|PRESIDENT GOODLUCK EBELE JONATHAN|
Since the announcement-of the deregulation, there have been mixed reaction to the policy. Let me assure all Nigerians that I feel the pain you all feel.
We are all face with 2 basic choices, either we deregulate and survive economically , or we continue to undermine our economy and potential for growth, and face serious consequences.
''We must act in the public interest, No matter how tough, for the pain of today cannot be compared with the benefits of tomorrow.
On assumption of office, I swore to an oath to always act in the best interest of the people. I remain faithful to that undertaking . To save Nigeria, we must all be prepared make sacrifices''
He went on to say- On the part of Government, we are taking several measures aimed at cutting the size and cost of governance: Reduction in the size of the recurrent expenditure and the increase in capital spending.
Overseas travel by all political office holders, including the President, to be reduced to the barest minimum.
The size of delegations on trips abroad to be drastically reduced; only trips that are absolutely necessary will be approved.
The basic salaries of all political office holders in the executive arm of government, to be reduced by 25%.
Government is presently reviewing the number of committees, commissions and Parastatals with overlapping responsibilities.
All ministries, departments and agencies must review their overhead expenses.
According to the President- Deregulation is the strongest measure the Federal Government had come up with, to fight the corruption prevalent in that sector of the economy. And part of the plan of government is that money so saved from the deregulation shall be judiciously used to better other sectors of the economy- especially Power supply, Education, Transportation, Road construction, Healthcare, Irrigation & Agriculture etc.
Of particular note in the address was when the President said, he feels the pains of the generality of Nigerians, and that were he not the president he would have complained too. He said government is very vigilant to make sure to curb the excesses of those who want to increase transportation cost indiscriminately. And to help reduce the initial burden the increase in transportation cost would put on the people, the President said by tomorrow- January 8, 2011 he would launch a very robust mass transport intervention which he believes would reduce the cost of transportation.
The President also went on to say that his government has initiated plans to set up a Public Works Program, which would engage not less than 10,000 youths in each state of the Federation and Abuja, that is the provision of 370,000 in the shortest possible time.
The full rehabilitation of the Port-harcourt-Maiduguri railway line & the completion of the Lagos-Kano railway line.
At the end of the address, the President asked for the full understanding of all Nigerians, He also promised to keep his words.
Do we believe our President?
Are we ready to give him a chance to make things work?
Does he truly, have our best interest at heart? These and many other questions are some of those the average Nigerian needs answers to.
Would Labour shelve the mother of all strikes, it has ordered to begin from tomorrow night? Same day the President is launching about 1,600 buses, as intervention against the high cost of transportation the fuel price increase has brought on the populace. Time will tell, we plan to bring all the happenstances your way.