New Telegraph

Tinubu has not failed to deliver

Hunger, melancholy and poverty are written of many faces everywhere one goes these days. And many times I hear people express regret that President Bola Tinubu is in office. President Tinubu is certainly not one of the challenges confronting us. Not at all. He’s assuredly offering solutions to the chronic ailment, now manifest, that was embedded in the sands of time, which had been hopefully inadvertently crafted from the ashes of his predecessor’s governance structure. He was a man who lacked everything that was needed to run a country; and wisemen took advantage of him and his ineptitude.

The backlash sadly, begun during President Tinubu’s time; and its impact now more obvious than ever before with a spiralling inflation and the tumbling of our currency to what we now witness. Economists, management accountants and financial analysts usually guide micro and macro economics, and thus economies using measures such as Future Values, Internal Rate of Return and their like. I very much doubt that these measures guided our former president. The country was run like there was no tomorrow. It was a borrowing and money evaporation jamboree. Now production and productivity have been crippled, as their prerequisites are not present, so now, every wise man and woman is hedging against the dollar; as man MUST wack. Even pastors I hear, now list their services in dollars.

It isn’t a Tinubu factor. It is a Buhari factor. And I dare say that even we as a people didn’t do what we should have done at that time. That was the time for strike actions and protests!! Albeit many of us may not have had any inkling of the implications of his hare brained actions. The president we have now is actively trying to find the antidote to this stress that our economy is now burdened with. He didn’t import our current challenges. He’s been actively trying to generate ideas to confront these existential challenges home and abroad, he’s been trying to reposition a formless economy and put it in a new direction that will bring renewed hope for a prosperous Nigeria. It is not easy for us all. Not at all; and I bet not for him either. He has told us that the pains would be telling, but assures us that the end product will attract praise; as some will say, it will all end in praise. He has not abdicated his responsibilities at all. Has he risen to the occasion everytime there are concerns about certain aspects of our daily lives and broached the issues very well.

He has exhibited the right courage to call a spade by its very name. Does he understand the challenges and is he propelling new paradigms in the affairs of the nation? Assuredly, yes! President Tinubu knew he was inheriting a country that was on a free fall. A country that was predominantly governed by a proxy; a kid, who in his inexperience steered the ship of state amok and terminated without dexterity, leaving us all to face the headwinds.

The damage was done long before President Tinubu took charge. Indeed, during his campaigy for president, he knew that he would be inheriting a country tottering on the cliffhanger of debts and infrastructural deficit. He knew that Nigeria needed an urgent surgical operation that would birth a new road map for engaging developmental challenges in the country; and from what I have seen so far, the President is working assiduously to combat the present realities that stare us in the face. Additionally, he is emotionally intelligent each time the problems threaten to overwhelm us. He’s been very engaging and showing a rare understanding of what the issues are. For example, his courageous intervention in trying to fix the refineries is one right step in the right direction. His subsidy removal was another bold step to confronthe elephant in the house with a view to arresting huge leakages that have held us down for a long time.

President Tinubu shows the attributes of a president who understands where he’s taking his people. What we need from him now is for productivity and productivity to kick start and rise; and that should be our focus. Not how to rally unrest. He asked for the job, knowing full well what the demands were. He has templates to fit into different aspects of the problems to fix them.

The results will soon ooze out in through short, medium and long terms routes, This is surely not a time to trade blames, but things must be put in perspective, lest an innocent man is hanged. After the subsidy removal, more allocation is going to the states and local governments but even the stewards in charge at state and local government levels are hedging, rather than carrying on and out economic activities to keep their people alive and well. Buying of US dollars to store is not a source of income, or an economic stimulant or activity. Performance levels at the state levels are abysmal. Local governments are almost exctint, but we hear of the FAAC disbursements; incongruity is my response! Nothing tangible is happening at those levels but labour unions cannot see this and stand and demand better accountability from their governors.

Instead, what we often see is NLC threatening strike actions against the Federal Government. Will strike action speed up the works being done to stimulate the economy? Is it the right therapy for addressing the issues? What is the population of workers in Nigeria? Do they think that workers are the only people in Nigeria being affected by the current existential threats? The government is trying to get things going and even running. Let us assess our president by the things he has done so far; and we too should offer what skills or intellect we have in that regard. As a pro-democracy activist who struggled through the rocky planes of street protests, daring the military to retire to the barracks, President Tinubu surely knows the expectations of him by the people. In his leadership trajectory, he has shown grit, blazed trails and characteristically dialogues with his people. The Tinubu administration no doubt, IS WORKING IN THE RIGHT DIRECTION. The current actions of the government will augur well for us as a nation.

That is the current difference from what we had before. Our future is not being put in a mess. Let us assess this government at the moment by first, how much action and success they have achieved in loophole blockages and secondly, by their actions to shore up production amd productivity and get them going. Let us be objective and constructive. I campaigned vigorously for President Tinubu when he indicated interest in the presidency, in 2023.

I was convinced in my heart that he stood a good chance and had a good understanding of the issues at hand and was astute. I saw him as a Nigerian, determined to confront the challenges we faced, without minding whose ox is gored. My confidence in the ability and capacity of President Tinubu to address the numerous challenges facing us is based on his antecedents and his character.

The journey and remedy may be tortuous but the outcome will be cheering news for the nation. The floating of the naira seems to be the tip off that has rendered the economy somewhat stalemated, with inflation eating up the value of the currency, but there will be a silver lining at the end of the tunnel if we can up the ante in our production sector, of course with safety and security brought under control. Also, we all need to show some more confidence in our own!!! We need to let go of this hedging mentality!! The government too may have to seek other ways and means to arrest the free fall of the naira.

For instance, we can adopt the Kuwaiti model, of ensuring that purchase of our oil is done in naira and not dollars. Insisting on the naira as our preferred currency in our oil transactions will shore up the naira. The Kuwaiti government insists on Kuwaiti dinar in their oil transactions to instill confidence in their local currency. Nigeria could do the same. Naira must be made our number one choice in payment for our oil instead of dollars. If we take this step in addition to other initiatives presently being applied by the CBN, there will be some cushioning in the system. Personally, President Tinubu has proven that he means well for this country, to all intents and purposes. Those who are constantly asking for strike action ostensibly as the solution to the challenges facing the nation, are the ones who do not mean well for the nation.

They are the enemies of our country. I know some Nigerians have dual and or multiple citizenships, but most of us have only our Nigeria to call home. We must all join hands to build our nation, and not allow ourselves become porns in the game of selfish bulls. The governors need to show confidence in our capacity, economy, and currency and stop converting their allocations to dollars to stockpile as we hear they are doing.

There is so much allocation to the state governments presently through increase in Federal Allocation as a consequence of the subsidy removal. One expects the state government to respond to the growing hardship through palliative measures that would abate the realities, and also embark on local economic activities. Governors should stop heaping the blame on the Federal Government. If President Tinubu succeeds, Nigeria succeeds.

If he fails, the impact will bear on us all. We must therefore, try as much as possible to ensure that we exhibit uncommon patriotism at this trying time and be more patient with Government to allow all the interventions yield the desired results. Many countries across the world are going through serious economic problems too, so Nigeria is not an exception, but the difference is that we have a president who has shown tact, courage, gravitas and grit in confronting the challenges head-on without equivocation. I am very confident that all this will soon pass away, and time will usher in a sweet harvest of all the current interventions.

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