On behalf of the Good Governance Movement, we extend our sincere appreciation for your efforts in implementing the crucial policy decisions concerning the removal of fuel subsidy and foreign exchange management in Nigeria particularly the floating of the naira. These steps mark significant strides towards economic stability and progressive development.
The extent of growth and development of any nation is determined by her fundamental principles. That is why the decision to remove fuel subsidies and revamp foreign exchange policies is laudable.
Undoubtedly, it has been challenging to us all, but since it is with the aim of fostering a stronger economic strength for our great nation at the dawn of a new era under your administration, we say kudos to you for such a bold step.
However, it is obvious that these necessary measures are associated with temporary hardships and difficulties for the citizens of Nigeria.
In light of the foregoing, Your Excellency, we urge you to speed up the implementation of already planned mitigating measures such as the planned increment in minimum wage of civil servants to meet up the high inflation rate, unfold palliatives and encourage the establishment of many small and medium (modular) refineries in addition to large scale refineries that is expected to become functional in the next few months.
We also implore Your Excellency to consider the following suggestions to alleviate the impact of these worthwhile policies on the lives of our fellow citizens, thus paving the way for a smoother transition from the norm to the new normal:
- Social Safety Nets: We implore the FG to speed up introduction of targeted social welfare programs that offer direct financial support to vulnerable groups, ensuring that the most affected segments of society are protected during this period of adjustment. These should be done across the country.
- Price Stabilization Mechanism: We strongly believe that the current fuel price is not fair on Nigerians. It is too high! Far higher than reality. There should be proper audit to arrive at a lower pump price of petrol, other petroleum products, and food items in a transparent manner in order to cushion the effects of market fluctuations and ensure affordability to average Nigerians.
- Open the southern borders of Nigeria: Major hardship in southern Nigeria occurs as a result of people in the south not been permitted to transact business with our close neighbours in neighbouring countries.
- Investment in Alternative Energy: Federal Government should encourage Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) and/or invest more in Liquid Natural Gas (LNG) for your government to further reduce the cost of LNG to Nigerians. It speaks of national error that Nigeria is still flaring gas! There should be provision of sustainable and eco-friendly alternatives to traditional fuel, which can help reduce the dependence on petrol and ease the burden on citizens.
- Strengthening Local Industries: Focus on empowering and supporting local industries to foster domestic production, thus reducing the country’s reliance on foreign imports and stabilizing foreign exchange demand. Numerous modular refineries must spring up across the federation.
- Licences & support for more refineries to avert monopoly in the oil sector: The current impact of pseudo monopoly on cement may not be unconnected with numerous collapse of buildings across the country. We must therefore not allow monopoly in our oil industry as this will result in great capital flight from Nigerians and worsen the poverty situation across the country.
- Public Awareness Campaigns: Your Excellency has been doing well in regular address to the nation. There should be continuous comprehensive public awareness campaigns to educate citizens about the long-term benefits of these policies and the importance of collective participation in the nation’s economic progress.
- Transparent Governance: Ensure transparency in the implementation of economic policies, providing regular updates and open dialogue with citizens to build trust and understanding.
Grace and Givers Minds Foundation being an advocate of good governance, we firmly believe that with well-considered measures and inclusive policies, Nigeria can overcome the immediate challenges while laying the foundation for sustained
economic growth and prosperity. The Good Governance Movement stands ready to offer support and collaborate with your administration in achieving these goals.
We thank you for your dedication to the betterment of Nigeria and look forward to witnessing the positive impact of these policies on our nation’s future.
Comrade Deji Adebayo
National Director of Media and Publicity, Good Governance Movement aka Grace and Giver Minds Foundation.