By Adefolarin A. Olamilekan
“We shall remodel our economy to bring about growth and development through job creation, food security and an end of extreme poverty”
The above quote was copy from President Bola Ahmed Tinubu inaugural address on Monday at the Eagle Square in Abuja as the 16th President of Nigeria.
Interestingly, the speech though was less motivating and disappointing to some of his critics. Considered to be rhetorical without substance.
Meanwhile to his supporters and APC faithful, the speech is a deep reflection of what need to be done as a government ready to hit the ground running.
Nevertheless, the speech did provides angle the new APC government under the leadership of President Tinubu want to take Nigerians through.
Moreso, that it has assured Nigerians of his determination to “govern, rather than rule them, promising to engage in consultations and never to dictate to the people”.
While declaring the administration’s readiness to remove fuel subsidy and re-channel the funds into better investment in public infrastructure, education, health care and jobs that will materially improve the lives of millions”.
President Tinubu call on the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to work towards having a unified exchange rate.
According to President Tinubu Interest rates need to be reduced to increase investment and consumer purchasing in ways that sustain the economy at a higher level.
President Tinubu also promised to ensure budgetary reform, stimulating the economy without engendering inflation.
He said there will be “an industrial policy that will utilize the full range of fiscal measures to promote domestic manufacturing and lessen import dependency.
In addition, to his plans is to make electricity more accessible and affordable to businesses and homes alike. Promising to double power generation and improve transmission and distribution networks improved. By also encouraging states to develop local power sources as well. His government would review all “multiple taxation and various anti-investment inhibitions,”
And promised to ensure that investors and foreign businesses “repatriate their hard earned dividends and profits home”.
Algain, he said his government would initiate bill to allow the administrations to embark on “labour-intensive infrastructural improvements, encourage light industry and provide improved social services for the poor, elderly and vulnerable”,
Meanwhile, he reiterate the administrations position to make agricultural a hubs of value-added processing sector.
By also introducing best “modern practices in the livestock sector that would minimize the perennial conflict over land and water resources in this sector”.
As well as creating a secured rural incomes through “commodity exchange boards. That would guaranteeing minimal prices for certain crops and animal products” Yet still, he promised a proactive steps in strengthening the effectiveness and efficiency of the various anti-corruption agencies”,
While he intend to effectively tackle the menace of insecurity, by reforming the security doctrine and its architecture. His administration shall “invest more in security personnel, increase there number. better training, equipment, pay and firepower.
Tinubu presidency foreign policy objective is the peace and stability of the West African subregion and the African continent at large. Less we forget, the government promised to create meaningful opportunities for our youths by creating one million new jobs in the digital economy.
Having said, the point of departure for this pieces is centred on government plans to remodeled the Nigeria’s Economy.
A very laudable ambitious that reminds us of successive government action of the past in this same trajectories.
A not too far voyage of this sort was the economic diversification of the Buhari administration. Although, set in it own Economic Recovery Growth Plan (ERGP 2016-2018).
The goals and objectives set were simple only to be complicated in terms implementation. So also is the Transformation Agenda of the Jonathan administration. Well captured to take Nigeria’s out of our rentier crude oil dollar economy.
Alaas, same fate of poorly implementation caused a reversal of the polices. From, this two experiences, there is nothing wrong in trying again or engaging in another policy initiative to salvage the economy.
Particularly, as the past failure to have a functional economy remains the core critical crisis we are faced today
Currently, the GDP ending quarter 1 going into second quarter is slow with 2.31%. Unemployment is soaring close to 37% with KPMG 43% projection steering us in the face.
Our 133 million multidimensional poverty riding brothers and sisters are hangers in the neighborhood.
Sadly also, food inflation of 19% is just too scary to contend with, not to mentioned the deficiency that manufacturing sector face with crippling cost of production and zero returned on investment.
We don’t need to reminds President Tinubu, all these paths suffocated the economy. Instructively, it is our patriotic zeal that we let him understand that previous government also speak in this light, proposed a way out but caged it self through cosmetic programs called economic diversification or transformation.
Now for president Tinubu it is remodeling our economy. Fine, it a welcoming and brilliant development ideas. Even has the president promised making public detail key aspects of his programme.
Nevertheless, we see need to critically point out some core areas this remodeling of economy must not failed to appreciate. First, is science and technology that in today global economy. No emerging economies slack on this to move forward, there is already a road map through the 2021 – 2025 National development plan documents that incorporate science, technology and innovation into our economy volume. Secondly, is the aspect of localization of the industrial base sector through incentive of power, electricity, road infrastructure and human capital development. What this entails is encouraging needed facilities for rural and semi urban areas for the establishment of industries. Meanwhile this industry would be align to turn our raw material into finished product for local consumption and export.
Lastly, this bordered on economic inter governmental relations between the federal and subnational government. Expressly, any economy remodeling that failed to incorporate subnational government is time bound to failed. A case in point is the transformation agenda policy and economic diversification.
Tinubu speech may lack ingredients to delivered the economy, what is paramount is implementation and deliverable positive results.
As late Nigeria’s foremost Economist Sir Henry Boyo would always say “May God save Nigeria’s Economy “
Adefolarin A. Olamilekan
Political Economist and Host of Economic Focus on Radio writes from Abuja.