The President-elect, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, on Friday, identified the pending plan to remove petroleum subsidy and the need to end the multiple foreign currency exchange rates as issues that will pose the initial challenge to the in-coming administration.
The President-elect noted this while speaking at the Public Lecture and Jumat Prayer held at the National Mosque in Abuja as part of the 2023 Presidential Inauguration programme of events.
Asiwaju Tinubu, who was represented at the event by the Vice President-elect, Kashim Shettima, however appealed to Nigerians to stand with the government as it would be working to deconstruct the maze of challenges facing the nation, warning that the take off point might be rough.
Tinubu, who noted that the myriad of issues weighing down Nigeria had prevented it from taking its pride of place as a global power, said the time had come for all Nigerians to stand together to face the challenges, assuring all that he would treat all Nigerians equally, irrespective of political, religious and ethnic differences.
“Tinubu is a fair-minded person. He will do justice to Nigerians, irrespective of affiliation with political parties, religious and tribal background. We are united by our common heritage of poverty and insecurity among others. This is time for all of us to coalesce into a single force.
“Ours is a great nation, waiting to unleash its great potentials to the world. China was once called a sleeping giant, but today, China has woken up. Nigeria needs to wake up. We are calling on all of you to pray for us for God’s guidance. I want to assure you that Tinubu will hit the ground.
“We do not have the luxury of time. The challenges facing us are getting worse. We are living in a pressing time. Be rest assured that in the fullness of time, Nigeria will pay glowing tributes to us. The starting point might not be rosy, let me be very honest with you.
“Oil Subsidy is an albatross on our neck, the multiple exchange rate system is a drain on the national economy. There are certain decisions the President-elect will take, but in the fullness of time, Nigerians will not only appreciate, but also celebrate us,” he said.
He, however, promised that women would be well represented and compensated in the incoming administration.
He said, “To my sisters, be rest assured you would be well represented in the incoming administration. Not only this, I promise you, you will be well compensated.”
President Muhammadu Buhari said the economic, security, and other problems faced on his watch were a global phenomenon.
Buhari, represented by the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Boss Mustapha, said the way Nigerians handled the problems showed that they surmount other challenges and shall overcome.
He said,” The problems we have had within the economic, security, and social sector are not peculiar to us. The potentials are always there to make the country great. How we managed during COVID-19 and the Russian /Ukrainian war among others have shown how Nigerians can come out of difficult situations. ”
He urged Nigerians to put aside their differences in the polls aside and support the incoming administration.
Buhari said,” Elections have come and gone. Another set of leaders has been elected. It is our duty to give them the necessary cooperation to enable them deliver their plans towards transforming Nigeria. As citizens we must turn our differences into our source of strength to enable progressive development.
“We must also strive to ensure peaceful coexistence, harmony, respect for the rule of law. A solid foundation has been laid in the last administration for successive administrations to build on.”
Speaking earlier, Secretary-General of the Nigerian Supreme Council for Islamic Affairs (NSCIA), Prof. Is-haq Oloyede, said that this journey that is starting now shall be a successful one for the ummah and the Nigerians at large.
He urged Tinubu and his administration to remember that the “Good we do comes back to us in the moment of need one way or the other. You may go through some traumatic experiences but the end will be sweet”.