• Sunday, February 25, 2024
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From BAT to Business: Tinubu’s global Odyssey for economic transformation

On Nigeria’s current economic reforms

Amidst the masses’ cries for help due to economic challenges – including an 18-year high inflation rate of 28.20 percent as of November, devaluation of the naira, and a 32.84 percent food inflation rate – it raises significant concern for President Bola Ahmed Tinubu.

The soaring cost of living intensifies, leaving at least 71 million Nigerians in extreme poverty, as BusinessDay earlier reported.

Given these economic challenges, a pressing question emerges among common Nigerians and experts: Are we headed for another four years of the same? Does the president have a blueprint to set the country on a path of progress?

As the saying goes, “experience is the best teacher,” and others assert that “learning is a continuum.” With years of political experience and a plethora of experiences as the ex-Governor of Lagos State from 1999 to 2007, President Bola Ahmed Tinubu stands out as a political figure deeply connected to the legacy of Chief Obafemi Awolowo, affectionately known as “Awo.”

Following in Awo’s footsteps, President Bola Ahmed Tinubu draws inspiration from a political giant whose influence extended across pivotal periods in Nigerian history. The transformation of historical detention facilities into educational and commemorative spaces stands as a testament to Tinubu’s commitment to embracing and building upon Awo’s enduring legacy. Tinubu is also known to be a close associate of another political ancestor, Moshood Kashimawo Olawale Abiola (GCFR), better known as MKO.

So, perhaps yes, the president holds a blueprint to set the country on a path of progress considering the steps taken so far. There is handwriting on the wall too.

President Bola Ahmed Tinubu is ready for the job as he has turned himself into a Chief Marketer, marketing Nigeria, abroad to woo foreign direct investments to stem the tides of the current economic misfortune besieging Nigeria.

As the chief marketer, the president employs methods that find parallel in a bat which is also the the acronym for his full name Bola Ahmed Tinubu.

Read also: Tinubu highlights Nigeria’s efforts to decarbonise world economy

Here are the analyses:

In this analogy, BAT represents the “Chief Marketer,” much like a bat. Travelling to several nations to draw in foreign investment is part of the aggressive marketing approach employed by BAT. According to a report by PUNCH, “Tinubu should rethink his frequent trips.” In his first six months in office, Tinubu has been to 10 nations, including the United Kingdom, Kenya, Benin Republic, India, and twice each of France and Guinea-Bissau. He recently jetted to Germany, Guinea-Bissau, and Saudi Arabia.

This can be likened to bats’ ability to cover vast distances in search of optimal conditions for their colonies. Whether flying around yields the desired results is a discussion for another time.

Social structures:

The metaphorical link between bat colonies and the Nigerian economy becomes apparent when examining the proactive approach taken by BAT. In this case, the spotlight falls on BAT’s aggressive work to boost the economy. Much like the benefits of colonial living for bats, this individual seeks to improve economic conditions through foreign investment.

“He is personally conducting an open-door policy to investors from around the world, to ensure that they have direct access to all of the regulators and government officials that will further enhance the environment in which foreign direct investments will be coming into the country,” Ajuri Ngelale, one of the president’s spokespersons said.

BAT is welcoming new trade agreements with Germany, including a deal that calls for the West African nation to export liquefied natural gas. The signings come less than two weeks after Nigeria and Saudi Arabia agreed to a deal to revive the country’s nonfunctional refineries, according to VOA news.

In a single agreement, Riverside LNG from Nigeria is set to provide Germany with an annual supply of 850,000 tons of liquefied natural gas, collaborating with the German company Johannes Schuetze Energy Import AG. The initial shipment of gas is anticipated in 2026, and the president’s office has indicated the possibility of a rise in gas exports in the coming years.

Experts in the energy field say that the deal will generate millions in revenue in US dollars, reduce wastages caused by gas flaring, as well as reduce its effect on ozone layers causing environmental hazards.

According to research conducted by the Department of Petroleum Resources, Nigeria rests upon proven gas deposits totalling up to 206.53 trillion cubic feet, approximately 5.850 trillion cubic metres when converted as of 2021, 5.91 trillion cubic metres in 2022 – a 1.03 percent slightly increased compared to the previous year, continuing the upward trend observed over the period under review.

Additionally, BAT also secured a $500 million renewable energy deal with another German company. The deal calls for Germany’s DWS Group to supply funding for renewable energy projects in Nigeria, especially in rural areas.

Read also: COP28: Tinubu’s hypocrisy and wishful thinking on climate change

Fostering social bonds:

BAT establishes connections with investors, reassuring them that their capital is secure in the country. This mirrors the social nature of bats, which work collectively for mutual benefit.

Speaking at the G20 compact with Africa Economic conference in Berlin, BAT said, “I am very much committed to pursuing all aspects of the Siemens Power project and the skill development opportunities that will emerge from that project for our talented youths who can participate in sustaining the industry.”

Tinubu drew the attention of the German leader to the need for his business community to focus their attention on value-additive processing in Nigerian solid minerals, agricultural goods, automobile production, and other job-creating sub-sectors of the economy. He stated, “Everything the world requires in terms of business environment reforms is underway in Nigeria.

Perhaps, our foreign investors are still a bit paranoid that those old Nigerian issues are intractable. But my track record speaks for itself. I have transformed an entity before now. I am here to do it again, and I will.” Scholz, the German chancellor, nodded in agreement, saying, “There is nothing too unique about the growth of China. It came down to a lot of investment from overseas that leveraged on cheap and skilled labour with adequate internal infrastructure and shipping infrastructure for imports and exports to flow easily.

These things are possible in Nigeria. You even have abundant natural resources. Step by step, it is achievable, Mr. President.”

In all these, BAT, as the chief marketer, manifests the qualities of a bat, keeping the survival of its colony as top priority.