Nigeria: What Next as Tinubu Addresses Frustrated Citizens?

How reassuring was President Bola Tinubu‘s July 31 broadcast to Nigerians?

Development Diaries reports that the president, who assumed office over two months ago, has finally disclosed his administration’s intervention plans for citizens, especially the poor and vulnerable Nigerians following the removal of fuel subsidy.

Nigerians recently woke up to realise that the prices of premium motor spirit (PMS), commonly known as petrol or fuel, had been adjusted at fuel stations across the country as hardship over the removal of petroleum subsidy lingers.

This got many Nigerians fuming, with the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) and Trade Union Congress (TUC) bracing up for a nationwide strike.

In his latest speech, the president announced a plan to invest in 3,000 compressed natural gas (CNG) powered buses, introduce a new national minimum wage for workers, boost small businesses, ensure food prices remain affordable, and plan to implement interventions that would cushion the pains of Nigerians across socio-economic brackets.

‘Our economy is going through a tough patch and you are being hurt by it. The cost of fuel has gone up. Food and other prices have followed it. Households and businesses struggle. Things seem anxious and uncertain’, Tinubu said.

‘I understand the hardship you face. I wish there were other ways. But there is not. If there were, I would have taken that route as I came here to help, not hurt the people and nation that I love.

‘What I can offer in the immediate is to reduce the burden our current economic situation has imposed on all of us, most especially on businesses, the working class and the most vulnerable among us’.

However beautiful and promising the president’s speech may sound, it still boils down to the implementation of his plans and policies.

The president gave various timelines with which some of these plans will be implemented. He gave timelines of between July 2023 and March 2024, which means that Nigerians should start looking out for the implementation of these promises immediately.

Recall that the World Bank, in its latest Nigeria Development Update (NDU), noted that 7.1 million more Nigerians will be pushed into the poverty trap if properly targeted measures are not taken to manage the impact of fuel subsidy removal.

Now, poverty does not reduce itself except when there is an effective policy response to tackle it. Hence, unless something drastic is done, poverty will continue to increase.

It is expected that the Tinubu administration would put into effect serious and inclusive economic plans that would ensure poverty is drastically reduced and living conditions made better.

Development Diaries calls on the president to back his sweet words with swift action and ensure that the suffering of the average Nigerian is reduced to the barest minimum.

Citizens, on the other hand, must ensure they actively participate in governance by tracking and monitoring the activities of their public officeholders across all levels of government.

Photo source: Bola Ahmed Tinubu


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