These are the pillars of the state on which democracy can take root and thrive; but only if they are strong and incorruptible.
He said the government was working very hard to introduce some vital structural reforms in the way government business was conducted in order to build enduring change.
He disclosed that the government had identified 43,000 ghost workers through the Integrated Payroll and Personnel Information system, saying “That represents pay packets totalling N4.2 billion stolen every month.”
President Buhari also stated that the government would save N23 billion per annum from official travelling and sitting allowances alone.
President Buhari also said that just as his administration was making savings; it had changed the way public money is spent.
Buhari admitted that his government had made the very painful but inevitable decisions in the last few weeks “specifically on the pump price of fuel and the more flexible exchange rate policy announced by the Central Bank.
The president explained how the government arrived at the decision to hike fuel price from N86.50 to N145 per litre, saying: “This step was taken only after protracted consideration of its pros and cons. After comprehensive investigation, my advisers and I concluded that the mechanism was unsustainable.”
The President, however, did not disclose the amount of looted fund recovered as he promised do earlier .
He said full details of the status and categories of the recovered assets would now be published by the Ministry of Information and updated periodically.
President Buhari assured that when forfeiture formalities “are completed, these monies will be credited to the treasury be openly and transparently used in funding developmental projects and the public will be informed.”