بســم اللّـه الرّحمـن الرّحيــم
السَّلَامُ عَلَيْكُمْ وَرَحْمَةُ اللهِ وَبَرَكَاتُه
Today, the mantle of responsibility for governing this country falls on those who have the vision of a good and just society and the wherewithal and means to achieve that vision. It is a vision coloured by according to the highest priority to the most important and pressing needs of the people. A vision based on the values of peace and stability – which if diminished must fall upon the government to restore them. A government can only attain this by listening, consulting, and making compromises on certain things while steadfastly holding to its fundamental beliefs and values. The past four years, compared to earlier, has been a time of peace, stability, and harmony. And my most pressing obligation is to maintain that in the future.
It is a fact of life that no two things that are similar can be completely alike. This is true of most things in life – be it people, houses, or geographical entities such as districts, islands, or even atolls. Such differences are evident in human relations and are apparent in the dissonance between political parties. Be that as it may, however, every citizen before the State must be equal. Each citizen equally deserves the same rights, privileges, and protections in the eyes of the State.
There is, however, a most important value that transcends such differences. It is our religion of Islam, our nationality, and our country. A government can not and must not discriminate when all of us take refuge under the shade of the Maldivian flag. Discrimination based on political leanings is something we should all abhor and I have made every effort to ensure such discrimination has no place in our community. I have given my best to restore and maintain peace, harmony, and stability – values which were seriously deficient in Government when I took office four years ago. The people now believe that the Government, formed by the people, remains steadfast in its commitment to serve them.
There is no doubt that success in this world, and the hereafter, lies with Islam. We cannot build a productive and responsible generation without the virtues and good manners that Islam teaches. During the past year, we carried out programmes on every inhabited island to spread accurate information about Islam. Extremism can go both ways. Our efforts have been many to prevent the spread of extremism in the name of religion and against it. We will continue on this path in the future.
As you know, we pledged a revolutionary change to the country. We cannot sustain this change for future generations without meticulous planning and execution. Behind this change lies the happiness and prosperity of our people - their wealth, prosperity, and financial stability. The Government must not discriminate in its policies towards this end. There must be a goal.
The revival of the country requires the development of its youth. My Government is undertaking special measures to reach this purpose. Ensuring equitable educational opportunities across the country needs the development of necessary resources. There are reasons behind us taking our children to school every morning. And to leave them in a chair beside a tree in the sun, without proper classrooms or a roof, is not one of them. When we took office, the education sector was characterised by dissonance - between a vast student population on one hand and a significant dearth of effective resources to ensure a meaningful education for our children.
Presently, we are developing 1,578 classrooms and 85 multipurpose halls to lessen the burden on educational institutions, address space constraints, and improve resources. Another 509 education sector infrastructure projects are nearing completion.
Qualified teachers are the foundation of a quality education system. We have delivered many of their needs and requirements, which have been lacking so far. However, more needs to be done to improve the education sector.
When we took office, the opportunity to complete higher secondary was not available in every atoll. Today, we are happy to note that access to higher secondary education is within easy reach across the country.
The most significant investment a country can make is towards educating and nurturing its youth. Our free degree programme is the most considerable foundation in thisendeavour. It is our answer to the plight of every father, mother, and parent. We had rid them of their financial worries. Every young Maldivian now has the opportunity to complete their first degree for free. As of today, 16,315 students have enrolled in the programme and 6,500 have graduated so far.
Our youth want more opportunities to build their creativity, skills, and education than what is available locally. It is evident from the number of students seeking higher education loans to study abroad. To deliver their needs, my Government has significantly increased the number of higher education loans.
We have so far provided higher education loans to 1,986 students. We have also restructured the loans to lessen their burden. We have reduced the administrative fees of the loans from 5 percent to 1 percent. Repayment options have also been extended to 20 years. We have deducted the amount they paid with higher rates from the total loan figure. The students now make significantly lower monthly payments.
Students who had completed their education earlier through student loans still have many concerns. Our target is to lessen the burdens of such creative and responsible youth.
The project to prepare more than 6,000 skilled workers for the job market is currently underway. Junior Colleges, TVET Centers, and Polytechnic Centers are being established in different parts of the country. The practical work for constructing the TVET Centre in R. Alifushi and the Junior College in HA. Dhidhdhoo is also in progress. The Polytechnic Centre in Thulusdhoo and Junior College in N. Kendhikulhudhoo have now been handed over to a contractor. The next project is to complete the work of the TVET Centres in Kulhudhuffushi and Fuvahmulah and the Junior College in N. Velidhoo. As stated during my Presidential Address last year, the greatest asset to this country is an adept Maldivian.
