By Sunday Dare
In most political climes the first 100’days of an administration is now viewed as a bellwether of things to come. The actions and policies implemented give insight into the direction of a government and more importantly into the personal vision of the head of state.
The leadership of President Bola Tinubu in its initial 100days gives us reasons for optimism and hope that the ethos of developmental growth will be reborn in Nigeria.
What best personifies this is the disposition of the President himself. He is a leader who came into office prepared to meet the challenges of the day. Rather than cut corners, flinch or tarry, he went straight at the most critical challenges facing our nation. His courageous leadership enabled tough decisions that had to be taken if this nation is ever to find its best footing so that Nigeria may stand tall among all nations.
This is not an attempt to brush aside reform's costs. Unfortunately, these costs are inevitable and we must presently bear them if we are to realize the prosperity, harmony and progress that Nigeria is meant to have in the coming future. The truth of the matter is that the longer we make reforms wait the steeper the cost we will pay for its arrival. Let us bear what we have to bear now so that we can progress in the weeks and months ahead. When Nigeria voted to make a political surgeon of great skill as its President, many forgot that a good doctor will always do what he has to do to carry his patient into good health.
Indeed, reform can be temporarily painful but refusal to take the needed medication leaves the patient in a state of permanent weakness. Nigeria’s journey to greatness is a challenging one. And no nation can move forward without a determined and courageous leader. Not one waiting for applause before taking decisive decisions.
The stories of the China and the other Asian Tigers, America and other nations reveal how strong, but humane leaders have turned the tide for their countries. Nigeria has found such a leader. Leveraging on the efforts made by the previous administration, he has hunkered down to build a more formidable Nigeria.
Statecraft requires alot that deals with the art of governance. Here a leader must draw from his prior leadership experience and skills to advance the National and International interests of the country he leads.
President Tinubu fits the bill. Forged in the crucible of the struggle for democracy, tutored in the ideology of progressive politics and wearing the label of made in Nigeria, The Cap fits President Bola Tinubu. Let him wear it.
Prior to becaming our President, he was in the forefront of those few strong political voices interrogating Nigeria's many problems and proffering solutions to them.
The audacity of the decisions he has taken with respect to the fuel subsidy and Forex regime must be seen from the perspective of a committed doctor doing what was necessary to heal a festering, nearly toxic wound. The subsidy issue will remain on the table of interrogation along side deep introspection by an administration concerned about the continued welfare of its citizenry.
This is an administration that has demonstrated that it will not leave Nigerians in the lurch but will continuously look out for them and make adaptive decisions.
The President’s rallying speech over key decisions of his government and the medley of initiatives meant to help Nigerians rallies us all to a greater cause of fixing Nigeria. It also rouses us all to support him
and ensure he succeeds.
From the other key decisions we have seen such as the students loan,the Subsidy package and the Tax reforms particularly in the Telecommunications industry we know we have a leadership a-depth at governance.
Some other critical decisions that show the deep thinking of the Tinubu Presidency include the creation of a unified ministry to exploit Nigeria’s creative economy which is infiltrating the world and has the potential to generate billions of dollars and also contribute soft power on a scale never seen before. Mainstreaming national reorientation in recognition of the need to have citizens who believe in and are ready to build a Nigeria we can all be proud of and one that provides the deserved living quality for its people.
I can speak to sports for example where we were able to emplace a new sports as business policy in the closing days of the last administration. The President has carved out a separate ministry for Sports to focus on the foundations laid and move that sector into real economic growth with a bouquet of investment concessions. Concurrently, the Youths now have a dedicated ministry reflecting the changing times we live in and the imperative ness of massive focus and investments in the youth as they will continue to drive Nigeria towards its greatness and sustain its position there, long after we are gone.
The plan of other bold decisions intended to place Nigeria on the path of Recovery and make it run better in the future unfolds. Yes. Nigeria needs to recover. The path to recovery has many twists and turns. It requires not just an Audacious leader. It also needs a people who have faith in the nation's ability to become the best version of itself. The willingness to make the sacrifices necessary by both the leadership and the followership becomes a critical factor to achieving the goal of building a better country.
The President’s recent comments in India and the commitments garnered demonstrates that Nigeria is not viewed as negatively by rational and objective people, to the extent political rabble rousers would like us to believe. Nigeria has been on the mend. It’s military is stronger than ever before thanks to the massive investment in the Military by former President Buhari. Nigeria’s creativity is globally acknowledged. There are clear indications that the focus on science and specialized knowledge is at the forefront of Mr President’s agenda. Critically, we see focus around revenue expansion for development. We see a focus on leaning towards market principles and the erosion of arbitrage. Arbitrage as we saw in the dual rate regime which not only confers undue advantage and distorts economic competition but also disincentivizes investments and endeavour.
Nigeria is on the path to recovery and long-term progress. Let us rally and support President Tinubu so that we may accomplish the needed reforms once and for all. If we do so, a better and brighter future awaits us. It is said that Rome was not built in a day. Nor can Nigeria be completely reformed in 100 days but we must say that President TInubu has gotten off to a bold and good start. Nigeria will recover.
- Chief Dare, CON, is the immediate past Minister of Youth & Sports Development.