As President Bola Tinubu marked his 100 days in office, CHIKA OKEKE takes a cursory look at some of his achievements and action plan that would place Nigeria on a pedestal of growth and development.
“Leaders instill in their people a hope for success and a belief in themselves. Positive leaders empower people to accomplish their goals.”-Unknown
The above statement spoke volumes on the leadership traits of Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, who was inaugurated as the 16th President of Nigeria on May 29, 2023, amidst pomp and pageantry.
In his inaugural speech, the first major and difficult announcement was the removal of subsidy on Premium Motor Spirit (PMS) from the third quarter of 2023. The implication was that subsidy on petroleum products would automatically seize to exist from July, 2023.
Before the announcement, Nigeria spent more than $850 million monthly on payment of fuel subsidy as indicated by the Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited.
Findings by Presidential Diary revealed that in the last 17 years, from 2005 to mid- 2021, the Federal Government had spent over N13. 697 trillion on the payment of subsidy, just as the Organisation of Petroleum Countries (OPEC) pegged the country’s daily import of petrol and diesel at 465,000 barrels per day.
In 2022, the Federal Government spent over N3 trillion on subsidy, while in 2023 budget, N4 trillion was mapped out for fuel subsidy. The capital project for the entire country in 2023 is N6 trillion.
This implied that Nigeria spends at least, N18.397 billion to subsidise PMS daily due to high cost of petroleum products, redundant refineries, wobbly exchange rate, and failure to implement the Petroleum Industry Act (PIA).
Tinubu was emphatic that from the 2023 budget he inherited from the immediate past administration, that subsidy ended by June, 2023.
The President maintained that the funds set aside for fuel subsidy would be invested in infrastructure, education, healthcare and jobs for Nigerians.
Presidential Diary recalled that President Bola Tinubu had during his electioneering campaign in October, 2022, released 10 manifestoes that his administration would leverage to deepen growth in the country. They are as follows:
- Build a Nigeria, especially for our youth, where sufficient jobs with decent wages create a better life.
- Manufacture, create, and invent more of the goods and services we require. Nigeria shall be known as a nation of creators, not just of consumers.
- Export more and import less, strengthening both the naira and our way of life.
- Continue assisting our ever-toiling farmers, through enlightened agricultural policy that promotes productivity and assures decent incomes, so that farmers can support their families and feed the nation.
- Modernise and expand public infrastructure so that the rest of the economy can grow at an optimal rate.
- Embolden and support our young people and women by harnessing emerging sectors such as the digital economy, entertainment and culture, tourism and others to build the Nigeria of tomorrow, today.
- Train and give economic opportunity to the poorest and most vulnerable among us. We seek a Nigeria where no parent is compelled to send a child to bed hungry, worried whether tomorrow shall bring food.
- Generate, transmit and distribute sufficient, affordable electricity to give our people the requisite power to enlighten their lives, their homes, and their very dreams.
- Make basic healthcare, education, and housing accessible and affordable for all.
- And, most importantly, establish a bold and assertive policy that will create a strong yet adaptive national security architecture and action to obliterate terror, kidnapping, banditry, and all other forms of violent extremism from the face of our nation.
Days after his swearing in ceremony, he assumed duty ceremoniously. He was determined to attain unimaginable feat within 100 days in office in line with his campaign promises.
His major area of focus was to enact programmes and policies that would unlock the hidden potentials in the housing, health, business, education and other sectors of the economy.
These, would not only provide massive employment opportunities for Nigerians especially the youths but would also serve as an avenue to revamp the ailing industries as contained in his ‘Renewed Hope Agenda’.
Foreign Direct Investment
The first quarter 2023 Foreign Direct Investment data released by the National Bureau of Statistics revealed that out of the 36 States and the Federal Capital Territory, only Lagos, Abuja, Adamawa, Akwa Ibom, Anambra, Ekiti, Ogun, Ondo and Niger witnessed capital inflows.
While the cumulative capital inflows totalled $1.13bn, Lagos with $704m, attracted the most capital in the period under review, followed by Abuja at $410.27m and Akwa Ibom with $5.21m.
