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Economic hardship: Express your feelings in responsible manner, Shettima tells Nigerians

Economic hardship: Express your feelings in responsible manner, Shettima tells Nigerians
March 03
21:23 2024

Vice President Kashim Shettima says the federal government expects Nigerians to express their grievances over the current economic crisis in a responsible and mature way.

Speaking on Saturday at the 29th pre-Ramadan lecture organised by the University of Lagos (UNILAG) Muslim Alumni, Shettima said the government could have adopted an easier alternative to its recent policies if the options were viable. 

The event was themed “Economic Reforms for Nigeria: Challenges and Prospects for the Future”.

Shettima, who was presented by Hakeem Baba-Ahmed, his special adviser on political matters, said all the options before the President Bola Tinubu-led administration are difficult.

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He said the government is left with no choice than to adopt certain policies which are “more telling on the poor”.

Several states, including Lagos, Imo, Kaduna and Oyo have, in the past weeks, staged protests to express their reservations over the hunger and high cost of living in the country.

The Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) also staged a nationwide mass protest on February 27 over the economic hardship being faced by Nigerians.

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“The consequences of our past are the stark realities we face today, such as rising cost of living and pessimism over our prospect to turn round our economy in the direction of growth and inclusive development,” Shettima said.

“Yet, my brothers and sisters, we do not have the choice of continuing in the direction that brought us where we are today. We have to fix this country, and failure to do this is not an option. All the options we have are difficult and challenging, and they are, without a doubt, more telling on the poor. If there are easier and reliable alternatives to the policy choices we have adopted, we wold have adopted them.

“Our administration does not plan to make lives of Nigerians more difficult. Nor do we intend to deceive fellow citizens that the change in direction and the expected outcome can be achieved without pain or sacrifices.

“Fellow alumni, I appeal to you to help make space for our administration to achieve the goal of turning our nation around. As products of a distinguished institution, we have learnt that progress is only possible if it is informed by criticism and critical scrutiny. We expect that Nigerians should express their feelings over our circumstances in a responsible and mature manner.”

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The vice president further said that the federal government is aware that the forthcoming Ramadan “will come with severe challenges for most Nigerians”.

He added that as “deeply religious people”, Nigerians believe in the powers of prayer and faith that God will ease the hardship.

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