The contentment and well-being of the people are ensured by the quality of our policies - how well thought out they are and how well executed they must be. The benefits of each and every decision and project undertaken must ultimately reach the people.
It has been a year since the significant change in the minimum wage came into effect on January 1, 2022. This was a notable gain for many workers in the Maldives. The aforementioned change has positively impacted more than 33,500 workers. Another positive legal change gazetted on September 22, 2022, was related to service charges in the tourism sector. This required a service charge of 10 percent to be distributed equally among all employees. The changes in employee incomes have improved their family’s quality of life.
As stated during my Presidential Address last year, we harmonised the pay of the education sector. On that day itself, we made a significant change in the salaries of those employees. This year, our focus is on the health sector, with a rise in the wages of health workers from May 1 onwards. All government employees who have not received the 35 percent civil service allowance will be get this allowance from May 1. There will also be a positive change in university employees' salaries in March. By the time the pay harmonisation is completed, it will include the judiciary, imams, muezzins, and all civil servants.
The law must ensure safety and security in our work environments. The Government has already presented the Occupational Health and Safety Bill to the Honourable Parliament. We also plan to send the Industrial Relations Bill during this upcoming session. I would like to ask you, Honourable Members, to continue the work on these Bills during this first session of the Parliament.
My Government aims to create a cohesive, vibrant, and domestic economy. I have confidence that what needs to be done for a socio-economic and infrastructural change is one of the key factors that motivate my administration.
To bring forth this change, essential services needed by the people must be completed. Going forward, all islands in the Maldives will have access to water and sewerage. In addition, the Government will undertake extensive projects to eliminate the problem of accessibility by building harbours. The vast majority of power plants across the nation are undergoing major development to the appropriate extent as well.
Powerhouses have been built and completed in line with modern standards for the 76 islands where the need is most urgent. Installation of 313 gensets in power stations across a total of 144 islands has been completed. These are future proof developments that will cater to demand for the next 50 years.
The most important solution to our demand for energy is to be found in renewable energy. In order to utilise this, power plants that operate fossil fuel gensets across 39 islands of the Maldives can be completely shut down within the next two years. The completion of the project will reduce the country's fuel consumption. The lower the cost of fuel, the lower the cost of electricity. If the price of electricity goes down, the money will go directly into the people's pockets.
Electricity, ports, roads, water, sewerage, and RTL are the foundation on which our vision for the country’s economy rests. Let me state a case in point. Before these developments, the monthly rental value for a 2,000-acre plot of land in B. Thulhaadhoo was a mere 7,000 Maldivian Rufiyaa. However, with the completion of the port and the availability of clean water and sewerage works, today, that same plot of land has a rental value of 15,000 Maldivian Rufiyaa. The value of the land on the islands has increased as the various development projects are being completed. The onset of economic activities on these islands will eventually benefit the residents.
This development and its benefits must be distributed equitably all over the country. This can only be done with a reliable and secure transportation system. The economic engine that connects one island to another, connecting one atoll to another, and runs simultaneously throughout the country is the aforementioned RTL transportation system. Thisconnects the entire Maldives by land, sea, and air.
Today, all the islands in the Greater Thiladhunmathi and Faadhippolhu are connected through the RTL system every day. Hopefully, by the end of this year, Huvadhu Atoll, Fuvahmulah, and Addu City will be connected by this system. We aim to connect all the islands of the country through RTL. RTL's minibus service has now been introduced in Malé and in major islands too.
The project to establish domestic airports in the Maldives is underway. Hoarafushi Airport has opened and Faresmaathoda Airport will be opened next month. Expansion work at Maafaru International Airport has begun as well. Faafu Magoodhoo and Meemu Muli Airport will be completed by the end of this year too. Land expansion for Alifushi Airport has started. The land expansion for Makunudhoo, Bilehfahi, Thulhaadhoo, and Vilufushi Airports will begin in the middle of this year. In addition, the airport to be developed inthe Southern part of Raa Atoll will connect the whole country by air with other essential domestic airports.
The two largest airport construction projects outside Greater Malé are currently underway. The construction of Hanimaadhoo International Airport has begun - the aim is to complete the new runway by the last quarter of this year. Further, the construction of Addu International Airport is estimated to begin this February. These are two modern international airports being developed in the North and South of Maldives, with the capacity to handle 2.8 million passengers annually.
