As Nigeria transits from Baba Go-Slow to Mr Go-Fast – By Magnus Onyibe (

As Nigeria transits from Baba Go-Slow to Mr Go-Fast – By Magnus Onyibe


Apparently, given the revelation by lnterior minister, Aregbesola that is far from being the case.

Then l condemned the short comings by commenting thus Little wonder leadership at the centre has been lack luster, performance far below the expectations of Nigerians whose desire for security of their lives and properties as well was economic transformation from poverty to prosperity has been unmet,hence the legacy of the outgoing government is sorrow ,tears and blood.

And l finally concluded by hinting at the approach which l reckoned that then president elect ,now president Tinubu would adopt upon his inaugurationClearly, presidentelect Tinubus mission upon taking office on 29 May would contrast the current leadership style at the centre with a new paradigm that would give Nigeria a new lease of life in a truly democratic atmosphere as opposed to the pseudo democracy which by all measure it is currently.

Incredibly,it is the scenario that l had envisaged long ago that is currently playing out as the new president is complying with the law.

In a follow up piece titled PresidentElect Tinubu, Likely First Billionaire Private Jet Owner To Occupy Aso Rock Villa published on 16 May in my column,l also highlighted the fact that Asiwaju Tinubu as presidentelect (before being sworn into office) was already on a business drive for investors in foreign countries,particularly Europe to put Nigeria in their radar for investment.

He did that during his last visit to United Kingdom,UK and France when departed our shores on May 10 and returned ten (10) days after on May 20 ,which is nine (9) days to his 29 May inauguration date.

That implies that even before he got sworn into office as president,Asiwaju Tinubu was already working implying that Mr President has a lot of zeal,passion and preparedness to serveInvariably,it appears to me that it is the desire to save the economy and also have something tangible to show in the first 100 days in office that are the motivators for the presidentelect Tinubus hurry to go to work quickly and as the saying goes hit the ground running.That is the justification for his embarking on a trade drive in Europe even before officially receiving the baton of leadership from president Buhari which would only happen on 29 May all this being equal and which is still more or less two (2)weeks away.

Arising from the above,Nigerians should not be surprised that he actually hit the ground running with his announcement of the very consequential policy decision to comply with the provision in the PIA that petrol subsidy policy had been abolished from June.

Apparently,he had already thought it through when he was presidentinwaiting.

In my view the type of patriotic fervor that the new president is bringing into governance of Nigeria by not hesitating to take unpopular decisions in the best interest of our country is reflective of the fact that he has been preparing for the job for a long time as he had admitted in several media interviews.

To me, it also shows that unlike what is typical of politicians who more often than not distance themselves from their campaign promises as soon as they win the contest , President Tinubu has elected to keep his campaign promise as evidenced by a trending video in the social media where he had during his hustings vowed to,(if elected) remove petrol subsidy that is killing Nigeria,come what may.

It was somehow exhilarating that the challenges that l predicted like a prophecy that the new president would be faced with and how they may manifest started becoming reality barely 24 hours after he took the oath of office.

At this juncture ,I would like to crave the indulgence of readers once again to allow me reproduce a snippet of the referenced article relevant to what occurred immediately after Mr President took his oath of officeAnother can as the Americans would put it that is being kicked down the road by the outgoing government for the incoming government to deal with is the burden of removing the obnoxious petrol pump price that by some estimates the authorities have been sinking funds in the region of 15 billion dollars in the past decade.

I further made my point by stating that It may be recalled that just last year alone ,a whopping six (N6) trillion naira was budgeted for petrol subsidy and just for the half of this year alone(January to June) three and half (N3.5) trillion was also appropriated as petrol subsidy in budget 2023.

That is a total of nearly ten (N10) trillion naira sunk into subsidy for petrol in less than two(2) years in a country that the government is borrowing money from banks and relying on waysandmeans (printing the naira )to pay salaries to civil servants.

In trying to consolidate my point the following submission was made In the same category of what l would like to categorize as escapist tactics that reflect political spinelessness of the outgoing administration is the case of the naira that had been propped up in the past eight (8) years via Central Bank of Nigeria,CBN intervention policy of injecting billions of dollars into the Foreign Exchange,FX market resulting in trillions of naira being expended to defend the local currency.

Noting that the CBN measures failed to achieve the objective of keeping the naira at par with the United States dollar which was a campaign promise made in 2015 by the outgone administration ,l justifiably made the following argument Despite,the interventions,government exchange rate or lmport and Export,IampE window which was about N160 to 1 in 2015 had reached N450 to 1 by this time last year and it is currently N460 with the black/parallel market rate hovering around N765 to a dollar.

Going by the rate at which the gap between CBN and black/parallel market rates is closing up since the dollar injection to defend the naira stopped ,it appears as if the the CBN may be left with no better option than to allow for the two (2)market rates to merge sooner than later.

