Opinion: In Tinubu Presidency, By Kola Amzat
Without a shadow of doubt, no other event dominates the discussions of the generality of Nigerians both at home and in Diaspora today, besides the impending constitutionally arranged inauguration of Asiwaju Bola Tinubu as the new President of Federal Republic of Nigeria, scheduled for May 29, 2023.
Even, the entire globe remains glued to that historic day when the iconic and Nigerian political dynamo is expected to take the baton of leadership from the incumbent, President Muhammud Buhari to commence a 4 years rein that has been projected to be eventful, action-packed, prosperous and unprecedented in the annals of governance in this country.
The expectations of the generality of Nigerians are not largely unfounded. Tinubu has a tremendous past. A glorious and fantastic antecedents in governance! He sets the pace for what is today gloriously refers to as modern Lagos. While he reigned in Lagos, he fashioned out the developmental blue print that has not only ensured that the state maintains an unassailable lead in all facets amongst the 36 federating units in Nigeria, Lagos is now the 4th biggest economy in the entire Sub Saharan Africa.
To his credit, governance in the state of excellence has remained stable till date since the turn of the 4th Republic. No other state across the country has achieved that impressive and incredible feat. His significance contributions to the huge success recorded by the party to date across the land since the party assumed power and authority at the federal level in 2015 has also given him out as uncommon and unusual political leader with gift of Midas.
It’s therefore instructive to submit that he would not disappoint, more-so when he has personally confessed that he’s been on the presidency project for solid 20 years. Even though, Asiwaju Tinubu who Nigerians are accustomed to, already has his wholesale plan to significantly turn-around the fortunes of the country economically, politically, socio-culturally etc, as encapsulated in the 7 points Agenda fondly christened Renewed Hope, the issues as enunciated below should also command the attention of his regime.
Over years, particularly in the outgoing administration of President Buhari, the authority in charge of monetary and fiscal policies operated at cross-purposes throughout the life of the tenure. Instructively, no nation could achieve stability and prosperity in economy without harmonious relationship between the two authority(s). Tax and Government expenditure, must of necessity be in sync with the instruments of monetary authority-Open Market Operations, statutory liquidity ratio, bank rate, repo rate, reserve rate etc.
Lack of synergy between the two has caused Nigeria economy monumental set back and embarrassment in the last 6-7 years. Sadly, the CBN governor, Godwin Emefiele is particularly fingered and comprehensively culpable in this unfortunate development with his aloofness and officiousness, practically for no justifiable reasons other than ego. A whole Minister of Finance confirmed to Nigerians that she practically wasn’t in the picture of the recent CBN’s Naira redesign, a development that caused untold hardship and severe pains to all Nigerians for the period that it lasted. Tinubu regime must draw curtains on this display of power and arrogance.
The prolonged instability in our currency and appalling state of Nigerian Foreign Reserves Account also have their root in CBN governor negative attitude of “I can do it alone”. The continual regime of dual/multiple exchange rates he imposed on the nation has significantly worsen the state of our Naira and ultimately the foreign reserves account. Nigerians expect a new order in this instance.
There is also urgent need to devise a long lasting solution to the regime of oil theft on daily basis on the Niger Delta deep sea, a development that has significantly reduced accrued oil revenue generations into the FAAC account. In the same vein is the dire need to ensure that Nigeria continually achieve her OPEC production quota of 1.8 million barrels/day, which locusts and cankerworms in the oil sector have been denying the country of. In view of the fact that the in-coming administration must justify Nigerians’ mandate by meeting their huge expectations, something very significant must be done to close the chapter or reduce to the barest minimum the regime of illegal bunkering on the Nigerian sea, so that the country revenue generation could be significantly improved to execute series of developmental programs that would put Nigeria back on the track.
One behemoth that has remained dominant in the affairs of the successive administrations in Nigeria is diversification of the country economy. It’s been back and forth over years. Despite spirited efforts made, it appears the nation remains glued to oil and gas as the mainstay of the economy. Solid minerals and agriculture sectors onto which billions of naira have been committed to compete with oil & gas sector in term of accruable revenues therefrom, to FAAC account have not found their bearing.
