Following misgivings from Nigerians concerning the removal of subsidy by the Federal Government, President Bola Tinubu has announced a N25,000 salary increment for low grade workers.
Tinubu made the pledge in his Independence Day Broadcast to the nation where he noted that the salary increase will last for a period of six months.
Commenting on the crisis facing Nigerians and the proposed indefinite strike by members of the organised Labour, Tinubu said he was attuned to the hardships that have come.
He said he had a heart that feels and eyes that see.
“I wish to explain to you why we must endure this trying moment.
“Those who sought to perpetuate the fuel subsidy and broken foreign exchange policies are people who would build their family mansion in the middle of a swamp.
“I am different. I am not a man to erect our national home on a foundation of mud. To endure, our home must be constructed on safe and pleasant ground,” he said.
The president went further to state that reform may be painful, but it is what greatness and the future require.
“We now carry the costs of reaching a future Nigeria where the abundance and fruits of the nation are fairly shared among all, not hoarded by a select and greedy few.
“A Nigeria where hunger, poverty and hardship are pushed into the shadows of an ever fading past,” he added.
According to Tinubu, there is no joy in seeing the people of this nation shoulder burdens that should have been shed years ago.
He said: “I wish today’s difficulties did not exist. But we must endure if we are to reach the good side of our future.
“My government is doing all that it can to ease the load. I will now outline the path we are taking to relieve the stress on our families and households.
“We have embarked on several public sector reforms to stabilize the economy, direct fiscal and monetary policy to fight inflation, encourage production, ensure the security of lives and property and lend more support to the poor and the vulnerable.
“Based on our talks with labour, business and other stakeholders, we are introducing a provisional wage increment to enhance the federal minimum wage without causing undue inflation.
“For the next six months, the average low-grade worker shall receive an additional Twenty-Five Thousand naira per month.
“To ensure better grassroots development, we set up an Infrastructure Support Fund for states to invest in critical areas.
“States have already received funds to provide relief packages against the impact of rising food and other prices.
“Making the economy more robust by lowering transport costs will be key.
“In this regard, we have opened a new chapter in public transportation through the deployment of cheaper, safer Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) buses across the nation.
“These buses will operate at a fraction of current fuel prices, positively affecting transport fares.
“New CNG conversions kits will start coming in very soon as all hands are on deck to fast track the usually lengthy procurement process.
“We are also setting up training facilities and workshops across the nation to train and provide new opportunities for transport operators and entrepreneurs.
“This is a groundbreaking moment where, as a nation, we embrace more efficient means to power our economy. In making this change, we also make history.”
On Saturday, the president had assured Nigerians of his administration’s commitment to eliminate poverty, terrorism and all other forms of criminality in Nigeria.
He said the Federal Government was currently implementing programmes and policies that would empower Nigerians to combat the challenges of poverty, criminality, and terrorism.
President Tinubu, who was represented by Vice President Kashim Shettima, gave the hint during the passing-out parade of Cadets of the 70 Regular Course, Direct Short Service Course 27 (Army) and Direct Short Service Course 31 (Air Force) of the Nigerian Defence Academy (NDA), Kaduna.
As part of moves to deal decisively with the criminal elements, Tinubu noted that his government had embarked on a new era in the country’s national defence and security strategy.
This, he said, would be driven by a resolute commitment to confront the substantial threats and challenges that confront all within the West African sub-region.
“I have directed all heads of defence and security institutions to unite in their efforts to protect our nation’s integrity and well-being, and as Chairman of the ECOWAS, we are diligently working to enhance our regional conflict management and development mechanisms.
“To forge a path towards greater peace, stability, and progress across West Africa and beyond is not negotiable,” he added.