With Presidential Election Petition Court (PEPC) upheld its ruling in favour of president Bola Ahmed Tinubu who was declared winner on 25th February 2023,by Independent National Electorate Commission, the president can breath a fresh air and take a break from legal distraction. He can now focus his attention to the implementation of his much-talked “RENEW HOPE AGENDA” aimed at fixing the country’s multidimensional problems. But let us peep into the president 100 days in office to see whether he is on the right track to develop the country or not. To the political observers,100 days of Tinubu’s led administration has brought untold suffering to the millions of Nigerians due to his sudden policy pronouncement. However, to be fair to the Tinubu’s administration, it came at a time when the country’s economy has nosedived. It has inherited broken economy from its predecessor. It is estimated that the immediate past administration had incurred foreign and domestic debt to the tune of trillions of naira. The perilous state of Nigerian economy forced the new government to explore ways to rescue the country battered or tattered economy from further sliding.
In his inauguration speech on May 29,president Bola Ahmed Tinubu, announced the removal of fuel subsidy which he said had robbed the country trillions of naira. His new policy direction sparked off panic in the petroleum industry. Oil marketers quickly adjusted the price of pump price. The unfortunate development led to the surge in price of good and services beyond the reach of many households. Since the unceremonious removal of petroleum subsidy, civil servants and majority of Nigerians have been grappling with high cost of living. So, subsidy removal has pushed many Nigerians into poverty. What many economy experts expected president Tinubu to have done was to roll out effective policies that will cushion the likely effects or backlash of the Subsidy removal before making the announcement. No doubt, subsidy removal, have inflicted hardship to the majority of Nigerians due to spiral effects of inflation. Therefore, Tinubu’s 100 days in office, has created wrong impression about his transformation agenda.
The 100 days of Tinubu administration witnessed the inauguration of 43 cabinets, the larger since the return of democracy in the country . Though, President Tinubu has restructured and created new ministries to help him to implement his policies, the development has received barrage of knocks from Nigerians. This can not be unconnected with huge resources required to maintain the new Ministers amidst cash crush. As a talent hunter, Nigerians have expected President Tinubu to shop for technocrats and form a lean cabinets. From 1999 to 2007 in which he held sway as the governor of Lagos, Tinubu assembled technocrats and experienced top-notch who assisted him to transform the state. His exceptional performances in Lagos is what gives an impression that he will replicate the feats as Nigerian president. But some of Tinubu’s ministers have fallen short of quality and character in the eyes of many Nigerians. Instead of nominating people of timber and calibers, he rewarded some ex-governors whose tenure or performance in their respective states left so much questions to answer.
Tinubu’s liberalization of forex rate or dollars unification is another wrong policy that has caused untold difficulties among importers and Nigerian foreign students. Though, the previous multiple exchange rate have been corruptly abused by the immediate past administration, Tinubu’s government should have addressed the corruption bedeviled it instead of pursuing unification policy that continue to hit our local currencies hard. Tinubu’s policies have favoured the rich people as reported by “The Economist”. The online magazine recently reported that, under Tinubu’s government, rich people are smiling to their bank, while majority of Nigerians are wallowing in poverty. With the chaotic economy and excruciating poverty in the country, Tinubu administration should quickly come up with holistic approach to stabilize the economy. The suffering in the land is beyond dishing out palliatives, which will hardly reach the targeted population.
While 100 days is too early to assess the performance of any government in power, a Hausa adage says:”juma’an da zatayi kyau tunda ga labara ake ganeta” which literally means,( The sign of good Friday begins to manifest on Wednesday). The administration might have inherited bad economy, insecurity and commotose education sector, but it has to be fundamentally transformative. In particular, the issue of poverty must be addressed urgently, with over 40% of the Nigerian population living below the poverty line, mostly affecting young people. This has led to an exodus of Nigerians, commonly referred to as “Japa,” leaving the country in search of better economic opportunities due to a lack of jobs, high cost of living, and poor infrastructure. To address this, President Tinubu must focus on creating sustainable employment opportunities and investing in education sector. In addition, the government should fix our moribund refineries and encourage the operation of modular ones in other to complement the importation of petroleum products. These measures if judiciously implemented, would crash the fuel price, eliminate inflation and stabilize the economy.
Ibrahim Mustapha Pambegua, Kaduna state. 08169056963.