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Tinubu vows to govern, not rule Nigerians

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By Abraham Adekunle

New president gives promises, assures review of naira redesign policy.

Following the transition of the government, there has been some speculation on how the new administration will be. The previous administration had had an outlook of dictatorship as Nigerians feel many of the decisions taken under Buhari had been done without listening to what the people actually want. Many social media users have even said Buhari’s administration is a mirror of his first regime as head of state in the 1980s. Citizens were basically forced into compliance even in the midst of lack and want.

Now that there has been a change of government, the people are anxious of how the new government will turn out. Knowing this general sentiment, President Bola Tinubu has assured Nigerians of his determination to govern, rather than rule them. He promised to engage in consultations and never to dictate to the people. He revealed this in his inaugural address on May 29, 2023, at the Eagle’s Square in Abuja. He gave his positions on the fuel subsidy payments and the naira redesign policy.

President comments on a number of issues in the country.

First, the president has described the election that brought him to power as credible. According to him, Nigeria has not held an election with better quality since the advent of the Fourth Republic. However, he said that he and his team are ready to further mend and heal the nation, not tear and injure it. Offering his comments on the election itself, Tinubu said it was hard-fought contest and also fairly won. The outcome has reflected the will and choice of the people.

But he has recognized that his victory does not render him any more Nigerian than his opponents, nor does it render them any less patriotic. “They shall forever be my fellow compatriots, and I will treat them, as such.” He said that they represent important constituencies and concerns that he dares not ignore based on wisdom. He extended his gratitude to his supporters as well as those who voted against him, the other side of the political divide.

He vows to remove fuel subsidy and review monetary policies.

In his address, Tinubu noted that there was no reason to continue with the current fuel subsidy, saying that he intends to channel such funds to better developmental objectives. So, he has vowed to remove fuel subsidy. In the same vein, he condemned the naira redesign policy which he said its implementation was too harsh on Nigerians. While vowing to review the policy, he said both old and new currencies shall however continue to exist side by side as legal tender.

Meanwhile, the new president has also directed the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to work towards having a unified exchange rate. Monetary policy needs thorough housecleaning, according to the new president. 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. He also said that interest rates need to be reduced to increase investment and consumer purchasing in ways that sustain the economy at a higher level.

Some more promises that Tinubu has made to Nigerians.

Apart from the mainstream issues of fuel subsidy, naira redesign policy, and election credibility, Tinubu made promises to Nigerians in numerous other respects. Also promised to ensure budgetary reform, stimulating the economy without engendering inflation will be instituted. There will be an industrial policy that will utilize the full range of fiscal measures to promote domestic manufacturing and lessen import dependency. On electricity, the new president had said it will become more accessible and affordable to businesses and households. On agriculture, he said rural incomes shall be secured by commodity exchange boards guaranteeing minimal prices for certain crops and animal products.

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