The World Bank initially forecasted Maldives’ economy to grow by 7.6 percent in 2022. However, by the end of last year, the World Bank had increased the estimated growth from 7.6 to 12.4 percent. The World Bank projects that Maldives economy will grow by 8.2 percent within this current year.
The global economic shock due to the onset of COVID-19 pandemic and the ongoing war impacted Maldives adversely. The Government was cautious in taking the necessary steps to mitigate the situation. Further, important changes had been brought to the fiscal policy to stabilise the economy. These measures have reduced the chances of a potential economic downturn in the future.
The Government was able to accumulate 3.5 billion Maldivian Rufiyaa in revenue within last January; this being a record revenue achieved in a month. Hope for the future has been renewed, and we are assured that people will not go through any hardships. Further, there is a guarantee that the State’s reserve will be maintained at a safe level. By the end of last year, the State reserve had 827 million United States Dollars.
The private sector is the lifeblood of our economy. The establishment of the SME Bank is one of the strongest measures to support small and medium-sized enterprises. The Bank’s figures show a promising prospective. The Bank facilitates financial assistance to youth, women, and entrepreneurs. A total of 1.16 billion Maldivian Rufiyaa has been disbursed by the Bank to 1,100 beneficiaries.
Authentic Maldives stores are going international. Their products are now available at Narita and Kansai airports in Japan. Authentic Maldives products will be available from different countries across the globe in the future. The purpose of these outlets is to market these products and provide a platform to facilitate the business. It has paved the way for more than 2,000 local products to be displayed in the global market. As of now, 182 local suppliers are involved in this business and 57 percent of them are women.
The past year was a bright year for tourism. The Government set a target of 1.6 million tourist arrivals in 2022. The year ended with more tourist visits than the forecasted target. The Government’s target for 2023 is 1.8 million tourist arrivals. As of last January, 172,536 tourists had visited Maldives. This is an increase of 31 percent in comparison to the same period in 2022.
During this administration, 16,758 tourist beds have been added. The project to expand tourism to the North and South of the country starts from the development of international airports in Addu and Hanimaadhoo. While the airports are being completed, we also have started the work of increasing the number of beds required in these regions. The Addu Hankede Integrated Tourism Development Project and the development of five resorts falls under this project. Similarly, the islands open for bidding in the North are resort development projects connected to the Hanimaadhoo International Airport. In the future, SME Bank will be preparing to create and facilitate small businesses in these two regions. In addition, guesthouses and city hotels will provide more opportunities to the residents of these regions.
There is a significant reason behind Maldives surviving the economic turmoil caused by the pandemic and the ongoing war. The underlying reason is the level of courage and determination shown by our fishing communities. The Almighty have blessed us with an abundance of marine resources. The year 2022 was the year in which MIFCO bought the most fish within the past 16 years. In addition, in the history of fisheries, it was in 2022 that a government had allocated most revenue to fishers. The figure totals more than 1 billion Maldivian Rufiyaa.
As I stated during my Presidential Address last year, the purchase price of fish was increased from March 1, 2022 onwards. Further, the UK and the European Union are expected to make a favourable decision on fish duties. Hence, there will be no further obstacles related to fish tax, easing export of fish to these countries. With this, the ongoing efforts to increase the capacity of MIFCO will bring about positive changes to the price of fish.
Marketing the products of Maldives farmers’ is important. The biggest challenge has been to turn the work done by the farmers into a sustainable income. The Agronet Company is a pathway paved by the Government to resolve this issue. From 46 islands, more than 800 farmers have joined the Agronet network. Around 485 farmers are engaged in contract farming under agreements. Further, 534 farmers have been provided with agricultural inputs. The target by the end of this year is to have a total of 750 farmers start the business and continue to buy their produce through Agronet.
We have worked hard to fulfil the promise of providing affordable housing to all, as stated during my Presidential Address last year. This is the first time where flats were readied for handover from laying the foundation to final completion within the duration of a single Presidential term. These new flats are spacious and comfortable.
A total of 20,697 applications were submitted for the aforementioned flats, with another 15,164 applications being submitted for land plot ownership. These applications are currently being processed. Before the end of June this year, we will hopefully hand over the title deeds to the recipients of flats and land. Additionally, I’m also pleased to note that it has been decided to increase the number of land plots to be allocated within the Greater Malé area.
Another important component of providing housing to the people are housing loans. As of January, last year, the Government received 579 applications for homeowner loans, of which 55 percent have already been approved. A total of 249 loan agreements have been finalised and signed with individual parties.
