Twenty-one days after his inauguration as president, Bola Tinubu has kept to his promise of hitting the ground running. Tinubu, while unveiling his campaign policy document at the inauguration of the All Progressives Congress Presidential Campaign Council in Abuja, made a vow to hit the ground running from his first day as president.
Tinubu during the event, assured Nigerians that, “This plan is not only a roadmap to a prosperous future, it serves as notice to the Nigerian people that, if elected, Senator (Kashim) Shettima and I shall work tirelessly to reach that promised future from the first moment of the first day we enter office”.
However, not so many Nigerians believed the promise of Tinubu. This was largely caused by the mindset that Nigerian politicians are not to be trusted. So far, so good, Tinubu’s case may be different from some notorious politicians who speak from both sides of their mouths. His administration, which was welcomed by mockery from a large number of young Nigerians have, in these past weeks attracted applause due to key decisions it took.
The president, in what could be described as a giant step, announced the removal of fuel subsidy in his inaugural speech delivered at Eagle Square, saying that the funds for subsidies will be diverted to other pressing needs like public infrastructure, education, healthcare and job creation. President Tinubu’s decision came as a rude shock to most Nigerians who did not see it coming. The decision was not without fallout as his comment on withdrawal of subsidies went like a wildfire. Responding to the inaugural speech, some oil marketers immediately adjusted their fuel pump for N500 per litre, while others sold beyond N650 per litre.
Despite the expected hike in the price of fuel, economists, groups, individuals and even opposition parties have backed President Tinubu over the decision to remove fuel subsidy, saying it is in the best interest of the nation.
At a full speed, the man who once said, Emi lokan, which transliterates into “It is my turn” wielded big sticks on agency heads, a Maradona move that further put a stamp on his decisive leadership.
A few days after taking over from former President Muhammadu Buhari, Tinubu suspended the Central Bank Governor, Godwin Emefiele, from office immediately. There was wild jubilation across the country on that Friday night the announcement of Emefiele’s suspension was made in a statement issued and signed by the Director of Information in the Office of Secretary to the Government of the Federation (OSGF), Willie Bassey.
“President Ahmed Tinubu has suspended the Central Bank Governor, Mr Godwin Emefiele, from office with immediate effect. This is sequel to the ongoing investigation of his office and the planned reforms in the financial sector of the economy,” Bassey announced Tinubu’s decision, granting most Nigerians their long-time wish in a single night.
As if that was not enough, the appointment of AbdulRasheed Bawa as the Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) was put on hold by the man now referred to as “Baba Go Fast” following his policies. There have been several allegations of corruption against Bawa since he assumed office as the chairman of the anti-graft agency, which former President Buhari had handled as a pinch of salt.
President Tinubu is also poised to pursue a single exchange rate, as this would help divert funds away from arbitrage into productive ventures needed to bring a major reform in the country’s economy.
The former Lagos State governor also received good remarks from Nigerians as he signed the Students’ Loan Bill into law, in fulfilment of one of his campaign promises.
Tinubu, who spoke through his Special Adviser on Special Duties, Communications and Strategy, Dele Alake, said, “This is the promise made during the presidential campaign by the then candidate, His Excellency, Bola Ahmed Tinubu, that he will bring back the student loans issue to the front burner and today, that promise he made has been kept, he has just signed that bill into law, which henceforth, will allow or enable our indigent students to access federal government loans to fund their educational pursuit or career and this is how it’s done in other developed climes all over the world”.
Reacting, a group of young Nigerians, the South-South Young Progressives (SSYP) commended President Bola Tinubu for signing the student loan bill into law.
National coordinator of SSYP, Rioborue Deniran, in a statement, described the interest-free loan bill for indigent students as the most students’ friendly bill in the history of Nigeria, saying the bill will ensure equal access to quality education by all Nigerian students irrespective of their financial status.
Also, a former Deputy Vice Chancellor of University of Ibadan, Prof Adigun Agbaje, while commending Tinubu for the student loan scheme said, “It is a welcome development, there will always be challenges but it will be tackled as it comes. This is a step in the right direction but can only make more impact when we begin to address the majority of the leakages in our economy”.
Many citizens are now becoming convinced about the President’s consciousness of the Nigerian situation by the way he speaks assuredly to these issues, not as an aspirant but a sitting President.
With Tinubu as Grand Commander of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (GCFR), we may not need to wait till the end of his term to renew his promises without fulfilling them.