Tinubu’s first 100 days in office; areas to prioritize ~ by Usman Abdullahi Koli
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 different sectors of the economy, yet challenges are inevitable as they hinder smooth implementation of budgets. Sectors like Agriculture, Transport as well as Education have achieved a lot as farm produce has risen, which lowered the level of importation of food items. 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 track linking Kano to the Niger Republic, while teachers and lecturers in the educational sector smiled at their remunerations along with retirement age extension.
Peace is vital towards development in all ramifications, nothing could be overhauled in a rancorous situation and therefore security of lives and property is pertinent. The data obtained from Nigeria Security Tracker (NST) reveals that 63,111 people lost their lives under the administration of President Buhari due to terrorism, banditry, herders/farmers clashes, communal crises, cult fights 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 period; these three are necessary in making them put more effort in dealing with insecurity.
Youth are the strength of our society and should therefore, be a point of focus for all responsible governments, they constitute the highest population in Nigeria; putting them in the right direction and harnessing their hidden potentials 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 labor 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. President Tinubu’s administration needs to come-up with empowerment programmes that will give chance 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 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 stuck by works of antagonists in the sector. Identified farmers and jobless youths interested in partake 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 some time; this will be one way of measuring impact.
When Buhari took over from President Jonathan in 2015, the country had single-digit inflation which was only 9%, as of December of 2022, National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) put the rate at 21.34%. The World Bank, in its 2022, Nigerian public finance reviews 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 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 strategize modalities for brighter Nigeria.