This evening, President Bola Tinubu addressed Nigerians in a national broadcast, amidst rising economic pressure on the populace.
In an attempt to position Nigeria ideologically as a free market or emerging free market, certain structural changes have been made, which has caused difficulties for the people. Given the reality that the country can no longer afford subsidies, they have been removed. With the removal of petrol subsidy and the dollar subsidy, many Nigerians have come under the weight of economic hardship occasioned by the country’s quick transition to a free market.
This called for the president’s address. Here are some notable highpoints of President Tinubu’s address this evening:
i. Government will investing at least N100 billion to acquire a minimum of three thousand CNG buses for states and LGAs across the country. The buses will be handed over to major transport companies in various states, based clearly on a well-defined structure and system of management. So, the government will have no hand in the business side. The private sector is better at managing businesses. So, if anything, there is hope that this will be well managed if done as the president has said.
ii There will be a new national minimum wage. This is long overdue. However, the worry is that till date, many states have not implemented the N30, 000 minimum wage. Also, some states still owe salaries. There has to be a way to address the above two outstanding issues.
iii. Funding for agriculture will be channelled to farmers, across the country. It is always better to give people in the field of play the chance to do what they do and fund them. Don’t just give people money, fund their ideas or their businesses. Therefore, when implemented, as said by the President, it is hoped that this will go well.
iv. Funding for small and medium scale businesses will be injected directly to verified businesses that are already in existence. Good idea, just as the one above.
v. Formation of 75 enterprises that will be funded by N1 billion each. The government must be very careful with this to avoid the same situation in the past where government enterprises were practically ran underground because of the attitude that “government business is no man’s business.” It must therefore be modelled like the private sector. On the positives, it will provide job opportunities.
v. The country has saved over N1 trillion, in about two months.
vi. Commitment to more access to quality education by Nigerians. “No Nigerian student will have to abandon higher education because of money,” the President said. This is critical, and no amount should be spared in building capacity and funding education.
Finally, the president has obviously abandoned the idea of 8k fund transfer to individuals. That wasn’t a good idea from the get-go. It is good to see that it has been jettisoned. Please, that idea should be buried at once and never to be resurrected.