As a result of the elimination of gasoline subsidies, President Bola Tinubu has informed public personnel that a new national minimum wage is on the way.
Read the speech below;
Beloved citizens, I want to discuss our economics with you. It is crucial that you understand the reasons for the policy decisions I made in order to address the significant economic difficulties our country has long faced.
- I won’t use technical language or linger on complex economic principles. I’ll use straightforward language so you understand where I stand. More importantly, so you may understand my perspective on the path to a better, more prosperous economy for our great nation, and perhaps you will share it.
- I have constantly held the opinion that the gasoline subsidy needs to end for a number of years. This once-helpful metric has lost its use. Each year, the subsidies cost us billions of Naira. Such a significant number of money may have been better used for housing, healthcare, education, public transit, and even national security. Instead, money was going into the luxurious bank accounts and deep pockets of a small number of people.
- This group had accumulated so much money and influence that they posed a severe risk to the integrity of our democratic system of government and the fairness of our economy. To put it bluntly, as long as such tiny, strong, and unelected organisations continue to have significant influence over our political economy and the institutions that regulate it, Nigeria will never be the society that it was meant to be.
- The whims of a select few should never dominate the ambitions of the majority. The people must be in charge if we are to be a democracy, not the power of money.
- The previous government was also aware of this impending threat. In fact, it did not include any funding for subsidies beyond June of current year in the 2023 Appropriations. It was unavoidable to do rid of this once-useful equipment since it had turned into a burden on the nation.
- In addition, the created multiple exchange rate system devolved into little more than a highway for currency speculation. Money that should have been utilised to construct industries, companies, and employment for millions of people was instead misdirected. A select group of individuals received favourable treatment when it came to our nation’s riches, and they became very wealthy by merely passing money from one hand to another. This was also really unjust.
- It increased the risk to the long-term health of our democratic system and its economy that the illegal and widespread accumulation of money presented.
- I had pledged to address the significant imbalances that had harmed our economy in order to improve it for the long term. The key to winning this battle was abolishing the subsidy and the favourable exchange rate scheme. This conflict will determine the course and destiny of our country. There is a lot at stake.
- As a result, a small few—you could call them the elite of the elite—saw enormous financial gain from the flaws in our system. The individuals who profit from the defects in the system will inevitably fight back by whatever means necessary as we work to combat them.
- You are suffering as a result of the difficult time our economy is going through. The price of petrol has increased. Prices for food and other goods have followed. Families and companies face difficulties. Things seem tense and unreliable. I am aware of the struggles you go through. I wish there were other options. However, there isn’t. If there was, I would have taken it since I came here to support rather than harm the people and country I love.
- I can help to lessen the load that our present economic crisis has placed on all of us, particularly on companies, the working class, and the most vulnerable.
- The federal government is already collaborating closely with state and municipal authorities to put initiatives into place that will ease the suffering of all of our citizens, regardless of socioeconomic status.
- In line with my election commitment to reform unfavourable fiscal policies and many levies that are impeding the economic climate, earlier this month I issued four (4) Executive Orders. These Executive Orders on the suspension and postponed introduction of various taxes will provide enterprises in the manufacturing sector the buffers and headroom they need to survive and grow.
- Between July 2023 and March 2024, we plan to invest N75 billion to develop the manufacturing sector, boost its potential for growth, and generate high-paying employment. Our goal is to provide funding for 75 businesses that have the ability to develop their economies sustainably, accelerate structural change, and increase productivity. Each of the 75 manufacturing companies would have access to N1 billion in credit at 9% interest, with working capital loans having a maximum amortisation of 12 months and long-term loans up to 60.
- Our government understands the value of informal businesses, small and medium-sized businesses, and other growth-promoting factors. We are investing N125 billion to revitalise this crucial industry.
- Between now and March 2024, we will provide N50 billion as a conditional grant to one million nano companies. The 1,300 owners of nano businesses in each of the 774 local governments throughout the nation are to get N50,000 apiece as part of our goal.
