Asiwaju Bola Tinubu will be sworn in as Nigeria’s 16th president today in Abuja. Adedayo Akinwale examines Tinubu’s 80-page Action Plan to Transform the Nation in this report.
Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, the All Progressives Congress (APC) Presidential candidate, launched an ambitious 80-page Action plan titled Renewed Hope 2023 in October 2022. The document outlined his vision for Nigeria if he were elected president.
Tinubu was declared the winner of the February 25, 2023, presidential election after receiving 8,794,726 votes, defeating his closest challenger, Atiku Abubakar of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), who received 6,984,520 votes, Peter Obi of the Labour Party, who received 6,101,533 votes, and Rabiu Kwankwaso of the NNPP, who received 1,496,687 votes.
Nonetheless, Nigerians are not unfamiliar with political party manifestos. Muhammadu Buhari, Nigeria’s 15th president, did the same. But one thing has remained constant, like a northern star: the more documents politicians release, the worse off the country is at the end of their tenure.
In the case of Buhari, if he had any policy document, the best it could do was bring Nigeria’s economy to its knees, while poverty conveniently resides in Nigeria and the country’s unemployment rate has been awarded a Nigerian citizen. It’s the type of ailment for which Nigerians do not pray for a resurgence.
Without sugarcoating it, Nigerians are not enthusiastic about any policy document issued by any politician or administration due to previous negative experiences. They are simply prepared to implement whatever policies each administration brings.
However, having survived Buhari’s eight-year rule, Nigerians will be eager to see how Tinubu plans to transform the country, build on Buhari’s successes, if any, and reverse, most importantly, the country’s negative economic indices, while improving the country’s security architecture and lowering unemployment rates.
Tinubu promised in the 80-page document to establish highly trained and disciplined anti-terrorist battalions to combat insecurity in the country.
According to the president-elect, military units will be better equipped with tactical communications equipment and new vehicles, giving them a communications and mobility advantage over criminals, bandits, and terrorists.
Tinubu promised that his administration would reduce the country’s reliance on foreign military equipment by increasing domestic production of basic and essential military hardware and equipment, such as small arms and ammunition.
“Highly trained and disciplined anti-terrorist battalions (ABATTS) with special forces units will be established,” he said. Their goal will be to seize the strategic and tactical initiative from terrorists, kidnappers, and bandits.
“We will modernize our Armed Forces even further by ensuring that our weapon systems (land, sea, and air) can address current and anticipated security threats in the modern world.” This includes recruiting people with the technical skills required for today’s military.”
The president stated that the Police Force would be repositioned to focus on its primary responsibilities of community policing and maintaining law and order through crime fighting and prevention, while police personnel would be relieved of extraneous duties such as VIP security and guard duties.
He stated that VIP security and the protection of government buildings, installations, and other critical assets will be transferred to the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC). The NSCDC will be assessed and reformed in order to better integrate with our internal security apparatus.
Tinubu stated that his administration would put in place measures to prevent attacks on critical national infrastructure, dubbed the Critical Infrastructure Protection (CIP) Plan.
He added that modern technologies, tools, and equipment would be deployed as part of this effort to end crude oil theft, prevent vandalism of national assets, and keep environmental pollution in the Niger Delta to a bare minimum.
His government, he said, would combine increased aerial surveillance over land and sea with other cutting-edge technology to provide instant notification of intrusions or disruptions of oil pipelines and related installations.
He stated that such technology would be used to monitor power plants, transmission and distribution networks, sea and airports, rail transport, telecommunications, and other critical infrastructure.
Tinubu hinted in the document that the budgetary procedure would be reviewed. He explained that budgetary custom based on the country’s annual budget and fiscal policies largely based on the dollar value of projected oil revenue not only artificially restricts the federal government’s fiscal latitude, but also unduly draws the nation’s attention away from other sources of fiscal revenue.
According to him, in order to achieve long-term optimal growth, the government must break free from this constraint, adding, “A more efficient fiscal methodology would be to base our budgeting on the projected level of government spending that optimizes growth and jobs’ without causing unacceptable levels of inflation.” We will establish a clear and mandatory inflationary ceiling on spending as part of this prudent growth-based budgeting. However, the explicit link between naira expenditure and dollar inflows into the economy must be broken.”
Tinubu also stated that his government will limit foreign debt obligations, emphasizing that by limiting exposure to large debt obligations denominated in foreign currency, the government can protect exchange rates, guard against inflation, and preserve foreign currency reserves.
He also stated that his administration will exercise extreme caution when incurring foreign currency debt. He emphasized that new foreign currency debt obligations will be linked to projects that generate cash flows from which the debt will be repaid.
“Wherever possible,” the president said, “we shall limit such foreign currency denominated debts to essential expenditures that cannot be adequately addressed by either naira denominated expenditures or debt obligations.”
He also promised that his administration would create enough jobs with decent pay, revive manufacturing industries, generate, transmit, and distribute enough and affordable electricity, manufacture, produce, and market sufficient quantities of essential goods and services, export more and import less to strengthen the Naira, make food available and affordable, and modernize and expand public infrastructure.
This, he said, will be accomplished by building on the foundation laid by President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration.
“We shall build a Nigeria where sufficient jobs with decent wages create a better life for all and a future of promise for our youth,” he added, “based on our unshakable faith in our people and standing on the foundation established by President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration.”
“Revitalise our manufacturing industries and re-establish Nigeria as a hub for industrialization and job creation.” Produce, transmit, and distribute enough affordable electricity to provide our people with the power they need to run their businesses and light their homes. Power is critical to realising our country’s full economic potential.
“Produce, manufacture, and market greater quantities of the essential goods and services we require.” Nigeria will be known as a nation of creators, rather than just consumers.
To earn more foreign exchange and strengthen the Naira, export more and import less.
“Provide food security and affordability by continuing to prioritize agriculture and assisting farmers and other agricultural value chain players through enlightened policies that promote productivity and ensure robust incomes.” Modernise and expand public infrastructure to promote optimal economic growth,” among other things.
Nigerians are hoping for a new dawn as Tinubu’s administration officially begins today after being sworn in by the Chief Justice of Nigeria, Justice Olukayode Ariwoola, at Eagle Square in Abuja.