President Bola Tinubu recently promised Nigerians that his administration will tackle Nigeria’s problem squarely and not cause hardship for citizens.
Addressing members of the All Progressives Congress (APC) at the party’s national executive committee (NEC) meeting in Abuja, Tinubu said, “Nigeria is going through some issues…We will face it squarely to re-engineer the economy of this country.”
While we anticipate full details of Tinubu’s plan for the common man, let’s take a look at some of the new problems he must solve to win the trust of Nigerians.
Impending security threat to Nigerian states bordering Niger
Tinubu had earlier issued a seven-day ultimatum to the junta in Niger to reinstate Bazoum as democratically elected president or face a range of stiff sanctions, including military action.
His threat of a military intervention raised nationwide criticisms as Nigerians fear the action may affect the security of states bordering Niger. As criticisms mount, there have been calls for Tinubu to exhaust all diplomatic options because of the impact of military intervention on communities in the northern states.
Suleiman Kawu, a senator from Kano state said, “We take exception to the use of military force until other avenues are exhausted. The consequences will be casualties among the innocent citizens who go about their daily business.”
Also, Nigerians believe that it would cost a lot of money to intervene in Niger and they are asking why Tinubu should spend so much money when the Nation’s economy needs help. This problem is what Tinubu needs to fix quickly.
Rather than use military intervention and put the lives of thousands of Nigerians at risk, Tinubu and the Ecowas could reach a deal that will see a quick transition to democratic rule.
Intentional epileptic power supply
Nigerian authorities cut off Niger Republic’s access to the energy grid as one of the sanctions meted out against the Niger regime.
While many fear that Niger could retaliate for the power cut by blocking the River and threatening the livelihood of millions of Nigerians, others are wondering why Nigeria suffers an epileptic power supply if they are capable of supplying power to Niger.
It is believed that if Nigeria has the potential to supply power to Niger that means it is capable of providing sufficient electricity to Nigerians. But the problem however is that Nigeria has never been able to utilise the full capacity it has. Tinubu must pay attention to the power value chain and provide solutions that impede sufficient power generation, transmission and distribution.
Also, a recently released report showed that Niger presently owes Nigeria $5.48 million for the provision of electricity. Tinubu should focus on getting Niger to pay their debt and channel the money into delivering the nation from the epileptic power supply it currently grapples with.
Dicey Public Image
Tinubu also needs to quickly fix his public image which was further questioned by his recent ministerial nomination of former Zamfara governor, Bello Matawalle.
Matawalle is being probed by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) for an alleged 70 billion fraud. Matawalle’s appointment which has been approved by the Senate made Nigerians question how Tinubu intends to bring about the needed development by employing men with unclean hands.
Cost of governance
Another problem Tinubu needs to fix now is the cost of governance. Senior lawyers, civil society groups, and other stakeholders, who spoke to newsmen faulted what they described as a large number of ministerial nominees sent to the Senate for screening and confirmation.
They argued that, in the face of dwindling economic fortunes and hardship occasioned by the removal of petrol subsidy, Tinubu ought to lead by example by cutting down on the cost of governance starting with reducing the number of ministers and presidential aides.
Weak health system
The death of Dr Vwaire Diaso, the medical doctor who died at the General Hospital, Lagos Island could have been avoided if the nation had a working health system.
Nigeria’s poor health system is responsible for the high death rate in the country, especially the high maternal mortality rate, one of the highest in the world and the Tinubu administration must work hard to fix this challenge.
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