The Minister of Information and National Orientation, Mohammed Idris, has said, the 2024 Budget Proposal of President Bola Ahmed Tinubu, serves as a pivotal step towards realizing the ambitious and transformative objectives outlined in his Renewed Hope Agenda.
The Minister stated this in Kaduna on Saturday at the 2023 Public Lecture of the Kaduna State Chapter of the Nigerian Institute of Public Relations with the theme “Demographic Translation, Ethical Resources and Sustainable Development: Reflections on Northern Nigeria”.
He said the comprehensive fiscal plan, which reflects a deep understanding of the challenges facing the country, is designed to be a catalyst for sustainable development, economic growth, and prosperity.
“Just this week, he presented the 2024 Appropriation Bill of N27.5 trillion to the National Assembly, the first full-year Budget of his Administration. The Budget as presented signifies a pivotal step towards the realization of his Renewed Hope Agenda, by aligning fiscal strategies and priorities with broader national development objectives.
“In addition to its focus on development priorities, the budget demonstrates a commitment to fiscal responsibility. President Tinubu’s administration recognizes the importance of prudent financial management as the foundation for long-term economic stability. As the 2024 appropriation bill moves through the legislative process, we are very optimistic that its passage will mark the beginning of a transformative era, bringing tangible improvements to the lives of Nigerians,” he said.
The Minister said prior to the Budget Presentation, President Tinubu had assented to a Supplementary Budget, signed a number of landmark Bills and Executive Orders into law, and inaugurated special presidential initiatives on fiscal policy reform, Compressed Natural Gas (CNG), Food Security, MSME Support, and other critical areas of the economy. “The goal has been to deliver relief to the Nigerian people, and lay the groundwork for true and lasting prosperity,” he said.
The Minister said Nigerians must acknowledge the fact that the present administration came into office at a very challenging time in the nation’s history, yet the President has confronted all the inherited challenges head on.
“Nigerians have as President a transformational leader with a solid track record in the private sector and at the level of subnational government. A man who will not be fazed by challenges and obstacles, who has regularly said he does not need pity or sympathy; because he asked for and passionately sought the job,” he said.
While speaking on the theme of the lecture “Demographic Translation, Ethical Resources and Sustainable Development: Reflections on Northern Nigeria”, Idris said the concept of Demographic Transition is a very crucial topic in Nigeria, considering the country’s growing population, which is estimated to be the third most populous country in the world, after India and China, and ahead of the United States by 2050.
“On top of this, we are a very young population, with a median age of 19. What this means is that half of the population of our country is younger than 20. You can imagine what the implications of this are for our present and our future: education, healthcare, jobs, security, economic potential.
“We owe these teeming young people a great deal, starting with ensuring that they are educated for the world of the 21st century. Indeed, with our population, we are at a crossroads. In one direction lies demographic dividend, and in the other direction lies demographic disaster,” he stated.
While speaking on the collaboration between his ministry and the NIPR, the Minister expressed the readiness to revive the moribund National Institute of Public Information (NIPI), a training arm of the Ministry of Information and National Orientation, through a broad-based and result-oriented partnership with the NIPR, to develop the capacity of Information Officers of government ministries, departments, and agencies, and serve as a training ground for Nigerians from different fields and endeavours.