The federal government has reacted to the recent United States’ travel advisory to its citizens regarding hotels in Nigeria, emphasising the need to avoid generalising isolated incidents.
Consequently, the Nigerian Government assured the safety and well-being of all visitors in the country.
The government also said it has implemented comprehensive security measures, including intelligence gathering, cooperation with international law enforcement agencies, and other strategies to maintain a secure environment for tourists and business travellers.
Minister of Information and National Orientation, Alh. Mohammed Idris, who stated this while addressing senior media editors and executives on Monday in Abuja, highlighted recent successes in security operations across the country, such as the neutralisation of bandits in Kaduna State, a successful raid on terrorists in Kano State, and the rescue of abducted NYSC members in Katsina State.
Additionally, he said the Nigerian Air Force (NAF) has carried out successful airstrikes on bandits and terrorists’ camps in North-East and North-West parts of the country.
“What we have seen is that such advisories do not achieve anything other than needless panic, and they can have severe adverse economic impact, not to talk of what they do to undermine the government’s efforts to attract investment.
“The Nigeria government is dedicated to ensuring the safety and well-being of all Nigerians and visitors to our country and will continue to work towards maintaining a secure and hospitable environment for tourists and business travelers and the likes. Our security agencies have been very busy, doing their best to keep us all safe,” he said.
The Minister called on the media to support the security and intelligence agencies by giving amplified coverage to their successes and not playing into the hands of those seeking to undermine the nation’s security.
Idris stressed that the government was dedicated to ensuring the safety and well-being of all Nigerians and visitors to the country.
In addressing the economic impact of oil subsidy removal, he said the current administration has introduced various interventions, including provisional wage increments, the establishment of an Infrastructure Support Fund for states, and a CNG bus rollout programme.
He said President Bola Tinubu has signed Executive Orders to improve the business and fiscal environment, and the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has cleared foreign exchange backlogs.
“President Tinubu and the Administration have been taking all necessary measures to alleviate the pains being felt, and to cushion the impact of these foundational reforms being pursued.
“These interventions are designed to serve as palliatives in the short and medium-term, while we wait to reap the long-term benefits of the reforms:
A provisional wage increment of N35,000 monthly for six months, to enhance federal minimum wage, without causing undue inflation.
“Establishment of an Infrastructure Support Fund for States to invest in critical areas that will create an enabling environment for businesses
Launch of a 100 Billion Naira CNG bus rollout programme, to deliver CNG-powered buses, and establishment of a Presidential Committee to drive implementation.
“Since he assumed office, the President has signed no fewer than five Executive Orders, aimed at improving Nigeria’s business and fiscal environment, and increasing foreign exchange supply.
Deft moves by the Central Bank of Nigeria to clear the billions of dollars in inherited foreign exchange backlog. We saw the immediate impact of this on the exchange rates last week, and we are confident that this is just the beginning. Under the Renewed Hope Agenda, the Central Bank is determined to focus on its core mandates of price stability and financial system stability, for the benefit of all Nigerians,” he said.
He said the government was also working on tax reforms and cash transfer programs to support vulnerable households.
Furthermore, he said the government was launching access-to-credit programs, promoting technical talent development, and creating service-export jobs, adding that in January 2024, a new federal student loan program will be rolled out to further enhance education opportunities.
“Establishment of a Presidential Fiscal Policy and Tax Reform Committee to reform the tax system while also reducing tax burden on Nigerians. The Committee has this week presented its first set of reform proposals— “Quick Wins” to the President, and Nigerians can rest assured that they will be implemented.
“I must emphasise that one of the primary mandates of the Committee is to reduce the tax burdens and complications faced by Nigerians.
We are finalising the process for payment of a Cash Transfer of N25,000 monthly to 15 million of the poorest and most vulnerable households in Nigeria, for three months.
“A presidential directive for the release of 200,000 Metric Tonnes of grains from strategic reserves to households across the 36 states and FCT to moderate prices, and 225,000 metric tonnes of fertilizer, seedlings, and other inputs to farmers.
“An access-to-credit programme for startups and MSMEs, that will be launched soon: providing N50 billion in Conditional Grants to 1 million nano-businesses across Nigeria between now and March 2024; and a new single-digit interest-rate Fund to provide N75 billion to support manufacturing enterprises; among others.
“We have launched the 3MTT programme that aims to develop 3 million technical talents by 2025, in line with the President’s vision for making Nigeria a global hub for digital jobs. In just two weeks since it was launched, close to 500,000 applications have been received from across Nigeria.
“Still in line with the jobs agenda, we have recently launched the National Talent Export Programme (NATEP), to create one million service-export jobs over the next 5 years, and make Nigeria a global business outsourcing hub.
By January 2024, we will be rolling out the new Federal student loan program that was announced a few months ago,” Minister said.
He added that the Federal Ministry of Information and National Orientation (FMINO), was working on implementing a sustained mass reorientation campaign that aims to foster unity, patriotism, and the promotion of positive cultural values among Nigerians.