…Announces N25, 000 wage increase for workers
…Says additional 15m households to benefit from cash transfer

By Jerry Daks

Though painful, the current reforms by the Federal Government are necessary for the nation’s future and greatness.

President Bola Tinubu made this assertion on Sunday in a nationwide broadcast to commemorate Nigeria’s 63rd Independence Anniversary.

Tinubu said he wished the current difficulties did not exist but stated that Nigerians must endure them if the nation is to reach the good side of its future.

This was even as the President announced a N25,000 salary rise for workers. The Salary increment implementation is with immediate effect and would last for the next six months, according to the him.

The fuel subsidy removal and foreign exchange policies of the present administration is taking a toll on the living condition of Nigerians, but President Tinubu said that’s the way to go, adding that those seeking to perpetuate fuel subsidy and broken foreign exchange policies are those who would build their family mansion in the middle of a swamp.

The President said: “I am attuned to the hardships that have come. I have a heart that feels and eyes that see. I wish to explain to you why we must endure this trying moment. Those who sought to perpetuate the fuel subsidy and broken foreign exchange policies are people who would build their family mansion in the middle of a swamp. I am different. I am not a man to erect our national home on a foundation of mud. To endure, our home must be constructed on safe and pleasant ground.

“Reform may be painful, but it is what greatness and the future require. We now carry the costs of reaching a future Nigeria where the abundance and fruits of the nation are fairly shared among all, not hoarded by a select and greedy few. A Nigeria where hunger, poverty and hardship are pushed into the shadows of an ever fading past.

“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.”

He then went further to enumerate what his admi ostartiom is doing the assuage the current hardships in the country, including an increase in workers salaries.

“My government is doing all that it can to ease the load. I will now outline the path we are taking to relieve the stress on our families and households.

“We have embarked on several public sector reforms to stabilize the economy, direct fiscal and monetary policy to fight inflation, encourage production, ensure the security of lives and property and lend more support to the poor and the vulnerable.

“Based on our talks with labour, business and other stakeholders, we are introducing a provisional wage increment to enhance the federal minimum wage without causing undue inflation. For the next six months, the average low-grade worker shall receive an additional Twenty-Five Thousand naira per month,” he said.

Additionally, according to the President, government had set up Infrastructure Support Fund as well as given funds to states to enable them provide relief packages to tame the rising food cost, among others.

He said: “To ensure better grassroots development, we set up an Infrastructure Support Fund for states to invest in critical areas. States have already received funds to provide relief packages against the impact of rising food and other prices.

“Making the economy more robust by lowering transport costs will be key. In this regard, we have opened a new chapter in public transportation through the deployment of cheaper, safer Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) buses across the nation. These buses will operate at a fraction of current fuel prices, positively affecting transport fares.

“New CNG conversions kits will start coming in very soon as all hands are on deck to fast track the usually lengthy procurement process. We are also setting up training facilities and workshops across the nation to train and provide new opportunities for transport operators and entrepreneurs. This is a groundbreaking moment where, as a nation, we embrace more efficient means to power our economy. In making this change, we also make history.”

President Tinubu also announced that,
commencing this month, the social safety net has been extended through the expansion of cash transfer programs to an additional 15 million vulnerable households.

On the ongoing housecleaning in the Central Bank of Nigeria, the President said the report of the exercise which is meant to prevent future reoccurrence would soon be out, adding that going forward, monetary policies should be for the benefit of all.

“The journey ahead will not be navigated by fear or hatred. We can only achieve our better Nigeria through courage, compassion and commitment as one indivisible unit,” the President submitted.

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