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Subsidy removal, currency reforms will revive Nigeria economy – Shettima

Vice President Kashim Shettima has once again implored Nigerians to be patient with the administration of President Bola Ahmed Tinubu as he steers the ship of state through the economic turbulence and storm he encountered on the ground upon assuming office.

“Soon, the Nigerian economy will experience significant growth once we have overcome these sacrifices. Positive changes will soon be evident in all economic indicators: inflation, per capita income, GDP figures, poverty reduction, food security and all aspects close to the hearts of our people,” he declared.
Senator Shettima made the call on Thursday during the Second Chronicle Roundtable organized by 21st Century Media Services, publishers of 21st CENTURY CHRONICLE, as part of its public services information series, at Ladi Kwali Hall, Abuja Continental Hotel, Abuja.

The Vice President who was the guest speaker at the round table in a statement by his spokesperson, Stanley Nwocha, explained some key policy decisions taken by the Tinubu administration as well as its Economic and Social Agenda including the removal of subsidies on petroleum products , which described as “the biggest elephant in the room” before President Tinubu took office.

Shettima called for patience and time to address the serious challenges he said they encountered on the ground, especially the country’s ailing economy, which was already teetering towards an eclipse, saying: “We look forward to the positive impact on the economy that they will bring some of our new initiatives in the oil and gas sector, the creative arts sector, the recently restructured steel and solid minerals sectors, our housing sector, the blue economy and the digital sectors, to name just a few .

“There is no doubt that there is a time to plant and a time to harvest. Between those moments, we call for patience and seek collective sacrifice from everyone, especially ourselves. I wish there was a way to treat this condition without surgery.”

Delivering his speech titled “Because these shortcuts are not the right way”, the vice president noted that although the decision to eliminate fuel subsidy was quite difficult considering its negative impact on the lives of citizens, it became an inevitable choice when It was discovered that the previous administration of former President Muhammadu Buhari did not provide for it in the 2023 budget.

He explained: “His Excellency, President Bola Ahmed Tinubu, chose the option that would save the life of the nation, rather than one that would simply prolong its imminent and predicted economic death. Before we took over, the biggest elephant in the room was the issue of removing fuel subsidies.

“We understood why our predecessor made the decision to eliminate it and refused to budget for it in his last fiscal year. The year before we took office, Nigeria’s debt service to revenue ratio had risen to 111.8 percent. The anticipated debt crisis may seem like fancy economic jargon to the man on the street, but you and I are in a better position to understand how such miscalculations have played out in other countries. It is an economic death sentence.

“In simple terms, our debt service was such that if you earned, say, 100,000 naira, the entire money was not only paid to your debtor; he was forced to borrow an additional 11,800 naira to pay the debtor. How do you intend to survive this and how many more loans before you become a pariah?

“We are not even discussing the nation’s budget deficits, diversions of resources from critical sectors of the economy and planned corruption in the subsidy regime.”

Acknowledging that government is a continuum, the Vice President said whoever “succeeded the previous government would have chosen to steer the ship through the storm like President Tinubu is doing or abandon ship and let the country implode.”

He observed that those contesting the presidency with President Tinubu did not feel morally justified in questioning the decision to remove the fuel subsidy because it was part of the solutions they also presented to Nigerians.

“This was because, whether in handling the issue of subsidies or the exchange crisis, they had also promised the solutions that we had adopted. Those who tried to eat his words were instantly proven wrong thanks to data, history and his background – those emotionless reality checkers,” he noted.

Senator Shettima lamented that Nigeria had long endured economic sabotage, leading to the decision of the Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, Mr. Yemi Cardoso, and the National Security Adviser, Malam Nuhu Ribadu, to “take action on the matter to neutralize the conflict.” overwhelming influence of currency manipulators who had conspired to thwart our reforms.

“Today, I am proud to say that her interventions have translated into the desired results, and Naira’s reaction against all odds is an inspiring journey that does not have to be learned in Buenos Aires, as some would like us to do,” he added. .

Earlier in his opening remarks, the Chairman of the Ministry of Finance Incorporated and former Minister of Finance, Dr. Shamsudeen Usman, commended the content of the Tinubu administration’s Renewed Hope Agenda, describing it as one of the most detailed and thoughtful policy documents elaborated on the history of the country.

He highlighted the need for the Renewed Hope Agenda document to be reviewed and integrated into the country’s medium and long-term development framework, noting that the coherence of policies with a long-term vision to transform critical sectors of the economy , it’s the way to go.

Dr. Usman also commended the administration’s establishment of a central coordination unit to track the performance of key programs, policies and interventions of the Federal Government, insisting that the monitoring of key performance indicators in the policy document was critical to the government’s success.

For his part, the general manager of the 2nd Chronicle newspaper, Malam Mahmud Jega, while welcoming the guests to the event, said that the need to critically analyze government policies and programs was not only an expectation of the media, but of This fact arose from the need to contribute collectively. in shaping the nation’s development trajectory.

Also present at the event were the Minister of Information, Alhaji Mohammed Idris; Special Adviser to the President on Political Affairs, Dr. Hakeem Baba Ahmed; President of 21st Century Chronicle, Amb. Gbara Awanen; notable leaders of the media industry, Dr. Ishaq Moddibo Kawu; Mallam Garba Shehu; Mr. Segun Adeniyi and Malam Mahmud Jega and among others.