The Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Budget and Economic Planning, Nebeolisa Anako, has assured Nigerians that the Federal Government is working round the clock to ease the current and temporary hardship in the Country as a result of fuel subsidy removal.

The Permanent Secretary gave the assurance while addressing the 22nd Joint Planning Board (JPB) and National Council on Development Planning (NCDP) meeting on Tuesday in Osogbo, Osun State capital.

Anako said the current hardship, in the wake of economic reforms, which had resulted in the removal of fuel subsidy and the floating of the naira, is temporary.

The meeting has the theme “Imperatives for restoring Nigeria on the part of sustainable economic growth and development”.

He said, “The present administration is doing everything possible to address the hardship faced by Nigerians in the wake of economic reforms, which has resulted in the removal of fuel subsidy and the floating of the Naira. These challenges, which are temporary, will be over with time.

“I, therefore, want to use this opportunity to urge you to use your esteemed positions to aggressively sensitise the Nigerian public on the long-term benefits of these policies.”

Mr. Anako disclosed that the recent N5 billion and some consignments of foodstuff given to each state were part of the immediate measures taken to mitigate the hardship caused by these reforms.

He said that as other medium-term measures unfolded, Nigerians would appreciate the rationale behind these decisions.

“The essence of the Joint meeting was to focus on how the government could fashion a path forward for sustainable economic growth and development.

“There is a need for synergy among the Federal, State and Local Governments towards effective implementation of all the meeting’s decisions to fast-track national developmental objectives.

“Let me use this opportunity to urge all the Representatives of the 36 States to encourage their respective Governors and stakeholders to pay more attention to the development of the agricultural value-chain for improved bio-economy; and to pay more attention to the Food Systems transformation Pathways for improved Nutrition as panaceas to reducing unemployment, and stunted growth, particularly in the Rural and Under-Served Areas of the nation, in line with the declaration of State of emergency in the sector, by this Administration”, he stated.

In his remarks, the Executive Governor of Osun State, Mr. Ademola Adeleke said the meeting would restore Nigeria’s economic fortune through effective policy implementation in the long run.

Represented by his deputy, Kola Adewusi, the governor appreciated the programme’s organisers for giving Osun the hosting right.

He urged participants to develop immediate measures to mitigate the challenges caused by the present economic reforms through subsidy removal and floating of the Naira.