President-Elect, Bola Tinubu will be sworn in as Nigeria’s 17th President on May 29, 2023. As the date of the swearing-in approach, Nigerians who are saddened by the outcome of the 2023 elections are looking forward to what Tinubu will do when he assumes office.
While some are expectant and positive that the president-elect will bring about change, others are perplexed that his tenure could be worse than the current administration. However, there are several signs on the street that will judge him as president. Let’s take a look at seven of them.
When food prices reduce
Food prices are a major concern for many Nigerians, especially those in low-income households who spend a significant portion of their income on food. The National Bureau of Statistics, NBS, in its Consumer Price Index, CPI, report for January 2023 stated that the food inflation index increased to 24.32 per cent in January 2023 from 21.34 per cent in December 2022 due to an increase in the prices of some food items.
To reduce food prices, Tinubu will need to pay attention to the reasons for food inflation. A report highlighted some of the reasons for food inflation in Nigeria including insecurity, fuel scarcity, the Ukraine-Russia crisis, electricity shortage, and foreign exchange problems. A closer analysis of these factors with his campaign promises suggests that Food prices can be reduced.
Speaking during a town hall meeting with the business community/organised private sector (OPS) in Lagos, Tinubu promised to phase out Nigeria’s controversial petroleum subsidy regime, give affordable and reliable power to light the entire economy, and push for “agricultural reforms that will increase productivity, improve farm incomes while lowering food prices and bringing enough food to the tables of ordinary people.”
If Bola Tinubu can implement these policies that result in a reduction in food prices, this would be seen as a positive sign by many Nigerians.
When transport fares reduce
Transport fares in Nigeria have witnessed a surge due to the rise in prices of spare parts, lubricants as well as fuel (PMS). Importantly, the fuel and naira scarcity experienced by Nigerians recently contributed to the further increase in transport fares.
National Bureau of Statistics (NBS), in its Transport Fare Watch for January 2023 showed that the average fare paid by commuters for bus journeys within the city per drop increased by 0.94% in January 2023 on a month-on-month from N644.66 in December 2022 to N650.70. While on a year-on-year, however, the average fare paid by commuters for bus journeys within the city per drop rose by 36.59% from N476.39 in January 2022.
Lowering the cost of transportation through the removal of fuel subsidies and the regularisation of fuel prices can have a direct impact on the daily lives of many people, especially those who rely on public transportation to get to work or school. This reduction in transport fares could also be seen as a sign of a government that is actively working to improve the lives of its citizens.
When fuel prices reduce
The current administration of President Muhammadu Buhari promised a reduction in fuel prices in 2015 from N87 per litre to N50 per litre. However, between May 2015 to May 2023 when Buhari bows out of the Presidential office, the pump price skyrocketed from N87 to as high as N370 per litre despite spending the Federal Government spending N10.9 trillion within eight years.
During his campaign, Tinubu promised to ramp up oil production and deregulate midstream gas prices within six months. He also said he would create a Special Enforcement and Monitoring Unit to protect the country’s oil pipelines by “deploying technological interventions”, including drones. If he fulfils these promises and fuel prices witness a decline, it would be a sign that will judge his performance as president.
When the power industry beat generator sales
The Nigerian power industry has largely been in a state of comatose, as the nation’s power grid collapsed about 98 times under President Buhari. This led to an increase in generator sales as businesses need electricity to run effectively.
In Asiwaju’s Action Plan for a Better Nigeria titled Renewed Hope 2023, he admitted that Nigeria’s power problems cannot be fixed overnight. Tinubu offers to eliminate the losses between generation and distribution by addressing the transmission problems which the current Presidential Power Initiative has started. He also promised to address the issue of estimated billing. If Tinubu stays true to his manifesto, this will be a sign used to judge him as president.
When the rate of Japa reduces
The rate of Japa increased as a result of the economic hardship necessitated by bad governance in this country. This can only reduce if Tinubu can make Nigeria work again by revamping the nation’s economy, and educational sector, improving the cost of living, and tackling the issue of insecurity.
This no doubt requires time, effort, and commitment. But if Tinubu commits intentionally to making the country a better place then Nigerians will see no need to travel out to countries. If he can improve the country’s electricity, and security and regulate the prices of food, then the japa will reduce.
When public roads stop being an obstacle course
Tinubu who has plans to build more roads working with the Federation of Construction Industry in Nigeria (FOCI) can win the heart of Nigerians if public roads stop being an obstacle. Fixing public roads will not only be great on his score but it will reduce the increasing number of road accidents across the country. It will also stem the spate of insecurity in several parts of the country.
When public schools can rival their private counterpart
Expensive private schools have taken over the education sector. This comes as public schools battle with incessant strikes, inadequate funding, dilapidated structures, and uncommitted educators as a result of low remuneration. During his campaign, Tinubu promised to review the education curriculum at all levels to suit the emerging global best practices and current socio-economic realities. He noted that the review will enable Nigerian graduates to become conversant with global trends in different fields and sectors where they can contribute productively to the country’s economy.
If he can upgrade public schools with adequate funding, they can recover their lost glory and students will be equipped to rival their private counterparts.
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