Low Confidence, Uncertainty as President Tinubu Marks One Year in Office

May 29, 2024
Bola Tinubu 2027 presidential election

By Adedapo Adesanya

On May 29, 2o23, President Bola Tinubu mounted the rostrum at Eagle Square in Abuja and took the oath of office to become Nigeria’s 16th president making a promise of renewed hope; now one year later, food, energy, and transportation prices among others are up.

Part of his first office duties was the elimination of a long-standing petrol subsidy. He announced that “subsidy is gone” noting that his predecessor, Mr Muhammadu Buhari did not accommodate for the payment beyond June 2023 but some months down the line, it was revealed that the government continued to pay since prices didn’t fluctuate as it should.

Meanwhile, the decision led to a double in prices of food, transportation, energy, and shelter, among others.

To cushion the ripple effect of this, President Tinubu announced some palliative measures but to date, there is no clear evidence that Nigerians have benefitted from the relief he announced on live television.

The Bola Ahmed Tinubu administration announced in August 2023 that it would spend N100 billion between then and March 2024 to buy 3,000 compressed natural gas (CNG)-powered 20-seater buses. As of right now, neither the buses nor any other infrastructure needed to power them are available. Remarks made in the last several days seem to suggest that measures are in place to make this happen. However, the delay has negatively impacted the masses, given that the buses were intended to mitigate the impact of the high fuel cost on the general public.

President Tinubu also promised to stabilise the Naira but comparatively, the country’s currency continues to perform below expectations (down 60 per cent) compared to the Dollar and other foreign currencies. After declining to a new low following two devaluations, the Naira strengthened due to reforms of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN). This made the Naira the best-performing currency for a while but the momentum was short-lived as underlying factors like supply constraints remained.

The effort of the central bank to stabilise the FX market has not been matched on the fiscal front by policies on trade, security, and agriculture.

President Tinubu also said his administration would lead the drive to cultivate 500,000 hectares of farmlands across the country to grow maize, rice, wheat, millet and other staple crops to tackle the high cost of food items across the country.

Nigeria’s inflation has also climbed to a three-decade high of 33.69 per cent from 22 per cent over the past year while food inflation remains above 40.5 per cent.

Oil production has also been on a steady decline, erasing some gains last year, as the issues of oil theft, underinvestment, and infrastructure hamper one of Nigeria’s major sources of revenue.

Security-wise, nothing has changed in that area a year later. The same security issue that Nigerians faced during Buhari’s administration remains with kidnaps soaring while bandits keep robbing villages, neighbourhoods, and even towns.

As he commences the second year of his four-year term presidency before the next election cycle in 2027, many Nigerians wonder what the remaining years of the Tinubu administration hold.

Adedapo Adesanya

Adedapo Adesanya is a journalist, polymath, and connoisseur of everything art. When he is not writing, he has his nose buried in one of the many books or articles he has bookmarked or simply listening to good music with a bottle of beer or wine. He supports the greatest club in the world, Manchester United F.C.

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