Bola Tinubu: Reflecting on the First 100 Days of His Presidency

Time, they say, is like a double-edged sword, capable of either cutting one’s progress or propelling it forward. Today marks a significant milestone in the tenure of Bola Ahmed Tinubu, who assumed the presidency of Nigeria 100 days ago. In this time, Nigeria has witnessed both moments of joy and moments of discontent.

Over the course of these 100 days, the nation has witnessed sweeping changes in government policies, shifts in key positions, and transformations in the lives of its citizens.

Fuel Subsidy Removal
For years, Nigeria grappled with the contentious issue of fuel subsidies. The debate revolved around who truly benefited from these subsidies and their impact on the nation’s economy. President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration promised to eliminate these subsidies but couldn’t achieve it during his eight-year tenure. However, on the day of his inauguration, President Tinubu declared the end of fuel subsidies. While experts anticipate this move will free up funds for crucial projects, many Nigerians remain skeptical, troubled by the subsequent rise in the cost of living. This situation prompted nationwide protests organized by labor unions to voice their discontent.

Foreign Exchange Market Reform
The volatility of Nigeria’s currency exchange market has long affected the lives of its citizens and the broader economy. This instability, partly stemming from previous administrations’ actions, persisted until Tinubu assumed office. The new government introduced policies aimed at stabilizing the Naira’s value in the Central Bank, commercial banks, and the aftermarket. However, these measures led to a further depreciation of the Naira. While the president argued that this allowed the market to determine its value, economists praised the effort in addressing currency exchange uncertainty.

Rising Cost of Living
The removal of fuel subsidies contributed significantly to the soaring cost of living in Nigeria. The price of oil crossed the 600 Naira mark, an unprecedented high, leading to price hikes in consumer goods, particularly food. To mitigate the impact on the populace, both federal and state governments pledged support. The federal government allocated six billion Naira to each state to provide relief, including the distribution of grains. Nonetheless, experts argue that a sustainable solution is required, as rice bag distributions alone cannot address the long-term issue.

Labor Strikes
The escalating cost of living has resulted in dissatisfaction among workers, who find it increasingly challenging to make ends meet. Some states have reduced the number of working days for employees, while others seek innovative ways to ease the burden. Although a national strike threat by trade unions was averted following negotiations with the government, workers embarked on a two-day warning strike in September. The Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) used this strike to urge the government to address the nation’s hardships and warned of more significant disruptions if no action is taken.

In addition to labor strikes, healthcare professionals have also protested, demanding the fulfillment of promises made during previous negotiations. These strikes have raised concerns about the functioning of hospitals and the well-being of the populace.

As Nigeria enters the next phase of President Tinubu’s leadership, the nation awaits further developments and hopes for effective measures to address the issues that have arisen during these pivotal 100 days.

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