By Ayo Abere*
Multi-titled Nigeria’s politician and Presidential candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC), in the 2023 Presidential election, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, has demonstrated real essence of leadership prowess in years past, especially while holding sway as Lagos State Governor.
There is no doubt the fact that the leadership qualities he exhibited, there and then, actually placed him in good ahead, compared to others.
Lagos, being a metropolitan State, and the economic capital of Nigeria, it is thus not difficult for millions of residents of Lagos, and their families who are scattered across Nigeria to go wild in jubilation, the moment he declared his intention to contest the presidency.
I do not blame them. Those Nigerians see him as a respectable leader, who deserves to be paid back with good.
When he served as Governor of Lagos State from 1999 to 2007, he initiated unparalleled reforms in almost every sector of the economy in the State.
During the period, Asiwaju dismantled the infrastructure of the State and rebuilt them for better improvement and optimal productivity. He gave a new face to Nigeria’s former capital by improving on what he met on the ground, which led to the unparalleled development being experienced in Lagos today as Governor of Lagos State for eight years.
As a brilliant leader, he surrounded himself with those who could help him to deliver and who would not counsel him wrongly on what to do and what not to do.
In short, being a brilliant person himself, he was also surrounded by men and women with brilliant ideas. If he had surrounded himself with mediocrity, the fact remains that he would have sunk into mediocrity.
He opened Lagos State to modern development. The gory sights of the State before he assumed office, have now become centres of attraction. Ever since he left as Governor of Lagos, the developmental projects of the State have continued.
This is possible because the successive governors equally keyed into his transformation acumen and that’s why Lagos has remained the Centre of Excellence in Nigeria.
Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, a pacesetter, pathfinder, goal-getter, originator and reformer, is coming back, not as Governor again, this time around, as the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, to bring his expertise to bear, in taking the entire country out of different quagmires.
This, he would do, by improving the economy, education, health, security, agriculture and other sectors. All that has been in comatose will be revived, and rejuvenated for efficient performance.
Yes, it is true It’s only God that makes Kings. The endorsement of a particular candidate by an individual shouldn’t have generated any noise since everyone is entitled to his or her personal opinion, as far as the Nigerian constitution is concerned.
The person that endorsed a candidate can only cast one vote on the day of the election. Whereas, thousands of Nigerians out there who are progressive-minded individuals know where the pendulum swings already as was scripturally confirmed that “by their fruits, we shall know them”.
Individual achievements and track records of the candidates contesting for the presidency will speak for each of them come Saturday, 25th February 2023.
There’s no family in Nigeria that does not have one or two of their people living in Lagos. Everybody wants to live in Lagos because Lagos is beautiful. Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, the game changer beautified Lagos by turning it into a mega city and he will definitely change the narrative from the present economic reality of the country and combat other social vices that have negatively impacted the country if elected as president.
He has done it in Lagos and it is believed that he would replicate the same at the National level by the time he becomes Nigerian President. All the Candidates contesting for the number one seat have all it takes to lead, but Tinubu’s managerial and administrative competency is matchless and second to none when compared to the rest of the candidates.
Giver, they say never lacks. Asiwaju has given to a good number of people, this is the time to give back to him by voting for him as President.
In his words: “My core belief is that the private sector must be the prime driver of economic progress. However, the government establishes the framework within which the private sector must operate. If that framework is sound, the private sector will flourish. If the framework is frail or incomplete, then the private sector will struggle.
“I do not hold to the mainstream view that all forms of inflation are best tackled by interest rate hikes and shrinking the economy. Supply-induced inflation does not lend itself to this harsh medicine, just as one does not cure a headache by plucking out one’s eye.
“I do not embrace the conventional wisdom that fiscal deficits by the national government are inherently bad. All governments, especially in this era of fiat currency, run secular budget deficits. This is an inherent part of modern governance. The most powerful and wealthiest governments run deficits, as do the poorest nations.