Among the housing units being built in the atolls, 556 will be fully completed by the end of May. Another 2,200 housing units are under construction as well.
There are many severe challenges of centralising the health service in the country. The only way to sustainably overcome it is through regional tertiary hospitals. There are plans currently underway to bring this idea into fruition. For instance, the list of developments brought to Kulhudhuffushi Tertiary Hospital alone is long. The hospital currently has completely new and modern services such as MRI, knee replacement surgery, laparoscopic surgery, mammogram, and more.
In order to upgrade Kulhudhuffushi Hospital to tertiary level, the number of staff had been increased as well. This includes the addition of a total of 144 specialist doctors, medical officers, nurses, and technical and administration staff. There are plans to bring in more staff. As a result, the percentage of patients being referred from Kulhudhuffushi Hospital to Malé have dropped by 24 percent. This change will certainly be seen and felt at all regional tertiary hospitals.
This is not the end yet. As the service expands and develops, the Government will bring the necessary changes to the health sector. The Government is committed to bringing about real tertiary change in islands other than Kulhudhuffushi and Addu, such as in Gaafu Dhaalu Thinadhoo, Laamu Gan, and Raa Ungoofaaru. In addition, hospitals with 30 beds capacity in 12 islands and hospitals with 50 beds capacities in 6 islands will be built. We are certain that the Government's vision for the health sector will be fulfilled with these hospitals.
The Center for Mental Health was established by this Government because of its importance. This Center has had more than 60,000 consultations so far, with the waitlist being reduced from over 3,000 to 411 today. The in-patient psychiatric unit, pledged in my Presidential Address last year, is now completed and fully functional too. Furthermore, we have established additional mental health facilities in five regions of the Maldives and a further two child development centres in Malé and Addu respectively.
One of the biggest tragedies in the provision of effective public healthcare in Maldives was the abandonment (by my predecessors) of a properly functioning primary healthcare system that had been in place decades earlier. My Government has restarted the work of restoring primary healthcare services throughout the country with community health workers.
Drugs and gang crimes are the biggest challenges to the social fabric of the country. The Government prioritises eliminating the possibility of youth being homeless and being left out. In this regard, the increase in vocational and non-tertiary training programs combined with the Government’s free first-degree program have yielded visible positive results in reducing drug abuse in the most vulnerable age demographic. Additionally, a halfway house for the rehabilitation of women was introduced in November of last year. Similarly, a rehabilitation program for persons serving sentences was introduced and is ongoing in Maafushi Prison since last March. It is a comprehensive program which helps detox and complete rehabilitation, while teaching how to work and become fully functioning members of the society. The 32 individuals who undertook this programme for the first time have now been successfully reintegrated into the community. As such, another program of treatment and reintegration is underway in four areas outside of Malé.
The social security system is taking shape to enable caregivers to operate throughout the country. Last year, we provided basic training to 430 such persons in 62 islands and two cities in seven atolls. This training will be continued this year as well.
There are plans underway to enhance our ongoing efforts to provide a safe and familial environment for children taken into State care. Seven such safe centres have been established and children have been transferred to them. The social workers needed throughout the country for such a service under decentralisation is important. The family and children service centres in 19 atolls are for this purpose. Further, 156 additional staff have been deployed in the last four years to provide a complete service.
As stated under Act No. 8/2010, we have completed the compilation of the National Disability Registry. In addition to this, from June of this year, the State allowance for persons with disabilities will be increased. A separate centre will open in Hulhumalé this week, which will provide the services required by persons with disabilities over the age of 18.
In the sports sector, projects that will ensure the health and entertainment of youth are ongoing. The infrastructure to establish 39 new football fields is now complete. Good quality volleyball, badminton, and handball courts, synthetic tracks, and table tennis centres have been completed. More than 50 outdoor gyms have been established.
With the establishment of the Maldives Paralympics Committee and Special Olympics Maldives, we have sought opportunities for those with disabilities that were previously deprived from participating in sports. Maldivian athletes are shining in international competitions too. Since the 2019 Indian Ocean Island Games, Maldives has been awarded a total 33 gold medals, 18 silver medals and 88 bronze medals in international competitions.
Maldives has also enjoyed great success in hosting international sporting events. Last year, we hosted nine such competitions including events in basketball, beach volley, bodybuilding, bodyboarding, and surfing. One result of this is the steady reputation we have acquired as a global destination for water sports.
