On Monday, May 29, 2023, Bola Tinubu was sworn in as Nigeria’s sixteenth president, succeeding president Muhammadu Buhari.
Tinubu presented his inaugural speech after he was sworn-in, which reveals his plan for citizens and the nation at large during his administration.
Below are ten takeaways from his speech.
Tinubu assured that his administration shall govern on behalf of Nigerians, and never rule over them. “We shall consult and dialogue but never dictate. We shall reach out to all but never put down a single person for holding views contrary to our own. We are here to further mend and heal this nation, not tear and injure it. Nigeria will be impartially governed according to the constitution and the rule of law.”
Security a top priority
The president promised to defend the nation from terror and all forms of criminality that threaten the peace and stability of Nigeria.
“Security shall be the top priority of our administration because neither prosperity nor justice can prevail amidst insecurity and violence. To effectively tackle this menace, we shall reform both our security DOCTRINE and its ARCHITECTURE.
‘We shall invest more in our security personnel, and this means more than an increase in number. We shall provide, better training, equipment, pay and firepower.”
President Tinubu said his administration will remodel the economy to bring about growth and development through job creation, food security and an end of extreme poverty.
He said his administration targets a higher GDP growth and to significantly reduce unemployment, and would accomplish this goal by taking the following steps:
First, budgetary reform stimulating the economy without engendering inflation will be instituted.
Second, industrial policy will utilize the full range of fiscal measures to promote domestic manufacturing and lessen import dependency.
Third, electricity will become more accessible and affordable to businesses and homes alike. Power generation should nearly double and transmission and distribution networks improved.
Tinubu also said his administration must create meaningful opportunities for the youth, and will honour its campaign commitment of one million new jobs in the digital economy.
“Our government also shall work with the National Assembly to fashion an omnibus Jobs and Prosperity bill. This bill will give our administration the policy space to embark on labour-intensive infrastructural improvements, encourage light industry and provide improved social services for the poor, elderly and vulnerable.”
Abundant good for less price
The president assured that food shall be made more abundant yet less costly. He said farmers shall earn more while the average Nigerian pays less.
“Rural incomes shall be secured by commodity exchange boards guaranteeing minimal prices for certain crops and animal products. A nationwide programme for storage and other facilities to reduce spoilage and waste will be undertaken.
“Agricultural hubs will be created throughout the nation to increase production and engage in value-added processing. The livestock sector will be introduced to best modern practices and steps taken to minimize the perennial conflict over land and water resources in this sector.’
To continue Buhari’s rail, road,and ports infrastructure projects
“We shall continue the efforts of the Buhari administration on infrastructure. Progress toward national networks of roads, rail and ports shall get priority attention.”
No more fuel subsidy
“We commend the decision of the outgoing administration in phasing out the petrol subsidy regime which has increasingly favoured the rich more than the poor. Subsidy can no longer justify its ever-increasing costs in the wake of drying resources. We shall instead re-channel the funds into better investment in public infrastructure, education, health care and jobs that will materially improve the lives of millions”, the president said.
Unified exchange rate , review of naira policy
According to Tinubu, Nigeria’s monetary policy needs thorough housecleaning. He said the Central Bank must work towards a unified exchange rate, which will direct funds away from arbitrage into meaningful investment in the plant, equipment and jobs that power the real economy.
The president also resolved to review the new naira policy.” Whatever merits it had in concept, the currency swap was too harshly applied by the CBN given the number of unbanked Nigerians. The policy shall be reviewed. In the meantime, my administration will treat both currencies as legal tender.”
Peace and stability in ECOWAS region
Tinubu noted that the crisis in Sudan and the turn from democracy by several nations in our immediate neighbourhood are of pressing concern.
“As such, my primary foreign policy objective must be the peace and stability of the West African subregion and the African continent. We shall work with ECOWAS, the AU and willing partners in the international community to end extant conflicts and to resolve new ones.
As we contain threats to peace, we shall also retool our foreign policy to more actively lead the regional and continental quest for collective prosperity.”
A united Nigeria
“The south must not only seek good for itself but must understand that its interests are served when good comes to the north. The north must see the south likewise.
“Whether from the winding creeks of the Niger Delta, the vastness of the northern savannah, the boardrooms of Lagos, the bustling capital of Abuja, or the busy markets of Onitsha, you are all my people. As your president, I shall serve with prejudice toward none but compassion and amity towards all.”