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Be patient as we go through hard times, FG begs Nigerian citizens

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The Federal Government has pleaded with Nigerians to be patient as the country navigates through hard times.

The Minister of Information, Mohammed Idris, begged Nigerians in a statement issued on Friday, February 23, 2024.

Idris said the reforms of the current Tinubu-led government are yielding positive results and that saboteurs would not be spared.

“When President Bola Ahmed Tinubu was sworn in on May 29, 2023, he made far-reaching statements regarding his economic vision for Nigeria. Two policy statements stood out in this regard.”

“First, he announced an immediate end to the petrol subsidy regime because it could no longer justify its ever-increasing costs in the wake of dwindling resources. He also made a firm promise to channel the savings accruing from the removal into much-needed investments in public infrastructure, education, healthcare, social investment and prosperity for tens of millions of Nigerians.

“Since the removal of the petrol subsidy, petrol importation has dropped by fifty percent, amounting to one billion litres monthly, according to data released by the National Bureau of Statistics. On a related note, crude oil production is rising steadily, increasing to an average of 1.55 million barrels per day in Q4 2023 from 1.22 million barrels per day in the preceding quarter.

“Since the removal of the petrol subsidy, petrol importation has dropped by fifty percent, amounting to one billion litres monthly, according to data released by the National Bureau of Statistics. On a related note, crude oil production is rising steadily, increasing to an average of 1.55 million barrels per day in Q4 2023 from 1.22 million barrels per day in the preceding quarter.

“Also, monthly receipts by States from the Federal Accounts Allocation Committee (FAAC) have surged since the subsidy removal, giving governments at all levels billions of Naira in extra headroom to deliver the dividends of democracy to Nigerians.

“Nigerians should rest assured that the government will continue to take further steps to stabilise the naira and safeguard our economy.

“We will continue to seek the patience and understanding of Nigerians as we push through these difficult times into a season of abundant benefits and truly renewed Hope. As the President never fails to emphasise, these headwinds we are facing are only temporary, and, collectively, we will surely overcome.”

Idris noted that the three major candidates in the last presidential election said they would remove the petrol subsidy if elected.

“It is instructive that the removal of the petrol subsidy was one policy decision that all the three major candidates were unanimous on in their campaign messaging. It is, therefore, mystifying to see people who had argued stridently for the removal now pretending to be against it today. This insincerity does not bode well for our country and our democracy.”

“President Tinubu’s second most far-reaching pronouncement was his promise that the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) would work towards a unified exchange rate. In line with his vision for a more transparent and equitable monetary policy, yet without jettisoning its operational independence, the CBN took the very bold step of loosening control of foreign exchange rates, allowing access to foreign exchange to take place at market rates determined on the principle of ‘willing seller willing buyer.”

“As a government, we are not under any illusion that these policy moves are silver bullets or that nothing else is required. We understand that these are foundational fiscal and monetary policy moves upon which we must now build the superstructure of true economic growth and prosperity.

“Respected economists and experts have acknowledged these foundational reforms will be difficult and painful for Nigerians in the short-term. At the same time, there is the consensus that they are inevitable, given just how much they have held back robust and lasting economic growth.

“The problems that we are solving are no doubt multifaceted, intertwined, and deep-rooted, requiring creative, strategic, decisive, and multi-pronged solutions. These bold moves being implemented are in full alignment with what is required.”

 

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