The federal government has expressed strong disapproval of the recent travel advisory issued by the United States of America to its citizens in Nigeria, deeming it likely to induce unnecessary panic and have adverse economic repercussions,Daily Trust report.
On November 3, the US issued a warning to its citizens in Nigeria, cautioning them about “elevated threats” concerning major hotels in the “larger cities” of the country. Nonetheless, the advisory acknowledged that Nigerian security agencies were actively countering the identified threats.
During a press briefing in Abuja on Monday, Minister of Information and National Orientation, Mohammed Idris, emphasized that such an advisory could undermine the government’s ongoing efforts to attract investors to Nigeria. He reiterated that the government has consistently prioritized the safety and well-being of all visitors to the country.
“We have implemented comprehensive security measures at both federal and state levels to ensure the safety of tourists and international guests. These measures encompass extensive intelligence gathering, the acquisition and deployment of additional security resources, continuous training and retraining of personnel, and collaboration with international law enforcement agencies, among other initiatives, all aimed at maintaining a secure environment,” he stated.
Regarding economic interventions following the removal of the oil subsidy, Idris disclosed that the current administration had implemented short, medium, and long-term measures to mitigate the impact of the subsidy removal. These measures included a monthly wage increase of N35,000 for six months to enhance the federal minimum wage without causing excessive inflation. The government also initiated a N100 billion CNG bus rollout program to introduce CNG-powered buses and established a presidential committee to oversee its implementation.
Furthermore, Idris noted that the government is in the final stages of implementing a cash transfer program, providing N25,000 monthly to 15 million of the poorest and most vulnerable households in Nigeria for three months. Additionally, a presidential directive was issued to release 200,000 Metric Tonnes of grains from strategic reserves to households across the 36 states and the Federal Capital Territory, aimed at stabilizing prices. The distribution of 225,000 metric tonnes of fertilizer, seedlings, and other agricultural inputs was also underway to alleviate the hardships faced by Nigerians.
Addressing the issue of insecurity, Idris commended the vigilance of the security agencies in ensuring the safety of citizens. He reported that seven bandits were neutralized in various operations between November 1 and 3 in Kaduna State, while in Katsina State, two kidnapped corps members were successfully rescued by security forces. Furthermore, a joint operation in Kano State on November 3 prevented a potential insurgent attack, recovering a cache of weapons and explosives.
In the North-East and North-West regions, the Nigerian Air Force conducted successful airstrikes on bandits’ and terrorists’ camps and hideouts in Katsina, Zamfara, and Borno states. The Air Force had also recently received four new aircraft to enhance the fight against banditry and terrorism.
In the maritime domain, the Eastern and Central Naval Commands initiated a Joint Sea Exercise, Exercise SEA GUARDIAN 2023, on October 25.
Regarding National Orientation, Minister Idris revealed that the Federal Ministry of Information and National Orientation was actively working on implementing a sustained mass reorientation campaign with the objective of fostering unity, patriotism, and the promotion of positive cultural values among Nigerians. He called for collective efforts to reorient themselves as Nigerians towards a stronger sense of national identity and shared values.