• Tuesday, May 21, 2024
businessday logo

BusinessDay

Tinubu must initiate measures to mitigate consequences of naira floating – Adeshina

Tinubu must initiate measures to mitigate consequences of naira floating – Adeshina

James Adeshina, an internationally trained IT consultant, an entrepreneur, was the African Action Congress (AAC) gubernatorial candidate in the 2023 general election. In this interview with INIOBONG IWOK, he spoke on the state of the nation and President Tinubu reforms. Excerpts:

What is your perspective on the Supreme Court ruling affirming Tinubu’s victory?

I acknowledge and respect the Supreme Court’s decision, but I’m also mindful of the concerns raised regarding the election. Ensuring free and fair elections is paramount, allowing all Nigerians to exercise their right to vote for their preferred candidate.

What is your stance on President Tinubu’s decision to remove the fuel subsidy amidst the current high cost of living in the country?

The removal of the fuel subsidy is a complex issue with both advantages and disadvantages. On one hand, it could reduce government spending and allocate resources to vital sectors like education and healthcare.

On the other hand, it may result in higher fuel prices and increased hardships for Nigerians already facing financial challenges.

I believe any decision to remove the fuel subsidy should be made thoughtfully, with the well-being of the Nigerian people in mind. Comprehensive plans should be in place to mitigate the adverse consequences and ensure equitable distribution of benefits.

Read also; I am in the race to change the narrative, rescue Lagos- AAC guber candidate

What are your thoughts on the controversy surrounding palliatives?

The controversy surrounding palliatives is a distressing reflection of the current state of our nation. It’s unacceptable that Nigerians are experiencing hardship while valuable food resources are being hoarded by government officials and others.

The government must promptly release all palliatives to the people, and the responsible authorities should be held accountable for any hoarding or diversion.

You were a gubernatorial candidate in the last general election. Which party are you currently affiliated with?

I remain a member of the African Action Congress (AAC).

There is criticism surrounding the decision to float the naira by President Tinubu, given the current economic challenges. What is your perspective?

Floating the naira is a sound idea, but timing is crucial. It can enhance the competitiveness of the naira and attract foreign investments. However, it may also lead to higher inflation, making it challenging for Nigerians to afford basic goods and services.

I believe that floating the naira was the right move in principle, but the transition should be managed carefully. The government should take measures to mitigate the negative consequences and support businesses and individuals most affected.

Nigerians have called for reform of the INEC. What changes would you like to see in the commission before future elections?

Reforming INEC is vital for ensuring free and fair elections. Some of the changes I advocate for include: I would want increased transparency and accountability in our electoral process to remove the doubt that the citizenry have about INEC and the entire process going forward.

Also I am also calling for an improved voter registration and accreditation process. I see no reason why voter registration cannot be an on-going process. That is, when you turn 18 years old, you just walk into the nearby INEC office, register to get your card.

There should be enhanced security for election materials and personnel during elections across the country. This is what we need to check the wide apathy which has characterised elections in Nigeria over the years. Our elections are too violence prone and there are several reasons for that.

More effective dispute resolution mechanisms, it’s crucial to guarantee INEC’s independence and impartiality, free from government interference.

Read also; Lagos guber: Candidates pledge to tackle brain drain, medical tourism, healthcare financing, others

What is your perspective on the tribunal ruling affirming the election of Governor Babatunde Sanwo-Olu?

I respect the tribunal’s decision, but I am aware of the concerns raised about the election. I hope that the Court of Appeal will provide a fair hearing and deliver a just verdict.

Jandor and Vivour are currently in the Court of Appeal. Do you believe they will receive justice?

I hope that Jandor and Vivour will receive justice in the Court of Appeal. It’s essential for our courts to remain independent and impartial, upholding the rule of law. I would advise both parties to work collaboratively with Babatunde Sanwo-Olu to build Lagos State. The 2027 elections are approaching, and a wise politician should focus on planning, not court disputes.

I firmly believe that all Nigerians have the right to a fair and just electoral process. It is imperative for our leaders to uphold this right and ensure the integrity of our elections.