It would not be baseless or without justification if one makes the assertion
that there is nobody in Nigeria that did not experience Tinubumania during the presidential campaign period in the last quarter of last year and first quarter of this year.
That is because marketing of Tinubu’s candidacy was so intense with a sort of in-your-face type of aggression that was bolstered and galvanized by the ‘Emi Lo Kan’ mantra which became a national sing song of sorts or Tinubumania.
It is in a similar manner that Tinubumania dominated the political atmosphere,that literally everyone in Nigeria is currently feeling the impact of Tinubunomics,since president Bola Ahmed Tinubu was handed the reins of political leadership of our great country on 29 May,having won the 2023 presidential contest.
Without any shred of doubt whatsoever, Tinubunomics is a bug that has bitten practically everyone in Nigeria.
And it has done so in less than one month of president Tinubu being at the helm of affairs in the management of our beloved country,Nigeria.
Off course bugs vary and they have different types of effect on humans.
There are people who are bitten by education bug.That means they passionately pursue the vision or dream of being educated perhaps to the highest level which is obtaining a doctoral degree.
There are also those who get bitten by the type of bug that can result in feverish conditions.
Take mosquito bites for instance.
Victims can become sick and even die from malaria infection which is a direct consequence of a bite from the mosquito bug.
In the case of Tinubunomics,it is a bug that has obviously created some excitement and distress alike amongst a broad spectrum of people in Nigerian society.
For those that had been bilking our country of billions of dollars through petrol subsidy and bleeding our treasury of billions of dollars through multiple exchange rates of the naira,Tinubunomics has had a negative effect .
But to the poor masses that the end of petrol subsidy regime would enable government apply the billlions of dollars that would have gone down the drain pipe via Premium Motor Spirit,PMS subsidy; they are happy because government can apply the erstwhile petrol subsidy funds in the provision of health care facilities , roads and schools infrastructure ,as well as grant loans to indigent students in higher educational institutions that could have dropped out of universities, polytechnics and mono-technics, owing to incapacity to pay school fees.
Clearly,Tinubunomics is a type of elixir or uhuru for the category of Nigerians referenced above, it is also the end of a binge for the beneficiaries of petrol subsidy.
And the described foregoing realities are the reason that the removal of subsidy on petrol which is a defining factor in Tinubunomics has for instance created a huge buzz nationwide since petrol affects literally all aspects of life in Nigeria.
Of course ,the youth demographics is affected positively by Tinubunomics via the signing into law of the student loan policy that would help in easing the burden of some indigent students who had not been able to afford school fees which had been a compelling factor for them to drop out.
To the credit of Tinubunomics,going forward,the loss of brainy students imbued with high intellect, otherwise known as ‘hot brains’ to the underworld,which is not different from the brain drain that we often complain about when our professionals migrate to other climes in search of better life opportunities,would no longer happen because every Nigerian would have the opportunity to acquire education with loan from government.
In fact,if we get every Nigerian interested in acquiring higher education into schools via the newly enacted law authorizing loan for the indigent to pursue higher education ,our country would produce enough skilled human capital for retention to work at home to help the economy grow and there would alao be a large number still available for deployment into the diaspora to boost foreign remittances into our economy. So instead of complaining about brain, education loan would enable more Nigerians acquire education so that there would be sufficient educated people to help grow the local economy while the rest could also work abroad.
China is the fastest growing economy in the world today because it has the largest collection or pool of talents per square meter than any other country in the world. That is why the country is on the cutting edge of technology.
To phantom the benefits of having a huge pool of skilled Human capital resources to execute projects speedily, effectively ,and efficiently, as a local reference point, readers should consider the speed with which China built the Lekki Deep sea port in lagos in a record time by the Chinese.
In fact , it is China’s huge collection of skilled manpower through massive education of the populace that has made Asian giant the foremost manufacturing hub of the world.
As l have noted in multiple interventions promoting student loan as the pathway to a greater future for Nigeria, l always cited the case of Indians at a point in time,being CEOs/CTOs of the first ten(10) Fortunate 500 companies in the world owing to Indian government’s policy of prioritizing education.
So the new higher education loan driven by Tinubunomics would help ensure that nobody is left behind,education-wise in Nigeria and by virtue of having the largest population in Africa, our country can become the biggest manufacturing hub on the continent if we develop the required skilled manpower in the manner that China and Indian-the largest and second largest populations in the world are major manufacturing and export hubs to the world.
Although the same Tinubunomics has created excitement, it has also elicited some anxiety and triggered a feeling of misery amongst the working class whom the removal of petrol subsidy has impacted negatively.
That is because the cost of transportation and in deed all life essentials have spiked dramatically resulting in hardships on the masses in the short term.
Being not unmindful of the consequences of petrol subsidy removal on the masses ,the architects of Tinubunomics have been assiduously working round the clock to provide succor or buffer for the vulnerable or the more exposed to the inflationary consequences of petrol subsidy removal implementation.
To that extent,we know that the purveyors of Tinubunomics have been contemplating introducing measures such as salary increase for workers to cushion the harsh effects.
Obviously Tinubunomics doctrine demands a paradigm shift in the ways and manner policies evolve and get implemented, so it would no longer be business as usual in Nigeria .
That is perhaps why it is taking a little while for solutions to the challenges that the paradigm shift has thrown up to be hashed out.
