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Subsidy Removal: Bear With Me, Palliatives Underway, Tinubu Begs Nigerians

 (AFRICAN EXAMINER) – President Bola Tinubu on Wednesday assured Nigerians that the framework for palliatives to remedy the effects of fuel subsidy removal is being worked out, explaining that the decision to phase out the subsidy was taken in the best interest of the country.

 He said the decision would guarantee future prosperity.

Tinubu gave the assurance when he received members of Class 1999 Governors who paid him a courtesy visit at the Presidential Villa. 

 18 of the former governors were present at the Council Chambers where the President met them. 

Tinubu and Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Senator George Akume, also belong in the 1999 Class of Governors.

 While appreciating his colleagues who served during the birth of the 4th Republic in 1999, Tinubu appealed for more patience from Nigerians, saying the government would increase efforts to alleviate the pains of the subsidy removal and speed up the process.

 He said the government would ensure a full-proof social security structure that would not be compromised, especially in cash-transfer.

 “I understand that our people are suffering, yet there can be no childbirth without pain. The joy of childbirth is the baby. Relief comes after the pain. Nigeria is being reborn. It is a rebirth of the country for the largest number, over a few smugglers.

 “Please tell the people to be a little patient. The palliative is coming. I am doing the arithmetics. I don’t want the cash-transfer to fall into the wrong hands. I know it pinches and it is difficult. In the end, we will rejoice in the prosperity of our country,’’ he told the governors, who were led by former Governor of Edo State, Chief Lucky Igbinedion.

 Speaking on the importance of national unity and citizens’ cooperation to forge a stronger country that caters for the interests of all, Tinubu stated clearly that only Nigerians can build their country, adding that he is irrevocably committed to serving the country.

 “We must put the country in the right direction. No European, no Bretton Woods institution will do it for us.”

 The governors visited the President to congratulate him on the victory at the polls, his instructive and visionary decisions on the economy, and election as Chairman of the ECOWAS Authority of Heads of State and Government.

 “We served as governors and sat in this Council Chamber. All I wanted was democracy and the salvation of the country. I never thought I was going to be here as President, but God Almighty has brought me here,’’ President Tinubu stated.

 The President assured the governors and Nigerians that he would work towards “unity, equity, stability, and prosperity of the country’’.  

 “My commitment to that democratic value is unwavering. I am overwhelmed and honoured by this large number present here,’’ he said.

 “I have an open door policy. You are my advisers. We went into the pond and wrestled with the pig. We got dirty, and cleaned up. That is why I am here today.’’

 Tinubu noted that the country would not make meaningful progress without fixing electricity, assuring that his administration would harness gas resources and explore every opportunity to ensure stable power generation and supply.

 On security, the President who had earlier met with Governor Babagana Zulum of Borno State to review situation in the North-East, appealed to Nigerians, especially Plateau State, to sheath their swords and use dialogue in resolving conflicts, adding that issues of borders were man-made and not created by God.

 “We will do everything possible to stabilize the country,’’ he added.

 The former governors urged the President to pursue his vision for a greater Nigeria with vigour, steadfastness, and resilience, expressing their support for development policies, and promising to provide the necessary social structure for actualization.

 “We are here with you. We are your foot-soldiers, and you can tap into our experience. You are a person who believes in Nigeria. With your good leadership, Nigeria will take its place,’’ Igbinedion, the Chairman, Class of 1999 Governors said.

 He affirmed that there were 20 at the meeting, including Tinubu, who was former Governor of Lagos State and Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), George Akume, former Governor of Benue State, while ten of their mates had passed on.

 Other governors at the meeting with President Tinubu were Niyi Adebayo, Ekiti State, Sen. Orji Uzor Kalu, Abia State, Sen. Sam Egwu, Ebonyi State, Adamu Muazu, Bauchi State, Donald Duke, Cross River State, James Ibori, Delta State, Obong Victor Attah, Akwa Ibom State, Chimaroke Nnamani, Enugu State, Saminu Turaki, Jigawa State, and Sen. Aleiro Adamu, Kebbi.

 Others were Olusegun Osoba, Ogun State, Adebisi Akande, Osun State, Sen. Joshua  Dariye, Plateau State, Attahiru Bafarawa, Sokoto State, Ahmad Sani Yarima, Zamfara State, and Rev. Jolly Nyame, Taraba State



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