…Pleads for more patience

From Fred Ezeh, Abuja

Secretary to Government of the Federation (SGF), Senator George Akume, has, again, informed Nigerians that President Ahmed Bola Tinubu inherited a turbulent country, and that could, perhaps, be the reasons for some decisions/policies that have inflicted more socioeconomic hardship on the people.

The SGF, while addressing the National Executive Council (NEC) of CAN, on Thursday, in Abuja, appealed for more patience and perseverance from Nigerians, restating that the President is working assiduously to make life better for Nigerians.

He outlined several measures the government has taken recently to address the current socioeconomic hardships, and also cautioned labour not to make decisions that would jeopardize the efforts of the Tinubu-led administration.

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

He condemned the recent industrial action of the organized labour led by the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) and Trade Union Congress (TUC) which led to the shutdown of the national grid for two days, labeling it a treasonable offense.

“Nowhere in the world has labour ever tampered with the national grid. It is treason! 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.

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“The government has taken swift actions in implementing palliatives to cushion the effects of these reforms. We are all aware of the N35,000 wage award for workers, which translates to a N30,000 minimum wage and N35,000 on top of it. Additionally, N100bn earmarked for CNG fuel buses will help reduce transportation costs and food prices.

“In 2019, the minimum wage was legislated up to N30,000. It’s an exclusive issue in the constitution, not on the concurrent list. That is why it is the Federal Government, working with organized private sector and labour recommended it to the President for the National Assembly’s attention.

“It is not that we are not working. We are working, and that is why we implemented the N35,000 wage award, which is more than the minimum wage. There are buses ready to be distributed, and soon, rice and other essentials will be available,” he said.

Akume further 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 in the education, health, or agriculture sectors. We don’t separate; we combine. There is a symbiotic relationship that can never be destroyed,” he said.

He, however, emphasized that government is focused on productivity and economic stability. “Our people must rise and have something in their pockets. It is not about demanding N100,000 without productivity. We are looking at controlling inflation and ensuring a balanced economy,” he added.


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