By Suleiman Umaru
Today, Monday, May 29, 2023, Justice Olukayode Ariwola, the Chief Justice of Nigeria, CJN, had administered the Oath of office on Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, a former governor of Lagos state as the President and Commander –In-Chief the Nigeria Armed Forces, following the expiration of former Muhammadu Buhari’s eight years in office. The later was said to have proceededed to Daura, his home town in Katsina state on handing over to President Tinubu.
The Katsina born erstwhile Nigerian President who had described Tinubu, as the best Candidate among the 18 Presidential Candidates from the 18 political political parties that had slugged it out on February 25, 2023, Presidential election had said that in his first term in office in 2015, he had started with ‘’the implementation of a number of reforms .
The former Nigerian President had said that ‘’the economic reforms, which was one of them, were aimed at producing an efficient, and productive economy. However, this could not reflect in the economy as the industries were not humming’’.
Admitted that the former Buhari’s Administration, going by the general consensus may not have done well in the area of the economy as he was said to have left it worse than he met it, he had said that the Administration’s reforms to also involved the development of an’’ incorruptible and citizen- oriented Federal Civil Service, which are beginning to yield to results.
He had said that that he would remain ‘’ fulfilled that his Administration had started ‘’the Nigeria rebirth by taking the initial critical steps’’ , believing that ‘’the Tinubu’s Administration will quicken ‘’the pace of this work to see a Nigeria that fulfils its destiny to be a great nation’’.
President Tinubu, who was said to have targeted a higher Gross Domestic Product, GDP, growth and to significantly reduce unemployment in the country said that the Administration will ‘’institute a budgetary reform that would reform economy without engendering inflation’’, as well as ‘’initiate an industrial policy that will utilize the full range of Fiscal measures to promote domestic manufacturing and lessen import dependency’’.
He may have gladdened the heart of Nigerians when he said that ‘’the Administration will make electricity to be more accessible to business and homes alike’’. He had said that, ‘’Power generation would nearly be doubled as transmission and distribution networks would be improved.
He has a message for investors, both local and foreign, that the new Administration will ‘’review all their complaints about multiple taxation and various anti-investment inhibitions, as a way to encourage them . He did not stop there. ‘’We shall ensure that our investors and foreign businesses repatriate their hard earned dividends and profits home’’, he had said.
He may have dampened the enthusiasm of Nigerians when he declared that ‘’the era of subsidy payment on fuel has ended’’ ahead of the June 30th, 2023, target date set by the previous Administration.
There are indications that the era of multiple exchange rate as implemented by the Buhari’s Administration is over he was said to have directed Godwin Emefiele led Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, ‘’to work towards a unified exchange rate’’, noting that that ‘’this will direct funds away from arbitrage into meaningful investment in the plant, equipment and jobs that would power the real economy’’.
Vice President Kahim Shettima, who incidentally was a former governor of Borno state, had said that the multiple exchange rate system was a drain on the economy as it was said to have created a’’ dual economic system’’ .He was said to have alsosta ted that in his inaugural speech that ‘’interest rates would be reduced’’ to increase investment and consumer purchasing power in ways to sustain the economy at a higher level’’.
Recall that the House of Representatives under the Leadership of Femi Gajabiamila, who is not seeking re-election to be returned as Speaker, which had held an emergency meeting on Sunday, May 27, 2023, were said to have amended the CBN, Act,’’ to raise the lending limit of the apex bank to the federal government from 5% to 15%’’.
The Lawmakers may have made a bold statement by taking the decision because of the ways and manner in which the 9th National Assembly had approved advances request of the former Nigerian President and to ensure that the 10th National Assembly from falling into the same trap that people will regard it as an extension of the Executive arm of Government. The argument in political circles was that the N23. 1 trillion request of the immediate past President was many times over the 5% CBN, lending rate to the government.
Unlike Buhari, the former Nigerian president who had spent millions of the North American country of the United States, US, dollars, to treat his ear infection and teeth, at a United Kingdom, UK, Hospital, which may have encouraged him to build a N21 billion, State Specialist Hospital, with a President Wing around the Villa, to ensure that future Nigerian Presidents, Vice Presidents, ministers and other top government officials including VIPs do not travel abroad for Treatment that would continue to waste the country’s meagre resources as such experts could be flown to the country if the need arises.
