Bola Tinubu: 5 Ways He's Demolishing Buhari's Economic Legacy
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Politics - June 21, 2023

Bola Tinubu: 5 Ways He’s Demolishing Buhari’s Economic Legacy

The first few days of Bola Ahmed Tinubu as Nigeria’s President has been characterised by many reforms and critical changes described as an attempt to demolish Buhari’s economic legacy.

With a keen focus on revitalising the nation’s economic prospects, Tinubu has implemented a series of strategies that are significantly impacting the country’s economic trajectory.

Through policy reversals, innovative economic reforms, strategic investments, diplomatic engagements, and the restoration of public confidence, Tinubu has set in motion a paradigm shift that could redefine Nigeria’s economic landscape for years to come.

In this article, we will delve into five key ways in which Bola Tinubu has been actively demolishing President Buhari’s economic legacy, shaking up the status quo and presenting new avenues for growth and development.

Detention of CBN Governor

The suspension and detention of the Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, Godwin Emefiele come first on the list. A few days into President Tinubu’s administration, he began investigating the office of the CBN Governor. Emefiele who was appointed by Former President Goodluck Jonathan has been involved in a lot of controversies.

One such is the request of the State Security Service (SSS) for a court order to arrest him on allegations of “financing terrorism, fraudulent activities, and economic crimes of national security dimension. The request was however rejected by the Federal High Court in Abuja because the secret security unit failed to present sufficient evidence to justify issuing an arrest warrant against Mr Emefiele.

Also, his attempt to contest for the presidential ticket of the ruling All Progressive Congress attracted widespread condemnation. And, the introduction of the naira design which triggered chaos across Nigeria was described by Tinubu as an act to hinder his chances of winning the presidential election.

Despite all these, Former president Muhammadu Buhari conferred Emefiele with one of the country’s highest honours in recognition of his achievements in office. But instead of continuing with Emefiele, Tinubu asked him to hand over the affairs of his office to the Deputy Governor (Operations Directorate) and detained him.

Removal of petrol subsidy

Buhari’s administration struggled to remove the petrol subsidy. Defending Buhari’s inability to remove petrol subsidy, Special Adviser to President Muhammadu Buhari on Media and Publicity, Femi Adesina said, “Each time there is an effort to fight the fraud in the subsidy regime, you have to contend with labour, you have to contend with the people. The government needed to weigh its options because of the social consequences in it.”

But Tinubu who boldly declared “subsidy is gone” during his inauguration day speech has taken steps to solve the challenges of the fuel subsidy removal. One such step is his meeting with representatives of major oil marketers in Nigeria. The meeting facilitated their promise to donate between fifty to a hundred ’50-seater’ mass transit buses to help the masses.

Also, Tinubu met with the Kashim Shettima-led National Economic Council (NEC) and instructed them to come up with palliative measures to aid Nigerians even as the nation transitions and adjusts to being without subsidy.

Unification of multiple exchange rates

President Tinubu recently ensured that the CBN adopted a single exchange rate. It abolished its multiple exchange rate windows and collapsed them into the business-based Investors and Exporters (I&E) window. 

It also put an end to the Naira4Dollar remittance scheme, a scheme introduced under Emefiele to encourage the processing of foreign exchange remittances through official means by giving N5 for every dollar remitted into the country. 

All of these measures can be regarded as a complete diversion from the principles upheld during Buhari’s tenure. Recall that Buhari refused to devalue the naira because he saw the naira as the symbol of the country’s pride.

Revamp of the nation’s security architecture

In a move that seems like an answer to calls by civil society organisations for a rejig of the security architecture, Tinubu approved the immediate retirement of all Service Chiefs and the Inspector-General of Police, Advisers, Comptroller-General of Customs from Service as well as their replacements with immediate effect. 

This is in line with his promise to “defend the nation from terror and all forms of criminality that threaten the peace and stability of our country.”

His attempt to reduce the monetary interest rate

Tinubu in his inaugural speech stressed the fact that the nation’s Monetary Interest Rate, currently at 18.5 per cent, is anti-people and unproductive. He said, “Interest rate is currently too high. It’s anti-people, anti-business. We have to work on all of those.” This is opposed to the way CBN operated under Buhari’s administration. 

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