Emilokan, 365 wasted days

Tony Abolo

For a man who spent as he claims considerable years of his life planning and strategizing to be the Nigerian President, a prize he won, even in contentious decisions, on May 29th 2023, Nigerians look back, and hope he does see that we have all, including himself wasted 365 days of our lives.

For on what score can we say we have inched up in our lives? Security? Food? Inflation? Cost of living? Productivity? Fuel availability? Peace? National cohesion? Corruption? Spurious contracts? Wastages in the system? Wrong practices? The continuing existence of ECOWAS? Good Governance or governance by subterfuge? Governance by donations?This Tinubu regime seems unknowingly to have set itself up for unnecessary challenges and eventual failure. He is madly desirous of continuing in 2027.

But then, if he only knew that he will be facing such gargantuan economic challenges, firstly brought about by listening and compromising his Presidency by adhering to the dangerous dictates of the IMF and the World Bank.

Look at the string of instructions he got from the IMF and World Bank, two multilateral agencies that do not wish the global South any good.

He was told to remove Fuel Subsidy, then Electricity subsidy, then impose more taxation like Security levy, P.O.S. levy, Bank transactions levy and Devaluation of the naira. What do you have as the outcome?

A comatose economy, riddled with an inflation that has hurtled to 33.8% and hovering near 40%, the highest in 38 years. Does Tinubu see himself to blame in all of this mess? His response is that he inherited a bad economy from Buhari therefore, he stones billions at every problem, in the sheer hope that like a bad dream, the Nigerian economy would spiral into success in 24 hours.

It is anyone’s guess, if by 2027, we are not going to be worse off. All because the fundamental things to be done are not being done, like ensuring manufacturers have their machines humming, there is rising employment in all the demographics, and we are seen to be a productive economy,that we are exporting and foreigners are investing in Nigeria.

Some Nigerians are sure it is sweet music to Tinubu that Shell just moved $billion dollars investment to Angola because of our constant arguments, debates and policy flip-flops. In the midst of all these upheavals and chaos, from the blues, the Federal Executive Council, without bringing to the scrutiny of the public or the legislature, ratified a N15 trillion Lagos – Calabar coastal road, and in a jiffy, with a speed unknown to Nigeria, a company, Hitech in which Tinubu’s son, Seyi is a Director has the contract for a coastal road that no one knows if it will ever finish in our lifetimes.

But as if the shock is not enough, N1.3 trillion first phase payment has been made, N2.3 billion compensations have been paid and a 2nd phase N1.2 trillion fee has been paid.

If contracts are executed in this fashion in Nigeria, we may have been a second Dubai miracle and we may have surpassed China in growth.

But then it is Tinubu’s style. To add to it all, a 1000 kilometres road from Badagry to Sokoto has also been approved. Is it not strange that the country’s internal roads are not addressed? It is these new fallutin highways that may never finish or lead to nowhere are the passion of a regime that cannot pay N70,000 minimum wage and has not improved on National infrastructure.Under his watch, Ecowas that was painstakingly crafted in the 60s is undergoing a deconstruction, more driven by Tinubu’s administration that left diplomacy to nearly commence waging war on behalf of France and the USA on Niger Republic.

Since the Anglophone ECOWAS Countries are not seeking to delink from the West, the young Turks of Mali, Guinea, Bourkina Faso and Niger are setting-up a new confederation and alongside Senegal are embarking on pulling out of ECOWAS. This is a death kneel for ECOWAS and the stature and image of Nigeria in the Subregion.

Younger Africans are rebelling, whereas old gagools in Anglophone Africa are still seeking “slavery” under the West. It is a shame. We the people want it otherwise, but a cabal full of old ideas and who ought to be retired, tired old men are desirous of slavery chains, thanks to the wimp leadership of President Tinubu.

Speaking of age related issues, while Tinubu who by all reckoning is not in the age bracket be publicly claims, you can see the youthful ages of the new leadership in Africa. Bashouru Deomaye Faye of Sengal is 44. See the others who staged coups in the subregion. This was the age that brought independence to Africa in the 60s. Nigeria lost its head and has been hankering after Geroncrats. We are the worst for it.

No fresh thinking, No fresh ideas. No vigour to drive the nation. Meanwhile an octogenarian wants a life time Presidency. Any wonder why the economy is comatose?Speaking of how Nigeria is slipping into a distant past, Rwanda makes its phones, its cars, and has more women in governance.

China has just developed aside its fast rail lines, the world’s largest fully electric river to sea vessels. In 365 days what has Tinubu’s administration created, other than throwing billions at any cause that can further his 2027 ambition? Fancy a N90 billion subsidy for Hajj pilgrimage?

A non obligatory religious choice, whereas to a million youth desirous of education and life skills, he gives N5.2 billion Education loan.

A loan must be paid back, whereas a subsidy is a dash. He has even restricted the loans to only students in Federal Universities and Polytechnics. What an awkward gift? It is said, what is worth doing, is worth doing well. That cannot be said of the Education loan which is more seen as a bait to get beneficiaries and the youth to vote Tinubu in 2027.

Nigerians are grooming under hunger. A bag of the staple, garri is N72,000 naira. At the minimum wage levels, perish the thought that the common man can still soak garri and groundnut. It is all now out of reach. But the hunger is driven by two factors – unabating inflation and insecurity, which takes the farmers off their farming lands. So this is a catch 22 situation.

No end or solution is in sight on the plaguing hunger. It has been projected that since Tinubu came on board, about 40 million persons have found themselves in poverty.

Speaking of insecurity, one would have thought that there will be a frontal attack towards mobilizing the nation towards curing banditry, insurgency and the security threats all around. There is no action or policy in 365 days and it is curious, doubly so, for a government that thinks it is in place, and at the same time wanting to rail on the economy while seeking a second term. There is no bold counter terrorism measures, no strong security – civilian synergy to end our challenges once and for all. The leadership is clearly not about its prime functions-security and welfare for the people.It is remarkable that in utter frustration Africa’s richest man, Aliko Dangote would say that Nigeria”s biggest mess in 2023 was the devaluation of the naira, of course under the instructions of the IMF and the World Bank.

Clearly this Administration has lost it and can never recover this economy with its voodoo policies. Hence some opinions state that any policy that does not make food and drugs available and affordable, is not in the interest of the citizens. Nigerians are not applauding.

They are near dumbstruck and hardly know how to react. But in their hearts they know that in the last one year, it has been one bungling policy to the other, no matter how couched and presented to the public. They know that without productivity, which at present is very low, Naira cannot be supported and the exchange rate would remain calamitous for manufacturers, importers, cost of fuel, inflation and cost of living.

The verdict of the discerning public is that the scorecard of President Bola Ahmed Tinubu in 365 days is dismal, awful, a tragic comment on a man who said he has spent a life time wanting to be a President.

But then the joke is on us. These were his own words spoken in his campaign days but not so well reported – “Reduce purchasing power to slow down the economy and increase tax”. It is all of us who failed to read his lips. And it is that intention he is carrying out. Groan as much as you can. Grumble all you may, it is our failing for not being good lip readers.

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