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Where Is The Justification For Hyping Tinubu’s Performance



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I’m yet to find the conviction to sing praises of President Bola Tinubu in his first month in office. Is it on his impulsive pronouncements, the predictable hiring and firing of public office-holders, the romance with Niger-Delta militants, and plunderers of the Niger Delta who now pose as saints, to what benefit for the common good.

Tinubu’s predecessor, Muhammadu Buhari, has come up to say fuel subsidy removal was a conspiracy decision he delayed taking to give his successor an edge in the 2023 elections. So we can’t even credit the will to remove subsidy to Tinubu.

Even if he, the incumbent should take the credit, what is there to cheer about a fuel subsidy removal that predates measures to cushion the attendant harsh consequences. Like Tinubu, every 2023 presidential candidate were tilted to fuel subsidy removal. Why didn’t Tinubu put the palliatives in place before removing, and making Nigerians suffer?

The subsidy removal is taking much toll on the masses because no efficient public transport. In the UK, there is minimal dependence on fossil fuels because people have good rails/underground tubes, buses/couches systems to move people about, such that there is minimal urge to buy or drive private cars.

Tinubu’s law for students loan that is not feasible. In the UK, students don’t take education loan for pity. They take it to ease their studies but they have available students jobs they do to earn and repay without stress. Here even after they will graduate with student loans, there are no jobs anywhere to get employed and pay back.

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Tinubu removed service chiefs, so what? Has his predecessors not done same, how well has such decisions checked the insecurity? There is no basis to cheer on 30 days in office. He must understand that running federal government is no ‘tea party’. He must be proactive and not make Nigerians wait till his exit to feel the dividends of Nigeria’s democracy under his watch. The masses are dying under his grandstanding of pronouncements.

The impact of Tinubu’s administration is not yet felt. The removal of fuel subsidy is still biting hard on the common man and nothing to cushion the effects. The fuel subsidy removal has increased transportation cost, prices of staple food stuff and nothing that goes up comes down in Nigeria.

His impact on the power sector is not yet seen. We hear that President Tinubu liberalised the power sector but nothing concrete is seen on steady power supply. For this long, he has not been able to appoint ministers.

We also feel same way about the July 6 declaration of President Tinubu suspending some taxes he considered not business friendly. Dele Alake, his Special Adviser on Special Duties, Communication and Strategy had disclosed the has given an order suspending the 5% excise tax on telecommunications services as well as excise duties escalation on locally manufactured products.

Tinubu, according to Alake has also ordered the suspension of newly introduced green tax by way of excise tax on single use plastics, including plastic containers and bottles and also ordered suspension of import tax adjustment levy on certain vehicles.

One would think that all of these decisions should have been brought to bear, implemented and impact felt on the economy before the impulsive fuel subsidy removal that is bitting hard on common Nigerians experiencing the hyper inflation which has tripled transportation cost and increasing general cost of living.

All of these taxes suspension will take some time to materialise. Nigerians are in severe pains.

My take however is that those tax waivers or suspension must be followed with due monitoring and evaluation of the services being provided by the beneficiaries to see a reduction in charges to end users.

Zik Gbemre

July 7, 2023

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