Adawama generated $4.50m, Anambra $4m, Ogun $2.09m, Niger $1.50m, Ondo $0.20m, and Ekiti $0.01m.
In his contributions, the Director General of National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA) Kashifu Inuwa Abdullahi disclosed that almost 30 per cent of Africa’s Foreign Direct Investment ended in Nigeria.
He said that Nigeria’s tech ecosystem attracted about $4.4bn investment in 2015, 2019 and 2020 commutatively, and ICT contributed about 18.5 per cent to the country’s Gross Domestic Product.
At the Leaders Without Borders Annual Business Summit and International Honours 2023 in London, Inuwa noted that NITDA as a government agency established in 2001 to help Nigerians in the use of information technology, had supported about 753 startups in different ways through training, seed funding and grants.
To build on the successes recorded by the previous administration, President Tinubu has successfully attracted a $3bn Investment from Indians to bolster Nigeria’s steel industry.
The President entered into the agreement during the Nigeria-India economic roundtable in India.
This was followed after extensive discussions between the President and leadership of Jindal Steel and Power Limited on the sidelines of the G-20 Summit in New Delhi, India,
Jindal Steel and Power Limited, one of India’s foremost private steel producers, made this momentous commitment to invest $3 billion in iron ore processing and steel development in Nigeria.
Minister of Steel Development, Prince Shauib Audu was excited at the development, saying that the pledge was a game-changer that would revitalise and transform the nation’s steel industry.
He thanked Tinubu for his exceptional efforts in attracting such a substantial investment for Nigeria’s steel sector.
The minister stated that as Nigerians anticipated the positive impact of the massive investment, that it marked a pivotal moment in the country’s industrial growth and economic development.
Also, the President’s meeting with the Chairman and CEO of the Hinduja Group of Companies, Mr. Gopichand Hinduja led to the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) for further investment in Nigeria’s automobile industry.
Hinduja, a conglomerate with a total asset portfolio exceeding $100 billion, pledged a multi-billion dollar investment for automobile manufacturing in Nigeria.
Commending the cheerful news, VON Automobile Nigeria, a subsidiary of Stallion Group and maker of Ashok Leyland buses drummed support for President Tinubu’s investment initiative in India.
Managing Director of VON Automobile Nigeria, Dr. Harpreet Singh was optimistic that Tinubu’s administration would prioritise the nation’s automobile industry.
He disclosed that VON Automobile remains dedicated to supporting the government’s push for a clean and eco-friendly environment as seen with its mass transit buses running on clean and affordable energy sources.
VON is currently modifying its locally assembled mass transit buses to run on Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) and electric power.
The locally assembled Ashok Leyland buses, including the Falcon and Hawk models, have been available in Nigeria since 2014.
These buses were designed specifically for the Nigerian environment, just as it offered durability, power, safety and a longer lifespan.
Singh hinted that the CNG and electric-powered Falcon and Hawk buses would assist in reducing running costs for Nigerians, especially with the recent fuel subsidy removal.
VON Automobile’s state-of-the-art service centers and certified technical specialists are also ready to provide world-class after-sales support to extend the lifespan of the buses.
Its assembly plant, sited along Lagos – Badagry Expressway in Lagos, not only produces buses, but also cars, pickups, trucks, and other vehicles that serve as viable alternatives to imported fully built-up new and used vehicles.
Appointment Of Young Persons
One of the major steps of President Tinubu targeted at bolstering his renewed hope agenda is the appointment of young persons into key government positions.
He recorded a milestone as the President with the highest ministerial appointment (47) since Nigeria commenced her democratic journey in 1999.
The President’s appointment ushered in young persons like the 37-year-old former Cross River State Commissioner for Health, Dr. Betta Edu as the Minister of Humanitarian Affairs and Poverty Alleviation. The renowned surgeon served as the national women leader of the ruling All Progressive Congress.
