Tinubu vows to defeat vengeful subsidy beneficiaries, smugglers

President Bola Tinubu says his administration is deploying resources to critical sectors and areas that significantly impact the welfare of Nigerians.

He, however, asserted that such efforts require outwitting smugglers and those he called “old subsidy beneficiaries,” whom he said are fighting back.

Upon assuming office on May 29, 2023, President Tinubu implemented the budgetary provision of his predecessor that discontinued petroleum subsidies. He also unified the foreign exchange rates to eliminate age-long arbitrage.

Addressing members of the Forum of State Chairmen of the All Progressives’ Congress at the State House in Abuja on Friday, the President said, “As we are fighting corruption, smugglers, and old subsidy beneficiaries, they most certainly will fight back. All those who falsified records and became losers with the subsidy (on petroleum products) removal will fight back.

“But we will defend our people. The treasury belongs to the people, and that sacred trust must not be abused. We need to give hope, and we are giving it to the country and our citizens.

“We are working hard, day and night, even though some agents of destabilization are present in the polity. Nigerians, with our focused support, shall defeat them.”

Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, Ajuri Ngelale, revealed details of the closed-door talks in a statement he signed Friday titled, ‘President Tinubu to APC Leaders: old subsidy beneficiaries may resist us, but Nigeria will overcome them with good governance and commitment to our people.’

Tinubu assured Nigerians that his government is working around the clock to improve their living conditions and asked leaders at the grassroots level to encourage citizens to get their National Identification Number for planning, structuring interventions and achieving their full integration into various relief programmes.

“The programme of our government will be truly progressive; student loans, a national consumer credit system, and social welfare for the unemployed, as well as graduates.

“Every Nigerian will find a place of belonging in our country. In the eye of even the biggest hurricane, we will find that place of tranquility and prosperous harmony for the benefit of all. Nigerians will all partake on this national journey to prosperity,’’ the President said.

He also emphasized the central role of agriculture in expanding and accelerating Nigeria’s economic growth, telling the state party chairmen, led by the National Chairman of the APC, Dr. Abdullahi Ganduje, that his government had drawn up a blueprint for large-scale livestock farming, which will be activated soon.

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On September 14, 2023, the Ganduje-led National Livestock Reforms Committee suggested that President Tinubu create a Ministry of Livestock Resources to, among other deliverables, reduce the decades-long gory conflict between farmers and nomadic cattle herders nationwide.

Tinubu said, “We are bringing mechanized farming to the fore. Yesterday’s crisis will become today’s opportunity. Fertilisers are being supplied to farmers as we speak.

“Agriculture and economic diversification provide the answers to our problems. We will not continue to import food.

“We know how to turn lack into abundance, and the world will watch us do it again.”

He urged party members not to wait for an appointment before bringing good governance and exemplary civic engagement to the doors of Nigerians.

“I urge the state chairmen that regardless of party affiliation, let us help citizens by mobilising them for NIN registration. Not just PVCs. Some are poor Nigerians who have not experienced formal education and have no understanding of what NIN is and how it will benefit their lives.

“We must teach them. We must care for them. Without NIN, we cannot embark on social security interventions for the vulnerable. We will be making faulty moves without accurate data and iron-clad digital intervention structures.

“I have established a committee of governors, and it is headed by the Vice President, Sen. Kashim Shettima. It is working on what must be done to further lift our people,” said Tinubu.

The APC National Chairman, Ganduje, said the party is nearly set to establish the Progressive Institute of Policy and Development for the benefit of its members and the broader Nigerian public.

This was followed by the Forum of APC State Chairmen assuring the President of their continued support as his administration implements its economic programmes.

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