Continuing,l expressed my convictions about imminent further devaluation of the naira this way And should the matter continue to be out of the control of the CBN,since the Nigerian National Petroleum Company,NNPC currently a limited liability company that is about to be privatized is no more remitting crude oil income to the CBN which in turn is no longer able to intervene in the exchange market by pumping dollars into the system through multiple bureau de change outfits selling dollars to the highest bidders to shore up the value of the naira,our local currency may soon be exchanging at about N1000 to one United States dollar by this years end.

There after, l reached the conclusion below which is almost prophetic because it has panned outThat may be the reality that the new administration under presidentelect Tinubus watch may have to deal with immediately upon assuming office, especially as the current governor of the apex bank,Mr Godwin Emefiele,highly stressed and distressed due to the enormity of the burden of managing Nigerias complex and complicated financial system has been reported in the media to be planning to go on study leave validating the rumor that he would be quitting his role as the curtain falls on the stage for the current administration.

The narrative was concluded with the following emphatic prediction Similarly,after the removal of petrol subsidy which is due next month,it is being predicted that the pump price of the commodity may also spike up to the region of N350N500 per liter.

Coincidentally, petrol price is now selling at the N500 naira benchmark as l had projected.

The other event that is bound to also create prickly heat,if not turmoil,following the withdrawal of subsidy from naira foreign exchange rate was also predicted thus The immediate consequence of the anticipated spikes in prices of Foreign Exchange and petrol that are essential services with high impact effect on the masses would be that the inflation rate in our country that is currently 22.22 (which is a seventeen (17) years high based on National Bureau of Statistics,NBS report) could become double of the current level.

And that would spell more misery for the critical masses of Nigerians of which about one hundred and thirty (130m) million of our compatriots are said to be living below poverty line.

Following the above projections,Nigerians should have braced up for the worse in the preliminary stages of Tinubus presidency because a lot of rot that is making the economy and by extension our country sick would be aggressively be dealt with to give the nation a new lease of life .

That is why President Tinubus demonstration of boldness by literally taking the bull by horn that was also in tandem with the projection in the referenced article should be commendable.

But the incoming president,Asiwaja Bola Ahmed Tinubu also known as the Lion Of Bourdilon by his fans and foes alike is not a faint hearted leader.

In my estimation,President Tinubu is bringing stability and certainty to the management of Nigeria and the economy which is needed at this point in time to earn the confidence of potential investorslocal and foreigners alike who have been skittish about the uncertainties entrenched by the immediate past administration .

As a further evidence of his dynamism suggesting leadership from the front which indicates that he would be more responsive than his predecessor,president Tinubu had also quickly resolved the faceoff between the Department Of State Security Services, DSS and the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission,EFCC when the former laid siege on the offices of the latter in an inter agency squabble.

It may be recalled that when a similar incident occurred under the watch of the immediate past administration,the confrontation was not promptly deescalated as president Tinubu has done by ordering DSS to immediately vacate EFFC premises that it had forcefully occupied.

The new president has also met with the leaders in the other major security arms of government during which he informed them that he would not tolerate their working at cross purposes.

It is hoped that his marching order would not turn out to the sort that president Buhari gave and he was not aware that a particular security chief was not where he should have been in compliance with the order of The Commander inChief Cin C of the armed forces of Nigeria.

One would imagine that president Tinubu would demand accountability,monitoring and feedback from the respective security chiefs that met with him.

Given the scenario above,it should not be such a surprise to followers of political developments in Nigeria that president Tinubu has moved swiftly by making decisions in a manner that is quite the opposite of his predecessor who was often dilly dallying.

The assertion above is validated by the fact that after he took the oath of office as the sixteenth (16th) president and commanderinchief of the armed forces of Nigeria on Monday 29 May,in his inaugural speech,he uttered the words Fuel Subsidy Is Gone which has had a tumultuous, if not tsunami like effect in the lives of our country men /women .

That is a declaration that has sealed the controversy over petrol subsidy in Nigeria and it is a statement that past administrationsmilitary and democratic alikehave dreaded and therefore avoided dealing with like a plague.

And it is on record that Military heads of state,ranging from generals,Olusegun Obasanjo,Mohammadu Buhari,Ibrahim Babangida to Sanni Abacha have been too lilylivered to remove petrol subsidy although,they were military and autocratic rulers.

Even both ex presidents Obasanjo and Buhari as democratically elected presidents had also failed to end petrol subsidy under their watch despite their reputation as strong men.


    • RecommendedReads
    • REVEALED Ribadu lobbies President Tinubu, exGovs for NSA appointment
    • Your govt is temporary, I will reclaim my mandate Atiku to Tinubu


2k Points

What do you think?

2k Points

Leave a Reply