Last week, President Bola Tinubu vowed to stop Nigeria’s continuous borrowing of foreign loans.
We tracked two other stories from the seat of power, Aso Rock villa, for your reading delight.
1. Tinubu’s move against foreign loans
On August 9, Tinubu pledged that his administration was ready to break the cycle of overreliance on borrowing for public spending, and the resulting burden of debt servicing it placed on the management of the limited resources in the country.
The President, who made this public at the State House, Abuja, while inaugurating the Presidential Committee on Fiscal Policy and Tax Reforms headed by Taiwo Oyedele, tasked the committee to improve the country’s revenue profile and business environment.
“Our aim is to transform the tax system to support sustainable development while achieving a minimum of 18% tax-to-GDP ratio within the next three years. Without revenue, government cannot provide adequate social services to the people it is entrusted to serve,” he said.
Tinubu’s pledge lends credence to the fact that excessive borrowing had done more harm than good to the growth of Nigeria’s economy.
It further highlights the country’s weak tax system, and other means of revenue generation which have been mired in corruption.
The President’s vow, interestingly, appears to put a stain on his immediate predecessor, former President Muhammadu Buhari’s management of the economy which saw Nigeria’s debt profile rise to $5.16 billion as at March, this year, according to data released by the Debt Management Office (DMO).
With Nigeria’s economy already out of shape, and needing a miracle to stand on its feet, only time will tell if Tinubu can pull the magic wand, and get the economy running without banking on foreign loans.
Two other talking points
2. Again, Tinubu promises to end insecurity
Tinubu, on August 12, declared his plan to equip the operational capability of security, and law enforcement agencies, including improved welfare of its personnel in order to quash insecurity in the country.
Tinubu, represented by Vice-President Kashim Shettima, gave the assurance at the Passing Out Parade of the 5th Regular Course of the Nigeria Police Academy, Wudil, Kano.
“This administration is committed to implementing effective measures to combat the security challenges in Nigeria and our synergy is the surest ticket to that destiny,” he mentioned.
Tinubu’s declaration is an acknowledgement of the protracted complaints about how ill-equipped the Nigerian military has been over the years.
It may, therefore, signal his ambition to solve one of the root causes of the underperformance of the military in dealing with various challenges threatening the country’s stability.
Amidst the President’s intention lies the need for a thorough probe of how all the monies pumped into the military, and other security agencies were used in fighting insecurity.
All said, Tinubu must ensure he matches words with action if he wants to gain the trust of the Nigerian citizenry.
3. Recovering Nigeria’s collapsed economy
On August 11, Tinubu assured of his efforts to ensure that Nigeria’s bad economy recovers for the good of all.
According to a statement issued by the President’s Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Ajuri Ngelale, he stated this with the Board of Trustees of the All Progressives Congress (APC) Professionals Forum led by former Bauchi State Governor, Isa Yuguda.
“This economy must recover for the good and greatest number of Nigerians, and we are seriously committed to seeing through a change for the better,” the statement read in part.
Tinubu’s soothing statement must have been tailored to give hope to common Nigerians who are feeling the pressure of the harsh economic realities that have befallen the country.
The President, however, must embrace the fact that long years of bad economic policies can only be re-engineered through sound policies backed by managers carefully chosen for their competencies.
It is debatable if the the President has gotten it right so far, as he receives constant knocks for a worsening economy.
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