The minister spoke in Abuja at the Special Town Hall Meeting for the youths, organised by the Federal Ministry of Information and Culture.
The town hall meeting was conceived to bridge communication gap between the government and the citizenry and also keep them informed of the policies and programmes of government,
Addressing the gathering, Fashola said that government felt the pains of Nigerians and was working hard to bring the country out of recession.
He said from his experience as a Nigerian, he had seen the country even in a more precarious situation when he was growing up and he never lost hope.
Fashola also said that Nigeria was in recession in 1985 when it became difficult to sustain the cafeteria system in schools.
“We used to eat a meal at the cafeteria at 50 kobo including chicken, egg, bread and tea. To feed as a student then was N45 a month for three good meals daily. In 1985 when that disappeared, Nigeria did not disappear.’’
“I believe so much in the future of this country, I remained, worked hard, though I never knew I will sit here as a minister. So, I want to say to you the youth, don’t lose faith, don’t despair, there is hope and light at the end of the tunnel,’’ he said.
Fashola said that the 2017 budget tagged “Budget of Recovery and Growth,’’ is meant to address recession and the government has set up the parameter for its success.
He, however underscored the need for Nigerians to “roll up our sleeves and work hard’’ to get the country out of the economic quagmire.