As part of the multiple palliative measures being considered,one hundred percent (100%) wage increase is a policy direction that is being touted.
And it is a policy that l whole heartedly support. It’s attractiveness to me is the fact that it is the opposite of the previous gambits of deploying buses for workers through the Nigeria Labor Congress,NLC or warehousing the funds from the so called savings and putting it in a common ‘Pot’ such as SURE- P from where some appointed or ‘anointed’ individuals would, in the guise of administering the funds for public good, be lining their private pockets with the common wealth of Nigerian masses.
Arising from the sordid past experience of abuse of public funds by public officials as reflected by what happened to public intervention funds like Petroleum Trust Fund,PTF, Oil Mineral Producing Development Commission, OPADEC ,Niger Delta Development Commission,NNDC ,it is a no brainer to figure out that the pooling together of the so called funds to be saved from the current petrol subsidy removal exercise for management on behalf of the public,would eventually end up literally becoming another black hole/drain pipe in the nation’s treasury which PMS subsidy payment had been and which it’s removal is aimed at eliminating.
Why plug one hole and puncture another and end up retaining the drain in another form through different hole.
So why don’t government give the funds directly to workers via 100% salary increase in the first instance. At least that way, they can decide by themselves what their priorities are and apply the funds accordingly. Of course there are valid fears of inflation arising from salary increase for public servants. How can we forget how Udoji award bankrupted Nigeria in 1973. The largesse of doubling public servants salaries named after the man who headed committee, justice Jerome Udoji is actually the genesis of Nigeria’s profligacy.
But inflation is a smaller monster which can be tamed with targeted monetary policies that would moderate its effect.
In effect establishing a pool of funds from where subsidy removal savings would be disbursed to the masses amounts to setting up a parallel government to be run by the same Nigerians with the same mentality (not saints from heaven) who would create the type of choke holds that similar institutions have created in the past and some of which have threatened and continues threatening to asphyxiate our beloved country.
Of course palliatives in the form of mass transit buses,ferries or other modes of transportation and logistics are currently urgently highly needed. But the best approach is for the mass transit facilities to be provided by the private sector that may be offered loans to fund the initiative, simply because government has no business in business.
Without any doubt,pooling funds together for disbursement to ameliorate the hardship on the masses would not be different from the petrol subsidy regime which we have been trying to wean ourselves-off of in the past several decades.
Even going as far back as to the dark days of military rule under the watch of Generals Mohammadu Buhari,Ibrahim Babangida and Sani Abacha.
Incidentally,then Gen. Mohammadu Buhari,who later metamorphosed into president Buhari (2015-2023) was the chairman of Petroleum Trust Fund, PTF – a behemoth created out of petrol subsidy reduction by Gen. Abacha. The record of that intervention behemoth which became a metaphor for corruption of the highest order is still fresh in the memory of most Nigerians.
At this juncture,it is germane to elaborate further on Tinubunomics which is a combination of the multiple policies that have been introduced by President Bola Ahmed Tinubu in less than one month of being at the helm of affairs of our country.
In fact it is a governance philosophy which is undergirded by the principle of doing things differently and it is a leadership phenomenon that has had a spectacular effect on Nigeria and Nigerians with reverberations across the world.
The impact of President Tinubu taking charge in Aso Rock Villa range from the stunning decisions ending the roughly five (5) decades old petrol subsidy regime that has been consuming precious financial resources of our country akin to money being thrown down the drain instead of being used for interventions in more productive and critical areas such as education, healthcare, roads ,ports; to the signing into law of a new electricity act that would make generation and distribution of electricity energy open to all willing and able investors.
It is a policy that would eventually lead to the much sought industrialization of Nigeria which is a development aspiration that perennial epileptic power supply had been inhibiting.
Tinubunomics has also led to the signing into law of the bill ,(as stated earlier) that would facilitate the offer of loans to indigent students in higher institutions and which would lead to the expansion of the pool of talents in our country because no longer would anyone willing to obtain higher education be left out of the education loop owing to lack of financial capacity as opposed to lack academic ability.
That is because as a result of the policy of granting indigent students loan,the potential Albert Einsteins (the geniuses) that had become street urchins ,kidnappers,motor park touts,rapists,prostitutes and religious insurgents wreaking havoc on children,women and men in our country because they dropped out of school due to lack of funds to pay their school fees by their parents who are poor would join the talent pool and enhance the quality of the workforce in our country and those that migrate abroad to work.
Thanks to Tinubunomics engendered policies, if they are pursued to their logical conclusions and hopefully they would because president Tinubu appears to be determined to make a difference in political leadership because he has stated unequivocally that he is prepared for it : our country would no longer allow such great talents to be wasted, because with the access to higher education when the education for the indigent law is operationalized ,all Nigerians would have the opportunity to become the genuses that God had created them to be,but which poverty had been denying some of them from becoming.
An additional aspect of the Tinubunomics reform initiative and revolution is the signing of the freedom of data bill assented to by president Tinubu. It is also bound to energize the information technology and digital sector of the Nigerian economy that had remained latent with potentials. With the implementation of the new law, that largely untapped sector of our economy that holds humongous opportunities for our army of youths would be unleashed such that it would become a higher contributor to the Gross Domestic Product, GDP of the nation’s economy.
