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NO MORE SUBSIDY, President Tinubu declared on May 29th 2023, putting an end to over three decades of the most impactful and effective direct government support to Nigerians. Abruptly halted and without a clear economic back-up plan to cushion repercussions, Nigerians now have to deal with the ripple effect of hiked energy cost on production and transportation across the country.

Food prices have peaked 37.92% pricing local staples out of the reach of the average Nigerian as a direct consequence of subsidy removal. In reaction to this reality, the government has resorted to releasing 42,000 metric tonnes of grain reserves and transferring a monthly stipend of N5000 ($3.7) to 15 million poorest Nigerians out of the 60 million who live on less than $1 daily.

Despite producing over 1.5 million oil barrels per day, a continuous culture of mismanagement has kept the nation short of foreign exchange, with dollar reserves hitting an all-time low of $32.8 billion last December. In turn the local Naira has lost over 50% of its valuation since Tinubu’s ascension to office, making it the world’s third worst performing currency, per a Reuters report.

On the path of infrastructure, progress is worrisomely slow as Tinubu only recently released a paltry $35 billion to pursue new projects even as over $16 trillion unfinished projects litter across the nation. The story is similar for agriculture, where Tinubu recently declared an agricultural mandate to cultivate 500,000 hectares of land for agricultural production without proper considerations of the limitations of the Land Use Act which strips the government of any land ownership rights without proper compensation to locals in possession.

The health sector is no better under Tinubu as the Nigerian government, yet again, failed to meet the 15% budgetary benchmark for health infrastructure set by the African Union in 2002. The country’s health sector is the fourth worst in the world even as general hospitals which remain the cheapest access to healthcare for the average Nigerian are severely underfunded, underequipped and understaffed professionally. Nigeria still grapples with infant and maternal mortality and is still the world’s epicenter of Malaria, thus showing a lack of sustainable solutions.

Nigeria still grapples with the menace of Boko Haram and Fulani terrorist herdsmen despite over N6.7 trillion being budgeted for defense in 2024. Kidnapping for ransom has become a lucrative industry flourishing in the Northern and Southern parts of the country, even as security officials claim incapacitation and turn a blind eye as already impoverished citizens are extorted at scale.

For many citizens who had hoped a Tinubu presidency would bring succor and relief from the hardship faced under ex-President Buhari, efforts from the government have shown a disappointing continuation of APCs desire to grab power without a clear plan for impactful governance. Over 90% of generated revenues in 2023 was spent servicing debts leaving little room for progressive investment that provides jobs to over 44 million unemployed youths.

Tinubu’s controversial ascension to power, many believe, was all the signs needed to predict a tumultuous tenure, while for others, his inability to place competence far over nepotism in the selection of political and civil appointees sent a signal of Nigeria’s unpreparedness to “get it right.”

As Nigerians countdown to one year of Tinubu’s rule, it behooves now on the government to make do of its promises and redeem its reputation as a government genuinely after the welfare of the people through the provision of basic infrastructure, restoration of subsidy, control of exchange rate hike, reinstatement of food importation to reduce inflation, and appointment of competent incorruptible Nigerians to oversee these changes.

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