December 4, 2023

100 days in office: Tinubu’s policies divide financial experts

100 days in office: Tinubu’s policies divide financial experts

The first 100 days of President Bola Ahmed Tinubu’s administration have been laced with praise and blame.

Upon Inauguration on May 29, 2023, President Tinubu vowed to revamp the economy with his renewed hope slogan.

But, the ripple effects of his economic policies leave Nigerians with a sweet and sour taste.

For instance, the removal of fuel subsidy and Naira floating policies have led to 24.08 per cent of July’s inflation figure.

On June 14, 2023, CBN instructed the banks to “sell forex freely at market-determined rates”. Consequently, Naira jumped to /$1 at the parallel market.

As a solution to Nigeria’s socio-economic challenges, last week, the Minister of Finance and Coordinating Minister for the Economy, Wale Edun, during the inaugural meeting of the Federal Executive Council, unveiled Tinubu’s 8-priority agenda, including food security; ending poverty; economic growth and job creation; access to capital; improving security; improving the playing field on which people and particularly companies operate; rule of law; and fighting corruption— an economic plan with a three-year target timeline.

According to financial experts, Tinubu’s 8-point agenda presents some hope if the government sees to its implementation.

However, the challenge had always been translating these agenda into laudable feats, especially concerning creating 50 million jobs for Nigerians, addressing the forex crisis and reducing inflation.

Speaking with DAILY POST on Monday evening, a popular economist and former President and Chairman of the Council of Chartered Institute of Bankers, Prof Segun Ajibola, said Tinubu, in the last three months has taken so many bold steps and touched those grounds where for decades’ angels fear to tread’.

“The 8-point Agenda, which is bending radical policies and pronouncements on many critical sectors of the economy such as agriculture, industry, tourism, etc., have added to the growing trust in the President’s ability to turn around the fortunes of the economy of Nigeria.

“The will to fight corruption and eliminate underhand dealings in the critical sectors of the economy in the first 60 days of this administration is worthy of mention.

“The President works using the hands of his aides, ministers and others. The quality of these hands will surely impact the delivery of the President. One can see a promising future for Nigeria’s economy with the engagement and hopefully continued employment of the right calibre of technocrats, bureaucrats and professionals into the President’s cabinet and other layers of governance.

“But Nigerians must appreciate that the complete turnaround of the fortunes of a traumatised economy like that of Nigeria cannot be achieved overnight. The task is, therefore, deserving of the understanding and cooperation of all and sundry.

“And I believe the government is fully on the right course towards achieving the greater good for the greater number of Nigerians going forward”, he stated.

Also, Idakolo Gbolade, Chief Executive Officer of SD & D Capital Management, said the first three months of Tinubu’s administration had been tough for the masses. However, he said the policies had breathed a new life into the economy.

“The Bola Tinubu administration took over governance at a critical period in the country’s life when the economy was almost bankrupt.

“The bold measures taken to remove the fuel subsidy and float the Naira were geared towards stabilising the economy. The suspension and probe of the former CBN Governor was expected because of his dangerous activities against the people and economy of Nigeria.

“The first 100 days of the Tinubu administration have been tough for the people, but it has breathed a new life into our economy.

“In the short term, the government should use the quick wins of the subsidy removal and floating of the Naira to provide impactful subsidy palliative to the people and implement its policies on agriculture, manufacturing and SMEs sectors by disbursing the various loan facilities to these sectors to jumpstart the economy.

“The long-term plan of the government should be to ramp up revenue by investing in critical sectors of the economy like oil and gas, mining, energy and agriculture with special interest in SMEs to encourage more homegrown businesses in technology and services.

“The government should also speed up its plans to provide alternatives to petrol in our transportation network by ensuring the aggressive implementation of the petrol to gas conversion and the use of the Compressed Natural Gas, CNG to provide cheaper fuel for transportation and provision of additional avenues for youth employment.

“The government should also desist from the borrowing model of the previous administration that brought us to our present situation,” he stated.

On his part, an accounting and financial development Don at Lead City University, Ibadan, Prof Godwin Oyedokun says he hopes that the 8-point agenda will not end up like an academic exercise.

He said that the government must do everything in the medium term to revive the economy.

“Well, the 8-point agenda, no agenda is bad or good; they should follow it to the letter and ensure it wasn’t just an academic exercise again.

“With all these, I hope Nigeria should move forward in terms of economy. I hope that now that the federal ministers are on board, we should have better things to say about Nigeria.

“I have seen them starting to work; they are experienced people who know what to do. This government should work on the economy in a short time, make things easier for people, and let the country be conducive.

“I will continue to say it: if you want to give a palliative, look into an area of taxation, a tax cut could do wonders; this will go a long way other than distributing money for people, at the end of the day, you will not know who and who got it”, he stated.

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