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FG: Our reforms are inevitable — and they’re yielding positive results

FG: Our reforms are inevitable — and they’re yielding positive results
February 23
16:11 2024

Mohammed Idris, minister of information and national orientation, says the reforms by the federal government are yielding positive results.

In a statement on Friday, Idris said the federal government removed the subsidy on premium motor spirit (PMS) also known as petrol because of “ever-increasing costs in the wake of dwindling resources”.

The minister said since the petrol subsidy removal, product importation has dropped by 50 percent.

“On a related note, crude oil production is rising steadily, increasing to an average of 1.55 million barrels per day in Q4 2023, from 1.22 million barrels per day in the preceding quarter,” the statement reads.

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“Also, monthly receipts by States from the Federal Accounts Allocation Committee (FAAC) have surged since the subsidy removal, giving governments at all levels billions of Naira in extra headroom to deliver the dividends of democracy to Nigerians.

“It is instructive that the removal of the petrol subsidy was one policy decision that all the three major candidates were unanimous on, in their campaign messaging.

“It is therefore mystifying to see people who had argued stridently for the removal, now pretending to be against it today. This insincerity does not bode well for our country and our democracy.

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“President Tinubu’s second most far-reaching pronouncement was his promise that the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) would work towards a unified exchange rate.

“In line with his vision for a more transparent and equitable monetary policy, yet without jettisoning its operational independence, the CBN took the very bold step of loosening control of foreign exchange rates, allowing access to foreign exchange to take place at market rates determined on the principle of ‘willing seller willing buyer’.

“As a government, we are not under any illusion that these policy moves are silver bullets, or that nothing else is required. We understand that these are foundational fiscal and monetary policy moves, upon which we must now build the superstructure of true economic growth and prosperity.

“As respected economists and experts have acknowledged, these foundational reforms will be difficult and painful for Nigerians in the short-term. At the same time, there is the consensus that they are inevitable, given just how much they have held back robust and lasting economic growth.

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“The problems that we are solving are no doubt multifaceted, intertwined, and deep-rooted, requiring creative, strategic, decisive, and multi-pronged solutions. These bold moves being implemented are in full alignment with what is required.”

The minister said the CBN is working to ensure that there is liquidity in the forex market.

“It is heartwarming to note that we are starting to see the results. Indeed, the naira is stabilizing, and the foreign exchange market is seeing a surge of inflows,” he said.

“The latest NBS figures show that capital importation into Nigeria rose by over 66 percent in Q4 2023, compared with the preceding quarter.”

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The minister said citizens should continue to be patient with the government as “we push through these difficult times”.

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