• Thursday, July 18, 2024
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BusinessDay

Democracy Day: Reforms, painful but neccessary to fix the economy – Tinubu

Bola Ahmed Tinubu

President Bola Tinubu, on Wednesday, further expressed optimism that the reforms made by his government are needed to revamp the economy from running aground.

Tinubu made these assurances known in a national broadcast commemorating Nigeria’s 25 years of unbroken civilian rule.

He noted that Nigeria’s economy has been hurt over the years due to its heavy reliance on oil revenues which itself has been overtly exploited.

“I understand the economic difficulties we face as a nation.

“Our economy has been in desperate need of reform for decades. It has been unbalanced because it was built on the flawed foundation of over-reliance on revenues from the exploitation of oil,” Tinubu said.

President Tinubu immediately swang into action upon assumption of office and removed the costly yet popular fuel subsidy which has gulped substantial amounts from the coffers of the government.

This singular market policy shot up prices of transportation fares to at least 77 percent while essential commodities became too expensive to procure.

Soon after, he devalued the currency twice in just one year, floating the naira against all other world currencies. This resulted in Nigeria’s local currency, naira, crashing from about N460 to N1,500 per USD.

The federal government also removed subsidy on electricity amounting to at least 300 percent, especially for customers in Band A, escalating their economic woes.

One year after, inflation has reached a record high of 33.69 percent in April while food inflation has equally skyrocketed to a 28-year high, fuelling hunger among the citizens.

In response to this spiraling economic downturn, the organised labour demanded a new minimum wage as a way to cushion its effects on workers.

It protested, demonstrated and consequently sought the last option of industrial action which saw businesses count their losses while the country’s national grid was shut down.

The 24-hours-long strike was called off and the government set up a negotiation team to come up with a reasonable wage review which is yet to be announced by the president.

He said: “We have negotiated in good faith and with open arms with organized labour on a new national minimum wage. We shall soon send an executive bill to the National Assembly to enshrine what has been agreed upon as part of our law for the next five years or less”.

The president acknowledged that the reforms have in no doubt brought untold hardship to Nigerians, assuring that it was necessary in order for everyone to enjoy shared economic prosperity.

“As we continue to reform the economy, I shall always listen to the people and will never turn my back on you,” he assured.