“Taking Baby Steps Together: Concerns Over President Tinubu’s Economic Policies”
Since assuming office, President Bola Ahmed Tinubu’s government has seemingly created two separate worlds – one for the leaders and another for the rest of the citizens. This divide has been exacerbated by the rapid implementation of petrol subsidy removal, causing soaring fuel prices and severe economic hardships for Nigerians.
The petrol price hike, which took effect on May 29, 2023, rather than at the end of June as originally planned, has led to overwhelming pains for the population. The cost of petrol has skyrocketed to over N600 per litre in most parts of the country, resulting in fewer vehicles on the roads and silenced generators due to the lack of power supply.
Industries have been hit hard, with layoffs and delayed salary payments becoming common. The number of multidimensionally poor Nigerians has also increased from 133 million to 142 million due to the impact of Tinubu’s economic policies.
The disappointment deepens as the government’s proposed measures to cushion the pain, such as “cash transfers” offering N8,000 per month to “12 million” families for just six months, seem inadequate and potentially susceptible to corruption.
Moreover, the President allocated a substantial welfare package to new members of the National Assembly, while the leadership of the National Assembly plans to spend N40 billion on 465 luxurious, bullet-proof cars for its members. These actions, when compared to the N500 billion allotted for palliative measures, highlight a significant disparity and lack of shared responsibility between the leaders and the people.
In response, there is a call for the immediate suspension of such excessive benefits for politicians, as it is crucial for the leaders and the led to share in the pains caused by any reforms. Safety net policies should positively impact all Nigerians, not just a select few. There is a concern that the current approach may lead to corruption and potential social upheavals.
To address these issues, President Tinubu must focus on cutting the cost of governance and adopting austerity measures to steer the country out of its economic turmoil. Only by taking these baby steps together can Nigeria work towards a more equitable and sustainable future.