Nigeria’s current situation and the Tinubu/Shettima magic wand

Despite the temporal pains being experienced by Nigerians, the renewed hope government led by President Bola Ahmed Tinubu is giving Nigeria and Nigerians something to cheer. There may be no need to remind Nigerians that what has brought the country to the state it was before President Tinubu and his deputy, Vice President Kashim Shettima, assumed power is profligacy and recklessness by those who are entrusted with public tilt.

Nigeria’s situation before the Tinubu/Shettima era was like a man who eats his destiny with ten fingers and ten toes. Nevertheless, following Monday’s Federal Executive Council (FEC) meeting, President Tinubu has sent a clear message to Nigerians that Enough is Enough for the squandermania that has gone unchecked for too long. 

He has directed the implementation of the Stephen Oronsanye report, a long-standing proposal to restructure federal agencies and commissions. This aims to reduce the cost of governance and improve efficiency.

The Oronsanye report, submitted in 2012, recommended merging or scrapping of several government agencies. Previous administrations did not implement the report, but the Tinubu administration is moving forward with it.

The specific actions to be taken based on the report are still being determined. However, it is expected to involve merging some agencies, scrapping others, and potentially relocating some. The goal is to create a leaner and more efficient government bureaucracy.

The government’s decision to implement the Steve Oronsaye report on reducing government size was a positive step after months of economic policy experimentation. This reform, initially proposed under the Jonathan administration, aimed to streamline government agencies and cut costs.

While a white paper endorsed the report in 2014, its implementation was delayed due to the approaching 2015 elections. The Tinubu administration’s commitment to the report is commendable, but success hinges on disciplined execution and effective utilisation of the cost savings achieved.

Given the economic mess that was inherited by the Tinubu administration which was demonstrated by an unsustainable debt service ratio of 97%, relatively low government revenue, high cost of government, high inflation rate, and several other unfavourable economic indices, one would have assumed that the first thing that the Tinubu administration would have done upon resumption of office was to make drastic cuts in the cost of governance.

Beyond reforms to reposition Nigeria, it is no longer news that President Tinubu has announced a new Social Security Unemployment Programme aimed at easing economic hardship for jobless Nigerian youths. What’s thought provoking is Tinubu and Shettima’s humane approach to governance. The duo have been combing the length and breathe of the globe in a bid to reposition Nigeria and, by extension, make life better for Nigerians.

This initiative reflects President Tinubu and VP Shettima’s commitment to a compassionate leadership style and a focus on aiding the nation’s most vulnerable citizens. When implemented, the new programme is to focus on the following areas: 

Unemployment Benefits: The program will provide financial support to unemployed Nigerians, addressing a critical need.

Youth: The initiative targets young people, who are disproportionately impacted by unemployment in Nigeria.

Humane Leadership: This decision highlights President Tinubu’s humane approach, prioritizing the well-being of citizens.

One of the potential impacts of the policy is economic relief – providing financial assistance could offer immediate economic relief to struggling Nigerians. Social stability may potentially reduce social unrest and economic hardship.

Needless to remind Nigerians that the new policy is coming few months after the introduction of the famous student loans programme. We can’t but give it to Tinubu and his vice that regardless of what we are seeing now, light is beginning to beam from the end of the tunnel. 

The Tinubu government has demonstrated that it is in office at the instance of the people. If anything, the duo of Tinubu and Shettima have sticked their necks, battling the few privileged class who are stoking the current hardship for their pedestal benefits.

As we speak, naira is daily regaining strength against the United States dollar, after the relevant government agencies took war to currency speculator’s den. They don’t care if Nigeria’s naira crashes but their determination is to line their pockets with the proceed of currency manipulation. It has been said that the ultimate measure of leadership is courage. 

Tinubu has taken a stand. His vice, Kashim Shettima, is actively supporting his boss in this quest to wrestle Nigeria from the grip of these selfish elements. It is a fight Tinubu and Shettima are condemned to win because the purity of their motives is not in doubt.

