NIGERIA’S President, Bola Ahmed Tinubu, assumed office as the 16th democratically-elected president on May 29 after securing 8.8 million votes to win the country’s 2023 presidential election which was held in February.
Today, September 5th, marks 100 days since President Tinubu has been in office. The ICIR looked through several policies and actions taken by the president between May 29 and September 5, 2023.
Within these days, there have been appointments, dissolution of heads of agencies, implementation of policies, signing of bills and foreign journeys made by the president.
Here is a look at some of the activities:
While giving his inaugural speech, Tinubu announced the immediate removal of subsidies on Premium Motor Spirit (commonly called petrol or fuel locally). This was the first economic action taken by the president. The removal increased the prices of transportation and foodstuffs by over 100 per cent. The ICIR also reported several strike actions organized by the Nigeria Labour Congress over the agitations on the removal.
A few weeks later, the Central Bank of Nigeria announced the abolition of the segmentation in the foreign exchange market. By implication, the naira currency floated after several years of regulations. The ICIR reported that the policy, after two weeks, increased the naira-to-dollar exchange by 15.84 per cent.
Later, Tinubu said N8,000 was going to be distributed as palliative to 12 million poor households for six months before the policy was retracted for review. The ICIR reported how feasible the palliative would benefit poor Nigerians and by this review, the impact of conditional transfers by past administrations.
Also, the president inaugurated the National Economic Council and a Presidential Committee on Fiscal Policy and Tax Reform with a mandate to transform and rejuvenate the nation’s economy and signed an executive order suspending the five per cent excise tax on telecommunications services and locally manufactured products.
Suspension and Appointment
Three major dismissals by the president within 100 days include the suspension of Godwin Emefiele as the Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN); Abdulrasheed Bawa, as chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) and all service chiefs from office replacing them with new heads.
Meanwhile, the first major appointment made by the president was the announcement of the immediate past Speaker of the House of Representatives, Femi Gbajabiamila, as Chief of Staff. Subsequently, the former governor of Benue State, George Akume, was appointed as Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF). There was also the appointment of 20 aides as Senior Special Assistants (SSAs), personal assistants, a personal physician and photographers.
Tinubu also assigned ministerial portfolios to 46 people after being screened by the Senate. The ICIR reported how it might cost taxpayers over N29.91 million monthly to pay the basic salaries of the appointed ministers.
Signing of bills
Between May and September 2023, at least four bills were signed by the president into law.
The bill to increase the retirement ages of judicial officers in the country to 70 years was, first, signed into law by Tinubu on June 8. 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).
Also, on June 9, the Electricity Act 2023, empowering states and private companies to generate power, was signed. Similarly, the Student Loan Bill, which provides interest-free loans to indigent students in Nigeria’s tertiary institutions, was signed on June 12.
While, the data protection bill, which provides how data should be managed, its limitations, and fines for violators, was signed on June 14.
Tinubu has also travelled to six countries; three countries in Africa and three countries outside Africa.
In June, the president’s first travel was for a Global Financial Pact Summit where he spent three days and then moved to the United Kingdom on a private visit, spending four days.
Also, between July and August, Tinubu attended the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) Summit in Guinea Bissau, the African Union (AU) meeting in Nairobi -Kenya and the 63rd Independence Anniversary of Benin Republic.
Currently, the president is in New Delhi, India, to attend the G-20 Leader’s Summit.
Within 100 days, the president only organized two live broadcast messages. The first speech was given during his inauguration as president, while the second speech came two months after where he highlighted plans to ease the hardship faced by Nigerians due to subsidy removal.
Tinubu was also appointed as the ECOWAS chairman on July 9 where he would be responsible for leading implementation of the decisions of the ECOWAS heads of state and government, promoting peace, stability, and economic growth within the West African region.
The president also approved the establishment of the Infrastructural Support Fund (ISF) for the 36 states and also declared a state of emergency on food security in Nigeria. The ICIR also reported how over 600 people were killed within the first 45 days under the new administration.