Hardship: Be Calm, Tinubu Working To Improve Economy, SGF Tells CAN

…warns Labour against destructive strikes, others


The Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), Senator George Akume, has called on Nigerians to remain calm amid the economic challenges, assuring them that President Bola Tinubu is working diligently to improve the economy.

Addressing the National Executive Council of CAN on Thursday in Abuja, Akume outlined several measures the government is taking to address current hardships and also cautioned labour not to make decisions that would jeopardize the efforts of the Tinubu-led administration.

Akume also hinted that the current administration took over a turbulent country, citing that the country’s foreign reserves and many other sectors were poorly managed.

“We took over in a very turbulent weather. Foreign reserves were zero, but there have been massive reforms carried out by the president. One of them, which appeared to be a little bit tough for people to understand, is the subsidy removal of fuel. People should stop shouting; they need to know the actual truth,” Akume stated.

He emphasized that the current administration has taken swift action in implementing palliatives to cushion the effects of these reforms.

“We are all aware of the 35,000 naira wage award for workers, which means a 30,000 naira minimum wage with 35,000 on top of that. Additionally, 100 billion naira for CNG fuel buses will help reduce transportation costs and food prices,” he added.

Akume also highlighted the government’s efforts in supporting various sectors, including the allocation of 125 billion naira in conditional grants and financial inclusion for medium and small enterprises, and 150 billion naira in palliative loans to states to mitigate the impact of fuel subsidy removal.

“We are providing 200 billion naira to support the cultivation of hectares of land, which is even more now,” he added.

Addressing recent disruptions, Akume condemned the shutdown of the national grid, labelling it as a treasonable offence.

“Nowhere in the world has labour ever tampered with the national grid. It is treason! A treasonable felony is economic sabotage, you don’t do that.

“We are trying to rebuild the economy. The president is picking up, and they want to destroy it. Of what use is that to all of us? That is not the way”, he said.

Reflecting on the process of setting the minimum wage, Akume explained, “In 2019, the minimum wage was legislated up to 30,000 naira. It is an exclusive issue in the constitution, not on the concurrent list, but on the exclusive legislative list.

That is why it is the federal government, working with organized private sector and labour, that recommends it to the president for the national assembly’s attention.”

Reassuring the public, Akume stated, “It is not that we are not working. We are working, and that is why we implemented the 35,000-naira wage, which is more than the minimum wage. There are buses ready to be distributed, and soon, rice and other essentials will be available.”

Akume stressed the importance of collaboration between the church and the government in providing essential services such as education, health, and agriculture.

“The church must collaborate with the government in providing facilities for people whether it is in education, health, or agriculture. We don’t separate; we combine. There is a symbiotic relationship that can never be destroyed,” he said.

He concluded by emphasizing the government’s focus on productivity and economic stability.

“Our people must rise up and have something in their pockets. It is not about demanding 100,000 naira without productivity. We are looking at controlling inflation and ensuring a balanced economy,” he asserted.

New Telegraph

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