* Assures On Economic Growth, Stability
By Chinelo Ogbozor (Civil Society Reporter)
A group known as Buhari Media Organisation (BMO ), has urged Nigerians to support the President Muhammadu Buhari administration on the petroleum subsidy removal which has increased the price of fuel from N148 to N162 per litre.
In a statement issued in Abuja by the group’s chairman, Niyi Akinsiju and Secretary Cassidy Madueke, the group lauded the decision of the Buhari administration to remove the subsidy which, it said, had over the years remained a cesspool of corruption and a means of enriching few individuals to the detriment of most Nigerians.
BMO noted that the failure of past administrations to take the bold step was due to lack of political will as it became a source of political patronage with the attendant drain on the country’s meagre resources.
"Now with the removal of the subsidy, much of the resources will be saved for the infrastructural development of the country. This will be made possible as the Buhari administration is famous for being transparent and disciplined in the management of public funds.
"We believe that this is what makes all the difference from the past administrations".
The group, therefore, appealed to Nigerians to show understanding as their pain over the removal will be short-lived, as the Buhari administration is focussed on changing the Nigerian landscape with infrastructures such as railways, roads, bridges, housing and other indices of socio-economic development.
BMO also appealed to the other tiers of government like States and Local Governments to contribute their quota in the efforts to bring development to all the nooks and crannies of the country, stressing that the federal government cannot carry the burden alone.
"We wonder why some civil society groups and the Nigerian Labour Congress (NLC) are opposing the move considering the inherent benefits that will accrue from its diligent implementation. We urge them to sheathe their sword and lend their support to the government’s effort to reposition the country.
Meanwhile, the BMO have also assured that Nigeria’s economy and growth will pick up again, and even get much better than its previous standing. It noted that whatever the country is facing now was only transient which it described as result of the shocks in the global economy.
The group also noted that "these increase, mostly marginal, were transient and only reflective of the global economic downturn", but that Nigeria would soon find its feet and all these would be history.
“There is nothing to worry about. We just have to endure the little setbacks that the Covid-19 pandemic has occasioned, and keep hope alive. But one thing we can assure Nigerians is that this President will do all that is within his powers to ensure that the Nigerian people do not suffer.
“The global economy has been badly hit by the effects of the pandemic. With the disruption of supply chains, the prices of food has gone high across the world. The Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO) of the United Nations had in fact highlighted that across the world, the prices of food had risen for the third consecutive month in August. It noted that this had been caused by a weaker dollar and higher demands.
“The challenge is not limited to Nigeria indeed,” BMO stated, “but what we are assured of is that we have a determined President who would not sit back and watch the effects of the pandemic devastate Nigerians.
“President Buhari has already ordered the release of food items from our reserves to cater to the high demand of grains across the country. We expect that this would cushion the effects of the high demand, and make these items available.
“Also, we are encouraged by the words of the Rice Farmers Association of Nigeria (RIFAN) that over five million metric tonnes of rice would be produced during the dry season farming".
According to the BMO, the President Buhari administration had put in place several programmes, initiatives, and palliatives to cushion the harsh effects of the pandemic on businessmen, farmers, entrepreneurs and the everyday Nigerian.
“The President Buhari administration has set aside billions of Naira in funds and accessible loans to Nigerians in various cadres and works of life, to provide needed funds for their businesses, livelihoods and survival during the pandemic. We are aware that hundreds of thousands of Nigerians have been accessing these funds and palliatives, and continue to do so.
“But beyond these, the government will continue to drive its policies to ensure that every Nigerian is provided with the opportunity to improve his life and well-being. This pandemic would only be here a short while, we have seen evidently how Nigeria has weathered the storm despite the global meltdown. That has been a function of the Buhari administration’s strategic policies. Going forward, we strongly believe that things will only get better”, the statement added. NNL.