Task before incoming administration By Abba Dukawa

Date:

President-elect Asiwaju Ahmad  Bola Tinubu, said it has been his lifelong ambition to become the President of Nigeria. In Allah’s merciful achieved  his lifetime ambition against all odds in life. In spite of achieving his dreamed  but the tasks ahead of him is daunting one. He won the election at the critical stage where the outgoing administration  will leave   behind a widespread  insecurity, struggling economy, corruption,unemployment, rising inflation and the worst a divided country  along religious and ethnic lines.

The president-elect in his acceptance speeches extend hand of friendship to defeated presidential candidates by calling  on his supporters and those of his opponents to unite toward his “renewed hope” vision for Nigeria. The  President elect has showing that he can unite the country by calling on Atiku Abubakar, Rabiu Kwankwaso, Peter obi and others to join him so that all can work together, it shows that he will be president for all.

Nigerians expect him  to have a team of competent people that will round pegs are put in round holes and that he should immediately rolls out his economic blueprint, which should be in line with the national development plan and restore hope to Nigerians.  Nigeria’s economy is in shambles and needs emergency rescue. At the last check it exchanged for N767 to a Dollar, up from about N180 in 2015, when Buhari came on board.  There is a need for the incoming administration to put all necessary policies to bar federal and states government from borrowing and in the case where the borrowing is necessary the said borrowing will be use to fund projects that can generate revenue out of which the debt can be repaid. 

The nation’s  debt-service-to-revenue ratio, ratio is reported as 80.7% according to the information contained in the 2023 Budget presentation made by the Minister of Finance. Nigeria is neck-deep in debt hovering around N44.06 trillion in September 2022 and the   debt stock could amount to about N77 trillion by June 2023. The report reveals a total debt service of N5. 2 trillion in the first 11 months of 2022 out of a total revenue of N6. 49 trillion. Nigeria may spend almost 100 percent of its revenue on debt servicing by 2026. The trend  remains disproportionately International Monetary Fund (IMF) had said. All the indices have been blinking red and worrisome for a long time. Things became worse under Buhari’s watch. Naira loses value almost daily. 

On corruption, Corruption remain a major challenge in Nigeria and it has contributed to the country’s socioeconomic  woes which has  undermined public trust in government. The president-elect must be committed to fighting corruption at all levels of government, without favour or discrimination.  Strengthening institutions such as the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) and the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC) and ensuring that they have the resources and independence they need to do their jobs effectively. He must also demonstrate total commitments without selective and nepotism in fighting the problems this will translate  a dedicated fight against all acts of corruption. 

To address the fight since the the corruption is fighting back, the President elect  must demonstrate a strong commitment to transparency and accountability in running the affairs of the government this will surely move the nation  and restore its dignity, the new government must not treat corruption with kid gloves. Corruption must be fought from all front. There should be severe punishment for culprits. To effectively wage war against corruption, it is expected that the new government sets up special courts on this.

insecurity, president elect highlighted the need to address Nigeria’s security challenges he would create anti-terrorist battalions with special forces whose objective shall be to tackle terrorists, kidnappers, and bandits.  Tinubu is inheriting a fractured country of despaired citizens. The biggest problem in the most populous African country is insecurity. The Centre for Democracy and Development in a report says, not less than some 30,000 strong, gunmen split into 80 groups are operating as bandits, dispensing fear, tears and death to an already traumatized population. Each passing day Gunmen regularly kill, maim and abduct people on the highways and sometimes from their houses or offices. The new government will need to introduce out of the box measures to defeat insecurity and restore the dignity of man.Aside the regular decimation of lives by criminal groups, the union is threatened by secessionist agitations in the south. The Indigenous People of Biafra, IPOB and other incendiary groups have been making life miserable for the common man in the southeast.

Poverty  in Nigeria as of the last year In its  review of Nigeria’s poverty map, the National Bureau of Statistics pegged 62.9 percent of Nigerians — nearly 133 million people — as multidimensionally poor. The figure represents a significant jump from the World Bank’s projection earlier this year, which placed 95m Nigerians under the poverty line. For one to understand the poverty level in the country, one can  listen to people’s conversations. 

