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Tinubu inherited a dire situation – Shettima

Vice-President Kashim Shettima has said President Bola Tinubu led administration inherited a dire situation when it took over in 2023.

Shettima stated this on Thursday in Abuja when he hosted a delegation from the United Nations System in Nigeria on a courtesy visit.

According to him, fuel subsidy had been an albatross around the neck of successive governments in Nigeria.

“We had two options – either we get rid of subsidy or subsidy will get rid of the Nigerian nation.

“We have to be our brother’s keeper, but we were literally subsidising the fuel of the entire West African region,” he said.

He said that President Tinubu’s decision to abolish the subsidy and unify the exchange rates to allow the Naira to float freely “created a lot of challenges from the humanitarian end”.

Shettima added that removing fuel subsidy and unifying exchange rates were tough but necessary decisions to rescue Nigeria from economic disaster.

The Vice-President, however, assured all that Nigeria would work closely with the UN to address the country’s challenges.

He also promised the UN delegation that Nigeria would close ranks with the global body.

Earlier, Mr Mohammed Fall, the UN Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator in Nigeria, had said that the global body would collaborate with President Tinubu led administration to attain the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in Nigeria.

He said that the UN was of the conviction that the success or failure of Africa depended on Nigeria.

According to him, the progress of Nigeria translates to the development of Africa.

“If Nigeria doesn’t make it, there is no chance for any country to make it.

“If Nigeria lifts it here, not only our sub-region, but the entire continent and the world at large will be on track for the SDGs.

“If we succeed in Nigeria today, the whole of the continent succeeds, but if we have challenges or difficulties to succeed in Nigeria, I am sure it is all of our continent that will be pulled down,” he maintained.

On the proposed humanitarian response plan for Nigeria, Fall said that the plan was beyond helping those in need.

“We want to set the ground for a transition towards medium and long term development.

“We need to act now. It is the only way to sustain the successes recorded by the government and other partners to reduce vulnerability in society.”

He commended the measures so far taken by the Tinubu led administration to reposition the economy, and emphasised that Nigeria was critical to the progress of Africa and must be supported to succeed.

Fall pledged the UN System’s support for the reforms undertaken by the Tinubu administration.

He sought the partnership of the Federal Government to initiate a social safety programme that would mitigate the impact of the reforms on the most vulnerable in the society.

“Your decision is commended everywhere, but we (at the UN), felt that before we get the results, there is a high risk that it could impact harshly on the most vulnerable segments of our community.

“And, at the UN, we stand next to you to try to look for solutions on how we can mitigate those impacts on the most vulnerable people.

“This is what we want and that is our first initiative – how we can work together to step up our work on the social protection front.

“We want to make sure that a safety net is in place; we want to bring coherence, bring consistency in a way that helps us address vulnerability that is still prevailing in the country.

“The humanitarian situation in the north has improved and this is thanks to your leadership.

“But, as we speak, there is still a humanitarian need; there is still a need to save lives, there is still vulnerability,” Fall said.

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Written by Nike

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