The Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), Senator George Akume, has urged Nigerians to maintain composure in the face of economic challenges, assuring them that President Bola Tinubu is diligently working towards improving the economy.

Speaking at the National Executive Council of Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN), Akume outlined various measures the government is implementing to address the current hardships.

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He cautioned labor unions against making decisions that could undermine the efforts of the Tinubu-led administration.

Akume also acknowledged the turbulent state of the country when the current administration took office, expressing concern over the mismanagement of foreign reserves and other sectors.

“We assumed office during a tumultuous period. Foreign reserves were depleted, but the President has implemented extensive reforms.

One of these reforms, although difficult for some to comprehend, is the removal of fuel subsidies. People need to stop protesting and understand the true rationale behind it,” Akume stated.

He emphasized that the government has swiftly implemented palliative measures to mitigate the effects of these reforms. Akume highlighted the N35,000 wage award for workers, which includes a minimum wage of N30,000 with an additional N35,000.

Furthermore, the allocation of N100 billion for CNG fuel buses is aimed at reducing transportation costs and food prices.

Akume also emphasized the government’s support for various sectors, including the provision of N125 billion in conditional grants and financial inclusion for medium and small enterprises.

Additionally, N150 billion in palliative loans have been provided to states to offset the impact of fuel subsidy removal.

“We are allocating N200 billion to support increased agricultural cultivation. We are making progress,” he added.

Addressing recent disruptions, Akume strongly condemned the shutdown of the national power grid, considering it a treasonable offense.

“Nowhere in the world has labor tampered with the national grid. It is treason! Economic sabotage is a treasonable felony, and we cannot allow it. We are working to rebuild the economy, and they want to destroy it. This benefits no one. It is not the way,” he expressed.

Regarding the minimum wage process, Akume explained, “In 2019, the minimum wage was legislated to be N30,000. It is an exclusive issue in the constitution, not on the concurrent list but on the exclusive legislative list.

This is why the federal government, in collaboration with the organized private sector and labor, recommends it to the president for the attention of the national assembly.”

To reassure the public, Akume assured them that the government is indeed working. He pointed out the implementation of the N35,000 wage, which exceeds the minimum wage.

He also mentioned that buses are ready for distribution, and soon, rice and other essential commodities will be available.

Akume stressed the importance of collaboration between the church and the government in providing essential services such as education, health, and agriculture.

“The church must collaborate with the government in providing facilities for the people, whether it is in education, health, or agriculture. We must work together. There is a symbiotic relationship that cannot be severed,” he emphasized.

He further highlighted the government’s focus on productivity and economic stability.

“Our people must strive to have income in their pockets. It is not about demanding 100,000 naira without productivity. We aim to control inflation and ensure a balanced economy,” he asserted.