President Bola Tinubu, on Sunday, addressed Nigerians in a nationwide broadcast on as the country marked its 63rd Independence Day.
The address was the first since Tinubu became President on May 29, but there have been widespread discontent amongst Nigerians as the economy plummeted with rising inflation, after the removal of fuel subsidy.
During the inauguration, President Tinubu declared that there would no longer be a petroleum subsidy regime as the current 2023 budget he glimpsed did not contain it.
Tinubu also stated that funds for subsidies would be diverted to other things like public infrastructure, education, health care and jobs.
In order to mitigate its effect, the President, in his Independence Day speech, revealed six measures being instituted to redress the situation and ease the pain in Nigerians:
1. N25,000 additional wage for low-grade workers
The President pledged to increase the salaries of low-grade workers for the next six months, with an increase of N25,000.
Tinubu said, “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.”
2. Disbursement of relief funds to states
The President also noted the disbursement of relief funds to states in order to cushion the effects of subsidy removal.
“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,” Tinubu explained.
3. Lowering Transport Costs
President Tinubu also explained the introduction of gas-propelled buses in order to crash transport prices for Nigerians.
Tinubu said, “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.”
4. Opportunities for entrepreneurs
The President also revealed that this measure would provide opportunities for entrepreneurs across the country.
He said, “New CNG conversion 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.”
5. CBN Housecleaning
President Tinubu also pledged to ensure a thorough audit of the Central Bank of Nigeria in order to ensure healthy fiscal policies.
He said, “I pledged a thorough housecleaning of the den of malfeasance the CBN had become. That housecleaning is well underway. A new leadership for the Central Bank has been constituted. Also, my special investigator will soon present his findings on past lapses and how to prevent similar reoccurrences. Henceforth, monetary policy shall be for the benefit of all and not the exclusive province of the powerful and wealthy.”
6. Cash Transfer to vulnerable households
The President also promised to help vulnerable households in the country.
“Commencing this month, the social safety net is being extended through the expansion of cash transfer programs to an additional 15 million vulnerable households,” he said.