He, however, described the tough times as necessary sacrifice to guarantee a better future.
Tinubu, who was represented by the Minister of Information and National Orientation, Mohammed Idris, spoke at the opening of the 19th All Nigeria Editors Conference organised by the Nigerian Guild of Editors in Uyo, Akwa Ibom State capital.
The President said, “The removal of subsidy on petrol and the convergence of the foreign exchange rate were inevitable decisions to save the economy from suffocation.
“Though Nigerians are going through tough times in the short term, it is a necessary sacrifice that we must make to guarantee a better future.
“That is why we have put in place palliatives and other measures to cushion the effect of these hard times, which is a bridge to the renewed hope agenda, where we will all have lasting smiles on our faces as we turn the tide together.”
The President said due to the economic impact of the removal of fuel subsidy, his administration has been taking all necessary measures to alleviate the resulting pain, through interventions that are designed to serve as palliatives in the short and medium-term, while the nation awaits the long-term benefits of the reforms.
He listed some of the interventions to include a provisional wage increment of N35,000 monthly for six months; establishment of an Infrastructure Support Fund for states to invest in critical areas that will create an enabling environment for businesses; launch of a N100 billion CNG bus rollout programme, to deliver CNG-powered buses, and establishment of a Presidential Committee to drive implementation; and the signing of no fewer than five Executive Orders, aimed at improving Nigeria’s business and fiscal environment, and increasing foreign exchange supply among others.
Tinubu, now hit the ground running
He therefore urged the editors to provide positive information that can enhance investors confidence in the country.
Tinubu added, “I urge you to provide positive media coverage that can enhance investor confidence and attract the needed investments that fuel economic development in our county. The media’s role in portraying a favourable business environment contributes to the stability of financial markets.
“Due to your role in setting agenda for the government, the media on its own can advocate for policies that promote economic growth and technological progress and follow up on these advocacies through robust engagement on your various platforms.”
He also urged the editors to fight fake news saying, “As you are aware, we are faced with the proliferation of misinformation, disinformation and false narratives which threaten the fabric of our society, and it is our collective duty to combat this menace. Through fact-checking, responsible reporting, promoting media and digital literacy, we can fortify our defences against the corrosive effects of fake news.”
The NGE President, Mr Eze Anaba, in his welcome address at the opening of the conference in Uyo on Wednesday, called on the Federal Government to take urgent steps towards resuscitating the economy.
Anaba stated that the state of the economy should be cause for concern for every Nigerian.
“A matter of concern to many in the nation today is the state of the Nigerian economy. The economy is in a dire situation, and the new administration should continue to grapple with the situation while pushing out policies for a turnaround.
“All hands must therefore be on deck in the task of reversing the trend to improve the economic situation and the well-being of Nigerians,” he said.