Already the Tinubunomics triggered initiative is bringing to the table in Nigeria, interest by major players in information and communication technology stretching to the the spheres of Artificial Intelligence,Al which is currently making waves in all areas of human endeavors in and around the industrially developed world.
And as if in response to the introduction of the data law, Mr Bill Gates,the founder of Microsoft and modern day father of computing and information technology, has just visited Nigeria again to reaffirm his validation of the potentials of Nigerian youths to becoming a powerful factor in the world of information technology as he had posited during his first visit in 2018.
Another significant effect of Tinubunomics is the triggering of the end of multiple naira /foreign exchange rates regime that had kept Foreign Exchange,FX in the hands of rent seekers who buy at reduced price from the Central Bank of Nigeria ,CBN only to resell to actual industrialists that need it at sometimes up to 50% percent margin.
The process known as arbitrage has been wrecking havoc on our economy by draining our treasury of hard earned FX that should have been applied in the productive sector of the economy such as provision of health care, education, housing and other essential infrastructure that would serve the best interest of the masses.
But owing to a policy of multiple exchange rates of the naira,the rent seekers who are the powerful and privileged persons in the corridors of political power have been fleecing our economy by doing nothing but round tripping.
It is an unconscionable activity and an unsustainable policy that a former CBN governor and ex-Emir of Kano,Sanusi Lamido Sanusi has been decrying.
Arising from that wrong headed policy (now scrapped in the wake of Tinubunomics) instead of Nigeria being a productive economy, it has been a high consumption one.
Following the end of the parasitic multiple naira exchange rate that is aimed at ending arbitrage,hopefully industries that fled from our country owing to lack of FX to procure needed materials to produce goods would return with the associated benefits of employment creation and payment of tax to government.
Clearly, the policy reforms in the monetary and financial services system would definitely release the bureaucratic chokehold on the growth of the economy that has been inhibiting the flourishing of our country and instead earned her the unenviable reputation of being the poverty capital of the world.
And it is being envisaged that the collective positive impact of the multiplicity of the aforementioned policy reforms in the economy would be similar, in particular to the revolution that happened in the telecommunications space after it was opened up to private investors under the watch of ex president Olusegun Obasanjo, 1999-2007.
It may be recalled that it is the liberalization/privatization policy that triggered the founding of GLO-an indigenous telecommunications services provider owned by Chief Mike Adenuga ,and international conglomerates-MTN,Airtel and 9Mobile as well as other micro telecommunications services providers like Smile telecom owned by another indigenous entrepreneur, Ernest Obijiesi of NestOil.
It is trite to state that it is as a result of the liberalization of telecoms sector that it is today a major contributor to the GDP and Gross National Product,GNP of our country through provision of employment for the hitherto unemployed and payment of taxes.
Generally,the impact of Tinubunomics which are legion are not only being driven by assent of bills into acts of law as evidenced by the significant number of acts of parliament that president Tinubu has appended his signature such as the electricity act 2023 and access to higher education act as well as the the freedom of data bill ,it is also being done by sublime measures such as the spoken policy directions components of the new administration’s Tinubunomics doctrine.
These are reflected by the current monetary policy directions of the collapse into one the hitherto multiple naira exchange rates which was dogged Witt corruption since the ascendancy of Tinubunomics angels or for lack of a better nomenclature,ambassadors.
They are currently ten(10) in number, excluding the Chief of Staff to the president,CoS Hon.Femi Gbajabiamila and Secretary to the Federal Government of Nigeria,SFGN Senator George Akume,not forgetting vice president Kashim Shettima and Deputy Chief of Staff, lbrahim Hassan Hadeija.
All of the above catalogued policy initiatives, (some of which are already being operationalized) and being driven by aforementioned personalities are bringing about sweeping changes which are sounding like swan songs to both local and international investors as well as partner countries.
It is the totality of the above measures so far taken under President Tinubu’s watch that l have branded Tinubunomics.
As evidence of the reverberating impart of Tinubunomics across Nigeria and indeed the world, an international validation was recently given during a visit to vice President kashim Shettima in Aso Rock Villa, by British High Commissioner,Mr Richard Montgomery who acknowledged and commended President Tinubu’s administration for introducing positive policies such as petrol subsidy removal and unification of the multiple exchange rates of the naira.
I am being very effusive about the policy decisions so far made by President Tinubu because they are in tandem with what l have been advocating in numerous media Interventions in nearly three (3) decades of my engagement of public intellectualism.
And one of the key factors for the enthusiasm in local and international investors community about the gale of reforms being unfurled by the new administration is that somehow,Tinubunomics equates the I.M. F type of reform conditionalities without the loan.
To put the unfolding sociopolitical and economic situation in context,it is necessary that a comparison is made between the reforms that president Tinubu has introduced and the demands usually made by the International Monetary Funds,I.M.F when countries seek bail out funds from the Breton woods institutions including the world bank.
Is it not amazing that , (at least for now)Nigeria is not seeking an I.M.F loan,yet it is imposing fiscal discipline on itself as if it is seeking for a loan?
The recent experience of our neighboring country Ghana that just received three billion dollars ($3b) from the I.M.F based on agreement on some economic policies reforms in Ghana is instructive.
We are reminded by Ghanaian experience of how the imposition of policies as pre-conditions for financial bailout can be demoralizing and dehumanizing.
