Minister to Nigerians:Keep hope alive, Tinubu’s policies are yielding results

GodGift Ifunanya
8 Min Read

The Minister of Budget and Economic Planning, Atiku Bagudu, has urged Nigerians to remain hopeful, saying President Bola Tinubu’s policies to transform the country, were already yielding results.

Bagudu said this at a National Policy Summit in Abuja, organised by the President Bola Ahmed Tinubu(P-BAT) Academics and Professionals

The summit had the theme` `Activating the Policies and Promises in the President Tinubu’s Renewed Hope Agenda.”

 The minister said that the president had not relented on his oars since assumption of office, ” working within the resources available .

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 “This P-BAT  academicians came together to  say what can we do for our country?

“This is really humbling and encouraging to all of us that we should not just lament ,but come together to put our best brilliance to draw government’s attention to what can be done better.

“This is what the president has invited Nigerians to do to ensure that they take ownership of the government and keep public officials on their toes  by asking questions especially because we took measures that are not convenient but demanded.

 “Sometimes ,in order to rebuild ,you have to live with some inconveniences.

“Our country Nigeria, is  a great  and  blessed country, but for decades, particularly under  democracy ,Nigeria has been literally on a tiny budget.

 “The highest our budget has been  is less than 40 billion US dollars. Of all the countries in the world with populations  of 150 million and above, we are the ones with the smallest budget. ‘’

According to Bagudu, a study  by the Organisation for European Economic Cooperation and Development, reveals that Singapore  spends somewhere between 20,000 to 27,000 pounds followed by the United States  where its different states spend between 10,000 to 14,000 dollars .

 “This is followed by Brazil, Mexico and China spend between 4000 to 800 to 5000 to 700 dollars.

“The study went further to extrapolate that for you to have  a good primary education system, you need to be spending at least 700 dollars .

 “This calls for a fundamental rethink and to achieve this ,we need those  blessed with that capacity to contextualise  beyond the polity so as to quite the blame game which is what the president is doing,” he said.

Bagudu said that there was also need  to have insightful leaders willing to accept the challenge  and take on new ideas .

 He said that Nigerians had a  reason to be  optimistic because they had found a leader in Tinubu who had succeeded before in a leadership capacity to transform Lagos from  what it used to be through an inclusive leadership.

 “Today, there is cry for inclusion across the country and we have the leader  who believes in inclusion and has practiced it in Lagos by creating a state  that worked for all ,carrying everyone along and giving them the opportunity to excel.

 “All that is needed is a support system for Tinubu to work.

“His policy to move the  economy from less than  500 billion GDP, to a trillion Naira GDP in three years, requires boldness  and requires risk taking with our support to his leadership.

 “The decision to remove  fuel subsidy is a necessary step .As painful as it may be, that needed to be done to lead to a greater tomorrow.

“So, some of the measures being taken particularly under the leadership of the president are measures we believe will lead to a greater tomorrow.

 “All policies have a lifetime.So as good as a policy can be and its strategy, if  we don’t appreciate it, we can lose some stakeholders because sometimes the benefits take time to come,’’he said.

 Bagudu said that there were so many reforms in the pipeline adding that ,“We will run within time and do our very best with your support.

“We know that by God’s grace we are on the right course and all men and women of  conscience will support us to remain on the right cause under the able  leadership of Tinubu,’’he said.

Mr Tope Fasua, Special Adviser on Economic Affairs in the office of the Vice President, said that the implementation Tinubu’s renewed hope agenda was still very much on course.

Fasua said the president recently launched the renewed hope housing  estate idea which would be staring soon with 200,000 houses nationwide.

 “I have always preached that Nigerians should try not to be cynical because these are opportunities going on .We did promise double digit growth ,its not over yet .

 “What is going on right now is like the Chinese bamboo,we are digging roots. Some of the reforms that the president has committed to are very painful reforms.

“However, they are also the very necessary roots that must be planted so that when it starts germinating its going to be in leaps and bounds.

“The 2024 budget is one of the best budgets ever done, reducing deficit by half  and making provisions for the right things, reducing deficit and reforming the

revenue basically ,we are remaking the economy’’

 Prof. Yemi Oke, National Coordinator and Convener, P-BAT Academics and Professionals, said the group desired a shift in the paradigm of merely criticising  the government and its policies to engaging the process of governance.

According to Oke, the group does that by offering well-thought -through practical suggestions and solutions to support the government in policy implementations.

“Our aim is to volunteer our time ,efforts and resources by deploying our privileged positions to support the Tinubu-led administration.

“At inception, the group tasked itself with the sole objective of using her intellectual input to support President Tinubu to win the election, after the election, we transformed into P-BAT Academics and Professionals.

“The next mission is to positively engage  and add critical objective views and values to all forms of governance and continue to volunteer our talents and skills.

“This is bearing in mind that to be elected is not as crucial as to deliver on the mandate of renewed hope to Nigerians.’’

According to Oke, Nigeria belongs to all  and not the exquisite reserve of those in government, so it is up to citizens to own the process , encourage inclusivity  and tell the government when they do right or wrong.

The media Spokesperson of P-BAT, Mary Ikoku , said members of the group did not only support the aspiration of  Tinubu but were also professionals and academics  who  developed and ,designed and formulated policies.Ikoku said that these polices would be sent to the government for implementation for a transformed Nigeria.

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