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FG addressing economy, security challenges: Information minister

The Minister of Information and National Orientation, Alhaji Mohammed Idris, said the Federal Government is addressing security and economic challenges of the country.

In a statement on Sunday in Abuja, Mr Idris said that the government was not downplaying the current situation faced by Nigerians.

He said that the administration was aware of its duties and responsibilities to all Nigerians irrespective of any differences.

He stated, “In the area of security, all threats are being boldly confronted. We are taking the fight to the criminals’ dens, with promising results. Within the last week, several bandits, kidnappers and militants have been neutralised or arrested. The resurgent crisis in Plateau is indeed highly regrettable, and we assure that all perpetrators of violence there, and everywhere else in the country are being brought to book.

“Justice will be done, and peace will be restored in all affected communities. We salute the gallantry of security and intelligence agencies who are leaving no stone unturned to ensure that we are safe in our homes and highways, and that criminals have no breathing space. Regarding the economy, all relevant ministries and agencies of the Federal Government are working in coordinated fashion, to bring down inflation, stabilise foreign exchange rates, and create a truly enabling environment for business and investment.’’

The minister said that non-kinetic measures were being taken to curtail these challenges such as the Students’ Loan Scheme, the presidential initiative on CNG and various low-interest loan schemes for businesses.

“Even as we tackle our challenges with urgency and dedication, it is also necessary to remind all Nigerians of the need to resist all forces and narratives of misinformation and division. For example, it is not true that the relocation to Lagos of the Headquarters of the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria and of certain departments of the Central Bank of Nigeria are political moves aimed at marginalising a section of the country.

“These allegations are unfounded; instead, these are pragmatic administrative steps to improve operational efficiency and reduce operating costs. I would like to urge all Nigerians to be especially mindful of all persons and groups at home and abroad, who specialise in making false and inciting claims on radio, TV and social media, as well as in peddling altered videos and images for viral dissemination. It is for this reason that we have produced the Nigerian National Values Charter, a documentation of the social contract between government and the citizens, as one of the ways to restore a national sense of hope, trust and solidarity,” Mr Idris said.

The minister further stated that as part of this focus on earning the trust of Nigerians, the fight against corruption would continue with intensity.

He said Tinubu is determined to ensure that there are no sacred cows, and that public funds are applied wholly for the public good.

Idris added that the President was providing the anti-corruption agencies with the support required to fulfil their mandate.

The minister said that citizens must continue to focus on the abundant opportunities that present themselves instead of only on challenges and problems.

He said that the country continued to enjoy genuine enthusiasm for investment from local and foreign investors since the coming of the Tinubu-led administration.

He stated, “In the opening weeks of 2024, our stock market has already put us on the global map for the impressive returns being delivered. The Indian businesses that pledged $14 billion in new investment in Nigeria on the sidelines of the G20 Summit in India in September 2023 have since started making good on those pledges.

“Across oil and gas, agriculture, consumer goods, renewable energy, healthcare, ICT and many other fields, we are seeing global and local businesses demonstrating unshakable belief in the limitless possibilities that Nigeria embodies.’’

Mr Idris said, “The heart-warming exploits of our beloved Super Eagles at the ongoing African Cup of Nations in Cote d’Ivoire are another case in point; a timely reminder that the things that bind us together as one are much deeper than the things that separate and divide us. Let us not forget what is truly possible: that instead of division and hatred, we can live and thrive in unity and hope, assured that, in spite of the temporary challenges and setbacks that we face from time to time, a glorious dawn is just around the corner.’’

(NAN)

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