In his address during an event in Abuja, Vice-President Kashim Shettima acknowledged the grievances of impoverished Nigerians resulting from soaring inflation and the subsequent surge in the cost of living. He emphasized that the less privileged citizens, forming the majority, hold widespread anger towards government officials. The event, organized by the National Institute for Security Studies was a graduation ceremony for the Executive Intelligence Management Course 16 participants, consisting of individuals from various security agencies and nominees from state governments.
For the very first time, a high-ranking government representative has openly acknowledged the severe distress prevailing in our nation, a crisis that has only worsened since President Bola Tinubu assumed office. Following the president’s decision to remove fuel subsidies, the cost of petrol has skyrocketed, leaping from ₦238-₦263 per liter to a staggering range of ₦580-₦615. While Nigerians were acclimating to the altered circumstances and the subsequent surge in prices of commodities and services, including transportation costs, the Federal Government disclosed its decision to establish a floating exchange rate for the naira, which would be subject to market forces of demand and supply.
Value of naira has dropped by more than 40 percent since June.
As a result, the value of the Naira fell substantially, reaching a high value against the United States dollar and other major foreign currencies. Quite recently, the naira plummeted to an unprecedented low, hitting ₦1,099.05/$ in the official Investor and Exporter forex window, putting a cap on the tumultuous months endured by the currency. This marks a significant drop of 30.36 percent compared to its previous closing rate of ₦843.07/$, as reported by the FMDQ Securities Exchange.
This recorded figure represents the lowest rate of Naira since the Central Bank of Nigeria implemented the I&E window as the official trading channel for the currency. During that period, the currency started trading at ₦844.10/$ and eventually closed at ₦1,099.05/$. Value of naira has dropped by more than 40 percent since June, adding to inflationary pressure in the country. Report has it that many families risked celebrating the approaching Christmas and New Year in hardship due to the hike in the prices of goods and services, and are seeking life-changing ways to cut costs.
People urged to remain supportive for govt endeavors.
Shettima highlighted the undeniable fact that the underprivileged harbours deep resentment towards the government due to being consistently marginalized in our society. In order to address this issue, it is imperative to enhance the standards of governance. Additionally, providing opportunities for employment and instilling optimism among the people can significantly mitigate the prevailing insecurity within the nation. Despite the ongoing challenges, he urged the people to remain understanding and supportive of the President’s endeavors to revitalize the nation. Criticizing those who aim to break away from the country, he pointed out their limited perspective, implying their failure to consider the bigger picture.
In addition, Yusuf Bichi, the Director-General of the Department of State Security Services, announced during the gathering that the service is planning to initiate the manufacturing of unmanned aerial vehicles, AK-47s, and various other armaments for utilization by their personnel. The goal behind this decision is to diminish their excessive dependence on foreign nations for weaponry and alleviate the immense financial burden involved in acquiring such equipment. The DG reaffirmed their commitment to assisting the institute with its training initiatives. The well-being of our current and former staff members is a matter of great importance to me, and we will always stand by that principle, he added.
DSS guarantees trustworthy intelligence to other agencies.
Bichi further explained that their focus on research and development will remain steadfast, as will dedication to supplying reliable intelligence to other security agencies. The DSS chief also expressed gratitude towards the agencies that have joined on this journey so far and guarantee unwavering commitment to furnishing them with trustworthy intelligence that empowers their operations. He went on to strongly request that the residents of Plateau and Kaduna states abandon their animosity and instead channel their energies into creating productive employment opportunities.