The Federal Government has said that the President Bola Tinubu-led government is ready to move the nation forward without distraction.
This is following the Supreme Court judgement that ended in favour of the All Progressives Congress (APC) presidential candidate in the February 25, 2023 presidential election.
The Minister of Information and National Orientation, Mohammed Idris, said this at a press conference in Abuja on Friday.
The minister noted that since his assumption of office, Tinubu has been working tirelessly to actualize the Renewed Hope Agenda that formed the basis of his coming into office.
“He has implemented unprecedented reforms that, while tough and painful in the short term, are necessary foundations for the economic growth and prosperity that the people of Nigeria deserve.
“The removal of petrol subsidies, which, as you all know, were already envisaged by the Petroleum Industry Act of 2021, is freeing up significant resources for federal and state governments to invest in infrastructure and welfare programmes for the benefit of citizens.
Similarly, the ongoing liberalisation of the foreign exchange regime is designed to close loopholes and gaps that have been exploited in very unscrupulous ways over the years, leading to the loss of billions of dollars in our scarce, hard-earned resources.
“No serious government seeks to inflict burdens on its people. We are very clear in explaining that these pains being felt are a short-term sacrifice to make for the kind of country that we want and that we deserve.
“There is no joy in seeing the people of this nation shoulder burdens that should have been shed years ago. I wish today’s difficulties did not exist. But we must endure if we are to reach the good side of our future.
Indeed, the Tinubu Administration is taking all the necessary steps to alleviate these pains, and cushion the impact of the foundational reforms we are embarking on.
The minister went on to outline some of the efforts made by the president so far, in the short and medium-term.
These include the provisional wage increment of N35,000 monthly for six months to enhance the federal minimum wage, without causing undue inflation.
Establishment of an Infrastructure Support Fund for States to invest in critical areas that will create an enabling environment for businesses
“Launch of a 100 billion naira CNG bus rollout programme, to deliver CNG-powered buses, and establishment of a Presidential Committee to drive implementation.
Since assuming office, the president has signed no fewer than five executive orders aimed at improving Nigeria’s business and fiscal environment and increasing foreign exchange supply.
“Establishment of a Presidential Fiscal Policy and Tax Reform Committee to reform the tax system while also reducing the tax burden on Nigerians.
“We are finalising the process for payment of a cash transfer of N25,000 monthly to 15 million of the poorest and most vulnerable households in Nigeria, for three months.
“A presidential directive for the release of 200,000 metric tonnes of grains from strategic reserves to households across the 36 states and FCT to moderate prices, and 225,000 metric tonnes of fertilizer, seedlings and other inputs to farmers.
Still in line with the jobs agenda, we have recently launched the National Talent Export Programme (NATEP), to create one million service-export jobs over the next five years, and make Nigeria a global business outsourcing hub; and have also launched the Nigeria Artificial Intelligence Research Scheme, to provide funding for Nigerian startups and researchers working in the area of artificial intelligence.
“By January 2024, we will be rolling out the new federal student loan programme that was announced a few months ago.
“Some of these programmes are being delivered or going to be delivered in close partnership with the state governments. For example, the distribution of grains and food items, cash transfers, and the deployment of CNG buses.
“Just this week, at the Federal Executive Council (FEC) on Monday, council approved a number of financing packages that will see several states receiving significant support to deliver on various programmes, including access to education for adolescent girls.
“Work is currently at an advanced stage on the 2024 Federal Budget.
Last week, we approved the Medium-Term Expenditure Framework (MTEF) and the Fiscal Sustainability Paper (FSP) that underpin the budget. Nigerians should.”