Many Nigerians were not disappointed by Tinubu’s inaugural address even as it cannot offer a complete one size fits all answer to the myriad of national questions he inherited.
As much as he could, he encapsulated his policy direction within the dictate of what he considers national exigencies.
In his ‘shopping’ list is an urgent need to work on the nation’s security architecture. That is undeniably an instructive position. Moreso because no meaningful governance can be achieved in the face of daunting security challenges. In doing so, the President must realise that he can only make a difference in that direction with a clean sweep of the old order.
All the security agencies would need ultimately a deep cleansing which is long overdue. This may take some gradual but unalloyed commitment; But not without easing out existing heads of such organisations as they may have outlived their capacity which is already tested. He noted that “Security shall be the top priority of our administration because neither prosperity nor justice can prevail amid insecurity and violence”. This is reassuring but the government must follow same with utmost doggedness. It should not premised on timeworn promises which end up in the trashcan of clichés.
On the economy, the President promised that his government will target a higher GDP growth and to significantly reduce unemployment through budgetary reform stimulating the economy without engendering inflation and pursue an industrial policy utilizing the full range of fiscal measures to promote domestic manufacturing and lessen import dependency.
Tinubu also noted that electricity will become more accessible and affordable to businesses and homes alike. Power generation should nearly double and transmission and distribution networks improved. We will encourage states to develop local sources as well.
Indeed, he averred that a friendly investment climate will be entrenched as investors and foreign businesses will easily repatriate their hard earned dividends and profits home.
With an ambitious demeanor, said his administration will create meaningful opportunities for the youth, assuring that he will honour his campaign commitment of one million new jobs in the digital economy.
As a means of boosting rural incomes, commodity exchange boards will be enthroned to guarantee minimal prices for certain crops and animal products. A nationwide programme for storage and other facilities to reduce spoilage and waste will be undertaken. This is addition to creating agricultural hubs throughout the nation to increase production and engage in value-added processing. The livestock sector will be introduced to best modern practices and steps taken to minimize the perennial conflict over land and water resources in this sector.
On infrastructure, national networks of roads, rail and ports shall get prioritised following the footsteps of his predecessor.
Fuel subsidy as a touchy national issue was equally broached as Tinubu reiterated the unsustainability of same, stressing it was gone for good.
On the direction of the nation’s monetary policy, he said the Central Bank must work towards a unified exchange rate. This will direct funds away from arbitrage into meaningful investment in the plant, equipment and jobs that power the real economy as interest rates need to be reduced to increase investment and consumer purchasing in ways that sustain the economy at a higher level.
Tinubu also delved into foreign policy matters; citing the crisis in Sudan and the turn from democracy by several nations in our immediate neighbourhood as disturbing. Therefore, his primary foreign policy objective will be peace in the West African subregion and the African continent. “We shall work with ECOWAS, the AU and willing partners in the international community to end extant conflicts and to resolve new ones”, he resolved.
AljazirahNigeria appreciates what appears to be alone to being decisive on grave national issues which indicates that the new government may hit the ground running.
However, he must sustain the tempo with good temperament to avoid backlash on policies. His abrasive and ‘unrefined’ announcement that petrol subsidy “is gone!, for good!”, triggered unpleasant consequences immediately as unscrupulous marketers began hoarding, profiteering of products they had bought when the subsidy regime still subsists till end June.
What he enunciated on paper appear realisable within the context of strict monitoring of officials- both political appointees and civil servants who would be entrusted with the implementation of same as the President cannot go it alone.
On that note, he must engage tested individuals with the right pedigree in his cabinet.
We welcome him on board the nation’s driving seat and wish him a fulfilled tour of duty.