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President Tinubu promises rapid investment in social infrastructure, using savings from subsidy removal

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President Bola Ahmed Tinubu said on Monday said Nigerians should expect better services that would improve their quality of life, with the removal of fuel subsidies and the accruing revenue.

Nigerians should also expect massive investment in transportation infrastructure, education, regular power supply, healthcare, and other public utilities.

President Tinubu made this pledge during a national broadcast to mark Democracy Day on Monday in Abuja.

He said that the government would not take the sacrifice of Nigerians for granted, adding that the removal of fuel subsidies was a necessary process for a better country long strangled from unnecessary expenditures.

“It is for this reason that, in my inauguration address on May 29, I gave effect to the decision taken by my predecessor-in-office to remove the fuel subsidy albatross and free up for collective use of the much-needed resources, which had hitherto been pocketed by a few rich.

“I admit that the decision will impose an extra burden on the masses of our people. I feel your pain.

“This is one decision we must bear to save our country from going under and take our resources away from the stranglehold of a few unpatriotic elements.

“Painfully, I have asked you, my compatriots, to sacrifice a little more for the survival of our country. For your trust and belief in us, I assure you that your sacrifice will not be in vain.

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“The government I lead will repay you through massive investment in transportation infrastructure, education, regular power supply, healthcare, and other public utilities that will improve the quality of lives,’’ Tinubu said.

The president also spoke on the struggle of the late MKO Abiola and the passion he ignited during the 1993 presidential election.

“The democracy MKO Abiola died for is one that promotes the welfare of the people over the personal interests of the ruling class and one where the governed can find personal fulfillment and happiness.

“That is the hope MKO Abiola ignited throughout our country in 1993.’’

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that at a recent function with traditional rulers from the country, the president gave reasons why fuel subsidies were no longer sustainable.

“Why should we, in good heart and sense, feed smugglers and be Father Christmas to neighboring countries, even though they say not every day is Christmas?

“The elephant that was going to bring Nigeria to its knees is the subsidy. A country that cannot pay salaries, and we say we have potential to encourage ourselves?”

Some of the advantages of fuel subsidy removal include ensuring the availability of gasoline and curbing the greed for higher profits and sabotage by a few players in the oil industry.

The Federal Government, after a meeting with members of labor unions, proposed a number of initiatives to ameliorate the effect of the subsidy removal on Nigerians.

The government, TUC, and NLC agreed to establish a joint committee to review the proposal for a wage increase and establish a framework and timeline for implementation.

They will also review the World Bank-financed Cash Transfer Scheme and propose the inclusion of low-income earners in the program.

The parties will revive the CNG conversion program and work out detailed implementation and timing.

It also includes reviewing issues hindering effective delivery in the education sector, a framework for the completion of refinery rehabilitation, road maintenance, and the expansion of rail networks across the country.

(omayowa@globalfinancialdigest.com; Newsroom: +234 8033 964 138)

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