Subsidy Can No Longer Justify Its Ever-Increasing Cost -Tinubu Insists


News Investigators/ President Bola Tinubu has applauded the decision of his predecessor, Muhammadu Buhari, to remove petroleum subsidy from the 2023 budget, saying the policy can no longer justify its ever-increasing costs in the wake of drying resources.

Instead, Mr Tinubu reiterated its government commitment re-channeling the funds into better investment in public infrastructure, education, health care and jobs that will materially improve the lives of millions.

The president made this known in his inaugural address to the nation after his swearing in as the 16th Nigerian President and Commander of the Armed Forces at the Eagle Square, Abuja on Monday.

“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,” he said.

On the economy, Mr. Tinubu said his administration would target a higher GDP growth and to significantly reduce unemployment.

While stating however that details of his administration policy agenda would be unfolded later on, the President said the government intended to accomplish this by taking the following steps: “First, budgetary reform stimulating the economy without engendering inflation will be instituted.

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

“Security shall be the top priority of our administration because neither prosperity nor justice can prevail amidst insecurity and violence.

“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.”

On foreign investment, he said: “I have a message for our investors, 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.

“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.

On Agriculture: “Agricultural hubs will be created 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 the monetary policy, Mr. Tinubu there was a need for “thorough housecleaning.

“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.

“Interest rates 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.

Making reference to its foreign policy direction, he said “the crisis in Sudan and the turn from democracy by several nations in our immediate neighbourhood are of pressing concern. “As such, my primary foreign policy objective must be the peace and stability of the West African subregion and the African continent. We shall work with ECOWAS, the AU and willing partners in the international community to end extant conflicts and to resolve new ones,” he a


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