FG rolls out N1tn palliative, massive construction projects

President Bola Tinubu on Thursday gave all the state governors seven days to provide concrete feedback on their plans to rev up food production in their respective states.

Tinubu gave the directive at the 142nd National Economic Council meeting attended by state governors and some deputies at the State House, Abuja.

He also announced a National Construction and Household Support Programme which will see 100,000 families in each state getting N50,000 grant for three months, N155bn to be disbursed for assorted foods, N540bn for household grants even as 36 states and the Federal Capital Territory will get N10bn allocations each for CNG buses.

The N50,000 planned for 3.7 million families across the 36 states and the FCT, the N10bn allocation each for CNG buses in the 36 states and the FCT, as well as the N155bn spending on assorted foods, are estimated to cost over N1tn.

While emphasising the urgency of boosting food production in the country, the President urged state governors to work together to meet the needs of citizens, stating his willingness to provide the needed support to ensure that Nigerians are relieved of hardship.

“We must deliver on our targets at all levels. Please report back following your consultations and submit it to my office within seven days.

“How much support do you need from me and in what form? I am prepared to provide it. But we must achieve the result.

The President’s comments followed multiple economic challenges rocking the country. High inflation driven by the removal of fuel subsidies and exchange rate depreciation reached 27 per cent year-on-year in October 2023.

This price surge, coupled with high food insecurity has exacerbated the cost-of-living crisis, leaving Nigerians struggling to afford necessities.

Despite adopting significant policy reforms like fuel subsidy removal and exchange rate unification, the challenges of poverty, stalled per-capita growth, and a weak business environment persist and are compounded by external pressures such as global food price surges and geopolitical uncertainties.

At Thursday’s NEC meeting, Tinubu announced new plans to boost agricultural productivity, strengthen the economy by creating opportunities in the real sectors of agriculture, manufacturing, and construction, and provide urgent economic relief for Nigerians.

This includes the immediate rollout of the National Construction and Household Support Programme to cover all geo-political zones in the country.

The programme also prioritises other road infrastructure projects, such as the Lagos-Calabar Coastal Highway, which is underway and the Trans-Saharan Highway, which links Enugu, Abakaliki, Ogoja, Benue, Kogi, Nasarawa and Abuja.

Tinubu also approved full counterpart financing for Port Harcourt-Maiduguri Railway; to traverse Rivers, Abia, Enugu, Benue, Nasarawa, Plateau, Bauchi, Gombe, Yobe and Borno, as well as for the Ibadan-Abuja segment of the Lagos-Kano Standard-Gauge Railway; which will traverse Lagos, Ogun, Oyo, Osun, Kwara, Niger, Abuja, Kaduna, and Kano.

Ngelale noted that the programme would especially prioritise the Sokoto-Badagry road project “For its importance as some of the states it will traverse are strategic to the agricultural sustainability of the nation.”


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