The greatest beneficiaries of the Tinubu/Shettima tenacity are the youths and women. It is very clear to the president and his vice that youths and women have been cheated for too long. The onus is now on the youths and women to support the government actualize these new visions that seek to mainstream them.

While the tenure of the Tinubu/Shettima administration is still in its early stages, having commenced on May 29, 2023, the duo has embarked on several initiatives aimed at addressing longstanding challenges in Nigeria. Here is a glimpse into their efforts across various sectors:

Combating Currency Depreciation: The administration has prioritized curbing the depreciation of the naira by tackling currency racketeering. This, coupled with other economic measures, has contributed to the recent appreciation of the naira.

Central Bank Reforms: The Central Bank, under the new leadership, has implemented bold reforms to strengthen monetary policy and foster economic growth.

Civil Approach to Labour Disputes: The administration has adopted a more civil approach to resolving labour disputes, promoting dialogue and negotiation with various unions.

Combating Insurgency: The administration is actively engaged in addressing the ongoing insurgency in the northeast, with a renewed focus on intelligence gathering and military operations.

Education: The government is working towards improving the education sector by addressing lecturer grievances and creating a more conducive learning environment.

Infrastructure Development: Significant investments are being made in road infrastructure and housing projects, aiming to improve national connectivity and provide affordable housing solutions.

Marketing Nigeria: President Tinubu and Vice President Shettima are actively marketing Nigeria as an investment destination to the international community, fostering partnerships and attracting foreign investment.

Specific Examples of International Engagements:

Shettima’s visit to the United States: This visit aimed to strengthen bilateral relations between Nigeria and the US, focusing on economic cooperation, security assistance, and global health initiatives.

Tinubu’s visit to Saudi Arabia: This visit aimed to bolster economic ties between Nigeria and Saudi Arabia, exploring potential collaboration in areas like oil and gas, agriculture, and infrastructure development.

The seamless working relationship between President Tinubu and Vice President Shettima is often highlighted as a key factor behind the administration’s early strides. Their combined experience, collaborative approach, and focus on shared goals are seen as crucial to navigating the complexities of governing Nigeria.

It is still early to comprehensively assess the long-term impact of the Tinubu-Shettima administration, which began in May 2023. However, their efforts in various sectors warrant exploration:

Their collaborative approach, combined experience and focus on shared goals are seen as crucial to navigating the complexities of governing Nigeria.

Working with statistics and reality on ground, one wonders where these critics are taking their baseless impetus from. They don’t deserve to be taken seriously by Nigerians because they are out for themselves. The fact today is that vast majority of Nigerians still have faith in President Tinubu and his policies because they see them as a panacea to the problems facing the country. 

Given the tortuous and long journey to Nigeria’s hard-earned democracy, coupled with the sacrifices made by men and women of noble conviction, such attempts to discredit the current administration in the name of hardship could be a clandestine attempt by anti-democratic forces to jeopardise our hard-earned democracy. 

 Nigerians should be on their guards so as not to be swayed by people who do not mean well for the country. The Tinubu-led government has never relented on issues of economy and security, as they have remained the focal point of this administration. 

In demonstration of this fact, no government has ever invested in the security sector like the present government. Vice President Shettima was in Makurdi, Benue State capital, recently where he commissioned two combat helicopters and aircraft purchased by the Tinubu administration. All that is needed from Nigerians is their unalloyed and unflinching support for the president and his deputy, as they strive to make Nigeria safe.

It is important to note that these are just some of the initial steps taken by the Tinubu-Shettima administration. The long-term impact of their policies and the overall success of their administration will depend on various factors, including sustained implementation, addressing emerging challenges, and navigating a complex global economic landscape.

With this at the back of our minds, we shouldn’t allow propagandists to pollute our thoughts and divert our attention with fake opposition antics. Instead of heeding to their unfulfilled attempt to destroy the renewed hope agenda, let’s join our hands together to make our country great.