A peep into Tinubu’s first 20 days in office 

ON May 29, President Bola Tinubu took the oath of office as the 16th leader of Nigeria after taking over from former president Muhammadu Buhari.  

Upon assuming office, he has taken actions that his supporters say are good for the country and signal great things Nigerians will enjoy from his administration. 

Today, Saturday, June 17, marks 20 days since Tinubu became president. The ICIR looks at the president’s actions in his first 20 days in office.

Subsidy removal

Delivering his inaugural speech on May 29, the President promised to unify the nation, create opportunities for all, revamp the economy, improve security and create jobs.

His speech delighted many Nigerians until he announced that “fuel subsidy is gone.”

He said his predecessor did not provide funds for subsidy in the budget to enable him continue to support the citizens on what they pay for petrol.


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Shortly after announcing an end to the subsidy regime, fuel stations across Nigerians shut their gates to motorists, intending to hike the price immediately.

Two days later, the Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited (NNPCLtd.) raised the pump price by about 200 per cent.

The hike triggered a commensurate rise in transport fares and the costs of some basic needs.

In his Democracy Day address on June 12, Tinubu promised to invest gains from the subsidy removal on power, roads, healthcare, education and others for the common good.

Order on DSS to vacate EFCC office in Lagos

The first directive by the President, on May 30, was for the Department of State Services (DSS) to vacate the Lagos office of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).

The DSS had reportedly shut down a building at No. 15A Awolowo Road, Ikoyi, where the two organisations had shared offices for over 20 years.

Reports claimed shutting the premises prevented the EFCC from accessing the facility.

In a statement it shared on its official Twitter Page, the DSS could not explain why it shut the premises. But it said it did not block the EFCC staff from accessing their offices.

The Service also argued that it had no rift with the anti-graft agency.

Appointment of aides

In his first major appointment, on June 2, the President announced the immediate past Speaker of the House of Representatives, Femi Gbajabiamila, as his Chief of Staff.

He also announced the immediate past minister of Special Duties, and a former governor of Benue State, George Akume, as Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF).

Request for 20 special assistants from the Senate

On June 6, the Senate approved the President’s request for 20 special advisers.

The Senate President, Ahmed Lawan, read the President’s letter concerning the request at the Red Chamber.

Lawan said, “Because there is no name for special advisers, we will just approve it from here. We feel that that this is something of utmost urgency.”

The Senate approved the request after a voice vote during plenary.

Signing of bill harmonising the retirement of judges’ age

On June 8, the President assented to a bill to increase the retirement age of judicial officers in the country to 70 years.

He said his administration would strengthen the judiciary and empower judicial officers.

Titled ‘Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, Alteration Bill No. 20 (Uniform Retirement Age for Judicial Officers), 2023’, the bill was the first to be signed into law by Tinubu since he assumed office.

Although legislation already pegged the retirement age of justices of the appeal and supreme courts at 70, the law as well extended the retirement age of High Court judges from 65 to 70 years.

The new law will harmonise the pension rights of judicial officers of “superior courts of record” specified in Section 6(5) of the 1999 Constitution (as amended).

Suspension of Godwin Emefiele: Governor, Central Bank of Nigeria

On June 9, the President ordered the suspension of the Governor of the Central Bank (CBN), Godwin Emefiele.

Tinubu, through a letter from the office of the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, directed Emefiele to immediately hand over the affairs of his office to the Deputy Governor (Operations Directorate), who would act as the apex bank governor pending the conclusion of the investigation into Emefiele’s office, and reform of the financial sector.

The ICIR reports that among other policies, Emefiele introduced a money redesign that put millions of Nigerians in huge distress before and post 2023 elections.

Tinubu was among the citizens who kicked against the policy.

Electricity Act 2023

On June 9, the President signed the Electricity Act 2023, which replaced the Electricity and Power Sector Reform Act of 2005. The new law empowers state and private companies to generate power, which has been the exclusive function of the Federal Government.

Stakeholders had blamed the poor electricity supply in the country on the exclusivity of the right to power generation, which resided with the Federal government.

Democracy Day address

On June 12, dedicated to celebrating democracy, otherwise known as Democracy Day, in honour of the June 12, 1993, presidential election winner, Moshood Abiola, Tinubu addressed Nigerians at 7 a.m. in a nationwide broadcast.

He promised to invest in infrastructures, health, education and other sectors to make life meaningful for Nigerians.

He also called on other elected leaders to provide good leadership for the citizens.

Student Loan Bill

After his Democracy Day broadcast on June 12, the President signed the Student Loan Bill into law. 

The former Speaker of the House of Representatives, Femi Gbajabiamila, sponsored the bill to provide interest-free loans to indigent students in Nigeria’s tertiary institutions.

The bill also provides for establishing an Education Bank, which shall have powers to supervise, coordinate and administer student loans in Nigeria.

The Act provides that the loan repayment would commence after a two-year grace when recipients have completed the mandatory National Youth Service Corps (NYSC).

It also proposes a two-year jail term, a fine of N500,000 or both for students who default in repayment.

Suspension of EFCC Chairman, Abdulrasheed Bawa

The president suspended the Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Abdulrasheed Bawa, indefinitely, on June 14.

Bawa’s suspension was contained in a statement signed by the Director of Information, Office of the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Willie Bassey.

Part of the statement reads, “President Bola Ahmed Tinubu, GCFR, has approved the indefinite suspension from office of Mr AbdulRasheed Bawa, CON, as the Chairman, Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) to allow for proper investigation into his conduct while in office.

“This follows weighty allegations of abuse of office levelled against him. Mr Bawa has been directed to immediately handover the affairs of his office to the Director, Operations in the Commission, who will oversee the affairs of the Office of the Chairman of the Commission pending the conclusion of the investigation.”

The ICIR reports that Buhari appointed Bawa, the commission’s fifth chairman since its creation, in February 2021.

He was booted out of office like all his predecessors who never completed their terms.

Inauguration of National Economic Council

On Thursday, June 15, the president inaugurated the National Economic Council, headed by his vice, Kashim Shettima.

At the inauguration, the president promised to sustain the rejuvenation of the nation’s economy.

He tasked the council to work with other government bodies to propel Nigeria’s economic growth.






     

     

    Appointment of eight aides

    Shortly after inaugurating the National Economic Council on June 15, Tinubu announced the appointment of eight special advisers (SAs).

    The ICIR reported how the National Assembly approved the president’s request for 20 special advisers on June 6.

    Below are the Special Advisers’ names and designation.

    • Dele Alake: Special Adviser, Special Duties, Communications and Strategy
    •  Yau Darazo: Special Adviser, Political and Intergovernmental Affairs
    •  Wale Edun: Special Adviser, Monetary Policies
    • Olu Verheijen: Special Adviser, Energy
    • Zachaeus Adedeji: Special Adviser, Revenue
    • Nuhu Ribadu: Special Adviser, Security
    • John Ugochukwu Uwajumogu: Special Adviser, Industry, Trade and Investment.
    • Salma Ibrahim Anas (a doctor): Special Adviser, Health

    NOTE: 17th in the first paragraph was changed to 16th.

    Marcus bears the light, and he beams it everywhere. He's a good governance and decent society advocate. He's The ICIR Reporter of the Year 2022 and has been the organisation's News Editor since September 2022. Contact him via email @ [email protected].

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