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REMARKS BY HONOURABLE MINISTER OF INFORMATION AT THE MINISTERIAL PRESS BRIEFING SERIES                     

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REMARKS BY HONOURABLE MINISTER OF INFORMATION AT THE MINISTERIAL PRESS BRIEFING SERIES                                                                                 28-02-24

By Sadiq Aminu

1. Protocol:

Let me welcome our special guest, the Honourable (Coordinating) Minister of Health and Social Welfare, Dr. Muhammad Ali Pate, the Permanent Secretary, Directors in the Ministry, and Heads of Agencies in the Federal Ministry of Health and Social Development, to the Third Edition of The Ministerial Press Briefing Series (MPBS) initiated by the Federal Ministry of Information and National Orientation.

2. You would recall that on Wednesday, February 14, 2024, we inaugurated the First Edition of the Ministerial Press Briefing Series with the Honourable Minister of Agriculture and Food Security, Senator Abubakar Kyari. Subsequently, the Honourable Minister of Industry, Trade, and Investment, Dr. Doris Uzoka-Anite, honoured us with her presence, to share the success stories being recorded in her ministry, in line with the Renewed Hope Agenda of President Bola Ahmed Tinubu (GCFR).

3. The series was initiated to provide a platform for public officials to reel out their achievements and equally apprise Nigerians of the challenges of governance. The platform also creates a chance for you, the distinguished members of the press, to engage with senior officials of the Federal Government, on behalf of the good people of Nigeria, in keeping with your responsibility as the watchdog of the society.

4. I therefore want to seize this opportunity to report to you that Nigeria has begun to reap the benefits of the reforms being spearheaded by Mr. President. This includes GDP growth of 3.46% in the fourth quarter of 2023 as against 2.54% recorded in the third quarter of 2023.

5. Capital importation rose to 66% in the fourth quarter of 2023, reversing a 36% decline in the third quarter. Petrol importation has been reduced by 50% since the withdrawal of the fuel subsidy. The Nigerian Stock Exchange All Share Index crossed the 100,000 mark – its highest ever, mainly due to the pragmatic reforms initiated by the President, which inspired investor confidence in the Nigerian economy.

6. It is also encouraging to state that oil production has risen from 1.22 million barrels per day in the second quarter of 2023 to 1.55 million barrels per day in the fourth quarter of 2023.

7. The President has also given a directive for the design of a Social Security Unemployment Programme to cater for the unemployed graduates.

8. This is in addition to setting up of a Social Consumer Credit Scheme to boost the purchasing power of Nigerians, as they make adjustments in view of the temporary economic hardship.

9. As the government rejigs the National Social Investment Programme, the direct payments to N25,000 to 12 million households will resume immediately.

10. The government is equally tackling insecurity headlong and more success stories are coming in on daily basis. Without any doubt, we are winning the war against insecurity.

11. These are indeed testament to the bold initiatives taken by Mr. President to reflate the Nigerian economy and return it to the path of growth and sustainable development.

12. Only two days ago, the President approved a revolutionary approach towards reducing the cost of governance through the implementation of the much-talked-about Oronsaye Report – 12 years after the report was submitted to the then President, Dr. Goodluck Jonathan.

13. This is a clear demonstration of Mr. President’s unwavering commitment to fiscal prudence and responsible governance by championing a comprehensive review of the government‘s commissions, agencies, and parastatals. In recognition of the need to rationalise the size and scope of government, the President has taken decisive action to merge certain agencies and scrap others that are redundant or have outlived their usefulness.

14. The merger of some agencies and parastatals and the scrapping of others are not decisions taken lightly. It followed careful consideration and strategic planning to ensure that essential services are not compromised and that the needs of our citizens are adequately addressed while putting the interests of the nation first and foremost.

15. Through the implementation of Oronsaye’s Report, President Tinubu aims to achieve significant cost savings by eliminating duplication of functions, streamlining administrative processes, and optimizing resource allocation. This proactive approach will enable the government to operate more efficiently while maintaining the quality and delivery of services to the Nigerian people.

16. It is worth noting that these measures are not undertaken in isolation but are part of a broader strategy to reform and modernize government institutions by leveraging technology, promoting innovation, and fostering a culture of performance and accountability across all sectors.

17. It is equally important to stress that this reform requires sustained commitment from all stakeholders, including public officials, civil servants, the media, civil society, and the general public.

18. It is on this note that I invite the Coordinating Minister of Health and Social Welfare, Dr. Muhammad Ali Pate to address the media.

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