The Speaker of the House of Representatives, Abbas Tajudeen, has said that lifting Nigerians out of poverty caused by the myriad of economic challenges would require a paradigm shift.
Abbas, while addressing a delegation from the Civil Society Leaders Forum on Social Protection, which paid him a courtesy visit in Abuja on Wednesday, said the current challenges Nigerians face due to fuel subsidy removal would soon be history.
He called on Nigerians to see the current economic hardship as the natural effects of some tough decisions, saying a level of difficulty has to set in before things could get better.
Reacting to statistics presented before him by the forum on the place of Nigeria in the global poverty index and why conditional cash transfer should be seen as a veritable tool of achieving social protection, the Speaker assured the delegation of his leadership’s readiness to partner with civil society to engineer lasting solutions to socio-economic challenges faced by Nigerians.
Abbas said: “Restructuring takes time, as it has to get difficult before it gets better, and this is the beginning. People need to understand that there will be difficulty along the way to better days,” the Speaker said.
“Since I became Speaker, I don’t think I have engaged any organisation that has made me feel a bit down on the revelations of where we are as a country and the enormous challenges that we are facing (like yours).
“Thank you so much for being blunt, frank, and sincere about where we are and the likelihood of the consequences and how things can turn out if things are not done right. But I assure you, under my leadership, we will act.”