President Bola Tinubu on Monday evening, in a broadcast to the nation, assured Nigerians that the current economic situation in the country will soon pass away.
President Tinubu in the broadcast explained that the removal of petrol subsidy was a painful decision that had to be made in order to make majority of Nigerians benefits as against a few Nigerians feeding fat and getting powerful with the subsidy regime.
“For several years, I have consistently maintained the position that the fuel subsidy had to go. This once beneficial measure had outlived its usefulness. The subsidy cost us trillions of Naira yearly. Such a vast sum of money would have been better spent on public transportation, healthcare, schools, housing and even national security. Instead, it was being funnelled into the deep pockets and lavish bank accounts of a select group of individuals.
This group had amassed so much wealth and power that they became a serious threat to the fairness of our economy and the integrity of our democratic governance. To be blunt, Nigeria could never become the society it was intended to be as long as such small, powerful yet unelected groups hold enormous influence over our political economy and the institutions that govern it.
The whims of the few should never hold dominant sway over the hopes and aspirations of the many. If we are to be a democracy, the people and not the power of money must be sovereign,” he said.
He made an appeal to the citizens to bear with the temporary pains as he admitted that there was a lag between when subsidy was removed and the relief plans, assuring this will be corrected soon with the planned policies to reboot the economy as the federal government also work closely with the states and local governments to implement interventions that will cushion the pains of our people across socio-economic brackets.
“Fellow Nigerians, this period may be hard on us and there is no doubt about it that it is tough on us. But I urge you all to look beyond the present temporary pains and aim at the larger picture. All of our good and helpful plans are in the works. More importantly, I know that they will work.
“Sadly, there was an unavoidable lag between subsidy removal and these plans coming fully on line. However, we are swiftly closing the time gap. I plead with you to please have faith in our ability to deliver and in our concern for your well-being.
“We will get out of this turbulence. And, due to the measures we have taken, Nigeria will be better equipped and able to take advantage of the future that awaits her,” he said.
Some of the new plans, he outlined include soft loans to the real sector, involving the micro, small, medium and large players as beneficiaries to broaden the economy and financial inclusion as well as initiate policies to make staple food items widely available to the people involving a multi-stakeholder engagement with various farmers’ associations and operators within the agricultural value chain.
“To strengthen the manufacturing sector, increase its capacity to expand and create good paying jobs, we are going to spend N75 billion between July 2023 and March 2024. Our objective is to fund 75 enterprises with great potential to kick-start a sustainable economic growth, accelerate structural transformation and improve productivity. Each of the 75 manufacturing enterprises will be able to access N1billion credit at 9% per annum with maximum of 60 months repayment for long term loans and 12 months for working capital.
“Our administration recognises the importance of micro, small and medium-sized enterprises and the informal sector as drivers of growth. We are going to energise this very important sector with N125 billion.
“Out of the sum, we will spend N50 billion on Conditional Grant to 1 million nano businesses between now and March 2024. Our target is to give N50,000 each to 1,300 nano business owners in each of the 774 local governments across the country,” he said.