Nigerians counting on Tinubu to fix economy

Quite frankly, the telltale scars of general delusions caused by the volatility in the economy in 2023 earnestly need a presidential healing balm to give soothing relief to the many Nigerians whose means of livelihood have disappeared with the times, their self-worth undervalued,  and their manliness of mind continually eviscerated. Thankfully, help may be on the way as President Bola Tinubu, in his New Year address to Nigerians, said he feels the pulse and the groaning of Nigerians across the country.

Regrettably, the average Nigerian cannot meet his family’s expectations as current food and general inflation rates hit an all-time high of 33.93 per cent and 28.92 per cent respectively.

The fiscal and monetary interventions by Tinubu last year to cushion the effects of fuel subsidy removal have yet to deliver the expected relief for Nigerians. Beyond this, an economic recovery road map must be hatched quickly and implemented in 2024 to assuage growing anger and hunger in the land. Unfortunately, most of the state governments have been very uninspiring and tactless with their approaches and responses to plummeting economic viability in the wake of dwindling monthly allocations from the centre.

The 10th National Assembly, on its part in 2023, upped the ante in its prowess of legislating for ‘self.’  Each member was gifted a Sport Utility Vehicle valued at N160m. This undoubtedly is an act indifferent to the general sufferings of Nigerians. Rather than stand out as the beacon of solidarity and support for the people through legislative oversight functions, federal lawmakers chose the path of ‘hallowed’ collective greed. The National Assembly, when it resumes plenary on January 28, should do more to improve its scorecard to gain the trust of the citizens it claims to represent.

Pitifully however, the average Nigerian, in this traumatised state, shaped by the politics of indifference guaranteeing the access of a few to our common patrimony, often marks out fellow citizens as the enemy and targets to unleash his pent-up anger and frustration at the slightest opportunity.

This underlying state of mind explains the growing appetite of many Nigerians to unleash violence on suspects of alleged organ theft or petty thieves. While they gladly assume the role of regulating, on their terms, the manners and morals of fellow Nigerians, particularly, in the public glare, the catharsis they seek can only come from scaling up citizens’ vigilance, not corrupted by ethnicity or religion but that which aims to set benchmarks for good governance. An American patriot, Ben Franklin, who participated in the drafting of America’s Declaration of Independence, was asked by a keen observer after the draft of the constitution what kind of government had been created. He answered, “A republic if you keep it.”

It is quite ironic that it took the eagle eye and help of the British authorities to bring former Delta State Governor, James Ibori, to justice in far away United Kingdom, while he was iconised at home. Former Governor of Bayelsa State, the late  Diepreye  Alamieyesigha, was not only given a heroic welcome back home after jumping bail in the UK in a case of money laundering, he was also honoured with a state pardon by former President Goodluck  Jonathan.

Thank goodness Tinubu has made a commitment during his New Year message to accelerate the pace of service delivery across all sectors. However, the fixing of the country, desperately expected by Nigerians this year, will not flow only from the acclaimed benevolence, capacity and gut of the president, but largely from the trigger of a shared vigilance of Nigerians to enforce national accountability and transparency. Nigerians must support Tinubu as he leads the surgical operation on the country in the area of security, and stems the slide of the country into an economic abyss by retooling and reflating the productive sectors to impact the country’s development and growth.

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