The Federal Government has called on Nigerians to support President Bola Tinubu’s reforms after the Supreme Court affirmed his re-election in the 2023 presidential election.
The government said the reforms were aimed at transforming Nigeria into a prosperous and inclusive nation.
The Minister of Information and National Orientation, Mohammed Idris, who made the call at a press conference in Abuja on Friday, said the government was aware of the difficulties Nigerians were facing as a result of the reforms. He said the government was doing everything possible to ease the burden on Nigerians and cushion the impact of the reforms.
He highlighted some of the measures taken by the government to mitigate the effects of the reforms, such as signing executive orders to improve Nigeria’s business and fiscal environment, reforming the tax system, removing petrol subsidies, liberalising the foreign exchange regime, and providing social interventions to vulnerable households and businesses.
He also disclosed that the government was finalising arrangements for a national discourse that would foster national cohesion and dialogue among Nigerians.
He said President Tinubu had made it clear that he would be a president for all Nigerians, irrespective of their regional, ethnic, partisan, or religious affiliations.
Again, he said a presidential directive for 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 had been issued.
“An access-to-credit programme for startups and MSMEs, that will be launched soon: 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.
“We have launched the 3MTT programme that aims to develop 3 million technical talents by 2025, in line with the President’s vision for making Nigeria a global hub for digital jobs.
“By January 2024, we will be rolling out the new Federal student loan programme that was announced a few months ago. Some of these programs are being delivered or going to be delivered in close partnership with the State Governments.”
Against this backdrop, he appealed to Nigerians to exercise patience and optimism that Nigeria will emerge from this chapter stronger and more prosperous while urging them to put their differences aside and believe the best about the country.
On National cohesion, Idris said a new national discussion is being put together by the Tinubu’s administration and would be driven by the National Orientation Agency, NOA.
He 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.
On the social media regulation agenda, he described social media as a global phenomenon that is not peculiar to Nigeria but assured that Nigeria would be part of the ongoing global efforts to roll out a roadmap for social media operation. He, however, reminded the practitioners that the freedom of the press comes with a huge responsibility.