As the 16th President of Nigeria, President Bola Tinubu took the oaths of office and loyalty on Monday in Abuja and vowed to keep the country united.
In his inaugural speech at Eagle Square, Tinubu also laid out a number of measures he would take to put the nation on the path to economic growth, stability, and prosperity.
The President met with envoys from the UK, US, Saudi Arabia, Japan, Brazil, South Korea, Israel, Cape Verde, Somalia, and Nicaragua at the Presidential Villa in Abuja shortly after his inauguration.
The diplomats gave Tinubu their well wishes as well as letters of support and solidarity.
The oaths were administered by Chief Justice of Nigeria, Justice Olukayode Ariwoola, while former president Muhammadu Buhari and his wife Aisha, as well as Senator Oluremi Tinubu, the wife of the new president, and other family members looked on in awe. Justice Ariwoola was dressed in a white agbada and buba and a green cap adorned with his trademark logo.
The colourful ceremony, which included a march past by the armed forces and dances and other performances by the National Troupe, was also witnessed by several African heads of state, diplomats, and representatives of foreign governments.
present are African leaders
African leaders who attended the inauguration included Presidents Paul Kagame of Rwanda, Cyril Ramaphosa of South Africa, Abdelmadjid Tebboune of Algeria, Samia Hassan of Tanzania, Denis Nguesso of the Republic of Congo-Brazzaville, Umaro Embaló of Guinea-Bissau, and George Weah of Liberia.
Presidents of the Niger Republic, Mohamed Bazoum, Évariste Ndayishimiye of Burundi, Mahamat Déby of Chad, Nana Akufo-Ado of Ghana, and Évariste Ndayishimiye of Burundi were also in attendance.
Additionally present were representatives from Qatar and Sierra Leone. Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al Thani, the foreign minister of Qatar, served as the team’s leader.
Government officials from the US, UK, Canada, India, and other nations were present as well.
General Yakubu Gowon, a former head of state, former president Goodluck Jonathan, Senate President Ahmad Lawan, House of Representatives Speaker Femi Gbajabiamila, current and former governors, traditional and religious leaders, business titans, and diplomats were also present.
Former president Muhammadu Buhari was flown with his family to his hometown of Daura in a Nigerian Air Force plane after handing over the keys to his successor at the Nnamdi Azikiwe Airport.
In a speech to Nigerians shortly after seizing control, Tinubu urged his countrymen to seize the chance for further national development.
He said, “On paper, we have a nation thanks to our constitution and laws. By strengthening the ties of economic cooperation, social cohesion, and cultural understanding, we must work harder to bring these noble documents to life. Let’s cultivate a sense of fairness and equity among us.
“The South must recognise that good for the North advances its own interests in addition to seeking good for itself. The North must have an equal view of the South.
“You are all my people, whether you come from the winding creeks of the Niger Delta, the vast northern savannah, the boardrooms of Lagos, the humming capital of Abuja, or the bustling markets of Onitsha. As your president, I will act impartially towards everyone and with compassion for everyone, the President vowed.
According to him, over the course of its more than 60-year history, Nigeria has faced challenges that would have caused other societies to disintegrate, but thanks to its fortitude and the strength of its diversity, the nation has survived.
“To the surprise of many, but not to ourselves, we have more firmly established this land as a democracy in both word and deed.”
Rather than collapsing, he claimed, Nigeria had persisted “as Africa’s most populous nation and as the best hope and strongest champion of the black race.
According to Tinubu, who claimed that Nigerians were adamant about maintaining the nation’s unity, “As citizens, we declare as one unified people devoted to one unified national cause, that as long as this world exists, Nigeria shall exist.”
Tinubu said of the transition, “This handover symbolises our trust in God, our enduring faith in representative governance, and our belief in our ability to reshape this nation into the society it was always meant to be.”
The President appealed for support from all Nigerians in order to advance the shared goal of a better Nigeria, asking them “to join me in making Nigeria a more perfect nation and democracy such that the Nigerian ideal becomes and forever remains the Nigerian reality.”
Although he put a lot of effort into winning the election in February 2023, the president argued that this does not make him any more Nigerian than his rivals, whom he vowed to treat as fellow citizens.
“The results showed what the people wanted. However, despite winning, I am no more a Nigerian than my rivals. They are not any less patriotic as a result.
They will always be my fellow citizens. And I’ll treat them accordingly. They stand for significant constituencies and issues that wisdom would be foolish to dismiss, he said.
He characterised the election that put him in office as hard-fought but fairly won, and he dedicated his victory to the nation, promising to do everything in his power to advance its development.
The President stated that his administration’s economic goals would be to increase GDP growth and significantly lower unemployment.
He committed to implementing budgetary changes that would boost the economy without causing inflation.
“Second, industrial policy will make use of the full spectrum of fiscal tools to support domestic manufacturing and reduce reliance on imports.
“Third, both homes and businesses will have easier access to and lower costs for electricity. Networks for transmission and distribution should be improved, and power generation should nearly double. He insisted, “We will encourage states to develop local sources as well.
He claimed that his administration would look into all investor complaints about various anti-investment restrictions and multiple taxes. We will see to it that foreign corporations and investors bring their hard-earned dividends and profits home.
Additionally, he spoke of his intention to prioritise security because “prosperity nor justice cannot prevail in the face of insecurity and violence.”
