‘My Economic Decisions Necessary To Avert Fiscal Catastrophe, Don’t Falter’ — Tinubu

President Bola Ahmed Tinubu, on Monday, in his New Year’s Day message to Nigerians, defended some of his economic policies since assuming office in May 2023.

Speaking on the unification of the foreign exchange rates and the removal of petrol subsidy, the president described them as “necessary decisions” to save the country from “fiscal catastrophe.”

Tinubu however said he is not oblivious to the ripple effects of his decisions, noting that he “hears the groans of Nigerians.”

The President furthered that he is aware of the attendant rising cost of living, high inflation and surging under-employment rate.

His words: “Everything I have done in office, every decision I have taken and every trip I have undertaken outside the shores of our land, since I assumed office on 29 May 2023, have been done in the best interest of our country.

“Over the past seven months of our administration, I have taken some difficult and yet necessary decisions to save our country from fiscal catastrophe. One of those decisions was the removal of fuel subsidy which had become an unsustainable financial burden on our country for more than four decades.

“Another was the removal of the chokehold of few people on our foreign exchange system that benefited only the rich and the most powerful among us. Without doubt, these two decisions brought some discomfort to individuals, families and businesses.

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“I am well aware that for some time now the conversations and debates have centred on the rising cost of living, high inflation which is now above 28% and the unacceptable high under-employment rate.

“From the boardrooms at Broad Street in Lagos to the main streets of Kano and Nembe Creeks in Bayelsa, I hear the groans of Nigerians who work hard every day to provide for themselves and their families.

“I am not oblivious to the expressed and sometimes unexpressed frustrations of my fellow citizens. I know for a fact that some of our compatriots are even asking if this is how our administration wants to renew their hope.”

The president said although “the time may be rough and tough”, Nigerians must “remain unbowed because tough times never last.”

“We are made for this period, never to flinch, never to falter. The socio-economic challenges of today should energize and rekindle our love and faith in the promise of Nigeria.

“Our current circumstances should make us resolve to work better for the good of our beloved nation. Our situation should make us resolve that this new year 2024, each and everyone of us will commit to be better citizens,” he added.