Nigeria is transitioned to a new administration. The country, in the past eight years witnessed transformation in different sectors of the economy, yet challenges are inevitable as they hinder smooth implementation of budgets. Sectors like agriculture, transport as and education have achieved a lot as farm produce have rose which lowered the level of food importation. Transport sector also gained a significant progress as rail-lines were laid to link many parts of the country and beyond such as the rail linking Kano to Niger Republic, while teachers and lecturers in the education sector smiled over their remunerations along with retirement age extension.
Peace is vital to development as nothing can be achieved amidst mayhem. Therefore security of lives and property is paramount. Data from Nigeria Security Tracker (NST) reveals that 63,111 people lost their lives during the immediate past administration of President Muhammadu Buhari due to terrorism, banditry, herders/farmers clashes, communal crises, cult fights and extra-judicial killings. Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu should do the needful by increasing the salary of members of armed forces, modern weaponry needs to be acquired and retirement benefits should not take longer than necessary. These three are necessary in making them put more effort in dealing with insecurity.
Youth are the strength of any society and should, therefore, be a point of focus for a responsible government. They constitute the highest population in Nigeria; putting them in the right direction and harnessing their hidden potential is like driving the entire country to heaven. Many benefitted from the Npower scheme but more than 50% are redundant. The rate of graduates from institutions is increasing on an annual basis but the labour market is congested, applicants seeking white-collar jobs quadruples the vacancies available; those with shallow-minds embrace heinous activities such as banditry, armed robbery, internet fraud, political thuggery and host of others. The Tinubu administration needs to come-up with empowerment programmes that will give opportunity to those that attended schools and others that could not.
Agriculture has been the sector that sustains the country even before the discovery of crude oil in 1956. The sector provided the country with food crops and cash crops that are mainly cultivated for commercial purposes. Moreover, the level of government’s concern in boosting the produce by local farmers was a welcome development but got stocked by saboteurs in the sector. Identified farmers and jobless youths interested in farming were invited to get farming tools and inputs. Unfortunately, all the items which were given free were mostly sold at cheaper prices to those that stationed their tables close to where those items were given. The government of Tinubu, after supporting farmers, should put water tight checks at every stage of the programme implementation and ensure that it embarks on result assessment after some time, this will be one way of measuring impact.
When Buhari took over from President Goodluck Jonathan in 2015, the country had single-digit inflation which was only 9%, as of December of 2022, the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) put the rate at 21.34%. The World Bank, in its 2022 Nigerian public finance review report titled ‘A Better Future for All Nigerians’ says that Nigeria’s development has stagnated since 2015. President Buhari, before his election, boasted that the naira would have equal value with the US dollar. Sadly, the exchange rate rose from N197 at the official rate to N745 at the parallel market in 2023. The prices of food commodities have skyrocketed to the extent that the common citizens could not access three meals a day, this has pushed many into crimes for survival. President Tinubu needs to engage the services of economic experts to strategise modalities for brighter Nigeria.
Usman Abdullahi Koli,
Bauchi, Bauchi state