President Bola Tinubu delivered an Independence Day address, commemorating Nigeria’s 63rd year of nationhood. In his speech, he touched on crucial issues and outlined key priorities for the country’s future.
He reiterated promises made at his inauguration, including plans to reshape and modernise the economy and ensure the security and welfare of the people.
Notably, a provisional wage increment of N25,000 ($32 in the I&E window or $25 in the parallel market) for low-grade workers was announced, aiming to enhance the federal minimum wage without causing undue inflation for the next six months.
Bold Economic Reforms: To place Nigeria on a path of prosperity and growth, President Tinubu defended the need for bold reforms, including ending the fuel subsidy.
Shared Costs for a Shared Future: While acknowledging the difficulties associated with these reforms, the President stressed their necessity for achieving a future where Nigeria’s wealth is equitably shared among all citizens.
Relief Measures: President Tinubu outlined government efforts to ease the burden on families and households, including public sector reforms, fiscal and monetary policies to fight inflation, and support for the poor and vulnerable.
Infrastructure Support Fund: To aid states in investing in critical areas and providing relief against rising food prices, an Infrastructure Support Fund has been established.
Transportation Revolution: The President unveiled plans for a transportation revolution involving the deployment of safer and more cost-effective compressed natural gas (CNG) buses to lower transport costs and positively impact fares.
CNG Conversions and Training: Efforts to expedite CNG conversion kits and establish training facilities for transport operators and entrepreneurs are already in motion.
Central Bank Reforms: Reforms within the Central Bank are set to ensure that monetary policy benefits all citizens rather than serving the interests of the powerful and wealthy.
Tax Reforms: A Committee on Tax Reforms has been inaugurated to enhance tax administration efficiency and address fiscal policies that hinder the business environment.
Support for Enterprises: Investment funding will be allocated to promising enterprises, alongside increased investment in micro, small, and medium-sized businesses.
Expanded Social Safety Net: President Tinubu announced the expansion of cash transfer programmes to an additional 15 million vulnerable households, starting this month.
Security, appointments, Peace and Unity
Enhanced Security: Ensuring the safety of people remains a top priority, with enhanced inter-service collaboration, intelligence sharing, and capacity building for security services.
Inclusive Appointments: The President underscored the commitment to inclusive appointments, adhering to constitutional provisions, and considering women, youth, and the physically challenged.
Contribution to democracy
In the speech, President Tinubu expressed gratitude and congratulations to the National Assembly, judiciary, civil society organisations, and labour unions for their contributions to Nigerian democracy.
Acknowledging the challenges of building a diverse nation, President Tinubu dismissed doubts about Nigeria’s existence, firmly stating that the nation stands strong and united.
Highlighting Nigeria’s dedication to democracy and the rule of law, the president emphasised the nation’s track record of electing consecutive civilian governments.
Writing by Saadatu Albashir; Editing by Julian Osamoto