Nigeria’s vice president, Kashim Shettima, has called on citizens to protest about the worsening economic conditions in a mature and responsible way.

Speaking at the 29th pre-Ramadan lecture, which was organized by the Muslim Alumni of the University of Lagos (UNILAG), Shettima said that the current administration would have chosen a better option than its prior policies if one had existed.

Under the leadership of Hakeem Baba-Ahmed, his special adviser on political affairs, the vice president declared that the federal government must enact certain policies that are “more telling on the poor.”


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He said,

“The consequences of our past are the stark realities we face today, such as rising cost of living and pessimism over our prospect to turn round our economy in the direction of growth and inclusive development.

“Yet, my brothers and sisters, we do not have the choice of continuing in the direction that brought us where we are today. We have to fix this country, and failure to do this is not an option. All the options we have are difficult and challenging, and they are, without a doubt, more telling on the poor. If there are easier and reliable alternatives to the policy choices we have adopted, we would have adopted them.

“Our administration does not plan to make lives of Nigerians more difficult. Nor do we intend to deceive fellow citizens that the change in direction and the expected outcome can be achieved without pain or sacrifices.

“Fellow alumni, I appeal to you to help make space for our administration to achieve the goal of turning our nation around. As products of a distinguished institution, we have learnt that progress is only possible if it is informed by criticism and critical scrutiny. We expect that Nigerians should express their feelings over our circumstances in a responsible and mature manner.”

Shettima added that the federal government is conscious of the fact that “most Nigerians will face severe challenges” during the next Ramadan.