As some of us may be aware, the I.M.F loan to Ghana is supported by a new three-year arrangement under the Extended Credit Facility (ECF) of about US$3 billion with stiff conditionalities which are like bitter pills that Ghana must swallow in order to survive the financial headwinds that it is facing.
Although the loan would induce hardship for Ghanaians ,it is deemed as necessary by the government of President Nana Dankwa Akufo-Ado as it is envisioned as a saving grace to our neighbor in west Africa that recently fell into hard times and which has had a contagion effect on the balance sheets of Nigerian banks operating in that country that had to take some ‘hair cuts’ as the losses of their subsidiaries negatively have affected their over all performance at home in Nigeria.
As it may be recalled,Nigeria had also suffered the dilemma of financial insolvency in the mid 1980s during the regime of Gen Ibrahim Babangida,IBB (1985-1993) similar to the situation currently being faced by Ghana.
That was what prompted the country to seek a bailout loan from the l.M.F and some reforms were demanded as pre conditions for granting the loan.
Some of the conditionalities were very stringent and they were such that the nation balked at taking the loan facility.
New York Times reporter , Edward A. Gargan, in his article titled : “ Nigerian Leader Wary On I.M.F Loan” published on October 8, 1985, which is nearly 38 years ago so stated the following about Nigeria and the I.M.F loan:
“As a condition for granting the loan,the I.M.F. has called for Nigeria to devalue its currency, the naira, and end the practice of subsidizing petroleum products for consumers. At the official rate of exchange, the naira is equivalent to $1.08, but on the black market here in Lagos money changers are selling nairas for as much as four to the dollar.
“Smuggling Is Rampant.
The tremendous disparity between the official and unofficial exchange rate has led to rampant smuggling and has sharply curtailed Nigeria’s ability to sell manufactured goods abroad”, he noted.
“Moreover, gasoline in Nigeria remains the cheapest in Africa – less than $1 a gallon at the official rate and about 25 cents a gallon at black market rates. Today, General Babangida refused to say whether oil subsidies would be lifted, and virtually ruled out any sharp devaluation of the nation’s currency.”, the reporter concluded.
Is it not stunning that the damning socioeconomic atmosphere currently existing in Nigeria is exactly the situation that was existing nearly four decades ago and for which the l.M.F demanded that Nigerian leaders should make some tough decisions to reform as a critical pre condition for granting her a bailout loan under the watch of military president Gen. lbrahim Babangida?
Clearly, it is a crying shame that the absurd situation had persisted for several decades until president Tinubu summoned the courage to end petrol subsidy on 29 May?
Prior to President Tinubu’s bold action,none of Nigeria’s leaders had been able to figuratively swallow the bitter pills of petrol subsidy removal in order for the nation to regain its compromised financial health.
The roll call of Nigerian military heads of state and presidents that could not muster the courage remove petrol subsidy go all the way from the regime of Gen.Mohammadu Buhari, Gen. Ibrahim Babangida ,IBB to Gen. Sani Abacha.
It is striking that it is the seemingly insurmountable task that could have helped to leap-frog Nigerian economy from a consumption to a production centric one several decades ago,that president Tinubu carried out with his unscripted pronouncement: “petrol subsidy has ended” in his inaugural day speech on 29 May thus heralding the removal of petrol subsidy.
In tune with the massive reform agenda of Tinubunomics,the implementation of the policy of unifying the multiple naira exchange rates into one has also subsequently happened.Thus the hemorrhaging of our country’s foreign exchange treasury hitherto used in propping up the naira to the selfish benefits of a few individuals in Aso Rock Villa corridors of power has also ended like petrol subsidy.
Arising from the actions referenced above, President Tinubu has literally killed the two werewolf- like monsters sucking the blood of Nigeria which are: payment of petrol subsidy and operation of multiple platforms and rates for exchanging the naira that had been gulping billions of dollars earned from the sale of crude oil and gas.
Going down memory lane,it may be recalled that instead of taking the I.M.F loan in 1985/86 the administration under the leadership of IBB ,after an exhausting public debate about the desirability or otherwise of the loan under the conditionalities and terms proposed by the I.M.F,opted out and settled for a home grown alternative-Structural Adjustment Program ,SAP which is self imposed tough reform policies.
Basically,SAP was about belt tightening by way of plugging all the identified leakages in the economy which had been making it impossible to grow from third to first would like her former peer country at independence, the island nation, Singapore under the iconic leader,Lee Kuan-Yew of blessed memory.
Unfortunately, the implementation of S.A.P was not diligent as it was haphazard and inconsistent hence it failed to achieve its lofty objectives.
Hence,today most of the prevailing challenges that Tinubunomics has taken care of or addressed frontally and aggressively,echo the issues that SAP program 1985/6 ought to have resolved foot (4) decades ago. But owing to poor implementation and even after more or less four decades has elapsed ,our economy has remained in the same doldrums that it had been mired and Nigerian masses have been stuck in poverty, even worse than they were fifty (50) years ago..
Hopefully, the decadent past would change for the better with the actions so far taken by President Tinubu in less than four (4) weeks of holding the reins of presidential power ranging from the appointments of chief of staff to the president, CoS,Femi Gbajabiamila ,deputy chief of staff Ibrahim Hassan Hadeija and Secretary to the Federal Government of Nigerian, SGFN,senator George Akume,all of whom are considered round pegs in round holes.
The aforementioned positive steps
appear to have be renewed hope for Nigerian that their country is on the cusp of a rebirth.
