In a whirlwind of opinions and assessments, President Bola Ahmed Tinubu’s first 100 days in office have provoked both applause and criticism. As his administration commenced on May 29, 2023, President Tinubu unveiled a vision of economic revitalization under the banner of his “renewed hope” slogan.
Yet, the economic policies put into action have left Nigerians with a complex blend of optimism and concern. Two notable policy shifts, the removal of fuel subsidies and the adoption of a floating Naira exchange rate, have contributed to a substantial 24.08 percent inflation rate in July.
On June 14, 2023, the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) issued a directive to banks, urging them to “sell forex freely at market-determined rates.” This move resulted in the Naira’s rapid ascent to N915/$1 in the parallel market.
Addressing Nigeria’s pressing socio-economic challenges, the Minister of Finance and Coordinating Minister for the Economy, Wale Edun, introduced Tinubu’s 8-point agenda during the inaugural meeting of the Federal Executive Council. These priorities encompass food security, poverty alleviation, economic growth, job creation, capital access, security enhancement, fostering a fair business environment, upholding the rule of law, and combatting corruption—a comprehensive economic plan with a three-year implementation timeline.
Financial experts offer a spectrum of views on President Tinubu’s agenda, cautiously optimistic if implemented effectively. However, the spotlight remains on translating these ambitious goals into tangible achievements, particularly regarding the creation of 50 million jobs, resolving the forex crisis, and curbing inflation.
Speaking with Daily Post on Monday, renowned economist and former President and Chairman of the Council of Chartered Institute of Bankers, Prof Segun Ajibola, commended Tinubu for his bold initiatives and his willingness to tackle long-standing economic challenges. Ajibola noted that the success of these policies hinges on the competence of the President’s advisors and ministers, emphasizing the need for highly qualified professionals in key roles.
Idakolo Gbolade, Chief Executive Officer of SD & D Capital Management, acknowledged that the first three months of Tinubu’s administration had been demanding for the masses but believed these policies injected vitality into the economy. Gbolade suggested leveraging the quick gains from subsidy removal and Naira floatation to provide impactful relief for citizens while aggressively implementing policies for agriculture, manufacturing, and SMEs.
Moreover, he emphasized the importance of long-term strategies to boost revenue through investments in critical sectors such as oil and gas, mining, energy, and agriculture, with a focus on supporting homegrown businesses and alternative fuel solutions.
However, Prof Godwin Oyedokun, an accounting and financial development expert at Lead City University, Ibadan, expressed hope that Tinubu’s 8-point agenda would not become a mere academic exercise. He urged the government to faithfully execute the agenda and prioritize economic revival, suggesting a potential tax cut as a more effective form of financial assistance than direct cash distribution.
As President Tinubu’s administration navigates the challenging path ahead, Nigerians remain eager to see the tangible outcomes of these policies and their impact on the nation’s economy and wellbeing.