The Progressives Forum (TPF) has commended President Bola Ahmed Tinubu for his bold reforms in the first 100 days of his administration.
In a statement, issued by the TPF’s Transitional Leadership Committee (TLC), Chairman Abuh Andrew and Secretary Segun Tomori, TPF said it was particularly pleased with the president’s decision to remove the fuel subsidy, unify the foreign exchange rates, and declare a state of emergency on food security.
The statement reads:
The Progressives Forum (TPF) felicitates with the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, His Excellency Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, on attaining the symbolic 100 days in office after his inauguration as the 16th President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria on May 29.
President Tinubu in the last 100 days has unarguably championed bold reforms in the areas of fuel subsidy removal; attempt to unify the dual foreign exchange rates hitherto bedevilled by arbitrage; tax & fiscal policy reforms through the constitution of a Presidential tax reform committee; declaration of State of Emergency on Food Security alongside its inclusion in the National Security Council (NSC) amongst others.
Of all the reforms of the President, the one that has generated the most controversy is the removal of fuel subsidy on account of its adverse effect on the citizenry, worsened by skyrocketing forex rates which has exacerbated inflation and culminated in multiple increases in pump price of fuel since the removal of subsidy. The initial gains recorded in the early days of unification of the forex market rates are being eroded by the widening gap between the official and parallel market attributed to demand outstripping supply.
The administration has outlined some measures to ameliorate the temporary hardships like the N5bn intervention fund for each of the 36 States, the release of 200,000 grains from the food reserves and plans to introduce CNG powered mass transit buses coupled with anticipated minimum wage review. It is, however, discomforting that some of these laudable initiatives are still underway.
We take solace in the fact that the cabinet is now in place. Therefore, the time to hit the ground running has since begun! The cabinet and the president’s office must now work cohesively with strategic surefootedness to bring succour to citizens by ensuring earnest delivery of palliatives and visible multi-sectoral implementation of the Renewed Hope agenda. State governments must also be held accountable to efficiently utilise the N5bn palliative funds for the benefit of the masses at the grassroots.
We appreciate ongoing efforts to diversify the nation’s economy and increase non-oil earnings. We are confident that the largely import dependent economy inherited by the administration will be a thing of the past in no distant future as efforts to ramp up our nation’s industrial base by ensuring we produce more and export, to earn the needed foreign exchange is on course.
A cardinal plank of the Renewed Hope agenda, which emphasises the establishment of six major and minor industrial hubs in the six geopolitical zones based on their area of comparative advantage, will suffice. Concerted efforts should also be made to develop the solid minerals sector. These measures will help in stabilising the naira and shoring up its value against major foreign currencies.
Now that the government is fully formed, we are confident that Nigerians will begin to see results of the initial months of meticulous planning. The results will be both tangible and measurable. Therefore, we urge Nigerians to keep up the faith as the present temporary pains will soon ease out. The era of prosperity for all, beckons.
We have also noted direct engagement and communication with citizens by the president through his speeches and parleys at the presidential villa. This is commendable and should be sustained. We urge the President to go a step further by re-introducing the monthly presidential media chat so that the Nigerian people can stay abreast of progress being made, and through the vision being communicated, be inspired, to rally round the administration.
On our part at The Progressives Forum (TPF), we will ensure that the 8-point agenda recently released by Mr. President to guide his cabinet in delivering good governance to Nigerians is diligently implemented in the spirit of equity, fairness, and justice. We will also continue to use our vast platform across the country to sensitise Nigerians on government programmes and advance alternative policy ideas to the government where necessary to aid the optimum delivery of the Renewed Hope agenda.