By Enyichukwu Enemanna
President of Nigeria has expressed concern over the hardship facing his countrymen, arising from cost-of-living crisis, loss in value of local currency the Naira, a situation that has tightened the grip of poverty in the West African nation battling deadly jihadist group Boko Haram and banditry.
“My administration will continue to implement palliative measures to ease the burden on the most vulnerable, address current hardships and alleviate the suffering of all our nation’s people.
“Fellow Nigerians, as we navigate this transition to stability, prosperity, and Renewed Hope, I urge you once more to hold fast and rest assured of my commitment to govern with vision, dedication, and empathy”, Tinubu said at his Christmas message on Sunday.
Arising from the removal of fuel subsidy this year by the administration, cost of transportation rose by 100%, affecting prices of consumer goods.
According to the government-owned Nigeria Bureau of Statistics (NBS), food inflation in Nigeria rose to 32.84%.
As a result of the harsh economic environment, investors are announcing their exit from Nigeria.
US consumer goods powerhouse Procter & Gamble (P&G), was the latest to reveal its decision to shut down manufacturing in Nigeria.
The maker of iconic brands including Pampers, Gillette, Ariel, Always and Oral-B, which has been operating in the country for 30 years and ran two manufacturing plants in Ibadan, Oyo State and Agbara, Ogun State, disclosed readiness to pivot to import-only activity, describing Nigeria and Argentina markets as problematic for the corporation.
In the midst of these, Tinubu is optimistic that a new dawn will soon emerge.
“Be confident that by the strength of our joint endeavour, we will shortly emerge into a new dawn of prosperity, peace, and irreversible progress,” he said.
The Nigerian leader also called for prayer for men of the country’s armed forces, some of who have paid the ultimate price in defence of the country from armed groups that have displaced millions of people, especially in the North East and North West regions.
“As you celebrate this season, please spare a moment of remembrance and prayer for the men and women of our nation’s armed forces, bearing arms in our names and ensuring our safety. My God protect them and bring them back to their families.”