In 2015, Edu became the youngest person to be appointed Special Adviser to the former Governor of Cross River State, Benedict Ayade on Community and Primary Healthcare.
She became chairman of the Cross River State COVID-19 Taskforce in 2020 and in August that year, she was appointed National Chairman of the Nigeria Health Commissioners Forum.
Another appointee is a 41-year-old Hon. Olubunmi Tunji-Ojo, who is currently the Minister of Interior. The engineer, entrepreneur and philanthropist was a former member of the House of Representatives for Akoko North East/Akoko North West Federal Constituency of Ondo State.
During his first term in the House of Representatives, he was the chairman of the House Committee on Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC). He resigned his membership of the lower chamber of the National Assembly after being appointed by President Bola Tinubu as minister of Interior on 16 August 2023.
Also, a tech expert, Mr. Bosun Tijani was appointed as the Minister of Communications and Digital Economy.
The 46-year-old Tijani is a Nigerian-British entrepreneur and co-founder of Co-Creation Hub (CcHUB), the leading Pan-African innovation and technology centre. In 2012, the Tony Elumelu Foundation provided CcHUB with a $100,000 investment to support the development of Bosun’s Hub.
Since then, Bosun has been named one of the 100 Most Influential People on the continent by New Africa Magazine. He also received and initiated the visit of Mark Zuckerberg for the first time in Nigeria in August 2016. But in 2019, CCHub acquired Kenya’s iHub under Bosun’s leadership.
President Tinubu also picked a 32-year-old entrepreneur and another tech-expert, Khalil Halilu, as the Executive Vice Chairman/CEO of National Agency for Science and Engineering Infrastructure (NASENI).
As a business and tech expert and entrepreneur, he had also served as Chief Operating Officer at Scirrocco and held the position over three consecutive years.
At the young age of 23, Halilu had occupied managerial position in various companies as well as established an outstanding reputation for himself in the business sector.
He founded and co-founded the first eco-friendly tech hub in West-Africa named, The CANs park; ShapShap on-demand delivery app, OyaOya and the first on-demand commodity marketplace in the entire Africa.
In addition, a 37-year-old Ajuri Obari Ngelale was appointed the Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity.
He had previously served as Senior Special Adviser to former President Muhammadu Buhari on Public Affairs and was a co-principal spokesperson of Ahmed Bola Tinubu presidential campaign council for the 2023 presidential elections.
Ngelala, a seasoned journalist was a senior reporter and presenter at Africa Independent Television (AIT) and Channels Television respectively.
Aside Ngelale, the President’s media team are filled with young, vibrant and talented journalists that are determined to push hard for the renewed hope agenda.
Engr. Abisoye Coker-Odusote was also appointed as the Acting Director-General/Chief Executive Officer of National Identity Management Commission (NIMC).
The 38-year-old NIMC boss has over 18 years of experience in information technology, telecommunications, finance, oil & gas, healthcare, government and public utilities.
She served as the Technology & Communications head at Bate Litwin (an engineering company, a former subsidiary of Litwin, France) on projects such as Chevron ESA (JV with Atlas).
Coker-Odusote was the General Manager/Chief Executive Officer of the Lagos State Infrastructure Maintenance and Regulatory Agency (LASIMRA).
Worried by the complex health sector, the President started by shopping for the best technocrats that would deliver his mandate to Nigerians.
This, he did by appointing the Coordinating Minister of Health and Social Welfare, Prof. Ali Pate and Coordinating Minister of State for Health and Social Welfare, Dr Tunji Alausa to transform the health sector.
To kick-start the transformation, Prof Pate engaged the services of an international consulting firm, McKinsey to carryout diagnostic work on how to provide the best healthcare to Nigerians.
This is with a view to replicating the same commitment that Mr President made to Lagosians during his tenure as the Governor of Lagos State. Within few years of his administration, Lagos became the best performing state in all the sectors and most especially the health sector.
President Tinubu’s determination to provide Nigerians with basic, good and comprehensive healthcare led to the unveiling of a 4-point agenda that would rejig the healthcare system.
