By NEWS AGENCY OF NIGERIA
The Minister of Information and National Orientation, Alhaji Mohammed Idris, says the 2024 Appropriation Bill of N27.5 trillion submitted to the National Assembly demonstrates President Bola Tinubu’s commitment to fiscal responsibility.
Idris stated this at the 2023 Public Lecture and Annual General Meeting of the Kaduna State Chapter of the Nigerian Institute of Public Relations (NIPR) on Saturday in Abuja.
The meeting with the theme, “Demographic transition, ethical resources, and sustainable development: Reflection on Northern Nigeria”, was organised by the Kaduna Chapter of the NIPR.
The minister described Tinubu as a transformational leader with a solid track record in the private sector and at the level of subnational government.
According to Idris, Tinubu is a man who will not be fazed by challenges and obstacles, because he is a man that is more than equal to the task.
“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 realisation 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 Tinubu’s commitment to fiscal responsibility with all sense of sincerity, transparency and accountability.
“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.
“Before the budget presentation, President Tinubu had assented to an equally important Supplementary Budget, signed some landmark bills and Executive Orders into law, and inaugurated initiatives on fiscal policy reform,” he said.
The minister added that the goal has been to deliver relief to the Nigerian people, and lay the groundwork for true and lasting prosperity.
On the theme of the public lecture, Idris said the concept of demographic transition is a very important one for Nigeria, considering the place it occupies as Africa’s most populous country.
According to him, by the year 2050, Nigeria will be the third most populous country in the world, after India and China, and ahead of the United States.
“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.
“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.
“The choice is now up to us, as leaders, as elites, regarding what direction Nigeria will proceed in.
“Today’s young people, if properly educated and catered for, will be tomorrow’s engaged and productive labour force.
“Demographics are not only about age; gender is another important element. Nigeria’s population is roughly split evenly between men and women.
“One of the pillars of President Bola Tinubu’s Eight-Point Agenda is inclusivity, which means inclusive policies and programmes for all segments of the population, especially youth and women.
“You can see manifestations of this, even in the array of appointments made by the president so far, and the prominence given to young people and to women,” the minister said.
The President and Chairman of Council of the Institute of NIPR, Dr Ike Neliaku, represented by a Fellow of the Institute, Alhaji Bashir Chedi, commended the Kaduna Chapter for being active, consistent and always setting the pace.
According to Neliaku, the theme for the conference is very apt and urged members to keep to the ethic and values of the NIPR and also to add value to organisations they are working for.
Similarly, the Chairman of Kaduna Chapter of the NIPR, Mr Haroun Malami, said public relations served as an indispensable tool for shaping perception and fostering a supportive environment contributing to sustainable development initiatives.
He said “figures from the National Bureau of Statistics shows that for every new children born in Nigeria between 2016 and 2019, seven were from the northern states”.
The keynote address on ‘Demographic transition, ethical resource and sustainable development, was delivered by the former Governor of Niger, Dr Mua’zu Babangida Aliyu.
The event attracted the Directors-General of Federal Radio Corporation of Nigeria, Dr Mohammed Bulama; Nigerian Television Authority, Salihu Dembos, and Voice of Nigeria, Mr Jibrin Baba Ndace.
Also, in attendance were officials from Zonal Command of EFCC, FIRS, Kaduna State Government, Gombe Indigens Association in Kaduna, Jam’a Matan Arewa and the Nigeria Union of Journalists.
NAN reports that awards in different categories were given to deserving members and other personalities in governance, gender politics and empowerment, tax administration, public broadcasting and many others. (NAN)