President Bola Tinubu was not handed Nigeria at its best socio-economic state, and he knows this fact; perhaps, this has informed some of the steps he has taken within the last 13 days since he officially took the reins.
Uneasy they say lies the head that wears the crown, and indeed the first few days have not been easy, especially because the new president had to delve headlong into the subsidy quagmire even as his lawyers continue to battle election petitions at the tribunal.
There are many who have said that Tinubu has shown some applaudable character within these very early days in office and as such we sought to review some moves that the president has made within this short period under review, looking the impact of some of these steps taken, and their benefits to the Nigerian people.
1. Met with the Service Chiefs and NSA
Security is a very crucial need for the country especially if the economy is to be restored back to a level of stability for the citizens. Bearing this in mind, one of the first tasks executed by the president was to meet with the Service Chiefs and the National Security Adviser.
At the meeting, Tinubu tasked security and intelligence agencies in the country on the importance of information and intelligence sharing, to obliterate counter productivity of resources in the fight against terrorism.
Highlighting the importance of backing their efforts with knowledge, the president underscored that in order to achieve economic revival, prosperity and development, security should be of utmost priority.
2. Had a forum with governors of the 36 states
The president also held a forum with governors of the 36 states and there he made it clear that differences must be shelved aside, noting that everyone must jointly focus on alleviating the sufferings and pains of the people.
President Tinubu stated that the nation should be seen as one big family, adding that good governance would safeguard the future of democracy.
3. Appointed Gbajabiamila – Chief of Staff
Appointing former Speaker of House of Representatives, Rt. Hon. Femi Gbajabiamila as Chief of Staff, was another major move by the president.
In a meeting with prgressive governors, the president also appointed Sen. Ibrahim Hassan Hadejia, a former Deputy Governor of Jigawa State, as Deputy Chief of Staff.
This move many saw as a very strategic one that sets the tone for what his cabinet will look like and the caliber of persons Tinubu will be working with to set Nigeria back on track.
4. Made Akume SGF
In a similar fashion, the president appointed Senator George Akume to serve as Secretary to the Government of the Federation.
Speaking on this development, the president said Akume will serve the nation tremendously in his new capacity as SGF.
5. Charged Representatives of Major Oil Marketers
In meeting up with the challenges of fuel subsidy removal, the president met with representatives of major oil marketers in Nigeria, charging them to work with his government to be able to meet the needs and demands of Nigerians.
As a result of this meeting, the Oil marketers association announced their intention to donate between fifty to a hundred ’50-seater’ mass transit buses to help the masses.
This they said is expected to cost about a 100 million naira each and 10 billion naira cumulatively, to cushion the effect of the subsidy removal within the next 30 days.
The president also met with Exxon Mobil Executives, marking the continuation of his administration’s efforts to secure the collaborations of critical players in the oil sector towards ensuring stability and transparency and fair competition in the sector.
6. Asked Shettima-led NEC to find palliatives for subsidy
Following his meeting with the oil marketers, the president directed the National Economic Council (NEC) led by Vice President Kashim Shettima to device an approach and begin the process of working on interventions to mitigate the impact of subsidy removal on the Nigerians.
The NEC is to come up with palliative measures to aid Nigerians even as the nation transitions and adjusts to being without subsidy.
7. Held a meeting with traditional rulers
Within the period the president has also met with traditional rulers and in the course of their dialogue he tasked them with supporting the administration’s efforts to ensuring lasting peace and unity by promoting responsible behaviour and patriotism.
He also gave them an assurance that his government will support them as they continue in their role as powerful custodians of the nation’s unique cultural values.
8. Selected and got approval for 20 special advisers
In his desire to make the right choices and do that which is best for the Nigerian citizens, the president selected 20 Special Advisers.
The president wrote a request to the Senate, and while he did not mention the identities of the 20 Special Advisers and their schedule of duties, the Senate approved the request.
According to the Senate, the request was an urgent one and needed to be approved to have the president hit the ground running fully.
9. Negotiated with JOHESU
For days, Health workers’ union under the umbrella of the Joint Health Sector Unions (JOHESU) had been on strike, however, the body suspended its 12-day-old strike following a meeting with the president.
National vice-president of JOHESU, Obinna Ogbonna, told newsmen that the strike was suspended due to the progress made during an engagement with President Bola Tinubu.
He said the health workers called a meeting shortly after meeting with the president and decided to call off the strike, and gave a 21-day timeline to the government.
10. Reach agreements with NLC
FG representatives meeting with the NLC leaders at the State House on Monday, June 5, 2023.
In a similar fashion, the president was able to broker a deal with the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), causing them to also suspend plans to hold a strike and protests over the subsidy removal issue.
According to the authorities the president was able to reach 7 key agreements with the NLC and other labour unions in a bid to abort the strike.
11. Signed 2023 Electricity Bill into Law
The 2023 Electricity Act which is expected to de-monopolise electricity generation, transmission and distribution at the national level was also signed into law by the president within the period under review.
In signing the electricity bill into law, Tinubu has now empowered state governments, companies and individuals to generate, distribute and transmit electricity.
12. Assented to Bill on new retirement age for Judicial officers
Similarly, President Tinubu in exercising the powers vested in him under the 1999 Constitution as amended, assented to a fresh amendment of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
He signed into law the “Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 (Fifth Alteration) (No.37), 2023” presented by the outgoing 9th National Assembly.
With the signing of the Constitutional amendment Bill, retirement age and pension rights of judicial officers have been effectively brought into uniformity and other related matters.
According to president’s spokesman, Abiodun Oladunjoye, while signing the amendment Bill into law, Tinubu pledged his administration’s dedication to strengthening the judiciary, ensuring the rule of law, and empowering judicial officers to execute their responsibilities effectively.
13. Made fundamental declarations regarding subsidy
Within the time the president has made some declarations that stirred great reactions from the people and one of them is that the country cannot continue feeding smugglers and acting as Father Christmas to neighbouring countries.
At the interactive session with the Royal Fathers under the aegis of the National Council of Traditional Rulers of Nigeria (NCTRN), the president said he remains committed to the decisions on remove fuel subsidy, improve security, create jobs, and to sustain the environment.
14. Met with opposition leaders
In staying true to his promise to reach out and accept anyone willing tom work with him, President Bola Tinubu met with members of the defunct G-5, including Okezie Ikpeazu (Abia), Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi (Enugu), Samuel Ortom (Benue), Nyesom Wike (Rivers) and current Oyo State governor, Seyi Makinde.
While the core reason for the visit is yet to be made known, Governor Makinde told newsmen that the group came to intimate the President on happenings.
He said: “Nation building is a very difficult task. You have to keep evaluating…know what you’re doing, where you’re going. So, we have to keep seeing the President, to let him know what is happening. We also came to let the President know what we stood for – fairness, justice and equity.”
On new focus of the G-5, he said: “We are going towards Mr. President, you know, coming with us on the route for fairness, for justice and for equity in Nigeria.”
15. Suspends Emefiele as CBN governor
In what some have termed his most striking move, the president on Friday, suspended Godwin Emefiele as the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) governor.
This according to the presidency is a sequel to the ongoing investigation of Emefiele’s office and the planned reforms in the financial sector of the economy.
Emefiele was directed to immediately hand over the affairs of his office to the Deputy Governor (Operations Directorate) [Folashodun Adebisi Shonubi], who will act as the Central Bank Governor pending the conclusion of the investigation and the reforms.