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Full Text Of President Bola Tinubu’s Address To Nigerians On Socio-economic Challenges  

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My fellow citizens,

I want to talk to you about our economy. It is important that you understand the reasons for the policy measures I have taken to combat the serious economic challenges this nation has long faced.

2. I am not going to talk in difficult terms by dwelling on economic jargon and concepts. I will speak in plain, clear language so that you know where I stand. More importantly, so that you see and hopefully will share my vision regarding the journey to a better, more productive economy for our beloved country.

3. For several years, I have consistently maintained the position that the fuel subsidy had to go. This once beneficial measure had outlived its usefulness. The subsidy cost us trillions of Naira yearly. Such a vast sum of money would have been better spent on public transportation, healthcare, schools, housing and even national security. Instead, it was being funnelled into the deep pockets and lavish bank accounts of a select group of individuals.

4. This group had amassed so much wealth and power that they became a serious threat to the fairness of our economy and the integrity of our democratic governance. To be blunt, Nigeria could never become the society it was intended to be as long as such small, powerful yet unelected groups hold enormous influence over our political economy and the institutions that govern it.

5. The whims of the few should never hold dominant sway over the hopes and aspirations of the many. If we are to be a democracy, the people and not the power of money must be sovereign.

6. The preceding administration saw this looming danger as well. Indeed, it made no provision in the 2023 Appropriations for subsidy after June this year. Removal of this once helpful device that had transformed into a millstone around the country’s neck had become inevitable.

7. Also, the multiple exchange rate system that had been established became nothing but a highway of currency speculation. It diverted money that should have been used to create jobs, build factories and businesses for millions of people. Our national wealth was doled on favourable terms to a handful of people who have been made filthy rich simply by moving money from one hand to another. This too was extremely unfair.

8. It also compounded the threat that the illicit and mass accumulation of money posed to the future of our democratic system and its economy.

9. I had promised to reform the economy for the long-term good by fighting the major imbalances that had plagued our economy. Ending the subsidy and the preferential exchange rate system were key to this fight. This fight is to define the fate and future of our nation. Much is in the balance.

10. Thus, the defects in our economy immensely profited a tiny elite, the elite of the elite you might call them. As we moved to fight the flaws in the economy, the people who grow rich from them, predictably, will fight back through every means necessary.

11. Our economy is going through a tough patch and you are being hurt by it. The cost of fuel has gone up. Food and other prices have followed it. Households and businesses struggle. Things seem anxious and uncertain. I understand the hardship you face. I wish there were other ways. But there is not. If there were, I would have taken that route as I came here to help not hurt the people and nation that I love.

12. What I can offer in the immediate is to reduce the burden our current economic situation has imposed on all of us, most especially on businesses, the working class and the most vulnerable among us.

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13. Already, the Federal Government is working closely with states and local governments to implement interventions that will cushion the pains of our people across socio-economic brackets.

14. Earlier this month, I signed four (4) Executive Orders in keeping with my electoral promise to address unfriendly fiscal policies and multiple taxes that are stifling the business environment. These Executive Orders on suspension and deferred commencement of some taxes will provide the necessary buffers and headroom to businesses in the manufacturing sector to continue to thrive and expand.

15. To strengthen the manufacturing sector, increase its capacity to expand and create good paying jobs, we are going to spend N75 billion between July 2023 and March 2024. Our objective is to fund 75 enterprises with great potential to kick-start a sustainable economic growth, accelerate structural transformation and improve productivity. Each of the 75 manufacturing enterprises will be able to access N1 Billion credit at 9% per annum with maximum of 60 months repayment for long term loans and 12 months for working capital.

16. Our administration recognises the importance of micro, small and medium-sized enterprises and the informal sector as drivers of growth. We are going to energise this very important sector with N125 billion.

17. Out of the sum, we will spend N50 billion on Conditional Grant to 1 million nano businesses between now and March 2024. Our target is to give N50,000 each to 1,300 nano business owners in each of the 774 local governments across the country.

18. Ultimately, this programme will further drive financial inclusion by onboarding beneficiaries into the formal banking system. In like manner, we will fund 100,000 MSMEs and start-ups with N75 billion. Under this scheme, each enterprise promoter will be able to get between N500,000 to N1million at 9% interest per annum and a repayment period of 36 months.

19. To further ensure that prices of food items remain affordable, we have had a multi-stakeholder engagement with various farmers’ associations and operators within the agricultural value chain.

20. In the short and immediate terms, we will ensure staple foods are available and affordable. To this end, I have ordered the release of 200,000 Metric Tonnes of grains from strategic reserves to households across the 36 states and FCT to moderate prices. We are also providing 225,000 metric tonnes of fertilizer, seedlings and other inputs to farmers who are committed to our food security agenda.

21. Our plan to support cultivation of 500,000 hectares of farmland and all-year-round farming practice remains on course. To be specific, N200 billion out of the N500 billion approved by the National Assembly will be disbursed as follows:

-Our administration will invest N50 billion each to cultivate 150,000 hectares of rice and maize.

-N50 billion each will also be earmarked to cultivate 100,000 hectares of wheat and cassava.

