Vice-President Kashim Shettima on Tuesday officially assumed duties at the Aso Rock Villa, Abuja where he pledged to work harmoniously with his new boss, President Bola Tinubu, to redefine good governance and have all citizens. Realise the ‘Nigerian dream’.
Shortly after settling in at the Vice-President’s wing of hr State House, Shettima spoke to journalists, saying that he has confidence in the capacity of the President to frontally tackle the immediate challenges of fuel subsidy removal and unifying multiple foreign exchange rates.
Asked what vision he has as he takes over his new assignment, he said: “To paraphrase the late John F. Kennedy, to some generations much is given; to other generations much is expected.
“I believe this generation has a rendezvous with destiny and my principal, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, the President and Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces of the Federal Republic of Nigeria is poised to redefine the meaning and concept of modern governance.
“I want to assure Nigerians that he is going to provide the lead. He is going to provide the leadership and we will rally round him, give him our unequivocally support and loyalty to see to the realization of the Nigerian dream— a Nigeria where every black man in the world should be proud of.
“Power to me is a humbling experience. It’s all about how we can make life better for the common man. So, i want to assure our countrymen that President Bola Tinubu will by the grace of God catapult this nation to a higher pedestal. He is determined; he has the skills set; he has the temperament; the disposition and the purity of mind and commitment to give service to this nation.”
On fuel subsidy removal multiple exchange rates, Shettima said “the truth of the matter is that it is either we get rid of subsidy or the fuel subsidy gets rid of the Nigerian nation. In 2022, we spent $10billion subsidizing the ostentatious lifestyle of the upper class of the society because you and I benefit 90% from the oil subsidy. The poor 40% of Nigerians benefit very little.
“We know the consequences of unveiling a masquerade. We will get fierce opposition from those benefitting from the oil subsidy scam. But where there is a will, there is a way. Be rest assured that our president is a man of strong will and conviction.
“In the fullness of time you will appreciate his noble intentions for the nation. The issue of fuel subsidy will be frontally addressed. The earlier we do so, the better.
“The issue of multiple exchange rates, we are going to collapse it into one. So these are two big elephants in the room and as the days go by we will be unveiling our agenda.
“He (Tinubu) is going to unveil his agenda because as I have always said there can never be two captains in a ship. He is the president and Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces. I am the Vice-President. Your relevance is directly proportional to the level of your loyalty to the president.
“This is a gentleman that I have known for well over a decade; that I have interacted closely with. Be rest assured that we are going to work harmoniously as a team, as a family for the greater good of our nation.”
The Vice-President also expressed sadness over the death of his friend, media mogul and founder of Daar Communications, Chief Raymond Dokpesi.
“He was my very good friend. He was 71 and and it is a relatively young age in the context of increased life span of humanity. He was looking very robust and healthy. May his soul rest in peace”, Shettima said.