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BudgIT urges transparent execution of Tinubu’s economic plans

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Civic-tech organization BudgIT has called for the immediate unveiling of a comprehensive transparency and accountability strategy to ensure the fulfillment of President Bola Ahmed Tinubu’s economic plans and commitments.

The call was sequel to President Tinubu’s national address last month addressing the nation’s ongoing economic turmoil.

President Tinubu announced a series of measures aimed at alleviating the economic challenges facing the country during his July 31st address. Notably, a budget of N75 billion has been earmarked for the period from July 2023 to March 2024, with the intent to support 75 promising manufacturing enterprises through N1 billion credit at 9 percent interest for up to 60 months for long-term loans and 12 months for working capital.

Furthermore, initiatives to stabilize staple food prices through the distribution of 200,000 metric tonnes of grains and 225,000 metric tonnes of fertilizer and inputs to farmers were detailed.

A substantial investment of N125 billion in Micro, Small, and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) was also outlined, with N50 billion designated as a Conditional Grant to support 1 million nano businesses, and N75 billion allocated for 100,000 MSMEs and start-ups.

The plan also involves introducing affordable Compressed Natural Gas (CNG)-fueled buses via a N100 billion investment, along with efforts to establish a new national minimum wage in consultation with labor unions.

The promises reflect a concerted effort to navigate the challenges brought about by the removal of fuel subsidies, which led to a staggering 335 percent increase in fuel prices within a span of two months – from N184/ltr to N617/ltr.

This surge has imposed severe hardships on citizens, driving up the cost of living and straining the already fragile economy. While President Tinubu’s initiatives offer hope in this dire context, their successful execution hinges on transparent planning and accountability mechanisms.

BudgIT acknowledges the complexities of the economic landscape and the urgency for effective measures. In line with their mission, the organization emphasizes the necessity for a united approach and a clear roadmap to fulfill President Tinubu’s commitments.

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BudgIT expresses readiness to collaborate with the government, civil society, and stakeholders to tackle economic challenges and foster a brighter future for Nigeria.

In pursuit of this goal, BudgIT has requested a comprehensive register and accountability plan for the equitable distribution of 200,000 metric tonnes of grains, 225,000 metric tonnes of fertilizer, and seedlings.

The organization insists on transparent criteria to qualify beneficiaries, aiming to prevent political favoritism in resource allocation.

The organization also highlights the need for clarity regarding the disbursement of N8000 per household for six months to the poorest Nigerians, which was temporarily halted due to issues with the National Social Register.

The government’s choice between using the existing Social Register or generating a new list holds significance in streamlining financial aid to those in need.

Negotiations between the government and labor unions over a new national minimum wage are viewed as an opportunity to enhance the livelihoods of workers.

BudgIT underlines the importance of transparent communication regarding the timeline and percentage increase, easing tensions between labor unions and their members.

The criteria determining the eligibility of the 100,000 MSMEs, start-ups, and enterprises set to receive N75 billion support are called into question. BudgIT stresses the need for transparency in these qualifications, aiming to drive sustainable economic growth and productivity.

As Nigeria grapples with challenges, BudgIT’s call for transparency and accountability in President Tinubu’s commitments emerges as vital to rebuild trust, ensure fair resource distribution, and steer the nation toward economic stability.

The organization maintains its commitment to collaborative efforts with the government and stakeholders for a better future.

(Edited by Oludare Mayowa; omayowa@globalfinancialdigest.com; Newsroom: +234 8033 964 138)

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