July 25, 2024

Pathfinder News

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Kudos, Knocks As Tinubu Clocks One Year In Office

Today, President Bola Ahmed Tinubu-led All Progressives Congress (APC) government will clock one year on the saddle. It is exactly nine years the ruling party took over powers from the main opposition party, Peoples Democratic Party(PDP).  Former President Goodluck Jonathan of the PDP handed over power to President Muhammadu Buhari in 2015 after the APC trounced the opposition in the general elections.

Expectedly, the perception of many observers concerning the achievements or failure of the current APC-led administration varies. For some, the one-year APC government under President Tinubu has been a cocktail of unfulfilled promises, monumental failure, worsening insecurity, a near comatose economy, policy somersault, and asphyxiation of citizens through unending taxes.

Yet for others, President Tinubu is the best thing to have happened to the country, and the man with the Midas touch and magic wand to turn around the declining fortune of the country caused by the immediate past administration of Muhammadu Buhari.

Under his watch in the past one year, according to the Minister of Information and Culture, Mohammed Idris Malagi, President Tinubu has laid a solid and enduring foundation to make life better for the people of Nigeria.

For him; “Landmark initiatives like the Consumer Credit Corporation, the Nigeria Education Loan Fund, Presidential Initiative on Compressed Natural Gas, and the N200 billion Presidential Grant and Loan Scheme, agriculture and food security efforts (including the launch of dry season farming, and massive fertilizer distribution) are by no means some of his modest achievements.

“The Renewed Hope Infrastructure Development Fund (RHIDF), Renewed Hope Cities and Estates programme, reform efforts in the Electricity Sector, and area of taxes, fiscal policy, and the negotiations for a befitting new National Minimum Wage are some of the several policies and programmes that will directly touch and improve the lives and livelihoods of tens of millions of Nigerians.”

Idris further expressed the commitment of President Tinubu towards ensuring that the cost of living and doing business in Nigeria is brought down significantly, assuring that it will put more money into the pockets of Nigerians, attract more local and foreign investment, and transform the nation’s infrastructure. “We will not pause or relent until we have delivered truly Renewed Hope to all Nigerians,” he promised.

Interestingly, the government’s spokesperson was not alone in rolling out a positive assessment of the Tinubu-led APC government. Drumming similar support and even pushing for a fresh mandate for him, APC National Chairman, Abdullahi Umar Ganduje, claimed that he has done exceedingly well so far and has even surpassed the expectations of many Nigerians.

In his defense, Ganduje referred to the; “drastic reduction in oil theft, pipeline vandalism and increment in crude oil production, as some of the inroads he has so far recorded. The compressed natural gas (CNG) initiative by President Tinubu will cushion the hardship faced by Nigerians due to the increase in the price of fuel.”

Appraising its own, the ruling party stressed that President Tinubu did not cause any of the problems ravaging the country whether in the economy or other sectors, emphasising that; “what he encountered on ground would have created a worse situation if not properly handled, but he is championing reforms that are required to pave the way for a better society.”

The party further argued that the economy is now gradually transformed into a credit-based consumer economy that will improve agriculture, with a focus on dry season farming to positively impact food security and food prices, as well as deliver enabling infrastructure and access to education, among other things.

It listed other achievements by Mr President including the use of cheap and clean compressed natural gas (CNG), adding that it has now become a reality under President Tinubu’s administration.

The ruling party equally claimed that President Tinubu has done well in the area of infrastructure, by approving the construction/completion and rehabilitation of several road projects across the country, including the Kano-Abuja, Kano-Eastern Bypass road project, the 700-kilometer Lagos-Calabar Coastal road, the 1000-kilometer Badagry-Sokoto road, and the 3500-unit Renewed Hope Housing Cities and Estates, which are currently built in 13 states of the country.

“At a recent FAAC meeting, the total distributable revenue for April 2024 was N1.2 trillion, the highest ever disbursement in history. N655.8 billion was shared at this time last year during the subsidy era. As a result, sub-national governments, in particular, are receiving double their previous allocations, resulting in more funds for critical infrastructure and the ability to do more to help people.

“The reform-minded Tinubu administration also unified the exchange rates, which inevitably sent those benefiting from arbitrage out of business. Of course, it did not take long for Nigeria to reap the benefits, as the economy grew by 3.46 per cent in the fourth quarter of 2023, compared to 2.54 per cent in the previous quarter, and capital imports increased by 66 per cent in Q4 of 2023, compared to a 33 per cent decline in the previous quarter.

“Let us not forget how oil production has grown steadily since the second quarter of 2023, from 1.22 million barrels per day to 1.55 million barrels per day, implying additional resources even as non-oil revenue continues to rise as a result of the Tinubu administration’s finance,” the ruling party highlighted.

Ironically, despite the achievements which the government claims it has achieved, what cannot be contradicted, according to political watchers, is that Nigerians are suffering and dissatisfied with the current situation which has substantially reduced the people’s standard of living.

The damning assessment of the administration by former APC National Vice Chairman, North-West, Salihu Moh Lukman, may suffice to confirm that many Nigerians harbour disgruntled feelings against the Tinubu administration.

Lukman, in the statement he issued recently, noted that; “after one year in office, the government of President Tinubu has turned out to be another experience replicating reality of illusive politics, which has reduced citizens, party leaders and members to distant observers.

“Painfully, against every expectation that President Tinubu will reignite the Lagos success story at the national level, his government is creating doubts in the minds of Nigerians about the prospect of resolving the country’s challenges with incidences of policy missteps and reversals.

“As a result, crisis of insecurity has remained. Problems of inflation, unemployment, and poverty are on the increase. Politically, the APC has continued to follow the track of disrespect to its own rules so much so that we have shamelessly produced a serving governor who is using his immunity to block law enforcement officials from undertaking their responsibility to investigate corruption allegations against his predecessor.

“The bigger disappointment is the troubling reality whereby political mercenaries who fought against President Tinubu’s election during the 2023 elections are now his strongest allies with free access and party loyalists who campaigned and stood by him have been denied access and are held in contempt.”

But, regardless of Lukman’s impressions about President Tinubu’s achievements and failures in the past one year, thousand and one alibis may have hampered and/or retarded his progress.