Nigeria’s President has helped to provide new answers to old questions that have since become existential.
Would you have government fill the petrol tanks of the rich or would you use that resource to provide more opportunities for the poor?
Would you have the rich and powerful build wealth on the back of FX arbitrage – paid for by government – or would you provide a level field that’d help ensure the middle-class and foreign investors trust the fairness of the market?
Do you want government to be about the people and for the people and the democratisation of its dividends and opportunities or do you want it to be about the same old bloc?
These are the big questions President Tinubu has helped to provide the right answers to. Nigeria answered these questions the wrong way for most of its years of Independence. It could afford to because it made easy money from the sale of oil. As the world’s energy taste and geo-politics continue to shift and chaos arising from the flux, Nigeria must build a more sustainable future because it cannot afford to wait on rent from oil like it did in the past. It is also bad business to depend on one source of country, be you a person, a company or a country.
In essence, Tinubu’s method is focusing on addressing structural issues. It is about ensuring the better for the majority instead of just the best for a privileged few – including the noisy ones that once benefited from these unfair systems and probably even continue to.
As with most structural changes, there will be a gestation period that’d appear things aren’t being done right. Going from Bad to Good to Better comes at a cost. The same way most successful people had to endure the pain of tough nights and days, sweating and groaning as they laid the layers of their future, brick by brick, day by day until things got easier. Change doesn’t happen in a matter of weeks and days. What matters is an understanding of what’s being done. What matters is to know you are on the right track. Nigeria is.
There will be those who thrive on the back of what they oppose instead of what they agree on. They can’t make meaning of anything except they are in opposition to it. It’s why they can support an idea today but once government adopts that idea, they then oppose it. It’s not their fault. They find their essence in opposition, even if blind.
The people cannot afford to get sucked in such agenda. This is about the majority. It is about those who have no voice and have been made to feel they have no claim on government and its opportunities. These are the fundamental changes that have happened over the last 97 days or so since President Tinubu took power. And no, even human beings have it tough seeing change in their lives after 97 days of adopting a better way of doing things. Why then do we expect different from a massive multinational country like ours? Give Nigeria a chance. Don’t play yourself by getting in the way of its development.
We are in this together. Whether you like it or not. Whether you live here or not.
-Omojuwa is a development and digital influencer