Senator Oluremi Tinubu, the First Lady, has made it clear to those that cares to listen that the thenPresident Tinubu, and his immediate family does not need ‘’the resources of Nigeria to survive as the f amily has been blessed by God’’.
Speaking at the 2023 , Presidential Interdenominational Church service at the National Christian centre, Abuja, the Federal Capital Territory, FCT, on Sunday, May 28, 2023, the First Lady who could not hide her feelings had said that ‘’the wealth of Nigeria belongs to all and the new Administration would use it for ‘’the right thing’’. . She was emphatic that ‘’Nigeria’s wealth is the commonwealth of all’’. It belongs to everyone, he insists.
Appealing to Nigerians for Prayers, she had said that the new Administration would need ‘’the Grace of God to live up to expectations of Nigerians’. The First Lady, who had said that Tinubu is 71, while she she will be 63, has made her one of the oldest First Ladies, Nigeria would have, urging everyone , including the Lawmakers and other top government functionaries ‘’ to do what Nigerians are expecting’’. The First Lady, had averred that the seventh consecutive democratic transition in Nigeria will be a time of ‘’perfection’’ for the country.
In a related development, the Igbo political leaders, Traditional Rulers and other prominent citizens from the south-east has lauded the immediate past Nigeria President for keeping’’ to his promise of finishing the second Niger bridge project that was said to have been started by former President’s Olusegun’s Administration. Describing it as a ‘’major game- changer’’ that would decongest traffic,that it will noting that it will create a’’ twin city between Asaba, Capital of Delta state and Onitsha, the state Commercial nerve centre.
An appreciative Prof. Soludo, had said that the second Niger Bridge is one of the core projects the south-east has been clamouring to be located in the region over the years. The Professor of Economics had asserted that that while other projects are yet to be executed in the region, he believes that the completion of the second Niger Bridge was a ‘’step in the right direction’’.
The former governor of CBN, and other Igbo Leaders, may have been disappointed that the former Nigerian President could not release Nnamdi Kanu, the Leader of the Indigenous People of Baffra, IPOB, who has remained in the Department of State Security, DSS, detention, since June 2021, despite repeated appeals.
The governor had said that since the former Nigerian President could not release the IPoB, Leader, he will emplore President Tinubu, to release him. The Anambra state governor had said that his latest letter on the release of Kanu was copied Tinubu, the incumbent President and the office of the minister of Justice and Attorney General of the Federation since Buhari has failed to do so.
The Anamra state governor who could not hide his feelings had said that the release of the IPoB, Leader is for ‘’the sustainability of peace, security and development of the south east geopolitical region’’. He noted that the Monday sit-at-home order introduced in the region by his supporters to press for his release has adversely affected its economy and pace of development as investors are scared of coming into the region to avoid playing into the waiting hands of the aggrieved Kanu’s supporters who are everywhere.
Perhaps, this may have informed why President Tinubu had said that ‘’security shall top the priority of the Administration in the next four years, stressing that ‘’ neither prosperity nor justice can prevail amidst insecurity and violence’’. He had said that that the country’s ‘’security doctrine and its Architecture would be reformed’’. He may have won the heart of the security personnel when he said that that the government shall invest more resources in security to provide better training, equipment, pay and firepower for personnel.
He may have sent a message to the Islamic Fundamentalist Group, BokoHaram and the Islamic State of West African Province, ISWAP, operating in the north eeastern states of Borno and Yobe, including the Bandits Group , operating in the north western states of Zamfara, Sokoto, Katsina, Kaduna, and the north central state of Niger, home state of General Ibrahim Babangida,rtd, a former military President, that it is no longer going to be business as usual.
Given Vice President Shettima, statement that himself and the President would hit the ground running immediately, after the swearing in ceremony, James Faleke, a member of the House of Representatives, representing, Ikeja, Federal Constituency, who has the ears of the President had said that that he will unveil his Cabinet within the next 60 days, stressing that’’ it is his prerogative to choose members of his Cabinet’’.