FX, Fuel Subsidy Removal Decisions Made To Save Nigeria From Fiscal Catastrophe -Tinubu

President Bola Tinubu has disclosed that some of the difficult decisions taken by the administration in the past seven months, like the unification of the Foreign Exchange Rates and the removal of fuel subsidy were necessary to save the country from fiscal catastrophe.

Tinubu who disclosed this during his New Year Address to the Nation said that these two decisions brought some discomfort to individuals, families, and businesses, but would change for the better with time.

“Everything I have done in office, every decision I have taken, and every trip I have undertaken outside the shores of our land, since I assumed office on 29 May 2023, have been done in the best interest of our country.

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“Over the past seven months of our administration, I have taken some difficult and yet necessary decisions to save our country from fiscal catastrophe.

“One of those decisions was the removal of fuel subsidy which had become an unsustainable financial burden on our country for more than four decades.

“Another was the removal of the chokehold of few people on our foreign exchange system that benefited only the rich and the most powerful among us.

“Without doubt, these two decisions brought some discomfort to individuals, families, and businesses. Take this from me: the time may be rough and tough, however, our spirit must remain unbowed because tough times never last.

“The socio-economic challenges of today should energize and rekindle our love and faith in the promise of Nigeria. Our current circumstances should make us resolve to work better for the good of our beloved nation.

“Our situation should make us resolve that this new year 2024, every one of us will commit to be better citizens”, he said.

President Tinubu said, the administration has been working silently to free captives from abductors, adding that why it could not beat its chest yet to have solved all the security problems, it was working hard to ensure that Nigerians have peace of mind in their homes, places of work and on the roads.

He said, the administration was poised to accelerate the pace of service delivery across sectors having laid the groundwork of economic recovery plans within the last seven months.

Tinubu said, the administration recognises that no meaningful economic transformation could happen without a steady electricity supply, consequently, working to speed up the delivery of the Siemens Energy power project that would ultimately deliver a reliable supply of electricity to homes and businesses under the Presidential Power Initiative which began in 2018.

“Other power installation projects to strengthen the reliability of our transmission lines and optimise the integrity of our National grid are ongoing across the country”, he added.

President Tinubu said, this year (2024), the administration would move a step further in its quest to restart local refining of petroleum products with Port Harcourt Refinery, and the Dangote Refinery which shall fully come on stream.

He said, to ensure constant food supply, security, and affordability, the administration would step up its plan to cultivate 500,000 hectares of farmlands across the country to grow maize, rice, wheat, millet, and other staple crops.

“We launched the dry season farming with 120,000 hectares of land in Jigawa State last November under our National Wheat Development Programme”, he said.

The President said, “In this new year, the administration will race against time to ensure all the fiscal and tax policies reforms we need to put in place are codified and simplified to ensure the business environment does not destroy value”.

Tinubu who said, Nigeria was ready and open for business, expressed his readiness to fight every obstacle that impedes business competitiveness in Nigeria and remove any clog hindering the path to making Nigeria a destination of choice for local and foreign investments.

He said, during the 2024 Budget presentation, he listed the administration’s 8 priority areas to include national defence and internal security, job creation, macro-economic stability, investment environment optimization, human capital development, poverty reduction, and social security, assuring that the administration would work diligently to make sure every Nigerian feels the impact of their government.

“The economic aspirations and the material well-being of the poor, the most vulnerable and the working people shall not be neglected.

“It is in this spirit that we are going to implement a new national living wage for our industrious workers this new year. It is not only good economics to do this, it is also a morally and politically correct thing to do”, he added.

The President who disclosed that the task of building a better nation that cares for all its citizens was the reason he ran to become the President, warned that no excuse for poor performance from any of his appointees would be good enough.

“It is the reason I put in place a Policy Coordination, Evaluation, Monitoring, and Delivery Unit in the Presidency to make sure that governance output improves the living conditions of our people.

“We have set the parameters for evaluation. Within the first quarter of this new year, Ministers and Heads of Agencies with a future in this administration that I lead will continue to show themselves”, he said.



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