Defining Policies of President Bola Tinubu’s First Year in Office

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It’s been one year now since President Bola Ahmed Tinubu assumed office, and as he celebrates the first anniversary, Nigerians reflect on the impact of his “Renewed Hope Agenda.”

 

While some are optimistic about the president’s capacity to cause significant changes to happen, others maintain a stance of indifference or scepticism.

 

Notably, two major policies; the removal of fuel subsidies and the floating of the naira have defined his tenure this past year.

 

The reason for the removal of fuel subsidy was that the country could no longer sustain the financial burden of subsidizing fuel. The government aimed to free up funds for investment in critical sectors such as infrastructure, healthcare, and education, but has that worked?

 

The unexpected removal of fuel subsidy led to an immediate increase in fuel prices, which also led to a rise in the cost of living. Transportation fares skyrocketed, making it hard for many workers to afford daily transportation. Inflation in food prices was also as a result of fuel subsidy removal, making necessities increasingly unaffordable for many Nigerians.

 

As a temporary relief measure, Federal Government employees received wage awards but the promise of a new national minimum wage remains unfulfilled, adding to the financial stress of many Nigerians. State governments too on their own part also provided wage awards at varying rates, but this is not enough to offset the increasing cost of living.

 

President Tinubu directed the Central Bank of Nigeria to float the naira, and allow market forces to determine its value, as part of efforts to stabilize Nigeria’s economy,

 

This has led to significant foreign exchange losses for many companies, especially multinationals, as they reported losses running into hundreds of millions of naira.

 

Despite the negativities, the Federal Government must be commended for clearing its foreign currency backlogs, which has boosted confidence among foreign investors, and enhanced Nigeria’s appeal as a global investment hub.

 

Similarly, there has been an increase in both foreign direct investment and foreign portfolio investment, and the palliative measures implemented by the government are also commendable.

 

However, some Nigerians don’t seem to see any changes and therefore doubt the actual impact of these initiatives, questioning their effectiveness and the potential for and against corruption.

 

To provide further support and economic opportunities, intervention programs such as a student loan scheme and a consumer credit scheme for workers are about to kick off, but the commencement of operations at the Dangote Refinery has sparked optimism, as its production has resulted in lower diesel prices, and anticipation for a similar decrease in petrol (PMS) prices once the refinery commences PMS production are high.

 

Nevertheless, as Nigerians push through the immediate challenges brought on by these economic adjustments, urgent measures must be taken to rebuild public confidence and enhance the standard of living, of which establishing a fair and sustainable minimum wage is key.

 

Nigerians are eager to see changes in their daily lives and are hoping that the long-term benefits that the President promised will eventually come and it will outweigh the short-term difficulties.

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