22. This expansive agricultural programme will be implemented targeting small-holder farmers and leveraging large-scale private sector players in the agric business with strong performance record.

23. In this regard, the expertise of Development Finance Institutions, commercial banks and microfinance banks will be tapped into to develop a viable and an appropriate transaction structure for all stakeholders.

24. Fellow Nigerians, I made a solemn pledge to work for you. How to improve your welfare and living condition is of paramount importance to me and it’s the only thing that keeps me up day and night.

25. It is in the light of this that I approved the Infrastructure Support Fund for the States. This new Infrastructure Fund will enable States to intervene and invest in critical areas and bring relief to many of the pain points as well as revamp our decaying healthcare and educational Infrastructure.

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26. The fund will also bring improvements to rural access roads to ease evacuation of farm produce to markets. With the fund, our states will become more competitive and on a stronger financial footing to deliver economic prosperity to Nigerians.

27. Part of our programme is to roll out buses across the states and local governments for mass transit at a much more affordable rate. We have made provision to invest N100 billion between now and March 2024 to acquire 3000 units of 20-seater CNG-fuelled buses.

28. These buses will be shared to major transportation companies in the states, using the intensity of travel per capital. Participating transport companies will be able to access credit under this facility at 9% per annum with 60 months repayment period.

29. In the same vein, we are also working in collaboration with the Labour unions to introduce a new national minimum wage for workers. I want to tell our workers this: your salary review is coming.

30. Once we agree on the new minimum wage and general upward review, we will make budget provision for it for immediate implementation.

31. I want to use this opportunity to salute many private employers in the Organised Private Sector who have already implemented general salary review for employees.

32. Fellow Nigerians, this period may be hard on us and there is no doubt about it that it is tough on us. But I urge you all to look beyond the present temporary pains and aim at the larger picture. All of our good and helpful plans are in the works. More importantly, I know that they will work.

33. Sadly, there was an unavoidable lag between subsidy removal and these plans coming fully online. However, we are swiftly closing the time gap. I plead with you to please have faith in our ability to deliver and in our concern for your well-being.

34. We will get out of this turbulence. And, due to the measures we have taken, Nigeria will be better equipped and able to take advantage of the future that awaits her.

35. In a little over two months, we have saved over a trillion Naira that would have been squandered on the unproductive fuel subsidy which only benefitted smugglers and fraudsters. That money will now be used more directly and more beneficially for you and your families.

36. For example, we shall fulfill our promise to make education more affordable to all and provide loans to higher education students who may need them. No Nigerian student will have to abandon his or her education because of lack of money.

37. Our commitment is to promote the greatest good for the greatest number of our people. On this principle, we shall never falter.

38. We are also monitoring the effects of the exchange rate and inflation on gasoline prices. If and when necessary, we will intervene.

39. I assure you my fellow country men and women that we are exiting the darkness to enter a new and glorious dawn.

40. Now, I must get back to work in order to make this vision come true.

41. Thank you all for listening and may God bless the Federal Republic of Nigeria.

The post Full Text Of President Bola Tinubu’s Address To Nigerians On Socio-economic Challenges   appeared first on Jomog.

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Celebrations as Man Marries Three Women on the Same Day in Benue

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Exciting messages of congratulations are pouring in for Tersugh Aondona, who tied the knot with three women on Wednesday in Benue State.

The wedding invite, which circulated on social media earlier in the day, revealed the names of the brides as Blessing, Nancy, and Sulumshima.

The ceremony took place at Lante Kukwagh Comprehensive Secondary School, Jato-Aka, Kwande Local Government Area of the state, with celebrations reported to have lasted from 6 pm until dawn.

Announcing the wedding on Facebook, Harry Nyam wrote, “31st January is finally here. All roads lead to Jato-Aka today for our man, Tersugh Aondona AKA Aterry-baba.”

He continued, “I just got here, and the town looks set to host the biggest weddings ever held in the state. Congrats to you and your wives bro. Very happy women. God when?🥺

Sharing pictures from the event, Akough Orduen wrote, “Congratulations Mr Tersugh Aondona of Jato-Aka as you take home three beautiful brides.”

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Waalawa Mbaikyor also expressed, “My brother, Tersugh Aondona, displays the arena with his three wives at the occasion of his marriage celebration with Blessing, Nancy, and Sulumshima. Let there be peace in the house, amen.”

Reacting to the event, Ahen Teryange Ephraim pondered, “When I saw the first picture as a poster inviting people for a marriage celebration yesterday, my eyes refused to believe this is happening somewhere in Africa, let alone in Nigeria and right at my very doorstep in Tiv Kingdom. I woke up this morning surprisingly to see pictures emerging online to confirm the authenticity of that news.”

He continued, “How was this guy, Tersugh Aondona AKA Aterry Baba, able to convince these three beautiful young ladies to marry him at the same moment? How were these ladies able to overcome their jealousy and accept being taken by one man as a husband, and how was Aterry Baba able to convince the families of these beautiful ladies to partake in this historic event?”

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Amidst the congratulatory messages, Emmanuel Gav expressed, “I only admire his courage, I don’t think of emulating him though.”

