·Insists things would’ve been worse if subsidy didn’t go
The Federal Government said yesterday President Bola Tinubu needed more time to fix the problems of Nigeria, noting seven months were barely enough for him to do it.
The Minister of Information and National Orientation, Mohammed Idris Malagi, who stated this in an interview on Channels Television breakfast programme, Sunrise Daily, yesterday, also said things would have been worse in the country had the government not removed fuel subsidy.
He said: “I want you to remember that the President is seven months old in office. I am not going to make excuses that seven months is just a short time.
“But for a long-term plan, you need a lot more time to put structures in place. But, of course, as you trudge along, there will be shocks, turbulence, and occasional dislocations that you would find. But the vision of the president is very clear: he wants to take Nigeria to the desired prosperity.
“He works day and night to achieve that. Every day, all the ministers and everyone else are working in that direction, but the results are not seen yet. We ask Nigerians to be a little more patient.
“I know it’s difficult, especially when people are finding it hard to purchase food items as a result of these policies, but the government is doing a lot to address them.”
The minister said the Nigerian vision was to have a nation that was safe, secure, equitable, and emphasised merit.
He, however, argued that it was going to be a tedious journey for Nigeria, adding that only the building blocks can be laid in seven months for the country to get to the desired level.
Things would have been worse if subsidy didn’t go – FG
The minister also defended the removal of fuel subsidy by the government, despite the soaring cost of living and inflation which have trailed the removal, saying things could have been worse if it wasn’t removed.
Fuel subsidy removal saw the price of petrol move from N190 to over N600 per litre, with the cost of living increasing afterwards.
But the minister said: “You’re premising your argument on the fact that this problem just started yesterday. The foundation of our economy had taken a beating a long time ago.
“The substructure of our national economy has been one that cannot hold a meaningful substructure on it.
“So, it is important that Nigerians recognise that the President and his team would have to go back to reset that and that is why from day one, he said, ‘look, subsidy issue has to go’.
“He had to expect that there would be this pain, of course. He anticipated that Nigerians would encounter some difficulties but it would be worse if that subsidy did not go.
“It would have been difficult to carry out any meaningful development. We needed to free up resources.”
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Publish date : 2024-02-02 18:53:42