The first agenda was to improve on quality of governance in the health sector by appraising the performance of Primary Healthcare Centres (PHCs) and Tertiary Health Institutions.
Secondly, the improvement of population health outcomes, which would address diseases like measles, diphtheria, vaccine preventable diseases and reduce incidences of maternal and neo-natal deaths.
The third agenda centered on medical value chain or industrialisation because unlocking the healthcare value chain is vital, as it would increase the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) and create new jobs for the economy.
Lastly is on health security. Epidemics like Lassa fever, cholera and meningitis occur because of poor health security.
Pate said though there are lots of potentials in health care deliverables, that the Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) as well as the state government are imbued with higher responsibilities to safeguard the health of Nigerians.
The minister harped on the need to strengthen the regulatory capacity of National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC) and work with state governments to improve their regulatory function at the supply chain level.
He assured that his administration is committed to improving transparency and accountability in the sector in order to renew health for Nigerians, promising to implement the National Healthcare Act.
To assist students with better educational opportunities, majority of the State governments, private sector and even philanthropists award scholarships to deserving Nigerians to pursue their academic.
This, the First Lady, Sen. Oluremi Tinubu, achieved within the husband’s 100 days in office by offering scholarship to 43 students of tertiary institution courtsey of National Scholarship Programme (NASP) under Renewed Hope Initiative (RHI).
The RHI is the pet project of Mrs Tinubu, aimed at supporting and complementing President Tinubu-led administration’s drive at making tertiary education accessible, especially with the introduction of students loan scheme.
At the maiden ceremony of the initiative in Abuja, Mrs Tinubu informed that each beneficiary would get N4 million across four academic sessions and a new laptop.
The beneficiaries were selected from the 36 States of the Federation including the FCT, while each awardee was nominated by their state governor.
Mrs Tinubu noted that the Renewed Hope Initiative scholarship is a transformative scheme that would change lives and shape the destiny of youths across the nation.
She said that it required the collective responsibility of Nigerians to provide every child with quality education and assist the youths to attain their highest potentials, irrespective of their background.
Apart from endorsement by state governors, other criteria for nomination include proof of admission with any of Nigeria’s tertiary institutions, even as the beneficiary must possess good academic grade of 3,0 GPA and above.
The first lady lamented that numerous youths across the nation are unable to afford the cost of tertiary education due to financial limitation.
She stated that quality education is not just a fundamental right of every child but a key to unlock doors to a promising future and help to empower individual families and the entire communities.
“The RHI scholarship programme is a commitment and a promise that we make today to identify with the youths, to say to them that their dreams and aspiration matter.
“Through this programme, we seek not only to provide financial assistance but also foster an environment where talents are nurtured and where potential is recognised,” she added.
Mrs Tinubu envisaged a country where every child, regardless of their circumstances, would access the best education, saying that the scholarship entails igniting curiosity, sparkling innovations and fostering the love for learning that would transcend generations.
She urged the beneficiaries to study hard, work hard and make the best use of the opportunity offered to them.
While acknowledging the stakeholders, she enjoined well-meaning Nigerians to support RHI’s goals targeted at reaching out to many Nigerians in order to make life easy for them.
She hinted that the initiative is not an isolated effort but a collective endeavour that required the involvement of all stakeholders, just as she appreciated Nigerian Communication Commission (NCC) for the donation of 50 laptops in support of RHI.
Mrs Tinubu commended all the coordinators, including governors’ wives, the wives of service chiefs and other organisations for their support in ensuring that the programme became a reality.
Four of the awardees – Adijat Ayodele from Kwara, Daniel Sunmonu from Ekiti, Eze Ijeoma from Anambra and Usman Sanni, a Chemistry student of Federal University of Dutsimma, Katsina – said they were excited over the scholarship.
As at 2023, the housing deficit stood at 22 million despite the growing number of slum settlements, completed and unoccupied houses dotting the landscape of major cities in Abuja, Lagos and PortHarcourt.
To close the housing gap, President Tinubu has already approved the construction of 1,000 houses in Sokoto, Kebbi, Katsina, Zamfara, Kaduna, Niger and Benue States.