Having put I.M.F and its conditionalities for loan in perspective ,let us attempt an appraisal of Tinubunomics by taking a cursory look at the series of actions of president Tinubu in less than four (4) week of his presidency particularly with respect to the quality of his team and the manifestations of the policy decisions on society.
Focusing on the team that would help him develop his Renewed Hope promise, one of the critical actions that he has taken is the appointment of some critical aids designated as Special Advisers in strategic areas that would be engaging the attention of Nigeria’s new leader, president Tinubu.
An assessment of the caliber of people that he has assembled as core members of his team is critical because it would reflect the quality of the decisions that he has already made that have so far created rippling effects and how well the policies would be implemented by the apparently savvy technocrats.
The policies that have had seismic effects range from the first which is the dramatic announcement of the end of petrol subsidy in the course of making his maiden speech as president on 29 May, to the current pronouncements on more appointments of key officials that have combined to earn his policies the sobriquet:Tinubunomics.
It is pertinent to recall that the penultimate senate president of the 9th National Assembly, NASS,Ahmad Lawan had on the 6th of June read out on the floor of the senate a letter from president Buhari requesting for their approval of 20 Special Advisers for him.
It was noted by the senators that the names and roles to be played by the potential appointees were not specified in the letter. But in the spirit of the new beginning, the list was approved as requested .
And apparently,president Tinubu has not disappointed the senate that gave him a Carte Blanche and indeed the electorate by appointing ten (10) thorough bred professionals into the role of Special Advisers which represents half of the 20 approved for him by the legislators in the upper chambers.
The new Special Advisers who some pundits have aptly dubbed the members of the president’s ‘kitchen cabinet’ comprise of old timers and new comers.
And l would like to describe them as new and old wines in a new bottle with Tinubu’s presidency being the new bottle.
A typical old wine in the new bottle is Mr Dele Alake who is now Special Adviser, Special Duties,Communications and Strategy. He is characterized as old wine because he is one of the longest standing Tinubu devotees,having served as Commissioner for information and strategy during President Tinubu’s tour of duty as governor of lagos state-1999-2007.
Since then he has remained steadfastly connected to president Tinubu through thick and thin to the extent that Mr Alake has become a sort of right arm of the two (2) arms of Asiwaju Tinubu,and not just a right hand man.
A manifestation of the metaphorical description above happened during then presidential candidate Tinubu’s Chatham House outing on 5 December last year where Mr Alake (amongst a couple of other close associates of Tinubu)was assigned the role of responding to some questions posed by Chatham House panelists.
In light of the above ,the new Special Adviser, Special Projects and Communications,Mr Alake’s prime role in the unfolding cabinet of president Tinubu is unsurprising as it had been long in coming.
Having been assigned a role officially,his authenticity as the man that has the ears of the president is no longer in doubt.
The situation whereby Mr Alake was challenged by the organized labor, NLC led by Comrade Joe Ajaero who questioned his role as a negotiator on behalf of government in the aftermath of the removal of petrol subsidy and threat by NLC to go on strike,would no longer arise.
Mr Ajaero, the NLC president had during the first meeting after petrol subsidy removal was announced,stated publicly that he was not interested in negotiating with Mr Alake because he could not phantom in what capacity he was acting.
That snide remark would not be repeated going forward because it has become clear that Mr Alake is the mouth piece and a key strategist for president Tinubu, therefore a powerful factor in Tinubunomics.
Another Special Adviser whose pedigree has its roots running all the way to President Tinubu’s political origin as governor of lagos state is Mr Wale Edun. Like Mr Alake,he too has remained with Mr President till date, even after his reign as governor of Lagos state from 1999-2007.
Mr Edun is a consummate investment banker with a rich pedigree that run deep as an alumni of foremost United States of America, USA Investment banks-Lehman Brothers and Goldman Sachs amongst other leading financial institutions.
After introducing innovative measures that enabled Lagos state to ramp up internally generated revenue from a mere N600 million monthly about two (2) decades ago into multiple billions, Mr Edun laid the foundation for the billion naira level which the successive administration took it to which currently is in the region of N50 billion to which the incumbent administration has elevated it.
According to records,Mr Edun had stepped aside from the role of finance commissioner in the wee days of Asiwaju Tinubu’s tenure as governor of Lagos state to play a more active role in the private sector where he founded and operated Denham Capital.
But he remained an active member of the inner caucus of President Tinubu even after he pivoted into the private sector.
As such, under the watch of President Buhari,Mr Edun had served as Chairman of the Board of Trustees for the Ogoni Trust Fund,focused on environmental clean up efforts Ogoniland in the Niger delta based on the recommendation of then APC national leader,Asiwaju Tinubu.
Given his rich background in investment banking/financial engineering and in line with his role as former finance commissioner in lagos state,it was speculated that he would either be the new finance minister or governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN.
And his appointment into the new role as Special Adviser Monetary Policy ends that speculation for now.
Without an iota of doubt,the revelation by president Tinubu in his inaugural speech that it is his desire to see an end to the regime of multiple naira exchange rates and platforms that defined the immediate past regime’s management of the economy, emphasizing that there would also be some house cleaning in the financial services sector, bore the imprimatur of Mr Edun whom Bloomberg news had earlier quoted as having stated that changes in the the financial landscape of Nigeria were imminent.
