Will Tinubu’s “Go-Fast” Approach Yield Results? Details Emerge

Will Tinubu’s “Go-Fast” Approach Yield Results? Details Emerge

  • Nigeria's president, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, has continued to receive commendation for his major reforms in various sectors of the country
  • In just one month, Tinubu announced the removal of fuel subsidy, suspended Godwin Emefiele as CBN governor, suspended Abdularashhed Bawa as EFCC chairman, and sacked service chiefs
  • While some praised the president for his actions so far, others maintained it is expected and are hopeful it yields positive results in his administration

President Bola Ahmed Tinubu has, in less than a month, shocked Nigerians with major policy reforms, which many have considered a paradigm shift from what was obtained under the past leadership of former President Muhammadu Buhari.

Recall that the campaign for the 2023 election was characterised mainly by political satire aimed at tainting the president, who was then the sole candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC).

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Bola Tinubu, Godwin Emefiele, EFCC
Will Tinubu's "go-fast" approach yield results? Fresh facts emerge. Photo credit: Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu
Source: Facebook

The aim of the satire, especially by the Obi-Datti and the Atiku/Okowa supporters, was not only to discredit the APC candidate but to warn Nigerians that a choice of another man who has advanced reasonably in age would further put the nation in the circle of economic and political stagnation.

Despite the daunting criticism, Tinubu pushed through and emerged as president. Since then, he has taken actions many have considered bold while others have chastised him. The question majority of Nigerians are asking is if his recent actions would translate to anything meaningful.

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Fuel subsidy removal

Since his emergence in less than a month, he has made several policy decisions that many have commended. Consequently, he has been tagged "baba go-fast", an appendage that contrasts with the "baba go-slow" of President Muhammadu Buhari, whose policy decisions were considered to be very slow and not in tune with the changing nature of global economies.

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In his inaugural speech, the Nigerian president promised to hit the ground running. He immediately announced that the fuel subsidy was gone since no provision was made for it in the budget.

According to him:

"Unfortunately, fuel subsidy is not in the budget. It means fuel subsidy is gone. We will use that money for other development projects."

He had earlier told Nigerians during his campaign that:

"No matter how long you protest, we will remove fuel subsidy."

The announcement created fear across the country, resulting in panic buying, and it only took a few days before the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation Ltd, NNPCL, announced a new price regime, signifying the end of fuel subsidy. The majority of Nigerians have hailed his decision. Some have, however, argued that the removal was hastily done without due consideration of an immediate palliative to cushion the effect of the removal.

An Arise TV analyst, Sam Amadi, said enough palliatives are not on ground; hence subsidy removal was ill-timed and hastily done.

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Amadi argued that no new development in the transport sector yet to support the removal of fuel subsidies.

Arrest of Emefiele

Although the suspension of the Central Bank Governor, Godwin Emefiele, did not come as a surprise due to the roles he played ahead of the 2023 election, his arrest and prosecution may have been greeted with widespread condemnation. Since his suspension, Emefiele has remained in detention over alleged terrorism financing and others, including the naira redesigning policy.

Faulting the CBN governor's arrest, human rights lawyer, Olisa Agbakoba, in a statement, said the suspension of the CBN governor from office was expected as his tenure was way beyond monetary policy. He, however, said the confirmation by the DSS that Emefiele is in its custody comes as a shock.

“The statutory role of DSS is internal security and I shudder to think what role DSS will play in this matter. The rule of law says it all – can the relevant agency responsible for Governor Emefiele step forward but this excludes the DSS unless this has security implications," Agbakoba had said.

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But other rights activists have argued that those kicking against the detention of Emefiele are enemies of the country.

New economic policies

Tinubu did not only suspend Emefiele, he has, in a short period, made significant adjustments to the country's economic policy. Apart from the removal of fuel subsidies, the multiple exchange rates were also harmonized.

Also addressed since his assumption of office is the issue of multiple taxation. Recall that during his inauguration, Tinubu promised to remove multiple taxations.

A few days later, the Joint Tax Board announced that implementation of the policy had begun, which will address illegal and multiple taxations on inter-state roads across the country.

Nigerians are, however, yet to feel the impact of the new policy even as the dollars remain high against the naira.

As of Thursday, dollars appreciated against the naira. This is despite the new policy.

Sack of EFCC boss, Bawa

Tinubu did not wait till after a month before he relieved Abdulrasheed Bawa of his job as the chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission. Though the president did not outrightly sack Bawa, the suspension appears to be the end of his job.

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Following the development, Abdulkarim Chukkol has since been asked to take over in an acting capacity.

Many are of the view that the sack of the agency head was to strengthen his anti-corruption war and to clearly define the government's direction in the area of corruption.

An EFCC staff who craved anonymity told Legit.ng that Tinubu's action with regard to the suspension of Bawa is a clear policy statement on anti-corruption.

According to him:

"Allegations against Bawa are too many. And you know that if the commission is corrupt, then the entire country is written off.
" I knew Tinubu was coming to us with the big stick. We are hopeful that the new leadership will rebrand the image of the commission," he said.

Sack of Service chiefs

The sack of service chiefs and the appointment of new ones just a few weeks into his administration have been considered to be the right steps in the right direction. Many Nigerians hailed the president for taking the bold steps.

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Recall that the past leadership of the country had retained some of the security chiefs that worked under the PDP government. Even though the security of the country got deteriorated at a time, the then President continued to work with them. This was a major criticism of Buhari's administration.

But a security expert with a popular security company, Joel Ajiri, told Legit.ng that even though Tinubu's action was commendable. The decision was hastily taken.

According to him:

"This is a security matter. As the president, certain decisions like that of security must be carefully evaluated before actions are taken. I just hope he has not made a mistake by relieving the security chiefs. I also hope the new ones have been properly briefed."

Despite the effort and the speed with which the Tinubu government is tackling issues, it is yet to be seen if such will translate into reality by ameliorating the hardship in the land.

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Buhari asks Tinubu to stop probing Emefiele, others? Real fact emerged

Former President Muhammadu Buhari has reacted to the report that he told President Bola Tinubu not to probe ex-members of his cabinet, such as Godwin Emefiele, the suspended governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN).

Garba Shehu, the former spokesperson to the ex-President, in a tweet on Thursday, debunked the report that Buhari told President Tinubu to stop the ongoing investigation of some members of his cabinet.

Presidency blasts PDP

The presidency, through Dele Alake, the special adviser to the president on special duties, communications and strategy, has said it is not surprised by the Peoples Democratic Party's (PDP) antagonistic position to the ruling party's recent policies.

According to the presidency, the PDP is envious of the accomplishments of President Bola Tinubu so far.

Source: Legit.ng

Esther Odili avatar

Esther Odili (Politics and Current Affairs Editor) Esther Odili is a journalist and a Politics/Current Affairs Editor at Legit.ng with 6+ years of experience. Before joining Legit.ng, Esther has worked with other reputable media houses, such as the New Telegraph newspaper and Galaxy Television. She Holds OND and HND in Mass Communication from NIJ, where she was recognized as the best student in print journalism in 2018. Email: esther.odili@corp.legit.ng.

Adoyi Ali avatar

Adoyi Ali Ali Adoyi is a prolific writer and a graduate of the Benue State University, Makurdi, Benue State. Adoyi holds a B.A Theatre and Communications Arts. He has bagged many awards both in academics and in journalism. Some of the awards are 10 years Journalism Merit Award, Best graduating student (Dept) Most Outstanding student (Faculty), and others. Adoyi can be reached here: adoyi.ali@corp.legit.ng

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