Year in Review: Fuel Subsidy Removal, 6 Other Major Actions Tinubu Took in 2023

Year in Review: Fuel Subsidy Removal, 6 Other Major Actions Tinubu Took in 2023

Legit.ng journalist Esther Odili has over two years of experience covering political parties and movements

The federal government of Nigeria, under the leadership of Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, initiated bold reforms, including ending the gasoline (premium motor spirit, PMS) subsidy, and shifting to a unified, market-reflective foreign exchange (FX) rate.

Tinubu, 2023, subsidy removal
Tinubu is finally cobbling together a coherent economic plan. Photo credit: Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu
Source: Facebook

In his inaugural speech on May 29, 2023, Tinubu conveyed a clear message to Nigerians that signaled a departure from business as usual, setting the stage for significant policy changes.

The months of May and June 2023 saw two crucial policy decisions, which resulted in price and exchange rate adjustments in the second half of the year.

These changes have led to an average increase in retail gasoline prices and the depreciation of the naira against the US dollar in both official and parallel markets.

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While these reforms involve painful adjustments, the government is providing temporary compensation measures to support the poorest and most vulnerable households, aiming to mitigate the immediate impact on citizens.

As we wind up the year 2023, this article provides an insight into Tinubu's major policies:

1. Tinubu reintroduces school feeding programme

President Bola Ahmed Tinubu on Thursday, December 21, reintroduced the school feeding programme.

The president reintroduced the programme to address the challenges of out-of-school children, Daily Trust reported.

This was after ex-President Muhammadu Buhari’s government suspended the programme.

2. Student loan scheme

On Monday, June 12, 2023, Tinubu signed the Student Loan Bill that gives students access to loans for their higher education into law, as part of his promises during the February 25 presidential election campaign.

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Femi Gbajabiamila, the former speaker of the house of representatives, proposed the bill and it was passed 2 weeks before the expiration of the 9th assembly.

As reported by BBC Pidgin, the new act will establish Nigerian Education Bank, with the power to supervise, coordinate, administer, and monitor the management of student loans in the country.

Students can apply for the loans through their higher institutions in the country.

Bola Tinubu, May 29, 2023
Tinubu, upon assuming office as Nigeria's 16th president on May 29, 2023, declared an end to the fuel subsidy. Photo credit: Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu
Source: Facebook

3. Removal of fuel subsidy

Tinubu on Monday, May 29, 2023, announced that his administration will not continue with the payment of fuel subsidy.

Tinubu made this known during his inaugural speech at the Presidential inauguration at Eagles Square, Abuja.

The president said he is fully aware of the removal of subsidy in the 2023 budget, which was already in effect before his administration took over.

He noted that the country cannot continue to bear the burden of fuel subsidy, as reported by the Nigerian Tribune.

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In July, President Tinubu disclosed that Nigeria had saved over 1 trillion naira ($1.32 billion) in just over two months by scrapping a popular but costly subsidy on petrol and moved to unify its multiple exchange rates.

However, Tinubu is under pressure as prices soar following the country's boldest reforms in decades, which labour unions say have hurt the poor.

4. Tinubu announces $650 million aid package

A few months after the Tinubu-led government announced an end to subsidy, the president unveiled a $650 million financial package to assist households hurt by economic reforms.

Tinubu said he was aware of the hardships that the decision caused citizens and promised his government was working to help, VOA News report confirmed.

The latest measures announced by the president include allocations for a review of the minimum wage, support for micro-, small- and medium-scale enterprises, and the purchase of 3,000 gas-powered buses to reduce the cost of transportation.

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5. 35,000 wage award

President Tinubu's government approved the N35,000 wage payment to civil servants under his administration.

The National Salaries, Incomes and Wages Commission (NSIWC) confirmed the development. It said the implementation of the N35,000.00 per month wage award for Federal Government Ministries, Departments and Agencies will be funded from the treasury.

Ekpo Nta, the chairman/chief executive officer of NSIWC, disclosed that this only applies to treasury-funded offices, while non-treasury-funded Tinubu's government agencies are to implement the same from their Internally Generated Revenue (IGR) or statutory allocations.

6. N25,000 additional pay for low-grade workers

Also, the federal government led by Tinubu announced that there would be additional pay of N25,000 per month for an average low-grade worker, for the next six months.

In his nationwide broadcast on Sunday, October 1, the president described the initiative as part of the programme of events to mark Nigeria's 63rd Independence anniversary celebration.

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7. Conditional cash transfer for 15 million households

President Tinubu launched the Renewed Hope Conditional Cash Transfer for 15 million households during the outgoing year.

He announced the cash transfer programme during his maiden Independence Day broadcast to Nigerians on October 1, 2023.

The federal ministry of humanitarian affairs and poverty alleviation, headed by Dr Betta Edu, noted that the ongoing payment of N25,000 to poor households in Nigeria via the conditional cash transfer programme for the next three months, amounting to N75,000, was part of the measures to address poverty.

President Tinubu vows to sack underperforming ministers

Meanwhile, Legit.ng reported that Tinubu declared that ministers in his cabinet must maintain their performance and undergo periodic evaluations to retain their positions.

He cautioned that those failing to meet their responsibilities and objectives would be removed from the cabinet.

This announcement was made on Wednesday, November 1, during the launch of the 2023 Cabinet Retreat at the State House Conference Centre in Abuja.

Source: Legit.ng

Authors:
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.

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