During his parley with Nigerians in France on the sidelines of the global conference on global economy attended last last week by President Tinubu, he revealed to his audience that Mr Edun is the leader of team Tinubu hashing out the policies that are driving Tinubunomics.
Arising from the above ,his choice as president Tinubu’s Special Adviser on Monetary Policy is a sort of validation of his position as an inner caucus member of Team Tinubu and a significant factor in Tinubunomics.
The third(3) Special Adviser appointed by President Tinubu is Mr Nuhu Ribadu,who is a police man that reigned as a fearless anti corruption tzar during the administration of President Olusegun Obasanjo,OBJ from 1999 to 2007.
Mr Ribadu ,a police officer that assumed the role of an anti corruption crusader when he served as EFCC chairman and stepped on a lot of toes before he retired from the police force after rising to the rank of Assistant Inspector General of Police,AIG is fortunate to be named the new National Security Adviser,NSA.
Even though he has in the past castigated then Lagos state governor and now president Tinubu for alleged financial crimes,he has nevertheless been named a Special Adviser, and later NSA by president Tinubu. That makes him a critical player in Tinubunomics.
So,from fighting financial crimes as EFCC boss by virtue of his new appointment, Mr Ribadu has been assigned an expanded sphere of influence as he would be incharge of the whole gamut of security of Nigeria which is a huge responsibility.
The assertion above is in the light of the prime position that tackling insecurity occupies in the agenda of President Tinubu as the threat of religious insurgency, separatism and banditry have continued to defy solutions.
Instead of insecurity abating,they it is degenerating into a national scourge, as such it remains a major threat to the continued corporate existence of Nigeria,which makes security a priority area of attention for president Tinubu.
That Mr President assigned Mr Ribadu the all important NSA role speaks volumes about the management style President Tinubu because it implies that Mr Ribadu is a critical component of Tinubunomics.
And particularly so because a safe and secure environment is a precondition for a buoyant and virile economy that president Tinubu has promised the Nigerian electorate.
And it would be remiss of me not to point out that it is a sort of noble gesture for President Tinubu to appoint his former traducer as the NSA.
My reading of the gesture is that perhaps he does not take past differences between him and others personal as such bygone is bygone. After all it is said that in politics there are no permanent enemies or friends but permanent interests.
Apparently, President Tinubu prefers to put grievances behind him and rather chooses to prioritize national interests and professionalism over personal gripe.
That is my guess.
What ever may be the justification ,that lofty mindset in my view is a highly commendable leadership strength worthy of admiration and emulation because it demonstrates statesmanship.
The fourth (4th) Special Adviser with known pedigree in the public sector of Nigeria that president Tinubu has appointed is, Ms Hadiza Bala Usman who is a political associate of Mallam Nasir El-Rufai, the immediate past governor of Kaduna state.
Ms Bala Usman is an offspring of the famous academic and human rights activist from the northern part of our country ,Dr Bala Usman of blessed memory.
And she is the immediate past Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer,CEO of Nigerian Ports Authority,NPA.
She lost the job following a face-off with former minister of transport,Mr Rotimi Amaechi who leveled corruption allegations against her and of which she successfully absolved herself after thorough investigations.
As a reform minded technocrat that has been tested in her leadership role in NPA during which innovative changes were introduced into the management of our country’s foremost port,she earned the reputation of being a change agent and therefore a foot-soldier in the Tinubunomics movement.
Apart from the above listed four (4) Tinubunomics evangelists that are like old wine now put in a new bottle,there are six (6) new comers in the club of Special Advisers so far named and assigned portfolios by president Tinubu.
The six (6) other new Special Advisers who do not poses well known pedigree of playing in Nigerian public sector are:
Mr.Yau Darazo as Special Adviser,Political and Intergovernmental affairs,
Mrs.Olu Verheijen who is Special Adviser, Energy, while Mr. Zachaeus Adedeji is the Special Adviser, Revenue.
Also appointed are Mr.John Ugochukwu Uwajumogu who is the Special Adviser, Industry, Trade and Investment,while Dr (Mrs.) Salma Ibrahim Anas is Special Adviser, Health.
There is also the spoken words poet, Hanatu Musa Musawa that serenaded television viewers with poetic presentation of the profile of president Tinubu who has also been appointed Special Adviser, Culture And Entertainment Economy.
Two (2) amongst the six (6) new comers,Mr Darazo and Dr Anas are believed to be nominees of vice president Ibrahim Shettima.
Being that the request made by President Tinubu to the 9th National Assembly, NASS is for twenty (20) Special Advisers in a letter that was read on the floor by senator Ahmad Lawan in his capacity as then senate president that got approved, President Tinubu still has outstanding ten (10) more Special Advisers yet to be unveiled as drivers of the evolving Tinubunomics ideology.
And following the pattern of upgrading Mr Nuhu Ribadfu from S A on security to NSA, l have a hunch that in due course of time,most of the twenty (20) Special Advisers may also be upgraded to ministerial positions.
The assumption is based on the suspicion that the twenty (20) experts originally designated as Special Advisers may constitute a cohort of professionals to be appointed into president Tinubu’s cabinet as ministers and they would be the core drivers of Tinubunomics prior to bringing in members of the political class through whose efforts he clinched the presidency.
Over all ,l get the sense that given all the ground breaking steps that he has taken so far,President Tinubu possesses the courage to do what is necessary to move our country forward no matter whose ox is gored.
