From Oluseye Ojo, Ibadan
Vice President, Prof Yemi Osinbajo, yesterday, pleaded for greater understanding and patience of Nigerians in the face of biting economic headship in the country.
President Muhammadu Buhari, he said, is aware of the economic hardship facing the people, and he feels “the pains that you feel, and has asked me to reassure you that a glorious dawn awaits. Osinbajo disclosed this in his goodwill message at the South West Conference of the All Progressives Congress (APC) held at the Premier Hotel, Ibadan yesterday.
“We seek your continued trust and ask you all to join hands with the government as we tackle the challenges ahead. Change is not easy, but, we are not relenting until we achieve a better life for all Nigerians. The change that we advocate will be irrevocable when we are finally done,” he said.
Osinbajo, who was represented by Senator Babafemi Ojudu, admitted that just a little over a year ago that the present administration came to power, majority of Nigerians are already fed up with the direction that the seemingly rudderless ship of the Nigerian state was headed.
He continued: “Nigerians who desired the needed change that we promised voted for our great party in their millions. That confidence reposed in us by millions of Nigerians is what we have come to renew.
“Since we have savoured the sweetness of that electoral victory, we cannot afford to betray the trust that paved the way to usher in change from the ineptness of the past. When we took over the reins of governance, we knew things were bad. What we did not realise, however, was just how bad they really were. Now we know better!
“We have since been working extremely hard to remedy the rot and malaise that pervaded our dear country. The current pains and suuferings that our people are feeling today are the results of yesterday’s mismanagement of the commonwealth of our great country.”
“Every day, as I travel round the country to meet our people, I see on their faces evidence of pains and trauma they are going through. I have heard the anguish and cries of our people in various town meetings that I have addressed. As you all may well know, the darkest part of the night is the period before the dawn. Nigeria’s dawn is about to break. We are determined to turn things around, so that, once more, our people will begin the real impact of government in their lives.
“Our plea to our people is for greater understanding and patience even as we forge ahead to continue the work of making the lives of all Nigerians better again. We seek your continued trust and ask you all to join hands with the government as we tackle and surmount the challenges ahead. Change is not easy, but we are not relenting until we achieve a better life for all Nigerians…”
The change that we advocate will be irrevocable when we are finally done.
“We just have to change from our old ways of doing things because things cannot be allowed to continue the way they were. Though things may appear difficult at the moment, it will not be long before Nigerians start deriving the full benefits of the current policies of government, which are designed to re-position the country and improve on the prevailing economic situation. Sector by sector, we have begun the process of introducing lasting and beneficial changes in the country. Already there are signs that things are turning around for the better.
“In the oil and gas industries for instance, many investors are showing tremendous interest in building petroleum refineries, in no distant time, the issues of fuel scarcity will become a thing of the past and we shall stop expending scarce foreign exchange on refined products. We are also appealing to the pipeline vandals and those that are carrying out acts of economic sabotage in the Niger Delta to desist or face the full wrath of the law.
“In the power sector, the gradual improvement in power supply that is being experienced around the country is the result of the efforts of the government. We are committed to the implementation of the health insurance scheme that our great party promised the people during the electioneering campaigns.
“The diversification of the Nigerian economy is an area that the government is paying close attention to. We must, as a country, begin to look beyond oil to other areas that will generate sustainable revenues for our country. To achieve this purpose, we have begun to invest heavily in the agricultural sector.
“It is our hope and aspiration that Nigeria will once again be able to achieve sustainability and self-reliance in food production to the benefit of our people and also for export. In order that the food we produce will be readily available to our people in all the nooks and crannies of Nigeria, the government has revived the comatose railway systems to transport people and goods round the country. The re-construction of the death traps that pass for highways across the country is also being given top priority by the government.
“The teeming population of youth and women, undoubtedly has continued to bear the brunt of the failed economic policies of the past. We are unwavering in our commitment to alleviate their sufferings through job creation, which has already begun in earnest.
“The education sector, in dire need of rejuvenation, has begun receiving the attentionof the government. The N500 billion social protection fund, which has been created by the government is geared to caring for our underprivileged and institutionalise our social security scheme.”