Prisca Ullam conveyed, “Congratulations to him and his three wives, and please somebody should remind him not to forget his promise to God to be faithful to his three wives. Wish you all the best.”

NewsNow previously reported in 2021 on Ekpe Akpove, a farmer from Delta State, who married two women on the same day with support from his family and friends.

The post Celebrations as Man Marries Three Women on the Same Day in Benue appeared first on NewsNow Nigeria.

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Chief Onuokaibe Supports Governor Mbah’s Educational Initiatives with N11.5 million

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Chief Jerry Patrick Onuokaibe, the CEO of First Choice Afro Villa Ltd, Mburubu Construction Company Ltd, Nostra Lounge and Bar, and Lily Gold Fashion Home, has made a generous donation of ₦11.5 million Naira to the Enugu State Government to support the smart school initiatives led by Governor Peter Ndubuisi Mbah.

The presentation ceremony took place at the Enugu State smart school environment in Owo, located in Nkanu East Local Government Area of Enugu State. It was graced by the presence of the Commissioner for Education, Prof Ndubueze Mbah, and other notable dignitaries.

Governor Peter Ndubuisi Mbah’s administration is committed to establishing K9 Smart School projects across 260 wards in Enugu State, aimed at enhancing the quality of education and fostering skills and manpower development crucial for the state’s overall progress.

In his remarks during the presentation of the cheque for the purchase of school uniforms, Chief Jerry Patrick Onuokaibe expressed his company’s longstanding desire to support Governor Peter Ndubuisi Mbah’s commendable initiatives. He emphasized the significance of backing initiatives that secure the future of citizens, stating that education is fundamental to societal development and expressing a desire to see similar developments in his hometown of Mburubu.

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Chief Onuokaibe stressed the importance of private partnership for the success of Governor Peter Ndubuisi Mbah’s administration and reaffirmed his company’s commitment to supporting the state Ministry of Education beyond the initial donation for 1000 students.

He also highlighted the benefits of smart schools, emphasizing their integration of technology into education to enhance the learning experience, leverage digital tools, and create engaging and dynamic classrooms. Chief Onuokaibe praised Governor Peter Ndubuisi Mbah’s implementation of smart technologies for facilitating real-time assessments, personalized learning plans, and efficient communication among teachers, students, and parents to prepare students for the challenges of a technology-driven world.

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Professor Ndubuisi Mbah, the Honorable Commissioner for Education, commended Chief Onuokaibe’s donation and reiterated the government’s commitment to revitalizing the education system by allocating a significant portion of the 2024 budget to education. He emphasized the role of the smart schools in bridging the gap between rural and urban areas, and called for support from all business owners in Enugu State to ensure the success of the initiative.

Additionally, Mr. Okoh Onyekachi Emmanuel, the Head of Marketing and Communication at First Choice Afro Villa Ltd, expressed the company’s readiness to support Governor Peter Ndubuisi Mbah’s initiatives and urged other business owners in the state to follow suit. He announced the company’s plan to register over 500 students for the Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examination (UTME) in addition to their monetary donation.

The post Chief Onuokaibe Supports Governor Mbah’s Educational Initiatives with N11.5 million appeared first on NewsNow Nigeria.

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Eniola Mariam Makes History in Para Badminton, Wins Three Gold Medals for Nigeria

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Nigeria’s para badminton player, Eniola Mariam, has achieved a historic feat by securing three gold medals in the recent Egypt TV Para Badminton International tournament held in Cairo.

Participation in the championship involved over twenty-eight countries from around the globe, with a team of six Nigerian athletes—three males and three females, led by the female national para badminton assistant coach, Ngozi Duru Phillip.

Mariam displayed her exceptional prowess by clinching gold medals in singles, doubles, and mixed doubles categories.

To claim the women’s singles, SL3 title, she triumphed over Adriane Spinetti Avila of Brazil with a score of 2-0 (21-5, 21-6).

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In the Mixed Doubles SL3 event, Eniola Bolaji and Chigozie Jeremiah emerged victorious by defeating Jagadesh Dilli from India and Rosa Efomo De Marco from Italy with a score of 2-0 (21-7, 21-10).

Additionally, in the Women’s Doubles Finals, SL3-SU5 category, Nigeria’s duo of Bolaji Mariam Eniola and Chinyere Okoro claimed the gold medal by defeating Rosa Efomo De Marco from Italy and Diana Lizeth Leon from Colombia with a score of 21-19, 16-21, 21-13.

The tournament also saw other Nigerian athletes putting up commendable performances, resulting in one silver and three bronze medals for the country.

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To express his delight at Nigeria’s successful showing in the tournament, President of the Badminton Federation of Nigeria, Francis Orbih, commended the young athletes for their dedication, resilience, and determination, which paved the way for this remarkable accomplishment.

Orbih also reaffirmed the federation’s commitment under his leadership to providing support for the development of aspiring athletes in order to restore Nigeria’s lost prominence in badminton at a continental and global level.

The post Eniola Mariam Makes History in Para Badminton, Wins Three Gold Medals for Nigeria appeared first on NewsNow Nigeria.

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