Reforms painful but bearing fruits, Bagudu says

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By Phillip Yatai

President Bola Tinubu’s economic reforms have started bearing fruits, the Minister of Budget and Economic Planning, Sen. Abubakar Bagudu, has said.

Bagudu told newsmen on Friday in Abuja, that the measures had restored faith in the country’s economy.

A statement by Bola Adebiyi, his Special Assistant on Media, quoted the minister as saying that foreign investors had renewed interest in Nigeria.

“Although the removal of petrol subsidy caused some pain, the policy has increased the quantum of funds available to the three tiers of government to invest in critical infrastructure.

“This critical infrastructure will regenerate the economy; before 29 May 2023, the finances of the government were fragile.

“The payment of subsidies affected the quantum of revenue available to all the layers of government so much that the economy was at a standstill.

“The reform measures were in tandem with the Renewed Hope Agenda and the eight priority areas of the Tinubu administration to regenerate confidence in the economy and provide resources to invest in the productive sector,” he said.

According to Bagudu, both objectives of the reforms have been achieved as the federal, state and local governments have acquired more capacity to support the economy.

According to him, the Federal Government has expanded social investment support to ensure that those at the lower end of the society affected by the reforms are helped to cope.

“All the sectors that will enable the gains to be achieved, including agriculture, infrastructure and security have seen more funding.

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“Sectors that secure our future like education, health and social investment have received increased budgetary allocation.

“Programmes were also introduced to support the sectors so that manufacturing activities could resume and agricultural activity could be better supported on a more sustainable basis,” he said.

Bagudu said that part of the steps taken to boost employment included the provision of mortgage funds to regenerate the mortgage sector so that activities there could increase.

He commended the collaboration between the Central Bank of Nigeria and the Office of the National Security Adviser to rein in currency speculators and manipulators, and observed that it had shored up the value of the naira.

The minister pleaded with Nigerians to persevere, saying that the president had persistently empathised with them.

“We must take note that President Tinubu has empathised with the people and assured them that the reforms were not intended to inflict pain on them, but were necessary measures to reposition the economy,” he said. (NAN)

Edited by Ephraims Sheyin

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