A Year of Renewed Hope: Bold Reforms for Peace, Progress and Prosperity || Umar Arisekola Alao

It is a year of Renewed Hope with His Excellency, President Bola Ahmed Tinubu undertaking some audacious reforms to re-engineer the economic fortunes of the country in order to put her on the path of a long term sustainability .

On the issue of reforms, the Tinubu administration has undertaken some bold reforms, two key ones are the removal of fuel subsidy and unification of the foreign exchange rates.

These reforms could be painful in the short term but they are very important to stabilize the economy and attract foreign direct investments into the country. There is no omelette without breaking of eggs.

Under the Tinubu’s administration, revenue shared amongst the tiers of government has increased astronomically. It has consistently hit the one trillion Naira mark every month. With increased resources, states can do more to better the lives of the people. Time for the people to hold their governors to account.

In barely a year of the Tinubu administration, there have been bold efforts to address infrastructural deficits in the country. We have seen the speedy completion of the Abuja metro rail and other road projects. We have seen the award of the 1000km Sokoto to Badagry superhighway. Just over the weekend, Mr President officially flagged off the 700km Lagos – Calabar coastal road which would run through 6 states and connect 9 states. Also initiated is the Enugu-Abakaliki-Ogoja Road projects. To have seamless connectivity across Nigeria is part hope renewed for Nigerians.

To address housing deficit in Nigeria, the federal government has flagged off in 4 states of Katsina, Kano, Yobe and Gombe the construction of housing units under the aegis of the Renewed Hope Cities.

Nigeria is set to have a huge repository of gas, Infact some have described Nigeria has a gas nation with oil. The Tinubu government has made an attempt to tap into the huge gas deposits by encouraging Nigerians to make the much needed switch from petrol to Compress Natural Gas (CNG). The government is seeking to lead by example as Mr. President has ordered that going forward, government functionaries and agencies should only procure vehicles that run on CNG. Do I also add that the government has concluded plans to procure an ample number of CNG buses to be distributed to states to address the transportation concerns of the people.

President Tinubu has always been an advocate of credit facilities. He believes that Nigerians should be able to acquire things with the opportunity of paying later. The government has set up a credit scheme that allows Nigerians to apply for credit to buy houses, cars, increase their business capital, amongst others. For students, the student loan is now a reality as they can now apply for student loan. During campaigns, the president expressed his desire to ensure that every willing student has tertiary education. He declared that financial constraints would no longer stop students from completing their education. This has been made a reality by the setting up of the student loan. The initiative has been launched and students can now apply.

On the ease of doing business, Asiwaju has done well in restoring the confidence of foreign investors in Nigeria. The bilateral relations with other countries is getting strengthened. The UAE visa ban for Nigerians has been and most recently, Fly Emirates announced that it would be resuming flight operations to Nigeria in October. The forex backlog of foreign companies have been successfully cleared.

With Tinubu at the saddle, Air Peace, a Nigerian airline secured the permit to fly to the United Kingdom. Without a BASA agreement between Nigeria and the UK, this feat would have been impossible. The Tinubu-led FG brokered the deal. The renewed hope agenda is to see Nigeria and Nigerians winning!

The journey might have been tortuous but the intention is clear and the political will is very much available. For long, Nigeria has been held back but Mr. President is here to jumpstart the vehicle of the nation and ensure it moves in the right direction of peace, progress and prosperity.

It is just the first year of renewed hope, these are just some of the laudable feats of the Tinubu government and with 3 more years to go in this first lap and a possible mandate renewal for another 4 years, I am more than confident that Nigeria is in safe hands and our hope as a people and nation is sure to be renewed.

By Umar Farouk Arisekola-Alao

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