Nevertheless,the new president needs to be kept on his toes to ensure that he delivers on his lofty promises. And l believe he is not averse to his legs being held to the fire literally, since l am unaware of any time that he has tried to gag the media despite being in the eyes of the storm in the past two decades or so of being a governor and now president of Nigeria.
Be that as it may,Nigerians need to give him the chance to operationalize his new policies to enable them be the judge on whether they are efficacious or not before calling for his crucifixion as some are already doing in less than thirty days (30) days of being in office.
In my estimation,President Tinubu’s administration in the short span of less than a month of being incharge of the destiny of over 200 million Nigerians has been making sense,thus far.
That is simply because it makes sense to remove petrol subsidy that had not only assumed the dimension of an ogre,but has also taken on the characteristics of a cancerous tumor that had hitherto appeared as if it was incurable and therefore a cross that long suffering Nigerians must continue to bear until it literally kills us.
The enormity of the challenge of subsidy revival from PMS has been felt by the populace and its pain has been so pervasive basically because the use or abuse of petrol basically impacts all aspects of our lives in Nigeria,particularly as mobility either by road which is the commonest means of transportation in our country or any other means is a critical and inevitable activity that we must all engage in as human beings on a daily basis.
That is why the implementation of the
removal of subsidy from the pump price policy led to a spike in the cost that has triggered the crisis in some quarters.
The reasonable thing to do is to consider the situation like a case of farmers burning the bush to allow allow them prepare the soil to plant new crops in replacement of shrubs and that process amounts to regeneration.
Applying the farming analogy,President Tinubu can be deemed figuratively to be preparing the soil to plant the crops of development, progress and prosperity that would pull our country out of poverty into wealth.
In other words under president Tinubu, Nigeria can be like a Phoenix rising from the ashes.
That is if the I.M.F type of reform conditionalities also featured in Tinubunomics are diligently implemented to the letter without capitulation or playing to the gallery of those opposed to the drastic change needed to give Nigeria a new lease of life.
In my view ,Tinubu’s early accomplishments so far which can be deemed as a sort of building block far reaching reforms to come is a plus for all of Nigerians. That assertion is validated by the fact that his new policies have already started touching in one way or the other,the entire spectrum of human endeavors in our country.
As the conventional wisdom goes: the morning foretells the evening.
Now,I have read some cynical comments in the social media diminishing the value of the actions so far taken by president Tinubu by not recognizing them as early accomplishments. How can the removal of petrol subsidy,collapsing multiple naira exchange rates and increasing electricity tariff not be commendable when any sincere analyst can see that they are measures that have liberalized our economy in ways that would ramp up economic growth and prosperity?
It is a shame that the Obi-Dients who are suspected to be the architects of the mischievous comments trending in the social media are playing politics with everything.
The rather unfortunate truth is that the Obi-Dients may or may not be the authors of the mischievous comments.
But because they thrive in misinformation and have been bellicose and bitter,even post elections 2023, they have become the usual suspects.
What they fail to acknowledge and which is very discomfiting is that misinformation or disinformation compromises and diminishes democracy as it could trigger street protests that could degenerate into chaos.
To engage in activities that could crash democracy as was the case with the incendiary comments on democracy and the judiciary made by the LP vice presidential candidate,Senator Dati Baba-Ahmed and other inciting commentaries by other implacable losers in Lagos state and across the country would not bode well for the future of the party and democracy in our country.
It is not a mere happenstance that the number one goal of most democracy advocates all over the world is the ultimate sustenance of the system which remains the most popular and successful system of governance all over the world till date.
That is why l had in the past admonished Obi-Dients -Peter Obi and Dati Baba-Ahmed supporters that churning out fake news to push the agenda of their principal in order to gain undue advantage would backfire and unfortunately that backlash had materialized recently because such farcical stuff do not stand the test of time.
They would equally be embarrassed if they choose to remain on a war path by being belligerent in their war of attrition by not acknowledging or commending the positive steps taken so far by president Tinubu which most reasonable people have acknowledged and applauded.
My altruistic and candid advise is that the Obi-Dients should practice opposition politics within the ambits of reason,rather than always trying to pull the wool-over-the eyes of the electorate by not recognizing and even denouncing obviously good policy initiatives,which is hypocritical.
Why are they cleverly trying to obfuscate the positive contents of the policies by demonizing them,rather than being unbiased commentators or forming a shadow cabinet that would be proffering superior policy initiatives countering Tinubunomics inspired ones to earn the respect of the electorate?
Unbeknownst to the Obi-Dients,the perfidy of pushing false narratives may constitute another Achilles heels for the Labor Party,LP in their future attempts to win the presidency.
So,disparaging the obviously bold and positive steps that President Tinubu has taken in less than one month of becoming president of Nigeria would cast the Obi-Dients and their principals in bad light as they may be portrayed as having become jaded and consumed by their jaundiced views colored with blind hatred and unbridled conscious bias against their political opponents even when they are doing the right thing.
My candid advice is to wait for President Tinubu to falter before knocking him. That is what is expected of a truly emerging and focused opposition party like the LP.
Apparently undeterred by the bellicosity of those who appear unwilling to give credit to whom it is due by casting a slur on the highly commendable policy decisions that he has made so far , president Tinubu had on June 20 jetted off to France to attend the French President Emmanuel Macron’s motivated Global Financial Impact Summit slatted for June 22-23.