In-fact, revenue returns to the country Treasury from these two sectors have been largely infinitesimal. It’s regrettable that Solid minerals sector is largely populated by local and foreign entrepreneurs who continually rip nation of her resources, thus frustrating the country’s diversification efforts. The players in Agriculture sector have refused to move from subsistence to industrial aspect, a development that is causing stagnation in the segment, thus preventing the nation to achieve optimum generation from her natural endowments.
The incoming government would be in need of huge resources to tackle multi-faceted challenges confronting the nation. So, it’s of necessity that there must be an intentional and deliberate policy initiative that would cause paradigm shift in the afore-mentioned non-performing sectors.
Presently, the government patronage of capital market is far from being salutary. Nigerian is a huge country and emerging force in infrastructural developments-airports, railways, roads, ICT, medicals, industrial hubs etc. The nation capital market as a matter of necessity should be at the fore-front of providing funding for all these projects as against the present arrangement that involves the infrastructural facilities being funded through funds from foreign countries-China, Germany, U.K etc.
The path to take for the country to prosper is to maximally involve capital market in capital financing arrangement, and in a short while the positive effects would be felt in all the strata of the nation developments. The incoming government must therefore cultivate and romance the market. The administration must allow capital market to be at the epicenter of funding of the nation infrastructural developments.
In recent years, Malaysia, Taiwan, Turkey and even, India are emerging as new forces in industrial developments. Nigeria would do well to forge a new strategic partnership and alliance with these countries, and significantly play down our alliance with China. In essence, my submission is essentially to avoid temptation of putting the nation fortunes in one basket.
Amongst the benefits that could accrued from alliances with the aforementioned countries is capacity building for our teeming youths, exchange of technical partners, remodeling of our SMEs alongside those countries as we happen to be in the same bracket of development with a couple of them. Policy initiatives to ensure this, must flow from the office of the incoming president.
Oil and Gas, as well as Power sectors have continually remained the headache of Nigerians and bottle neck to economic, industrial, infrastructural and entrepreneurial developments. Indeed, the two sectors supposed to be the engine room of Nigeria growth and development in all the strata. If we submit that the sectors have over the years terrorize every household, business, institutions and even, government, it’s never an overstatement. If we get it right with the sectors, there is no justifiable reasons why Nigeria would not move forward henceforth.
This writer therefore submit that, Tinubu government must revisit the new arrangement of electricity supply that involves power generation, distribution and marketing. It’s crystal clear that this arrangement is not working and it’s of necessity that there must be new order. May be, the government has to engage in remodeling of the structural arrangement or better still, engage new investors.
Oil and gas sector is another headache of the nation. The incessant fuel scarcity mostly being fueled by the oil marketers must be brought to a close. It’s curious why the nation’s refineries have remained non-functional over years. The mystery behind this ugly development that has endured over years must be unraveled. If Alhaji Dangote, a private investor could have trust and confidence in investing in running and managing a refinery, why is it difficult for the government to bring back the refineries? The issue of subsidy removal is a sensitive one that government need to be circumspect above.
It’s also in the public domain that cost of governance in Nigeria is incredibly too high. Over the years, this development has made it practically impossible for the associated trillion of naira to be freed for other productive activities capable of turning the fortunes of the country around. It has therefore become necessary that the incoming president must revisit this, with the sole objective of taming the monster. We don’t have any choice as fund from the wastage must henceforth be made available to prosecute projects capable of ensuring a renaissance Nigeria.
Finally, government must endeavor to revisit the financial and operational activities of NNPC, FIRS, NPA, Customs, Immigration and other key revenue generation agencies of government, with the sole objectives of instilling fiscal discipline that would henceforth ensuring that optimal revenues accrued from the Agencies into the Federation Accounts. There is no doubt that this is not the present situation at the MDAs. There should a deliberate policy initiative and directive that would bring about this development; May be, total restructuring of the Agencies, as well as reducing the tenure of the executive teams would do.
Kola AMZAT (FCA)
LAGOS BASED FINANCIAL CONSULTANT,