• Friday, April 12, 2024
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BusinessDay

The paradox of progress: President Tinubu’s balancing act

Tinubu grants scholarship to children of 17 soldiers killed in Delta

In the complicated world of economic reform, President Bola Ahmed Tinubu’s efforts are both necessary and difficult. While his ideas are wise and forward-thinking, they also bring a storm of change, putting the nation through a time of deep adjustment. As Nigeria faces the results of Tinubu’s bold choices, it is clear that good intentions alone are not enough to make reforms work. What is needed is a careful mix of quick action, honest leadership, and understanding – a hard balance that will decide the future for millions

While Tinubu’s economic reform agenda was undoubtedly necessary to address the country’s long-standing issues, its implementation has been a bumpy road. The decision to phase out fuel subsidies and unify foreign exchange rates, while crucial to tackle inefficiencies and promote economic transparency, triggered significant economic disruptions.

These disruptions exposed the true severity of Nigeria’s financial struggles, characterised by a deep dependence on subsidies, an unsustainable expenditure pattern, and a lack of coherent economic policies spanning years.

While Tinubu’s economic reform agenda was undoubtedly necessary to address the country’s long-standing issues, its implementation has been a bumpy road.

Furthermore, the ongoing challenges of widespread insecurity have further hampered economic progress, discouraging investment and hindering vital economic activities in affected regions. It is within this complex interplay of historical challenges and recent policy shifts that the true impact of Tinubu’s reforms will be assessed.

Read also: President Tinubu implements Steve Oronsaye’s report 12 years after submission

Leadership is not just about proposing change; it is about steering through the waves it creates. While President Tinubu deserves credit for his ambitious reforms, the true test lies in navigating the immediate difficulties they have unleashed upon the people. The path forward hinges on a delicate dance – mitigating the hardships faced by the citizenry while diligently pursuing long-term gains. Like a skilled sailor navigating a storm, Tinubu must employ the wisdom of Pareto optimality: ensuring the reforms ultimately deliver benefits that outweigh the present costs. Only then can these bold steps be deemed successful, not just for the economy, but for the well-being of the nation as a whole.

The clock is ticking—this reform plan demands not just good intentions but urgent actions to lessen the immediate strain on the people. Tinubu must prioritise immediate solutions focused on skyrocketing food prices while streamlining the bloated costs of governance. He must be willing to share in the burden of sacrifice alongside the populace.

History judges economic reforms harshly, especially ones where the sacrifices rest solely on the shoulders of the common man. The spectre of General Ibrahim Babaginda’s Structural Adjustment Programme (SAP) looms large, a testament to the failure of reforms that demand everything of the citizenry and offer little in the way of easing the inevitable pain of transition.

Read also: Tinubu’s accurate 12-year-old prediction on subsidy removal effects

Moving forward, Tinubu’s success hinges on addressing both the immediate pain of the reforms while simultaneously building the foundations for a prosperous and resilient economic future. This requires a multifaceted approach: partnering with local producers to shore up supply chains and bring down food prices, expanding welfare programs to offer a lifeline to the most vulnerable, and launching a transparent and consistent communication campaign to explain the purpose of the reforms and foster understanding within the populace.

Read also: Hunger: Two urgent steps Tinubu must take to avert anarchy – Agbakoba

This is not merely a federal undertaking; coordination between federal and state governments is paramount to ensure that aid, resources, and strategies reach those most in need, regardless of their locality.

Tinubu inherited a mess, that much is true. Yet, the buck stops with him now. This economic storm demands a leader willing to take the reins and navigate the path ahead. He faces a daunting task, but one filled with the potential for lasting change.

It is time for Tinubu to chart a course marked by quick and decisive action, unwavering integrity, and a deep understanding of the hardships his people face. If he can manage this high-wire balancing act, the painful paradox of short-term sacrifices and long-term gains may just give way to a stronger, more prosperous Nigeria.