The lack of adequate opportunities to develop the talent of our artists has left a vacuum in our community. With big and modern changes, we have opened Olympus theatre. It is an avenue for young people to pursue their talents and skills. Within this month, the National Art Gallery will open its doors with a modern upgrade. We are exploring opportunities for artists to display their talents internationally as well. Museums established across the country will be centres for the revival and preservation of our ancient heritage. The Government has also introduced a separate program to protect endangered monuments.
We can all agree that our environment is in a vulnerable state. The Maldives is one of the countries that faces the biggest threats to the environment caused by climate change. Which is why it is important to protect the environment and marine areas exposed to vulnerable conditions. A total of 130 areas will be protected by the end of this year, out of which 82 will have come under protection within the last five years.
Within these 5 years, we would have established Solar PV systems that can produce a total of 42.6 megawatts of solar renewable energy. That is 50 tonnes of greenhouse gases that will be reduced from the atmosphere a year. Once this project is completed, we will be saving approximately 320 million Maldivian Rufiyaa from the fuel bill. This administration has moved away from burning waste and towards waste management. Additionally, we have begun the implementation phases of reducing and banning single-use plastic that harm our environment. The Maldives played a leading role in establishing a global fund for loss and damage in the final declaration at COP27 held in Egypt last November.
As the world changes, advances in digital communications technology are the single biggest technological force that drives innovation and commerce. It is important to ensure that internet prices remain affordable and our infrastructure future-proof. This will be facilitated with the new submarine cable that will be installed with the assistance of the Government. The international submarine cable that stretches from Marseilles, France, to Singapore will make landfall for its Maldivian hub in the next five months, and by September, will be ready to be operationalised. This project will decrease internet prices and bring further improvements to bandwidth availability and internet speeds. This will be a resource that will connect almost all spheres of life.
It is a significant hassle for citizens to submit multiple copies of their national ID cards and other official documents every time they need to obtain government services. This creates bottlenecks in service delivery with citizens trapped in lengthy waiting processes. We are changing this. Digital ID cards where KYC requests can be made digitally will be launched in March.
Other challenges citizens face while obtaining services are having to wait in long queues and unattended phone calls. One-Gov services will be the modern solution provided by this administration. One-Gov services will also be launched in March. Because of this, Ministry of Economic Development, Ministry of Tourism, Ministry of National Planning, Housing and Infrastructure, Health Protection Agency, and Fuvahmulah City Council will be the first to provide their services online. In addition to this, the physical experience centres that will be established in Malé, Addu, and Fuvahmulah will provide assistance to citizens that have difficulties accessing services online. Honourable Speaker, the whole of Maldives will be digitised.
Without Gender Equality, it will be difficult to maintain social justice. In this regard, the Cabinet and local council have a representation of 33 percent women. Additionally, diplomatic missions representing the Maldives have a representation of 50 percent women. Similarly, there are women as judges, in the Police Service, and in MNDF ranks. We have begun the implementation of the Gender Equality Action Plan. This will bring a more positive change in the efforts that are being undertaken to achieve Gender Equality.
The people’s respect and trust for our social justice system must be maintained. In the past four years, efforts have been made to strengthen the judicial system of Maldives. I note that there is evidence to suggest that citizen confidence in the justice system is on the increase. However, there still remains much that needs to be done. The necessary amendments to the Constitution to reform the composition of the Judicial Service Commision will be submitted to Parliament during this session.
The Government is making efforts to address the resource constraints on the judiciary. More courts are being built in the atolls. The biggest reason for the backlog in court cases is because of the constraints on resources. Recognising this, the Government prioritises the construction of Malé Court complexes without further delay.
I have received the final report by the Presidential Commission upon their conclusion of the investigation on the enforced disappearance of Ahmed Rilwan Abdulla. Measures are underway in line with the recommendations set by the report. Three suspects have been arrested and their court proceedings have begun. And it is a matter of great importance to file an appeal over the acquittal of suspects in the murder case of Yameen Rasheed. The Prosecutor General’s Office has already begun this process. The Presidential Commission is in the process of formulating the investigative report for the case, among other assignments.
The legal proceedings that I mentioned last year regarding the MMPRC embezzlement is now ongoing. The Anti-Corruption Commission is currently conducting an investigation based on the reports by the Presidential Commission. 14 court cases are now submitted, and of these cases, 5 parties have been found guilty on 43 charges. Court cases are ongoing for another 7 parties and two companies. 53 other related cases are under investigation by the Anti-Corruption Commission as well. The Anti-Corruption Commission and the Prosecutor General’s Office are jointly working on duty prosecution for civil prosecution for 8 of these cases.