The Vice President, Kashim Shettima disclosed this at the commissioning of projects executed by Borno State Government in the last 100 days.
A statement by the Director of Information, Office of the Vice President, Mr Olusola Abiola revealed that the housing projects were part of a broad plan by the Federal Government to address conflicts in the north.
Shettima hinted that Tinubu approved N50 billion to the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) to kick-start the Pulaku initiative, which was a non-kinetic solution to the crisis confronting the people of the northwest.
“President Tinubu has approved the construction of 1,000 houses in Sokoto, Kebbi, Katsina, Zamfara, Kaduna, Niger and Benue States with all the ancillary facilities of schools, clinics, veterinary clinics and ranches for the Fulani community in Kaduna and Benue states.
“President Tinubu insisted that all the victims must be carried along,” he added.
The Vice President promised that all parts of the country would benefit from the developmental strides of President Tinubu.
He informed that the Federal Government was planning to re-ignite wheat production in the country, adding that Tinubu is conversant with the problems in Nigeria and was making efforts to address them.
“The issues confronting Nigerians will be addressed. We will use all available vehicles to fix things. President Tinubu means well for this country and he is determined to change the fortunes of the nation for the better.
“Tinubu is a person filled with a lot of empathy for the less privileged in the society. Some of the painful decisions taken by the government were products of the circumstances we have found ourselves in,” Shettima added.
He lauded the vision and leadership of Gov. Babagana Zulum of Borno State, particularly in his capacity to address the welfare of the people.
Shettima thanked Zulum for putting Borno first in all his major decisions.
Out of 77 new projects completed in 100 days of Zulum’s administration, the VP commissioned the Shuwari ll Community School and Healthcare Centre.
Shettima also commissioned the Alikaramti Community School and the Gamboru Liberty Day Seconday School, all within Maiduguri metropolis.
He was cheered by a jubilant crowd, particularly school children during the commissioning of projects executed by the state government within 100 days.
Unification of FOREX
The unification of foreign exchange rates was the major decision reached by this administration. Before the harmonisation, the official rate of one dollar to naira was between N400 to N500, while one pound was also about N800/900.
To attain the feat, Tinubu took a bold and courageous decision to remove fuel subsidy in order to avert a national economic crisis.
Recall that the nation’s public debts, both both local and foreign, inaddition with the fuel subsidy regime created a huge gap in public finance. This, was also believed to have rendered the three tiers of governments insolvent and incapable of meeting the needs of the citizens.
The President also made a courageous move by appointing Dr Yemi Cardoso as Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN).
Tinubu stated that the directive is in conformity with Section 8 (1) of the Central Bank of Nigeria Act, 2007, which authorised the President to appoint the Governor and four Deputy Governors for the bank.
The four deputy governors are expected to serve for a term of five years at the first instance, pending their confirmation by the Nigerian Senate. They are Mrs. Emem Nnana Usoro, Mr. Muhammad Sani Abdullahi Dattijo, Mr. Philip Ikeazor and Dr. Bala M. Bello.
In line with the Renewed Hope agenda, the President is optimistic that the nominees would successfully implement critical reforms at the CBN that would enhance the confidence of Nigerians and international partners toward restructuring the economy for sustainable growth and prosperity.
Reacting, the Minister of Information and National Orientation, Mallam Mohammed Idris hinted that in addition to subsidy removal, President Tinubu took further steps to unify the multiple foreign exchange markets.
“While these two vital steps meant to save the country from hitting the rocks brought momentary discomfort to Nigerians, President Tinubu has never failed in his appeal to Nigerians to see the current inconveniences as a price we must all pay to save our country from disappearing, ” he said.
Idris pointed out that considering the people’s pains, the government rolled out intervention programmes to help reduce the unintended negative impacts of the reforms.
These include working out a minimum wage and salary increase, supporting states and local governments to enable them to cater for the most vulnerable group, providing fertilizers to farmers, grains to households and cash transfers to people with low incomes.
