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Hardship: There’s Light At The End Of The Tunnel.”-Tinubu

President Tinubu

The economic situation will improve and pains will give way to prosperity, President Bola Ahmed Tinubu assured Nigerians yesterday.
Urging citizens not to despair, he said things would get better.

Also, House Representatives Speaker Tajudeen Abbas urged Nigerians to exercise patience and cooperate with the government in its bid to effectively implement the economic reforms that will soothe the pains.

President Tinubu and the Speaker spoke on the prospect of economic recovery yesterday as workers staged protests in state capitals and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) over the high cost of living.

The President said: “We must assure Nigerians that there is light at the end of the tunnel.

“We might be going through a difficult period now, but when you look at the Infrastructure Concession Regulatory Commission, the Federal Ministry of Finance, Budget and National Planning and people manning the ship of this country, including Central Bank of Nigeria (governor), they have collaborated and in the spirit of development and progress, we are glad that good effort is being made to retool, re-engineer the finances of the country and make growth our hallmark.”

The President spoke during the unveiling of the handbook on Expatriate Employment Levy (EEL).

Abbas, who spoke when he received the leadership of the Parliamentary Staff Association of Nigeria (PASAN) led by Comrade Muhammad Usman in his office, said: “My appeal to you as the National President of PASAN is to please, help to tell your other colleagues in the Labour leadership to give this government a little more time.

“There are so many things that are under consideration, things that the government is trying to come up with for the benefit of Nigerians.

“So, please, help us to tell them to exercise patience that something very good will come out very soon.”

He added: “I know of a lot of palliatives, reviews of salaries and welfare packages that are most likely coming on board in the near future.

“Please, communicate to them that we know their pains and their problems and we will not let them down. They should give us more time.”

The President lauded the Minister of Interior, Olubunmi Tunji-Ojo, for the various progressive innovations he introduced, saying they have received applause at home and abroad.

President Tinubu, who described the EEL scheme as another game changer, highlighted its advantages.

These include better employment opportunities for Nigerians with foreign companies, bridging the wage gap between Nigerian employees and expatriates in foreign companies operating in Nigeria and boosting national security.

He said: “We expect revenue generation improvement, improved naturalisation and indigenisation, employment of more Nigerians by foreign companies operating in this country, balancing of employment opportunities between Nigerians and expatriates, and closing the wage gap between the expatriate and the Nigerian labour force by making it more attractive to hire Nigerians.

“I’ve been further assured that the project can plug loopholes and gaps that have bedevilled the country in dealing with security challenges, and the movement of foreigners in and out of the country.

Nigerians lament

“Interestingly, this scheme will wield the dual fold of revenue generation as well as addressing employment challenges.”

President Tinubu, however, warned operators of the scheme against turning it into another bureaucratic bottleneck, which is capable of frustrating potential investors.

He said: “I declare my support for the Expatriate Employment Levy scheme and I will continue to encourage the operators, practitioners of immigration matters and expatriate quotas.

“But don’t use it as a bottleneck, don’t use it to frustrate potential investors.

“There will be clear lines of implementation and effective acceleration of aims and objectives of this programme.

“Immigration matters and expatriate quotas, and relevant stakeholders, have to be effectively guided to make Nigeria the focus of the objective of this EEL.”

The Minister of Interior highlighted some of the features of the EEL scheme, saying that it would create employment opportunities and competitive advantages for Nigerians working in foreign companies in the country.

He said the project was in tandem with the President’s eight-point agenda, especially on security and economic growth.

Tunji-Ojo said: “The main essence is to be sure that if you are bringing an expatriate to work in Nigeria, it should be a job that no Nigeria has the skill to do.

“That’s the major objective of this particular initiative; balancing employment opportunities between Nigerians and expatriates and, of course, closing wage gaps between expatriates and the Nigerian labor force by making it more attractive to hire Nigerians

“Part of the motivation is to reduce the dependence of companies on foreign personnel and to also reduce the rate at which renewal of expatriate quotas has been sought after by companies.

“We want to see a scenario whereby once an expatriate comes, there will be a knowledge transition period of which Nigeria should be able to be trained to take over this responsibility and create opportunities for our teeming youths.”

Chairman, Senate Committee on Interior,  Adams Oshiomhole, said the initiative would strengthen the position of Nigerians when it comes to competitive employment

He said: “We all have to share with Mr. President the burden of putting in place appropriate policies that will ensure that more Nigerians are engaged in jobs that are good paying.

“That is the way to fight and defeat poverty in the long run.” (NATION)

Source: Hardcore News (Headline)

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