President Muhammadu Buhari on Thursday vowed that his administration would not inflict additional on hardship on Nigerians but would rather seek ways to ameliorate the conditions of the citizenry.
Speaking when he received the leadership of the Trade Union Congress, TUC, the president said that the administration is working towards removing inefficiencies and corruption in the supply of petroleum products.
“On fuel prices, I agree with you on the need to eliminate corruption and inefficiencies in the sector. I want to assure you that, as an Administration, we have no intention of inflicting any additional hardship on Nigerians,’ he was quoted as saying in a press statement issued by his Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity, Mallam Garba Shehu.
“During our first term, we secured the nation’s territorial integrity and continue to protect the lives and properties of our citizens. We introduced various economic stimulus packages that support businesses and traders at all levels, promoted backward integration programmes especially in the agricultural sector to enhance our food security while creating jobs.
“We embarked on the most ambitious infrastructure development and rehabilitation projects this country has seen in decades. We also introduced the largest Social Investment Program in Sub-Saharan Africa.
“Although these programs and many more successfully lifted Nigeria out of recession, the full impact is yet to be felt. In the next four years, we shall sustain this momentum and by the grace of God, lift millions of Nigerians out of poverty,.”
“The points you raised are all interconnected. The lack of power and infrastructure due to decades of under-investment led to the closure or inefficient operations of a number of factories across the country. This meant the private sector was unable to create jobs fast enough to cope with our increasing population.
“You will agree with me that, all these challenges and many more were long ago left unattended to, thereby leaving the country in the mired state we inherited. You all will also testify to having seen and experienced what we have put in place as an administration to address these challenges,.”
TUC president, Comrade Comrade Quadri Olaleye who led the delegation counseled the administration to pay more attention to the welfare of civil servants saying that the enthusiasm over the new national minimum wage has been eroded over the delayed implementation.
“We are, however, disturbed that the enthusiasm is turning into a nightmare,’’ he said, urging the President to focus on poverty reduction and improving security.