Udofia Elijah: Abiodun’s strategy for easing the present economic crisis

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To claim that current circumstances in Nigeria are challenging would be to state the obvious. Everyone is on edge because of the present economic slump, which is, of course, felt worldwide. Making ends meet is a struggle for many households across the nation. People are struggling under the weight of soaring prices across the board and a plummeting Naira, the national currency.

The Consumer Price Index (CPI), which tracks the pace of change in prices of goods and services, increased to 28.92 percent in December 2023 from 28.20 percent the previous month, according to the National Bureau of Statistics, the organization tasked with conducting empirical analysis of economic trend in the nation.

According to the Bureau, this new statistic signifies the twentieth straight increase in the country’s inflation rate for the year 2023.
There was a “0.72% point increase when compared to the November 2023 headline inflation rate,” according to the agency, in the headline inflation rate for December 2023.

According to NBC’s report, the headline inflation rate was 7.58% points higher than the rate recorded in December 2022, which was 21.34%, illustrating the country’s performance on an annual basis.

The report went on to state that compared to the previous year’s December 2022, the headline inflation rate rose in December 2023.

The National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) reported a headline inflation rate of 2.29% in December 2023, which was “0.20% higher than the rate recorded in November 2023 (2.09%)” according to its monthly inflation study.

The preceding statistics make it very evident that the ordinary man is not doing well, and the decline of the Naira’s value compared to other currencies, particularly the dollar, has only made matters worse. The tendency is so dramatic that it causes prices to fluctuate seemingly at random. The situation is getting worse for Nigerians as the price of a product that costs N100 in the morning goes up to N200 in the evening, adding to their growing despair.

“Is anyone paying attention to the people’s cries?” the average citizen may inquire in such a circumstance. Is anyone keeping track of the people’s experiences and the plans made to alleviate their suffering?

Yes, we are listening to your screams, yes, we are taking notes, and yes, we are making measures to provide succor in the face of the seemly insurmountable obstacles,” said Ogun State governor Dapo Abiodun.

“Today, we come together in the face of the prevailing economic realities vis a vis high inflation and currency devaluation in the country,” Abiodun told his people during a press conference. We are not ignorant nor indifferent as an administration to the difficulties our people are experiencing. So, on behalf of my administration, I’d want to thank the wonderful people of Ogun State for their persistence, tolerance, and understanding.

Prince Abiodun believes that the current economic crisis is temporary and will be over shortly. The hardships we are currently facing as a nation, in his view, are merely temporary setbacks on the road to a better future.

To demonstrate his understanding of the impact of the current economic situation on the lives of the people and the administration he leads, he announced a N5 billion intervention fund to mitigate the effects of high inflation and the growing cost of living in the state.

Emphasized the utilization of the funds by informing the public that each of the 850,000 kids enrolled in public elementary and secondary schools will get a minimum of five exercise books.

A similar one-time education support award of N10,000 would be distributed to no less than 100,000 students enrolled in the state’s public elementary and secondary schools. Every one of the 27,600 low-income students enrolled in colleges and universities around the country would get a stipend of N50,000 from the government.

In an effort to protect the public’s health—and because everyone knows that a healthy body is a wealthy one—the governor announced that his administration will be covering the medical expenses of more than 70,000 people, including expectant mothers, children, the elderly, women working in the informal economy, and those in the market. As part of the Ibidero Scheme, pregnant women will receive free prenatal care, an extra N5,000 for each birth, and free postnatal care at health centers and hospitals around the state.

Approximately 300,000 homes across the state would be provided with food palliatives, including rice and other food products, he went on to add.

In order to show appreciation to the employees, whom the governor calls the “engine room and worthy partners in the ‘Building Our Future Together’ agenda,” the state government has promised to pay N500 million every month to settle the backlog of inherited deductions.

Also, all state employees have been receiving a N10,000 transportation subsidy from the state government for the past eight months.

At a press conference, Governor Abiodun showered President Bola Ahmed Tinubu with accolades, praising his unwavering commitment to guiding the country’s economy through these difficult times and the difficulties it presents.

It is undeniable that Nigerians are facing challenging times. “Difficult roads always lead to beautiful destinations,” as the famous American motivational speaker and author Zig Ziglar once wrote. The current economic crisis is, as governor Abiodun has assured the public, only a temporary setback. Everything that is happening right now is simply a sacrifice that we must make in order to have a better tomorrow.

Ogun State residents should breathe easy knowing that Prince Dapo Abiodun, governor, is paying attention to their problems and is prepared to tackle them directly now that the state administration has started the process.

From Oke-Mosan, Abeokuta, Mr. Udofia writes.

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