Attending the summit is in tandem with his quest for the return of foreign investors that fled from Nigeria in the wake of what some have termed the locust years of Buharinomics during which international conglomerates some of which have French origin fled from Nigeria under the toxic business environment foisted on the country by the suffocating agenda of making the economy unfriendly for investments by serious investors owing to the myriad of draconian policies entrenched in the system in the eight years of Buharinomics .
Some of them include the inability to repatriate funds home by foreign investors owing to the complex foreign exchange regime that also made access to hard currencies to procure raw materials for sustenance of operations of the firms forced them to relocate the factories elsewhere.
Clearly, President Tinubu and his Tinubunomics devotees seem to have identified the clogs and Mr President has thereafter been making bold decisions via pronouncements and signing of bills into law.
Naturally,some are initially resulting in short term discomfort to the masses.
But in the long run,the policies are expected to prove to be in the best interest of our beloved country and the entire citizens of the nation who 8547.
Given the reality above,which is creating a sort of prickly heat amongst the populace,I reckon that Mr President knows that it would be better,and in fact best,if he works the talk by backing his tough,but hope inspiring talk with concrete actions such as taking definitive steps towards cushioning the effects of petrol subsidy removal and imminent increase in electricity tariff currently causing distress in the minds of the masses.
The recent information emanating from a commissioner in the Revenue Mobilization Allocation And Fiscal Commission that the federal government has increased the salary of members of the executive, legislative and judicial branches of government by one hundred and fourteen percent (114%) is a welcome development.
That is even though it has been denied by the agency’s spokesman and Mr Dele Alake, Special Adviser, Special Duties and Communications to president Tinubu.
As the saying goes: there is no smoke without fire.
So government may be flying a kite.
And a 114% increase in salaries of workers is in tandem with my recommendation of 100% in workers emoluments when l wrote in my column and other traditional and online media platforms in the early part of May,a piece titled : “Judiciary On Trial: Television Election Tribunal To The Rescue?”.
I had also made the same case in a series of pieces that l wrote in the heat of the unprecedented eight (8) months long ASUU strike that literally crippled the education sector, indicating that the old template of managing education in our country is unsustainable.
The piece focused on the judiciary and how they are literally working on ice with respect to how they handle the election petitions in the tribunals also dwelt on the potential harsh effects of the peril of then pending subsidy removal which was meant to become operationalized at the end of the immediate past regime long before President Tinubu’s administration was inaugurated. Below is how l made the case:
“In my view, petrol subsidy must end as planned and a 100% increase in salaries for workers across board would be a necessary first step to ameliorate the consequential effect.But that is a subject for another discourse.”
In effect,before petrol subsidy was removed,l had recommended 100% salary increase for workers as a first step to absorb the hardship that laid ahead for the long suffering Nigerian workers.
Whether,the release of the information by RMFAC about the proposed 114% increase in wages for workers is a slip up ,or a deliberate attempt to test the opinion of the public is immaterial at this point in time.
At least it is in reasonable compliance with the N300,000 minimum wage being demanded by Trade Union Congress , TUC led by Comrade Festus Osifo in their negotiations with government towards easing the pains on workers triggered by some of the new policies.
At this point in time,what is of utmost importance is how to ameliorate the pains foisted on the masses by petrol subsidy removal and the impending hike in the cost of electricity following the signing into law of the electricity bill 2023 that has also freed up the sector as the old law had made the long sought industrialization of our country impossible since independence from Britain.
The reformed laws in my opinion are vestiges of the covert perpetuation of anti industrialization laws inherited from the colonialist that wanted to perpetually make our country a supplier of raw materials to Europe as opposed to a producer of finished products that Nigeria has been aspiring to become without much success since independence in 1960.
In the final analysis and after all said and done,government should do well not to adopt the palliative measures applied in the past when petrol subsidy was reduced.
For instance Sure-P, provision of Mass Transit Buses for NLC to manage,setting up of pool of funds purportedly for infrastructure development like PTF etc which have proven to be monumental failure,should not be options to be considered.
The ten (10) technocrats,(of the 20) so far engaged by president Tinubu as Special Advisers that l would like to refer to as Tinubunomics evangelists,should hurry up in coming up with the solutions that they have been crafting in order to bring about more innovative and productive ways of giving succor to the long suffering masses of Nigeria on short,medium and long terms basis.
That is the minimum standard that President Tinubu must set in his bid to write his name in gold as the president who emancipated Nigeria from poverty to prosperity as Deng Xiaoping did in China about four (4) decades ago and earned himself the sobriquet: Architect of Modern China.
President Tinubu can do the same by being diligent in the marshaling of his plans and deftness in the delivery of the much sought democracy dividends by Nigerian masses.
That is the irreducible minimum that is expected of the new president who has so far demonstrated that he has prepared for the job of being the number one citizen of Nigeria.
All things being equal,there is no question about whether hope has been renewed since 29 May that power changed hands in Aso Rock Villa from Buhari to Tinubu.
Rather,it is a matter of how soon the hope would be realized. And Nigerians can not wait to exhale from the current choke holds that some of the new policies have become.
Although ,President Tinubu and his Tinubunomics Marshals are serving as a beacon of hope for a rebirth of our beloved Nigeria,the current reality is that the manifestation of the renewed hope remains in the belly of time.