As he promised to keep his campaign promise of one million new jobs in the digital economy, Tinubu reaffirmed the necessity of providing “meaningful opportunities for our youths” in order to combat unemployment.
The National Assembly and our government will collaborate to create an all-encompassing bill for prosperity and jobs. This bill will allow our administration to pursue labor-intensive infrastructure upgrades, promote light industry, and enhance social services for the underprivileged, elderly, and vulnerable, he predicted.
He said that while he will implement a nationwide programme for storage and other facilities to reduce spoilage, commodity exchange boards will guarantee minimum prices for certain crops and animal products, securing rural incomes.
In order to increase production and engage in value-added processing, Tinubu promised to establish agricultural hubs across the country.
Additionally, steps will be taken to reduce the ongoing conflict in this industry over land and water resources by introducing the livestock sector to the best contemporary practises.
“Food will become more abundant while becoming less expensive thanks to these actions. Farmers will make more money while the typical Nigerian will pay less, he said.
The President applauded the Buhari administration’s decision to phase out fuel subsidies, which he claimed would save the nation at a time when resources were running low.
Instead, he said, “We shall re-channel the funds into better investments in public infrastructure, education, health care, and jobs that will materially improve the lives of millions.”
He charged the Central Bank of Nigeria to work towards a single exchange rate and explained that the country’s monetary policy needs a thorough cleaning.
According to him, doing so would divert money from arbitrage and into actual investments in the machinery, tools, and jobs that drive the real economy.
In spite of its intentions, Tinubu said the CBN’s contentious currency swap policy “was too harshly applied given the number of unbanked Nigerians.” He promised to treat both new and old naira notes as legal tender.
He explained that the peace and stability of the West African subregion and the African continent must be his primary foreign policy goals, and he pledged to cooperate with the Economic Community of West African States, the African Union, and other willing partners in the international community to put an end to existing conflicts and prevent the onset of new ones.
“As a result, the security and stability of the West African region and the African continent must be my top foreign policy priorities. To put an end to ongoing conflicts and prevent new ones, we will collaborate with ECOWAS, the AU, and other willing partners in the international community.
“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,” he promised.
The day of his inauguration on Monday, Tinubu said, was the “proudest day of my life.” He pledged to “govern” Nigerians rather than “rule” them.
“Our government shall rule on your behalf, but it shall never rule over you. We will consult and converse, but we will never give orders.
Tinubu meets with envoys
At the Presidential Villa in Abuja, a number of nations formally presented Tinubu with their well wishes, support, and solidarity letters on Monday.
Following his inauguration as Nigeria’s 16th president, the special envoys and heads of missions of the various nations gave the president the letters.
The United Kingdom, the United States, Saudi Arabia, Japan, Brazil, South Korea, Israel, Cape Verde, Somalia, and Nicaragua are just a few of the nations mentioned.
Richard Montgomery, the new UK High Commissioner to Nigeria, delivered letters to Tinubu on behalf of King Charles, Rishi Sunak, and Justin Welby, the Archbishop of Canterbury.
Tinubu received a courtesy call from the US delegation, which was led by Secretary of Housing and Urban Development Marcia L. Fudge, and they had a brief bilateral conversation.
According to a statement by the president’s media aide, Tunde Rahman, the South Korean delegation spoke with Tinubu on a one-on-one basis.
The delegation also aimed to improve ties between the two nations while delivering a letter from South Korean President Yoon Suk Yeol inviting Tinubu to visit that nation soon.
The Saudi delegation also sent the president of Nigeria a message of goodwill from the Saudi Royal House.
The President was also visited by a special representative of the Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida, who offered him a hand of support and friendship.
”In the same vein, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu sent a delegation that met with Tinubu and expressed willingness to cooperate with the nation in the fintech sector,” the statement read.
Other delegations that met with President Tinubu and pledged their support for Nigeria came from Brazil, Somalia, Cape Verde, and Nicaragua.
Biden affirms his support
In the meantime, US Vice President Joe Biden vowed to work with Tinubu to improve ties between his nation and Nigeria.
In a statement made soon after Tinubu’s inauguration on Monday, Biden made this claim.
Asserting that “Nigeria’s success is the world’s success,” Biden said the US would continue to collaborate closely with Nigeria to bring about a more peaceful and prosperous future for the entire planet.
“I send warm wishes to the government and people of Nigeria as they inaugurate a new President,” the statement said on behalf of the American people.
“I look forward to continuing this work with President Tinubu to support economic growth, advance security, and promote respect for human rights. My administration has worked to strengthen ties between the United States and Nigeria.
“A vibrant Nigerian Diaspora in the United States has fostered the strong interpersonal ties between our two nations.
“I look forward to drawing even more on the ideas and energy of this dynamic connection between our countries as we further deepen our partnership with Nigeria. ”
The success of Nigeria, the largest democracy and economy in Africa, is the success of the entire world, continued Biden. Elected officials owe it to their constituents to demonstrate that democracy can meet their needs.
And as a friend and partner, the United States will continue to collaborate closely with Nigeria to bring about a more peaceful and prosperous future for our planet.
“We will embrace everyone, but we will never disparage anyone for holding opinions that differ from our own. This nation needs to be further repaired and healed, not torn apart and damaged.