The Maldives Police Service has the huge responsibility to maintain peace and enforce the law across the Maldives. The nature of our dispersed islands makes it very challenging to provide services to all the islands. Expanding police services to every inhabited island is a long-term goal, albeit one that has not come to complete fruition yet. 18 police stations were newly established and began providing their services last year. God willing, police services will be established on all inhabited islands in the country by the end of this year.
The Maldives Police Service Act which came in to effect on March 27, 2021 is proving beneficial to both police service and citizens. Neighbourhood police have been introduced in more than 100 islands. Body worn cameras have further ensured safety for both police officers and citizens. For the first time ever, an officer from the Maldives Police Service is working in Interpol. This is a great honour for the whole service.
The Maldives National Defence Force are the most able defenders of our independence and sovereignty. They are the ones who are ready to make the ultimate sacrifice in defence of the most sacred principles of our nation. Access to innovative training and resources for our Defence Force is critical to survive in today’s turbulent world. The Defence Force is on the frontline of every challenge and hurdle our citizens have faced. They are the ones that bring citizens to safety whether on land, at sea, or in the air. 25,610 of these operations have been carried out by the Maldives National Defence Force in the past four years.
These past four years have seen exceptional success in our engagements with the international community. This level of achievement in such a short period of time is unprecedented in recent memory. Our global engagements have strengthened. We have established diplomatic relations with 94 percent of the member states in the United Nations. Further, the Maldives was elected for the United Nations Human Rights Council for the term 2023-2025. The Maldives was also elected to the Presidency of the 76th Session of the United Nations General Assembly in 2021, by large majority. Consular services are now available for Maldivians from 21 global regions through our diplomatic missions and an extensive honorary consuls’ network. Maldivians can now travel visa free to 89 countries. We are a respected partner in the regional and international community. We have revived relations with Arab Islamic and Middle Eastern allies.
Congestion and chaos in Malé are a daily struggle. The greenery of Lonuziyaaraiy Park has thrived near the salty ocean and it has given Malé some sense of peace. And now, the picnic island in the greater Malé area is ready to open. The loss of Kuda Bandos will now be fulfilled by a 20-minute ride to the Kudagiri picnic island, which will welcome visitors a week from now.
The project to shift Malé main harbour to Gulhifalhu is a crucial project that will benefit not only the Greater Malé area but the whole of Maldives. I am happy to note that a contractor has now been awarded to start the implementation of the project to consolidate the land needed for housing and port with the existing land. Implementation phase will begin in the next two to three months. Work on Thilamalé bridge is ongoing as per the schedule.
The past three years has witnessed the worst economic downturn for the Maldives in the history of our country. Our economic activities were halted due to the COVID-19 pandemic. However, there are facts and numbers that show the results of what has already been done to combat this. It shows us that our economy is recovering.
By 2028, tourists visiting the Maldives will increase by at least 3.5 million a year. This is the result of planned and ongoing projects geared towards tourism.
This is why, by the end of 2028, our economic growth will have doubled. Our national productivity stood at 81 billion Maldivian Rufiyaa in 2018. In ten years, we can double our economic growth and bring our national productivity to 177 billion Maldivian Rufiyaa. With the increase in economic growth, we will also be able to double Government revenues to receive 45 billion Maldivian Rufiyaa in revenue by 2028.
The Government’s current social, economic, and all other policies are geared towards achieving this target. And so much can be achieved from this target, such as an increase in income for people, increase in job opportunities, rise in new business ventures, as well as achieve a peaceful and prosperous society.
We are a chain of islands, big and small - a wonder in the world. Every one of these islands has the right to peace and tranquillity, as is the right of every Maldivian. Everyone deserves a dignified life with their families. Our way of life needs to be one that is ingrained in equality and stability. In every corner of this country – from North to South and from East to West – we should move together in the path of peace. Today, the responsibility to lead our people to that way of life lies on our shoulders. It provides an opportunity for this generation to be on the track we set and complete the work we started. The path to success and prosperity for every island is becoming clearer every passing day. We need everyone to join their hands together and collectively agree to this way of life. Without a doubt, that day will become a reality in the not-too-distant future – it will be the most joyful of days.
May the Maldives be blessed by the grace of Almighty Allah. May our love for our nation and our national spirit never fade. May we be blessed with good fortune. Ameen.
وَالسَّلَامُ عَلَيْكُمْ وَرَحْمَةُ اللهِ وَبَرَكَاتُه