Sunday, April 14, 2024

Idris urges Nigerians to unite as Supreme Court validates presidential election result

The Minister of Information and National Orientation, Mohammed Idris, has urged Nigerians to unite and support the Renewed Hope Agenda of President Bola Tinubu as the Supreme Court validates presidential election results.

The minister stated this at a press conference in Abuja on Friday in the aftermath of the ruling by the Supreme Court of Nigeria on the outcome of the 2023 presidential election.

The Minister said that the legal contest and distraction regarding the outcome of the Presidential election is over, and it is time for all Nigerians to come together and move the Nation forward, adding that since the President assumed office on May 29, he has worked tirelessly to actualize the Renewed Hope Agenda by implementing unprecedented reforms that seem tough and painful in the short term but are necessary foundations for the economic growth and prosperity that Nigerians deserve.

Idris said the government is aware of the present challenges caused by the removal of petrol subsidies and the ongoing liberalization of the foreign exchange regime and is taking urgent and deliberate steps to alleviate the pain and cushion the effects on Nigerians.

He noted that the removal of petrol subsidies is freeing up significant resources for federal and state governments to invest in infrastructure and welfare programs for the benefit of citizens.

He said that the ongoing liberalization of the foreign exchange regime is blocking loopholes and gaps that have been exploited in very evil ways over the years, leading to the loss of billions of dollars.

The Minister highlighted over 10 key programmes undertaken by the present administration, which include the provisional wage increment of N35,000 monthly for six months to enhance the federal minimum wage, the establishment of an Infrastructure Support Fund, and the launch of a N100 billion CNG bus rollout programme, payment of cash transfer of N25,000 monthly to the poorest and most vulnerable Nigerians for three months, 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.

Others include the five Executive Orders, aimed at improving Nigeria’s business and fiscal environment and increasing foreign exchange supply, the establishment of a Presidential Fiscal Policy and Tax Reform Committee to reform the tax system and reduce the tax burden and complications on Nigerians, an access-to-credit programme for start-ups and MSMEs: providing N50 billion in Conditional Grants to 1 million Nano-businesses across Nigeria between now and March 2024; and a new single-digit interest-rate Fund to provide N75 billion to support manufacturing enterprises, among others.

The Minister also added that the government had launched the 3MTT programme to develop 3 million technical talents by 2025, in line with the President’s vision for making Nigeria a global hub for digital jobs.

He said the government has also launched the National Talent Export Programme, to create one million service-export jobs over the next five years, and make Nigeria a global business outsourcing hub, while the new student loan program is expected to kick off in January 2024.

The Minister assured that the Federal Government will not abdicate its responsibilities but noted that State and Local Governments have significant roles to play.

He recalled that during a recent Executive Council of the Federation meeting, several financing packages were approved to support States’ delivery of various programmes, including access to education for adolescent girls.

The Minister assured that the government will continue to strive to rebuild the trust of citizens in the ways and workings of the government and boost the credibility of public information and communication.

The Minister was accompanied in the press briefing by some of the newly appointed Directors-General of agencies and parastatals under the ministry.

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