Growing inflation; cost of living, Nigerians are languishing in extreme hardship; daily survival has become an uphill challenge and what people are going through now in the country is reaching the highest apogee since the late 80s. Nigerians are battling for daily survival has become an uphill challenge due to the unprecedented skyrocketing prices of essential commodities and all these have happened under Baba Buhari’s corrective administration.

In a report by Global Hunger Index was jointly published by the German-based Welthungerhilfe and Dublin-based Concern Worldwide. Nigeria ranked 103 out of 121 countries in the 2022 Global Hunger Index, a position that signifies the nation “has a level of hunger-stricken country which is serious. inflation reached unprecedented heights; workers” purchasing power declined precipitously.

For the incoming administration to reduce the level of poverty in the country federal government should focus on three Policy Priorities which include: “Reduce Inflation by Implementing Policies That Support Macroeconomic Stability, Inclusive Growth, And Job Creation; Protect poor households from the impacts of inflation; Facilitate access to financing for small and medium enterprises in key sectors to mitigate the effects of inflation and accelerate the recovery.  – World Bank advice

For the president elect needs to tackle issues surrounding the fiscal and monetary policies to quickly arrest the dwindling economy of the country. Nigerians expect the new president-elect to have a team of competent economist and other professional that will came up  his economic blueprint, which should be in line with his  National Development Plan.

For the incoming government should give accelerated attention to halt the economic decline and hardship on the nation. This economic situation, in itself, requires not just tinkering but massive reengineering.There are four major refineries in the country, all of which have not been working for ages. Experts believe that this may be the chief reason prices of petroleum products are skyrocketing and products remain scarce. 

The President-elect “to do all that it may take to fix the refineries, eliminate a dubious subsidy regime on petroleum products and guarantee regular supply of products.pay attention gas and solid minerals. “Our country is blessed with vast mineral deposits. We have more than 32 of them, which are either not being explored at all, or under-developed. The same goes for gas. We have more gas than oil. Why can’t we convert these to wealth?”The iron and steal industry deserves special mention. The moribund steel complexes in Aladja, Delta State and Ajaokuta, Kogi State need to be brought back to life as a matter of urgency. Nigeria, through the bitumen resources of Agbabu, Ilubirin, and Ode-Irele in Ondo State has the second largest deposit of bitumen in the world- second only to Venezuela. But like the prodigal son, we have neglected bitumen as a commodity that cannot just earn foreign exchange for the whole country, but provide massive employment for the locals and transform the lives of the whole community. This will partly create thousands of jobs and take idle hands away from the streets.

The incoming administration  should critically review agricultural policies because the current policy has not achieved much success that can boost the economy and reduce poverty in the land. Groundnuts,  the United States, Nigeria, Argentina and Indonesia are the largest producers annually producing between 2 to 3 million tonnes per year. Quite expectedly China has jumped into the business along with Brazil, Thailand, Vietnam, Mexico, South Africa and Myanmar. Everybody knows about the peanut and peanut butter business in the United State, whereas Kano State alone, let alone the whole country could dominate the world’s trade in peanuts and peanut butter.  

What nigerians  wanted most are the competence and capacity of leaders to take decisions and be assertive in ensuring that those decisions are actually implemented.  Just like a weak leader can wreck an institution, a strong leader, who has just that power and courage, but lacks the capacity, ability and competence to lead, can also wreck strong institutions.Competence of leadership is a very important variable in bringing about the stable political transition, good governance and deepening of democracy.

Let you and your team remain focused on the objective of birthing the Nigeria of our dreams. Nigerians pray that Almighty God will help you to fulfill the progressive mandate mandated to you by the  Nigerians, as well as you and your Vice President-elect’s plans to improve our challenges as the people and the nation., May Allah guide the incoming administrator to do  what is good for the country. Formulate policies that will Safeguard our country and bring ease to the Nigerians from difficulties the citizens going through.  

Dukaws a public affairs commentator, wrote in from Kano State.

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