● Says such can adversely affect Nigeria’s economy
The federal government has condemned the recent travel advisory by the United States of America to its citizens in Nigeria, insisting that such caution is capable of causing needless panic with adverse economic impacts on the country.
Speaking at a media briefing with editors on Monday in Abuja, Minister of Information and National Orientation, Mohammed Idris, said such an advisory could easily undermine the government’s efforts at attracting investors to Nigeria.
The Minister spoke against the backdrop of the 3rd November 2023 warning of the United States (US) to its citizens of “elevated threats” to major hotels in the “larger cities” of Nigeria, even as the advisory, however, said the Nigerian security agencies were working to counter the threat.
According to him, the government had consistently prioritized the safety and well-being of all visitors to Nigeria, adding; “We have implemented comprehensive security measures both at the federal and state levels to ensure the safety of tourists and international guests.
“These measures include intense intelligence gathering, acquisition, and deployment of additional platforms, training, and re-training of personnel, cooperation with international law enforcement agencies, among others, to maintain a secure environment.”
The Minister, who also addressed issues concerning the post-oil subsidy removal economic interventions, said the present administration has already made provisions for some palliatives in short, medium, and long terms to help cushion the effects of the subsidy removal.
He said part of the government’s goodwill includes the wage increment of N35,000 monthly for six months to enhance the federal minimum wage, without causing undue inflation as well as the launch of a N100 billion CNG bus rollout programme to deliver CNG-powered buses, through a presidential committee and established to drive implementation.
Idris also said the government is finalizing the process for the N25,000 monthly cash transfer payment to 15 million of the poorest and most vulnerable households in Nigeria for three months in addition to the presidential directive for the release of 200,000 Metric Tonnes of grains from strategic reserves to households across the 36 states and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) to moderate prices.
He explained that 225,000 metric tonnes of fertilizer, seedlings, and other inputs to farmers were amongst the measures already put in place by the government to curb the sufferings of Nigerians.
The Minister, who also spoke on insecurity, said the security agencies are on their toes in ensuring that citizens are protected, safe, and secured, noting that between November 1 and 3, seven notorious bandits were neutralized in various operations in Kaduna State.
Similarly, Idris said in Katsina State, two corps members who were kidnapped by bandits were successfully rescued by security agencies while “In Kano State, on November 3, a joint operation by troops of the Nigerian Army and the Department of State Services carried out a dawn raid operation on terrorists’ hideout in Gezawa Local Government Area, successfully averting an imminent attack on Kano by insurgents.
“The operation recovered AK-47 rifles, AK-47 rifle magazines, a Rocket Propelled Gun (RPG), RPG bombs, hand grenades, Improvised Explosive Device (IED)-making materials, among others.”
Reeling out further successes recorded in the area of securing the country and Nigerians, the Minister said; “In the North-East and North-West of the country, the Nigerian Air Force has been very busy, with several successful airstrikes on bandits’ and terrorists’ camps and hideouts in Katsina, Zamfara and Borno states.
“The Air Force has also recently taken delivery of four new aircraft, to strengthen the fight against banditry and terrorism. In our maritime environment, on October 25, the Eastern and Central Naval Commands flagged off a Joint Sea Exercise, Exercise SEA GUARDIAN 2023.”
Addressing issues relating to National Orientation that have become worrisome in the polity, the Information Minister said; “The Federal Ministry of Information and National Orientation was working on implementing a sustained mass reorientation campaign aimed to foster unity, patriotism, and the promotion of positive cultural values among Nigerians. We should collectively reorient ourselves as Nigerians, in the direction of a stronger sense of national identity and shared values.” [Forefront]