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  • Monday, June 24, 2024
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BusinessDay

Fuel subsidy is gone, says Tinubu

President Bola Ahmed Tinubu has said that the fuel subsidy is gone.

He made this statement in his speech few minutes after his swearing-in ceremony, in a radio broadcast monitored by BusinessDay.

He also said his administration will bring down the interest rate.

“On fuel subsidy, unfortunately, the budget that is left before I assume office and what have I, is that no provision is there for fuel subsidy. The Fuel subsidy is gone,” Tinubu said.

“We shall instead re-channel the funds into better investment in public infrastructure, education, health care and jobs that will materially improve the lives of millions.”

“We commend the decision of the outgoing administration in phasing out the petrol subsidy regime which has increasingly favoured the rich more than the poor.”

Tinubu also noted that Monetary policy needs thorough housecleaning, adding, “The Central Bank must work towards a unified exchange rate. This will direct funds away from arbitrage into meaningful investment in the plant, equipment and jobs that power the real economy,” he said.

He described interest rates as too high, and therefore, “need to be reduced to increase investment and consumer purchasing in ways that sustain the economy at a higher level.

“Whatever merits it had in concept, the currency swap was too harshly applied by the CBN given the number of unbanked Nigerians. The policy shall be reviewed. In the meantime, my administration will treat both currencies as legal tender.”

On the economy, he assured that his administration would target a higher Gross Domestic Product (GDP) growth rate, as well as significantly reduce unemployment.

“We intend to accomplish this by taking the following steps: First, budgetary reform stimulating the economy without engendering inflation will be instituted.

“Second, industrial policy will utilise the full range of fiscal measures to promote domestic manufacturing and lessen import dependency.

“Third, electricity will become more accessible and affordable to businesses and homes alike. Power generation should nearly double and transmission and distribution networks improved. We will encourage states to develop local sources as well.”

Speaking on investment policies, Tinubu said he would work to attract more investors, both local and foreign.

“Our government shall review all their complaints about multiple taxation and various anti-investment inhibitions.

“We shall ensure that investors and foreign businesses repatriate their hard earned dividends and profits home.”

On job creation, he assured that his administration would create meaningful opportunities for the youth. “We shall honour our campaign commitment of one million new jobs in the digital economy.

“Our government also shall work with the National Assembly to fashion an omnibus Jobs and Prosperity bill. This bill will give our administration the policy space to embark on labour-intensive infrastructural improvements, encourage light industry and provide improved social services for the poor, elderly and vulnerable.”

He also unveiled his agricultural policy, adding that the Rural incomes shall be secured by commodity exchange boards guaranteeing minimal prices for certain crops and animal products.

“A nationwide programme for storage and other facilities to reduce spoilage and waste will be undertaken,” he said.

He further said that his administration would create agricultural hubs throughout the nation to increase production and engage in value-added processing.
“The livestock sector will be introduced to best modern practices and steps taken to minimize the perennial conflict over land and water resources in this sector.

“Through these actions, food shall be made more abundant yet less costly. Farmers shall earn more while the average Nigerian pays less.”

On infrastructures, he said his administration would continue the efforts of the Buhari administration on infrastructure. Progress toward national networks of roads, rail and ports shall get priority attention”

Read also: Fuel subsidy, multiple FX rates our top tasks says Shettima, vice president-elect

President Bola Tinubu on Monday, took his oath of office as the 16th President of Nigeria, amidst tight security around the Eagle Square, venue of the swearing-in ceremony.

Bola Tinubu took his oath of office at exactly 10:36am, while his deputy, Kashim Shettima, took his own oath at 10:30am

Early arrivals were thoroughly screened by heavily armed security men deployed around Abuja with multiple road blocks

There was also tight security around flash points with multiple checks by security operatives, drawn from various arms, including the armed forces, police, men of the Department of State Service (DSS).

The same formation was placed around all entry points into the Central Business District (CBD), consisting of the major government buildings, including the Federal Secretariat, the National Assembly Complex and the access into the Presidential Villa. The Eagle Square is at the centre of the CBD.

As at 7:45am, entries into the vicinities of the event have become virtually inaccessible as stern looking security operatives will not admit any person, notwithstanding social status, who does not come with the official invitation to the ceremony.

As at 9am, when this report was filed, telecommunication networks around the venue had been shut down.

The event was attended by notable personalities including former President Goodluck Jonathan and his wife Patience had arrived, followed by the Service Chiefs, and later Chief of Defense Staff, Leo Irabor.

The Chief Justice of Nigeria Olukayode Ariwoola performed the swearing in and administered the oaths on the President and his Vice President

The event was also graced by former Head of State, Yakubu Gowon, Senate President, Ahmad Lawan and Speaker of House of Representatives, Femi Gbajabiamila

The President of Rwanda, Paul Kigame, that of Cameroon Paul Biya, President of Ethiopia, Sahle Zewde, Liberian President, George Weah were amongst the foreign leaders that attended the event

Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, National Chairman of the All Progressive Congress ( APC) Abdullahi Adamu and the outgoing First Lady, Aisha Buhari, also witnessed the event.

The event proper kicked off with the arrival of the outgone President Muhammadu Buhari,

Opening prayers were performed by the Chief Imam of the National Mosque Abuja, Mohammed Kabir who said the Muslim prayers and Stephen Adegbite, who will take the Christian prayers.

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