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‘Minimum wage review, 200k tonnes of grains’ — highlights of Tinubu’s post-subsidy palliatives

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On Monday, President Bola Tinubu addressed Nigerians on the current economic challenges in the country and shared his plans to address them.

In the televised speech, he highlighted several palliatives measures to be implemented to cushion the impact of the removal of the subsidy on Nigerians.

Here are seven takeaways from his speech.

‘NEW MINIMUM WAGE FOR NIGERIAN WORKERS’

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The president said the federal government and the labour unions are working to determine a new minimum wage threshold for Nigerian workers.

“I want to tell our workers this: your salary review is coming,” he said.

“Once we agree on the new minimum wage and general upward review, we will make budget provisions for it for immediate implementation.”

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‘ABOUT N1 TRILLION SAVED FROM SUBSIDY REMOVAL’

Tinubu told Nigerians that the federal government has saved N1 trillion in two months in funds that would have been used for the payment of petrol subsidy.

“In a little over two months, we have saved over a trillion naira that would have been squandered on the unproductive fuel subsidy which only benefitted smugglers and fraudsters,” the president said.

“That money will now be used more directly and more beneficially for you and your families.”

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GRANTS FOR MSMEs IN THE 774 LGA’

Speaking on his plans for the informal economy, the president said his administration would power the sector with N125 billion.

Tinubu said his administration recognises the importance of micro, small and medium-sized enterprises and the informal sector as drivers of growth.

“We are going to energise this very important sector with N125 billion. Out of the sum, we will spend N50 billion on conditional grant to 1 million nano businesses between now and March 2024,” he said.

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“Our target is to give N50,000 each to 1,300 nano business owners in each of the 774 local governments across the country.”

According to the president, the programme is also meant to drive financial inclusion by onboarding beneficiaries into the formal banking system.

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In addition, he said, N75 billion will be given to 100,000 MSMEs and startups.

“Under this scheme, each enterprise promoter will be able to get between N500,000 to N1 million at 9 percent interest per annum and a repayment period of 36 months.”

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‘ACCESS TO N1 BILLION CREDIT FOR MANUFACTURING ENTERPRISES’

On the real sector, the politician also promised to spend N75 billion between July 2023 and March 2024 to “strengthen the manufacturing sector, increase its capacity to expand and create good-paying jobs”.

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“Our objective is to fund 75 enterprises with great potential to kick-start sustainable economic growth, accelerate structural transformation and improve productivity,” he added.

“Each of the 75 manufacturing enterprises will be able to access N1 billion credit at 9 percent per annum with maximum of 60 months repayment for long-term loans and 12 months for working capital.”

‘PROVISION OF 200,000 METRICS TONNES OF GRAINS’

Tinubu also said his administration would, in the short and immediate terms, ensure staple foods are available and affordable.

He disclosed that he has ordered the release of 200,000 metric tonnes of grains “from the strategic reserves to households across the 36 states and FCT to moderate prices”.

“We are also providing 225,000 metric tonnes of fertilizer, seedlings and other inputs to farmers who are committed to our food security agenda,” he added.

“Our plan to support the cultivation of 500,000 hectares of farmland and all-year-round farming practice remains on course.

“To be specific, N200 billion out of the N500 billion approved by the national assembly will be disbursed as follows: our administration will invest N50 billion each to cultivate 150,000 hectares of rice and maize; N50 billion each will also be earmarked to cultivate 100,000 hectares of wheat and cassava.”

‘INVEST N100 BILLION IN 3,000 UNITS OF 20-SEATER CNG BUSES’

Part of our programme is to roll out buses across the states and local governments for mass transit at a much more affordable rate, the president noted.

“We have made provision to invest N100 billion between now and March 2024 to acquire 3,000 units of 20-seater CNG-fuelled buses,” Tinubu said.

“These buses will be shared with major transportation companies in the states, using the intensity of travel per capital. Participating transport companies will be able to access credit under this facility at 9 percent per annum with 60 months repayment period.”

‘APPROVED INFRASTRUCTURE SUPPORT FUND FOR STATES’

The president also said he has approved infrastructure support funds for states to invest in critical areas.

“It is in the light of this that I approved the infrastructure support fund for the states,” he said.

“This new infrastructure fund will enable states to intervene and invest in critical areas and bring relief to many of the pain points as well as revamp our decaying healthcare and educational infrastructure.

“The fund will also bring improvements to rural access roads to ease evacuation of farm produce to markets. With the fund, our states will become more competitive and on a stronger financial footing to deliver economic prosperity to Nigerians.”

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