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Policy Group Praises Tinubu’s Agric Initiative, Others, Faults State Govs

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Policy Group Praises Tinubu’s Agric Initiative, Others, Faults State Govs

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A Think tank policy group on the platform of Independent Media and Policy Initiative (IMPI) has challenged Nigerian Governors across the country to emulate President Bola Tinubu by curbing wastage in their financial expenditures so as to deliver meaningful development to Nigerians.

The group also faulted what it called “lackadaisical attitude of some state Governors to the the presidential commitment to cultivate 500,000 hectares of land nationwide.

Addressing a press conference on Monday in Abuja, the IMPI Chairman, Chief Niyi Akinsiju, urged the President to lay emphasis on the process of monitoring and compliance enforcement in the implementation of all infrastructural projects across the country to ensure that all projects are completed to time and specifications.

“Despite this disconcerting persistent increase in food prices, we must acknowledge the conscious efforts of President Bola Tinubu to rejig the economy and ensure food security through massive investment in agriculture. In this regard, we particularly commend the administration for funding the ongoing dry season cultivation of 120,000 hectares of farmland for the production of wheat.

“This aggressive push to boost food production is a confirmation of the President’s seriousness on his declaration of State of Emergency on Food Security on 13th July 2023. To this end, we also commend the Jigawa state government for allocating 80,000 hectares of land to the Presidential initiative on wheat, and also thank the government of Kano and Kaduna states for making available the remaining 40,000 hectares that will make the exercise a tremendous success.”

According to Akinsiju, the government has taken the economy a notch higher with the introduction of the Consumer Credit Scheme known as The Nigerian Consumer Credit Corporation (CrediCorp) which has the potentials to improve consumption capacity for Nigerians, resulting in expanded productive capacity for the manufacturing sector.

“This implies that you do not need to wait until you have saved so much to purchase what you desire.

“The establishment of the Credit Scheme and the extension of payment of Social Security to NCE graduates upward, with a commitment of N100bn by the President, and the approval of Social Security Unemployment Programme to alleviate economic difficulties for unemployed youths, are part of the actions and decisions of the Tinubu administration within the first quarter of the year, which we consider to be courageous, timely and commendable.”

On why the state governors should emulate the President, the group said: “Our findings indicated that the Tinubu economy saves an average of N1 trillion monthly from the withdrawal of petrol-subsidy in June 2023, while the three PDP regimes recorded a monthly loss from petrol-subsidy of N1 trillion over a period of 16 years, amounting to a total of N192 trillion. Little surprise, therefore, that Nigeria ranks among nations with the worst record of infrastructural deficit in the world.

“The presidential embargo on foreign trips by government officials further confirms the passion and seriousness of President Bola Tinubu to reduce the cost of governance in the country. The President’s action is ensuring prudence and discipline in the federal government’s spending, particularly now that the implementation of the capital expenditure component of the 2024 budget has commenced.

“We therefore call on the sub-nationals to emulate the President in curbing wastages in their financial expenditures, so that meaningful development can be adequately delivered to Nigerians at the grassroots especially now that there is an increased allocation from FAAC.”

While calling on the governors to refrain from acts that are capable of jeopardising the ongoing efforts by President Bola Tinubu to secure the nation, Akinsiju said as Chief Security Officers in their respective states, it would be counter-productive for governors to act at variance with the President on matters of national security and associated policies.

“We, however, admonish state governments on their part to refrain from acts that are capable of jeopardising the ongoing efforts by President Tinubu to secure the nation.

“As Chief Security Officers in their respective states, it will be counter-productive for governors to act at variance with the President on matters of national security and associated policies.”

The policy group also expressed support for the establishment of Renewed Hope Infrastructure Development Fund (RHIDF) to bridge the nation’s infrastructural gap, saying such has opened a new vista in the general expectation of the benefits of petroleum subsidy removal.

“We note with great interest, the potential sources of funding targeted by the RHIDF to raise N20tn (about $14bn) for its take-off grant, and we strongly suggest that a significant percentage of the savings from the withdrawal of subsidy be made available to RHIDF for the development of infrastructures across the nation.

“Furthermore, we submit that it is important for the federal government to erect permanent signposts at the site of every infrastructural project that is accomplished with savings from petroleum subsidy withdrawal, so that Nigerians will appreciate the positive impact of the withdrawal of subsidy, and be happy that their sacrifices are not in vain.

“It is in the light of the forgoing suggestions, that we urge the President to lay emphasis on the process of monitoring and compliance enforcement in the implementation of all infrastructural projects across the country to ensure that all projects are completed to time and specifications.”