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Tuesday, July 16, 2024

Aliyu Ilias: TINUBU’s 100 days of renewed hope amid economic woes

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It is indeed a rough start for Nigerians at the beginning of President Bola Ahmed Tinubu’s renewed hope as he decided to solve a backlog of problems that has overwhelmed Nigeria’s economic and political space.

At his inauguration, he declared a pre-mature solution to the Nigeria fuel subsidy and used the phrase the fuel subsidy is gone, even though it was not in the speech that was prepared for him,

The administration of President Muhammad Buhari has scheduled an unprepared solution such as the provision of CNG and apportion of 50 billion, he promised an increase in salary for the Government workers and the provision of busses to cushion the effect.

President Tinubu and the Nigeria National Petroleum Cooperation Limited removed the subsidy and Nigeria has begun to suffer unprecedented economic woes, the cost of transportation jacked up by over 200% and it make Nigeria deep into more poverty beyond the said 133% Multidimensional poverty.

The Administration of President Tinubu also brought on board the floating of Naira which is counterproductive. It does not make economic sense to bring on board two economic variables that are made to bring more hardship to Nigerians.

As a rentier country that doesn’t refine petroleum products, but purchases outside the shore with the dollar, it is clear that the fuel will be purchased with Naira, so it does not make sense to float the Naira, to import the petroleum product we must expend over forty percent foreign exchange except we have enough production.

Our last GDP shows that the service sector contributes more to GDP compared to the industrial sector and Agriculture sector of the economy. This shows the level of insensitivity to the development of Nigeria’s economy, on year-on-year 2022 second quarter GDP was 3.54 per cent and this year’s second quarter GDP was 2.51 per cent, the 2022 GDP was better compared to 2023 because of the level of macro-economic contribution. The 2023 first quarter was more shrink because of the insensitive Naira design. The challenges of the poor contribution of the Agriculture sector and industrial sector was a wrong signal of a nosediving economy and President Tinubu Government must ensure they support these sectors to contribute and surpass the 54percent that the service sector contributed in the 2nd quarter of the 2023 gross domestic product

President Tinubu appeared reactive to most situations, he won the 2023 presidential election in February and he did not constitute his minister until the constitutional 60 days is about to elapse and he did not submit the completed list.

This government has also created a bloated government by appointing more ministers to his cabinet compared to President Muhammad Buhari’s government which appears to be unprecedented. This will cost the federal Government more to manage the new ministers and their aides. There must be a deliberate effort to reduce the cost of managing the ministers and there, though he tried to display cost in governance by reducing the number of top officials that will be attending the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA), so also his visit to India, it was claimed that most of the businessmen that accompany the president to India did so on their accounts.

The introduction of a new ministry signaled the readiness of the Tinubu administration to create more Jobs, the new Ministry of Marine and Blue Economy, and the Ministry of Steel Development among other innovative ministries, If they are well harnessed this will engender development and employment.

The ministerial appointment reflected the compensation of political party members, President Bola Ahmed Tinubu compensated most APC members who supported his electoral campaign and delivered, and the immediate past governor of the opposition party PDP, Nyesom Wike was compensated for jettisoning his party presidential candidate Alh. Atiku Abubakar and supported President Bola Ahmed Tinubu, APC party members were also compensating across the geopolitical zones.

South East got shortchanged again with no zonal representation in the ministerial appointment, they were only considered for each state while other zones got an extra ministerial appointment, This may allude to the fact that the southeastern state did not give the president considerable vote during the electioneering, the southeastern caucus in the National assembly has raised their observation and request for president Tinubu to include them in the zonal ministerial consideration.

The continuous detention of the Central Bank of Nigeria Godwin Emefiele and the Economic and Financial Crime Commission boss Abdulrasheed Bawa shows a vendetta on the part of Mr. President, The rule of law needs to be considered by granting them bail and continue their trial in the court of law.

President Tinubu upon assuming office assent to the student loan bill that was passed by the 9th Assembly, which was not well considered as it is not accessible for the target student because of its conditionalities, the household that will assessed it must not earn more than five hundred thousand Naira a year and with the present economy that inflation and the cost of living has eroded citizen purchasing power, it also said the beneficiary should get a lawyer and civil servant to stand as surety for the beneficiary, this also create a bureaucratic bottle neck and commercialize the process of obtaining the loan, though the National assembly has resolved to revisit the bill.

President Tinubu has shown courage by challenging his new cabinet to be committed to the development and also re-assigned cabinet, Nigerians look forward to his ability to fire or re-assign any minister who did not perform as expected.

The issue of the Economic Community of West Africa’s interest in the Niger Republic and not the other military-led countries must be handled with caution as it is beyond military coup but pipeline diplomacy that concerns Russia and the Western world led by America.

Finally, President Tinubu’s eight-point agenda reflects the needs of Nigeria’s challenges, food security remains our problem that must be tackled, poverty eradication, though not possible in forty years can be reduced, access to capital remains the challenge of the manufacturing sector and small and medium scale enterprises, I think Nigeria has done considerable well in financial inclusion through CBN, we now have a bank that does not have brick and mortal but are available and assessable, there is local retail banking point of sale POS at every location, so there is no need to have it as agenda.

The challenges of insecurity and corruption remain the most consistent problem in this fourth republic that must be tackled across all the tiers of the government and judiciary and legislative must exercise their responsibility to ensure check and balance for our democracy.

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