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President Bola Tinubu and Nigeria's Faltering Economy
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Tinubu’s Tightrope: Assessing Nigeria’s Faltering Economy One Year In Office

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As President Bola Tinubu’s administration in Nigeria approaches its one-year mark, the state of the country’s economy remains a cause for concern. Since taking office on May 29, 2023, President Tinubu has faced numerous challenges in trying to stabilize the economy and set it on a path to sustainable growth.

The Nigerian economy continues to wobble under his administration. With various challenges ranging from inflation to unemployment, Tinubu’s government faces a daunting task of repositioning the economy for sustainable growth.

In this attempt to assess the current state of Nigeria’s faltering economy under President Tinubu, key areas his government should focus on to steer the country towards economic stability are to be highlighted.

The State of the Nigeria’s Economy

Since assuming office, President Tinubu has inherited an economy plagued by high inflation, rising debt levels, and sluggish growth.
Inflation has been on the rise, reaching double digits in recent months, making it difficult for ordinary Nigerians to afford basic necessities. This has been exacerbated by the depreciation of the Nigerian Naira, which has lost value against major foreign currencies, leading to higher prices for imported goods and services.
The carried over negative impacts on the COVID-19 pandemic have further exacerbated these challenges, leading to job losses and increased poverty levels. Despite efforts to stimulate the economy through various policies and interventions, the impact has been limited, and the economy continues to struggle.

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Inflation and Exchange Rate Stability

One of the key areas of concern for the Tinubu administration is inflation and exchange rate stability. Inflation has been on the rise, eroding the purchasing power of Nigerians and making it difficult for businesses to plan and invest. The exchange rate has also been volatile, leading to uncertainty in the business environment. Addressing these issues will be crucial in restoring confidence in the economy.

Unemployment and Youth Empowerment

Another major challenge facing the economy is the high level of unemployment. Despite the government’s efforts to create jobs through various initiatives, the unemployment rate remains stubbornly high, particularly among young people. This has hindered economic growth, as a large segment of the population is unable to contribute positively to the economy.

Unemployment remains a major challenge in Nigeria, with a large percentage of the population, especially the youth, without jobs. President Tinubu’s government must prioritize youth empowerment programs and initiatives to create job opportunities and reduce the unemployment rate. Investing in skills development and entrepreneurship will be key to unlocking the potential of Nigeria’s youth population.

PInfrastructure Development

In addition to these challenges, Nigeria’s economy has also been hampered by a lack of infrastructure development. The country’s roads, ports, and power supply are in dire need of investment and improvement, which has slowed down economic activities and deterred foreign investors from setting up businesses in the country.

Infrastructure development is essential for economic growth and development. President Tinubu’s government should, therefore, focus on improving the country’s infrastructure, including roads, power, and transportation networks. Investing in infrastructure will not only create jobs but also attract foreign investment and stimulate economic activity.

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the government must prioritize investment in infrastructure development beyond mere sloganeering. Specifically, the government must intentionally improve the country’s roads, ports, as well as power supply infrastructure to not only boost economic activities but also attract foreign investors looking to set up businesses in Nigeria. This will go along way in creating a conducive environment for businesses to thrive and contribute to economic growth.

Diversification of the Economy

Nigeria’s economy is heavily reliant on oil, making it vulnerable to fluctuations in global oil prices. President Tinubu’s government should prioritize diversifying the economy by promoting non-oil sectors such as agriculture, manufacturing, and services. Diversification will reduce the country’s dependence on oil revenue and make the economy more resilient to external shocks.

The Tinubu administration must, as a matter of urgency, do more towards implementing policies that promote economic diversification and industrialization. Nigeria’s economy is heavily reliant on oil exports, which makes it vulnerable to fluctuations in global oil prices, particularly as reports indicate that Nigeria’s oil has been sold in advance for unspecified period.

Therefore, by diversifying the economy and promoting the growth of non-oil sectors such as agriculture, manufacturing, and services, the government can create new sources of revenue and employment opportunities for Nigerians.

Fiscal Discipline and Debt Management

Fiscal discipline and debt management are crucial for ensuring the sustainability of Nigeria’s economy. President Tinubu’s government must prioritize prudent fiscal management and debt sustainability to avoid a debt crisis. Implementing reforms to improve revenue generation and reduce wasteful spending will be essential in achieving fiscal stability.

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Anti-Corruption and Good Governance

Despite efforts by the new chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Mr Ola Olukoyede, corruption remains a major impediment to Nigeria’s economic development. President Tinubu’s government should intensify efforts to combat corruption and promote good governance. Strengthening institutions, enhancing transparency, and holding corrupt officials accountable will be crucial in restoring trust in the government and attracting investment. A priority for the President Tinubu’s administration should be the recovering of looted funds and allegedly shared oil revenues by former President Muhammadu Buhari’s “boys” and recovery of looted funds from the ministers and other appointees of the previous government.

Social Welfare and Poverty Alleviation

Poverty levels in Nigeria remain high, with a significant portion of the population living below the poverty line. President Tinubu’s government should prioritize social welfare programs and poverty alleviation initiatives to improve the living standards of Nigerians. Investing in healthcare, education, and social protection will be key to reducing poverty and inequality.

In conclusion, as President Tinubu clocks one year in office on May 29, 2024, there are several areas that his government should focus on to reposition the ailing economy and set it on a path to recovery.

First and foremost, the government must prioritize fiscal discipline and prudent management of resources.

This includes cutting wasteful spending, reducing corruption, and improving transparency in government operations. By ensuring that public funds are used efficiently and effectively, the government can free up resources to invest in critical areas such as infrastructure development and social welfare programs.

By focusing on such key areas as inflation and exchange rate stability, unemployment and youth empowerment, infrastructure development, diversification of the economy, fiscal discipline, anti-corruption, and good governance, social welfare, and poverty alleviation, his government can reposition the economy for sustainable growth and development. It is crucial for President Tinubu to take bold and decisive actions to steer Nigeria towards economic stability and prosperity.

Comrade James Ezema is a journalist, a political strategist and the President/Executive Coordinator of the Not Too Young To Perform (NTYTP), a young people-driven pro-democracy and leadership development advocacy group. He is also the National President of the Association of Bloggers and Journalists Against Fake News. He writes from Abuja and can be reached via email:  jamesezema@gmail.com or WhatsApp: 08035823617

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Comrade James Ezema is a veteran journalist and media consultant. He is a political strategist. He can be reached on +2348035823617 via call or WhatsApp.

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