Tinubu: Focus areas in 100 days in office
The giant of Africa, Nigeria is transitioning into a new administration under a new democratically elected President. The country, in the past eight years witnessed transformation in some sectors of the economy, yet challenges are inevitable as they hinder smooth implementation of budgets. Sectors such as agriculture, transport as well as education have achieved a lot as farm produce rose which lowered the level of importation of food items. Transport sector also gained significant progress as rail-lines were laid to link some parts of the country and beyond such as the rail track linking Kano to the Niger Republic, while teachers and lecturers smiled at their salaries along with retirement age extension. The outlined areas notwithstanding, Nigerians are unanimous in their verdict that the immediate past administration was not able to deliver on its campaign promises.
Peace is vital towards development in all ramifications, nothing could be overhauled or achieved in a rancorous situation and therefore security of lives and property is pertinent. The data obtained from Nigeria Security Tracker reveals that 63,111 people lost their lives under the administration of former President Muhammadu Buhari due to terrorism, banditry, herders/farmers clashes, communal crises, cultism and extra-judicial killings. Asiwaju Bola Tinubu should do the needful by increasing the salary of armed forces, modern weaponry need to be acquired and retirement benefits should not be taking longer than normal before payment. These three are necessary in making them put more effort in dealing with insecurity which has put the nation on its knees.
Youths are the strength of society and should therefore, be a point of focus for all responsible governments. They have for a long time been neglected in the scheme of things by successive governments. They constitute the highest population in Nigeria; putting them in the right direction and harnessing their hidden potential is akin to driving the entire country to heaven. Many benefitted from the N-Power scheme but more than 50 per cent of the beneficiaries are redundant. The rate of graduates from institutions is increasing annually but the labour market is congested. Applicants seeking white-collar jobs increase the pressure on vacancies available while shallow-minded ones embrace heinous activities such as banditry, armed robbery, internet fraud, political thuggery and host of others. President Tinubu’s administration needs to come-up with empowerment programmes that will encourage those that attended schools and those who didn’t. It will be sustainable programmes capable of making the beneficiaries productive.
Agriculture has been the sector that sustains the country even before the discovery of crude oil in 1956. The sector provided the country with perishable crops and cash crops that are mainly cultivated for commercial purposes. Moreover, the level of government concern in boosting the produce by local farmers was a welcome development but got stocked by works of antagonists in the sector. Identified farmers and jobless youths interested in partaking in farming were invited to get farming tools and inputs, unfortunately all free-given items mostly sold at cheaper prices to those that stationed their tables close to where those items are given. The government of Tinubu, after supporting farmers, should put tight quality checks at every stage of programme implementation and ensure that it embarks on result assessment after sometime. 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 nine per cent. But as of December 2022, the National Bureau of Statistics put the rate at 21.34 per cent. The World Bank in its 2022 Nigerian public finance review report titled, “A Better Future for All Nigerians,’’ indicated that Nigeria’s development had stagnated since 2015. President Buhari before his election boasted that the naira would have equal value with the US dollar. But 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 common citizens could not eat three meals a day. This has terribly pushed many into crimes for survival. President Tinubu needs to engage the services of economic experts to strategise modalities for brighter Nigeria.