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FG unveils sweeping policy initiatives after marathon council meeting

President Bola Tinubu's administration rolls out 21 major policies, including visa reforms, airport tolls, and sand dredging bans, to boost economy and enhance governance.

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In a rare extended session, the Federal Executive Council, led by President Bola Tinubu, emerged from a marathon meeting on Tuesday, unveiling a comprehensive array of 21 policy initiatives aimed at driving economic growth and improving governance across Nigeria.

During the meeting, which commenced on Monday and concluded on Tuesday, the council deliberated extensively on various proposals and approved a series of policy measures designed to stimulate investment, enhance infrastructure, and streamline administrative processes.

Announcing the decisions on social media, Mr. Bayo Onanuga, the President’s Adviser on Media and Publicity, highlighted key reforms, including the introduction of a 48-hour visa policy, the cancellation of airport toll exemptions for VIPs, and a ban on sand dredging within a 10-kilometre radius of federal bridges nationwide.

The council’s deliberations, described by experts as unprecedented in its duration, underscored the government’s commitment to proactive governance and responsive policymaking.

In a briefing after the meeting, Minister of Information and National Orientation, Mohammed Idris, outlined the significance of the visa policy review, emphasizing its role in attracting investment and promoting tourism. The move reflects President Tinubu’s administration’s dedication to fostering an enabling environment for business and facilitating ease of doing business in Nigeria.

Notably, the government has initiated a comprehensive review of the country’s visa regime to streamline processes and reduce bureaucratic hurdles for investors and tourists. Under the proposed reforms, visa applications are expected to be processed within 48 hours, marking a significant step towards enhancing Nigeria’s competitiveness on the global stage.

However, the effectiveness of these reforms hinges on the government’s ability to address existing challenges in the implementation of the e-visa system, which has faced criticism for its complexity and inefficiency.

In a parallel development, the Federal Government announced plans to generate substantial revenue from airport access tolls, signaling a departure from previous exemptions enjoyed by VIPs and government officials. Minister of Aviation and Aerospace Development, Mr. Festus Keyamo, unveiled measures to eliminate toll exemptions and introduce e-tags, with President Tinubu and Vice President Kashim Shettima leading by example in paying tolls.

These initiatives reflect a broader commitment to financial prudence and accountability, with the government aiming to harness domestic resources for infrastructure development and economic revitalization.

Moreover, the council approved several other infrastructure projects, including a transport terminal hub in Abuja and the expansion of Nigeria’s tech hub, signaling the government’s determination to leverage innovation for sustainable development.

As Nigeria navigates a complex landscape of economic challenges and opportunities, the implementation of these policy initiatives will be closely watched, with their success critical to advancing the nation’s socio-economic agenda and ensuring inclusive growth for all citizens.

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