- By integrating the program’s participants into the established banking system, this project will ultimately promote financial inclusion even further. Similarly, we would invest N75 billion in 100,000 MSMEs and start-ups. Each company promoter will be eligible to receive between N500,000 and N1,000,000 under this programme, with a 36-month payback term and 9% annual interest.
- We have engaged with a variety of farmers’ groups and players in the agricultural value chain to further guarantee that food costs stay reasonable.
- We will make sure that basic foods are accessible and reasonably priced in the short and near future. In order to control prices, I’ve authorised the release of 200,000 metric tonnes of cereals from strategic stockpiles to families in the 36 states and FCT. We are also giving farmers who support our food security agenda access to 225,000 metric tonnes of fertiliser, seedlings, and other inputs.
- We are continuing with our strategy to assist the year-round cultivation of 500,000 hectares of agriculture. Out of the N500 billion agreed by the National Assembly, N200 billion would be distributed specifically as follows:
-To grow 150,000 hectares of rice and maize, our government would spend N50 billion in each.
-Additionally, N50 billion would be set aside for the cultivation of 100,000 hectares of cassava and wheat.
- This extensive agricultural strategy will be conducted with a focus on small-holder farmers and by using powerful private sector agribusiness operators on a broad scale.
- In order to create a workable and suitable transaction framework for all stakeholders, the knowledge of commercial banks, microfinance banks, and development finance institutions will be drawn into.
24. Friend Nigerians, I swore solemnly that I would work for you. It is the single thing that keeps me up at night and is of utmost significance to me how to better your wellbeing and living conditions.
- In light of this, I authorised the States’ Infrastructure Support Fund. With the help of this new Infrastructure Fund, States will be able to invest in pressing needs, alleviate many of their pain spots, and upgrade our ageing hospital and educational infrastructure.
- To make it easier to transport agricultural products to markets, the money will also help repair rural access roads. With the help of the fund, our states will become more financially stable and competitive, bringing economic prosperity to Nigerians.
- One aspect of our project is to provide buses to municipal and state governments for mass transportation at a much lower cost. Up to March 2024, we have budgeted N100 billion for the purchase of 3000 20-seater CNG-fueled buses.
- Using the amount of travel per capital, these buses will be distributed among the country’s main transportation providers. Under this facility, participating transport businesses will have access to loans with a 60-month payback duration at a rate of 9% annually.
- Along the same lines, we are collaborating with the labour unions to establish a new national minimum wage for employees. I want to let our employees know that their pay will soon be reviewed.
- We will include funding in the budget for the new minimum wage and general upward review as soon as we come to an agreement on them.
- I’d want to use this occasion to commend the numerous private businesses in the Organised Private Sector that have already started offering workers general pay reviews.
- My fellow Nigerians, this time may be difficult for us, and there is no denying that it is difficult for us. But I kindly ask everyone to focus on the bigger picture and look beyond the short-term difficulties right now. We’re working on all of our helpful and positive initiatives. Furthermore, I’m certain that they will succeed.
- Regrettably, there was a delay between the elimination of subsidies and the completion of these programmes. However, the time difference is being quickly closed. Please, I beg you, put your trust in our capacity to deliver and in our care for your well.
We’ll survive this turbulence, number 34. Nigeria will also be better prepared and able to benefit from the future that lies ahead as a result of the actions we have done.
- In little over two months, we have prevented the wasteful gasoline subsidy, which mainly benefited fraudsters and smugglers, from costing over a trillion Naira. Now, you and your family will benefit more immediately and directly from the usage of that money.
For instance, we’ll keep our pledge to make education more accessible to everyone and to provide loans to those pursuing higher education who may need them. No student in Nigeria will be forced to drop out of school due to financial constraints.
- We are dedicated to advancing the greatest benefit for as many of our people as possible. On this foundation, we won’t ever err.
- We are also keeping an eye on how inflation and currency rates affect the cost of petrol. We will step in if and when it is required.
- Rest assured, my fellow citizens; we are emerging from the night into a lovely new day.
- I must now return to my employment in order to carry out this vision.
- I want to thank you everyone for your time and pray for the government of Nigeria.