President Bola Tinubu has announced the approval of N25,000 provisional allowance for junior federal workers over the next six months.
He said the approval followed negotiations with labour unions and other stakeholders in the business community to increase the federal minimum wage without triggering undue inflation.
“For the next six months, the average low-grade worker shall receive an additional N25,000 per month,” Tinubu announced during his maiden Independence Day address to Nigerians.
The President, who acknowledged the suffering of Nigerians since the scrapping of petrol subsidy at his inauguration on May 29, 2023, said he was not happy watching citizens shouldering burdens that would have been shed a long time ago.
He said the reforms initiated by his administration were necessary to rid the system of the grip of those he called “a select and greedy few.”
Tinubu stated, “I am attuned to the hardships that have come. I have a heart that feels and eyes that see. I wish to explain to you why we must endure this trying moment.
“Reform may be painful, but it is what greatness and the future require. We now carry the costs of reaching a future Nigeria where the abundance and fruits of the nation are fairly shared among all, not hoarded by a select and greedy few; a Nigeria where hunger, poverty and hardship are pushed into the shadows of an ever-fading past.
The President reiterated that his administration was doing all that it could to ease the burden.
He outlined the path his administration was taking to relieve the stress on families and households, saying, “We have embarked on several public sector reforms to stabilise the economy, direct fiscal and monetary policies to fight inflation, encourage production, ensure the security of lives and property and lend more support to the poor and the vulnerable.
“Based on our talks with labour, business and other stakeholders, we are introducing a provisional wage increment to enhance the federal minimum wage without causing undue inflation.”
To ensure better grassroots development, Tinubu said his government had set up an infrastructure support fund for states to invest in critical areas, adding, “States have already received funds to provide relief packages against the impact of rising food and other prices.”
To ease the cost of mobility, he explained that his government had “opened a new chapter in public transportation through the deployment of cheaper and safer Compressed Natural Gas buses across the nation. These buses will operate at a fraction of current fuel prices, positively affecting transport fares.”
The President added, “New CNG conversion kits will start coming in very soon as all hands are on the deck to fast-track the usually lengthy procurement process.
“We are also setting up training facilities and workshops across the nation to train and provide new opportunities for transport operators and entrepreneurs.
“This is a ground-breaking moment where, as a nation, we embrace more efficient means to power our economy. In making this change, we also make history.”
The President said in October, his government would extend its social safety net through the expansion of cash transfer programmes to an additional 15 million vulnerable households.
Tinubu thanked members of civil society organisations and labour unions for their dedication to Nigerian democracy saying, “We may not always agree, but I value your advice and recommendations. You are my brothers and sisters, and you have my due respect.”
He also assured citizens that his administration was fighting corruption, particularly through the ongoing probe into the activities of the former Central Bank of Nigeria leadership, reports of which would be ready soon.
The President stated, “I pledged a thorough house cleaning of the den of malfeasance the CBN had become. That housecleaning is well underway.
“A new leadership for the central bank has been constituted. Also, my special investigator will soon present his findings on past lapses and how to prevent similar occurrences.
“Henceforth, monetary policy shall be for the benefit of all and not the exclusive preserve of the powerful and wealthy.”
Tinubu also reaffirmed his commitment to their security, saying his administration would always accord the highest priority to the safety of the people.
He commended the service chiefs and stated that enhanced inter-service collaboration and intelligence sharing had been enhanced.
The President also saluted the security forces for “keeping us safe and securing our territorial integrity.”
He eulogised those who paid the ultimate sacrifice, praised their families and promised to equip the forces with the ways and means needed to perform their urgent task on behalf of the people.
Tinubu also promised to continue to appoint more people to his government in line with the provisions of the constitution and with fairness toward all.
“Women, youths and the physically challenged shall continue to be given due regard in these appointments,” he pledged.
The President commended the National Assembly for aiding the quick take-off of the administration through the performance of its constitutional duties of confirmation and oversight, and also the judiciary for serving as “a pillar of democracy and fairness.”