In addition, the minister said that there are plans to roll out over 11,000 CNG buses for affordable public transportation.
“While striving to reduce the impact of the high cost of living on the citizens, President Tinubu has focused on redirecting our economy and removing the impediments to productivity and competitiveness so that the real sector can grow and create millions of decent jobs that are essential for long term economic growth.
“In the last 100 days, the government set up a Tax and Fiscal Reforms Committee that is fully at work to deepen the ongoing reforms and reposition the national economy for long-term sustainability. A renowned Tax and Fiscal Policy expert is leading this committee.
“Part of the committee’s mandate, working with the state governments, is to simplify our complicated tax system, eliminate multiple taxes, streamline regulations that negate the ease of doing business, and close the over 20 trillion annual tax gap.
“To ensure that Nigerians and businesses are not burdened with new taxes, the administration will promote efficiency in revenue collection,” he added.
The minister informed that within the last 100 days, President Tinubu has worked to promote political stability in Nigeria since he understood that there cannot be any meaningful progress and development without peace.
He said that the administration has stabilised the polity and reduced tensions associated with ethnic and religious agitations by better managing our diversity.
Idris noted that Tinubu ensured balance in all the appointments into key government positions including that of service chiefs from diverse parts of the country.
He pointed out that President Tinubu emerged as the Chairman of the ECOWAS Authority of Heads of State and Government within his 100 days in office.
The minister stated that in the last 100 days, the President offered purposeful leadership and set the administration’s tone, texture and character.
The Deputy Governor of Lagos State, Dr Obafemi Hamzat stated that President Bola Tinubu performed well as he marked his 100 days in office.
At a special prayer to commemorate 100 days in office of President Tinubu held at the Lagos Central Mosque, Lagos Island, Hamzat informed that the past 100 days of the APC-led administration has been very encouraging, as different achievements and various initiatives were put in place by the Federal Government.
“The first 100 days had been about economic reforms and enactment of laws than infrastructures.
“We can see judiciary reform, tax reform, education upgrade, which are part of the many things this administration has done,” he added.
While justifying the petrol subsidy removal, Hamzat noted that 93 per cent of the nation’s revenue was used for debt payment on fuel subsidy and the country was almost bankrupt.
He lamented that fuel subsidy consumed more money than the Ministry of Works and Education put together, which cannot sustain the nation.
Hamzat hinted that Nigerians have reasons to thank God for the peaceful moments the country had enjoyed in spite of the challenges.
He said that every nation has challenges but it is the responsibility of the government to face those challenges and tackle them.
The deputy governor cited examples of Sweden, Libya and Iraq that are currently undergoing different challenges.
On achievements by the Lagos State Government since assumption of office for the second tenure, Hamzat disclosed that a lot of initiatives had been put in place, which include the commencement of Blue Line Rail for commercial purposes.
“Lagos State Government is the only sub-sovereign that is funding rail from its balance sheet, no other sub-sovereign has done it anywhere in the world and this took a lot of financial engineering for us to build,” he said.
He stated that the red line would soon commence service, adding that the project is massive and would convey passengers from Agege through Ejigbo and Yaba within ten-minute interval.
Lending his voice, the Baba Adinni of Lagos, Sheikh Abdul Abou said that Nigeria had witnessed a lot of transformation and policy reviews in the last 100 days of Tinubu’s administration.
The Bashorun of Lagos, Alhaji Sikiru Alabi-Macfoy, who spoke on behalf of Abou, was hopeful that the transformation would yield positive results for citizens and the country in due course.
He enjoined Nigerians to consistently pray for the President to come up with policies and reforms that would be in the best interest of the country.
The sheik praised Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu’s administration for the successes recorded so far in the state in the last 100 days.
He said that the governor has put in place measures to alleviate the pains associated with the removal of fuel subsidy removal by sharing palliatives to the most vulnerable in the state.
With the 100 days in office milestone, experts are optimistic that President Tinubu would likely redeem the gloomy image of Nigeria especially at the international sphere.