Again the calendar of life has brought us into another period of celebration, and deep reflection. Celebration, because we are marking the birth of Prophet Mohammed (Peace Be Upon Him), and deep reflection, because it is another opportunity of pausing, taking a deep breath and reflecting on the current realities before us.
First of all, I wish all Muslims a happy and memorable celebration of the birth of the great Prophet, through whose teachings, particularly on peaceful living, tolerance, sobriety, generosity, sacrifice and honesty, and wisdom, the nation has gained immensely in building a harmonious and prosperous society. The universal truths of the Prophet's values remain unchanged.
Against all odds, we have used these pillars of strength in securing a just and fair society, and our efforts are beginning to yield dividends in curbing terrorism, militancy, corruption and other crimes that devalue our humanity.
As we use the memorable occasion of this celebration to reflect on our current challenges, I urge you not to lose faith in the ability of this administration to make a difference in the lives of our people.
The reality of the temporary challenges should not undermine our hope, reverse our collective will to succeed, or divide us; rather it should remind us of why we need to stay together, fight together and succeed together. We all share a vision of a better Nigeria, and we will all share in the responsibility of building the country of our dreams.
As we look forward to 2017 with hope and huge expectations, let me assure you that with collective dedication and hard work, we will overcome the mountain of economic difficulties, and return our country to the path of prosperity.
The 2017 Budget proposals which I will lay before the National Assembly on Wednesday, will contain measures that we are confident will get the nation out of its economic woods.
As we celebrate and reflect, I wish all Nigerians a peaceful Eid-el-Maulud.