Forces Bent On Undermining Nigeria’s Economy – Shettima
By Olushola Okunlade
Nigeria’s Vice President, Kashim Shettima, on Tuesday, accused some forces of undermining the efforts of the Bola Tinubu administration to stabilise the economy.

He attributed the current food crisis being faced by the country to smugglers and politicians who could not get into power through the ballot box.

Mr Shettima made this known at the Public Wealth Management Conference held in Abuja on Tuesday.

“Forces are hell-bent on plunging this country into a state of anarchy, those that could not get into power through the ballot box. Instead of waiting for 2027, they are so desperate; that this country can fall apart as far as they are concerned. But we are going to visit them,” the vice president said.

“Just a few nights ago, 45 trucks of maize were caught being transported into a neighbouring country. Just in that Ilela axis (Sokoto state), there are 32 illegal routes. At the moment when they were intercepted, the price of maize fell by N10,000, from N60,000 to N50,000.

“So there are forces that are hell-bent on undermining our nation but this is the time for us to come together,” he said.

In recent times, there has been a persistent increase in food prices, a development that has significantly diminished the purchasing power of households across the country.

The latest data from the National Bureau of Statistics reveals that food inflation surged to 35.41 per cent year-on-year in January 2024, marking an increase of 11.10 percentage points compared to the rate recorded in January 2023 (24.32 per cent).

While calling for a move from political bickering to effective governance, Mr. Shettima expressed disappointment at the continued involvement of some citizens in political disputes instead of prioritising governance.

He said the “practitioners of violence” are advocating that Nigeria should go the Venezuela way or the Lebanon way. He however expressed optimism that Nigeria is greater than anyone and will weather the storm.

Speaking further, Mr. Shettima said the federal government is set to raise $10 billion through the optimisation of public assets as part of the move to stabilise the economy.

He said the goal of the administration is not only to stabilise the national currency but also to double the country’s GDP growth rate over the next eight years.

“The Federal Government set a goal to raise at least $10 Billion to increase foreign exchange liquidity, a key ingredient to stabilise the Naira and grow the economy,” he said.

He said that the restructured Ministry of Finance Incorporated, tasked with overseeing these assets, will now take a leading role.


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