President Muhammadu Buhari on Friday appealed to Nigerians yet to feel the impacts of his Administration and those who feel the government is not doing enough to bear with the government.
The President made the appeal in Ilorin at a town hall meeting with the traditional rulers, youths, students, organised labour, market women and other stakeholders on the #EndSARS protest and its aftermath.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN recalled the President had directed all his cabinet ministers to go to their respective states and interact with the people over the protest and what the government had done.
The Kwara state meeting hosted in Ilorin by the Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed was attended by the state Governor Abdulrazaq Abdulrahman.
Speaker of the state House of Assembly Hon. Yakubu Danladi, Emir of Ilorin, HRH Sulu Gambari and other traditional rulers, representatives of market women, traders and other stakeholders attended the event.
In the President message delivered by the minister, he said the Administration has the interest of the youths and the people in general at heart and has been doing a lot to touch their lives.
The president said the government is constraint by the dwindling resources occasioned by the impact of COVID 19 which also affected the global economy.
“If we have not done enough or we have not touch everybody, we appeal that you please bear with us.
“In the first instance, what we have is less than 60 per cent of the revenue that was available to other governments that came before us.
“We all know what we suffered during COVID 19, and as we are just trying to recover from this we also face another crisis.
“We appeal that you should please assist the government and be patient.
“This government is dedicated to serving the people and we will continue to try our best to do so
“I thank you all for your perseverance, understanding and patience’, he said
The president said the administration has many initiatives targeted at creating jobs for the youths and alleviating poverty among women and vulnerable groups.
He said the government initiated N75 billion National Youth Investment Fund (NYIF) aimed at providing opportunities for the youths.
He said the Fund is part of the N2.3 trillion Economic Sustainability Plan to cushion the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on most vulnerable Micro Small Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) across the country.
He also listed MSMEs Survival Fund as part of the administration’s initiative at jobs sustainability.
He said the Fund is a cluster of grants to support MSMEs to meet their payroll obligations and safeguard MSMEs jobs from the shock of COVID-19 pandemic.
The President said other initiatives targeted at the youths included N-POWER which had engaged 500,000 beneficiaries with 400,000 more in December.
He said 10,000 youths had been trained and benefitted under N-TECH and N-AGRO respectively.
The president said the federal government FINTECH created enabling environment for growth of businesses that use technology to enhance or automate financial services and processes.
He said over two million farmers, traders, mostly youths were empowered under FARMERMONI, TRADERMONI and MARKETMONI.
The president said over 500,000 youths have also benefited from the Graduate Internship Scheme which provides short-term employment graduates.
He said 1000 farmers from each of the 774 LGAs in the country were empowered and guided under the Youth Entrepreneurship Support programme.
Earlier, Gov. Abdulrazaq thanked the President for the initiative of directing ministers to interact with the people at the state level.
The governor prayed for peace unity and stability of the country.
In his contribution, the Emir of Ilorin said the town hall meeting is a good forum for the people to express their minds and grievances to the government.
The Emir said he was concerned about the lingering strike by the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) affecting the children of the poor who could not send their children abroad and to private universities to study.
The traditional ruler also charged the leader to address the challenges of bad roads corruption and decay infrastructure across the country.
The Chairman of ASUU in University of Ilorin, Prof. Moyosore Ajao said the #EndSARS was successful largely because many frustrated University students who had stayed at home for over right months joined in the protest.
He called on government to settle the lingering crisis for students to return to schools.
Mrs Raliat Yusuf who spoke on behalf of women urged the government to open all borders for food items to come in and to address the problem of hunger in the country.
Some other stakeholders who spoke at the event complained that many of the laudable programmes of the federal government did not get to the grassroots.
The host assured that the Federal government would address all the issues raised by the stakeholders. (NAN)