“A budget deficit is not necessarily bad. Look at the Japanese example with high government borrowing and low inflation. The real issue is whether deficit spending is productive or not. Unproductive deficit spending is a compound negative. Especially if backed by excessive borrowing of foreign currency. This is not classroom economics but it is the lesson of the real economic history of nations.
“It is based on this idea that I believe we must remove the PMS subsidy immediately. It has outlived its shelf life as a public good. We will neither subsidize neighbouring countries’ fuel consumption nor allow a select few to reap windfall profits and hoard products.
“And the subsidy money will not be ‘saved’ because that means elimination from the economy. Instead, we will redirect the funds into public infrastructure, transportation, affordable housing, education and health, and strengthen the social safety net for the poorest of the poor, thus averting increased security challenges.
“Fiscal policy will be the main driver. Monetary policy is weaker and a less effective instrument. Bad monetary policy is, of course, destructive. But even good monetary policy cannot carry the load the fiscal arm can. Thus, we must steadily remove ourselves from the fiction of tying our budgets to dollar-denominated oil revenues.
“This is effectively pegging our budget to a dollar standard. It is as outdated as the fuel subsidy itself. It is also restrictive and ties the economy to slow growth. Just as the common man must mentally sever the cord to the subsidy, the elite must sever the cord to this artificial fiscal restraint.”
“For our industries to thrive, they need inputs, many of which are agriculture based. The present Administration has invested heavily in agriculture, providing loans and expanding the country’s total area of cultivated land for crops, livestock and fisheries. We will also promote vibrant commodity exchanges that will guarantee minimal pricing for produce.
“We will build on this, with a focus on using technology and expertise to accelerate growth in yields. We will deliver the critical infrastructure necessary to achieve the commodity transformations and agribusinesses to plug seamlessly into higher, more lucrative, entry points in regional and global value chains.
“Building on this foundation, we will accelerate the faithful implementation of the “Infrastructure Master Plan” by adopting proven financing structures till we deliver an acceptable stock of hard infrastructure through seaports and airports; and road, rail, and water transportation linkages that can support our desired economic growth.
“Fixing the perennial problem of energy supply is a top priority. There is no version of the world where Nigeria’s ambitions for itself can be achieved without solving the problem of how to provide energy to homes and businesses across the country.
“What we need to do, going forward, is to improve the enabling environment, further decentralize transmission, and deliver cost-reflective tariffs to attract more private investments in the sector.”
“Thus, unification of the Naira exchange, and the transparency it creates, will be a top priority of this Administration when elected.”
“Taking the creative sector as one example of a sector that already engages millions of our youth, the sector has significant untapped potential for generating quality jobs and foreign exchange earnings for our country.
“From music to movies to fashion, when elected, our Administration will create a legal environment that can attract much-needed private investment into the sector, eliminate widespread piracy and copyrights issues, as well as support the development of quality hard infrastructure needs.”
“We will work to ensure all borrowing is geared toward productive economic activity, focusing on internal debt discipline.
“Closing fiscal gaps, promoting domestic revenue mobilization, implementing tax reforms, curbing corruption and optimising budget implementation are crucial for economic viability. Streamlining bureaucracy and reducing the cost of governance will be imperative.
“Policy options to boost non-oil revenues are key to our revenue mobilization strategy. The use of technology to drive reform implementation is crucial.
“Despite the adoption of the Petroleum Industry Act 2021, government revenue from oil has continued to decline. We shall work in a coordinated manner to implement reforms that will remove the bottlenecks to the PIA implementation and attract increased inflows of investment into the sector, address issues of oil theft and vandalization of oil infrastructure, and promote an increase in oil production to tap into the current high oil prices.”
Therefore, Nigerians should see Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu as a great asset and the Moses that will take them to the promised land if elected as the next president of Nigeria. He has been a great asset. Nigerians shouldn’t allow the opportunity to slip from their fingers. Join hands and grab it.