Malam Garba Shehu, the President’s Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity has stated that in these trying times, Nigeria is fighting multiple challenges along with COVID-19.
The presidential aide stated this in a statement in Abuja on Sunday while reacting to comments on the Buhari administration following an upward review of the pump price of fuel and electricity tariffs in the country.
He said, President Muhammadu Buhari is pushing development goals, not politics and history will judge him in favourable terms in spite of criticism on social media.
”There is nothing new in the fact that the country is today fighting multiple challenges along with COVID-19, including low earnings, near-collapse of the oil market, floods, threats of terrorism and banditry but the challenges notwithstanding, a good government must make decisions for the people’s good.”
Shehu maintained that subsidy removal in these sectors had long been foreseen by successive administrations as game changers in search of solutions to move forward with the nation’s development.
According to him, these are reforms that are necessary and overdue.
”As President, Muhammadu Buhari takes these difficult decisions, both popular and unpopular, and as a leader, because he is demonstrating the right courage to take such decisions as they become necessary in view of present circumstances.”
He said: ”To stop the mismanagement of taxpayers money, eliminate corruption associated with subsidies on petroleum products, power, fertilizer among others, the administration took the decision to implement long-delayed reforms, withdraw and allow the market to determine their prices.
”Blueprint upon blueprint, timeline upon timeline had come and gone but the courage to take bold decisions was not there.
”Over the last few days, one claim acquiring a potent resonance with the online community, sections of the labour movement and the opposition are that the actions are ill-timed and ill-advised.
The presidential aide expressed the hope that history would remember Buhari as the president who embarked on the transformation of the national economy for the general good of the citizens.
He stated that the ongoing reforms in the energy as well as oil and gas sectors would eliminate all the evils of corruption embedded in the sectors.
He, therefore, stressed the need for all well-meaning individuals, civil society groups, and labour movements to support the president’s bold initiatives to transform the economy for the betterment of all citizens.
”History will be kind to President Buhari because in addition to his amazing ability to command votes, he will be remembered as the President who made real contributions to economic and overall national development by eliminating the evils of corruption embedded in subsidies.
”In any democracy, the most important certificate in governance is acceptance by the people and, with the support of ordinary Nigerians, President Buhari has shown a rare determination to carry out the bold initiatives as these ones driven by nothing other than the greatest good for the greatest number of people.
”In carrying out the reforms, the President needs the support and understanding of all citizens, inclusive of the opposition parties, the labour movement, and civil society groups,” he said.