Governor Dapo Abiodun of Ogun State believes Nigerians should be patient with President Bola Tinubu’s government which, according to him, inherited an “almost comatose” administration.
Tinubu came to power in May – taking over from Muhammadu Buhari – and quickly introduced economic reforms aimed at restoring public finances and attracting more foreign investment. His administration has ended a fuel subsidy and floated the naira currency — but in the short term, Nigerians are struggling with a tripling of fuel prices and higher food costs.
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But Governor Abiodun is optimistic the country would be better off in the long run, and as such, Nigerians should be patient with the Tinubu government.
“The President Bola Ahmed Tinubu’s administration has been very bold and audacious. They have taken the bull by the horns. They have done what no other government has done in the history of Nigeria,” he said on Channels Television’s Sunday Politics.
“They have had to deregulate to save Nigerians and they deregulated at a time when the pricing of petroleum was at the largest margin. But knowing fully well, they either did that then or the country would be brought to its knees. Like they said, there can’t be any gain without pain. He has inherited an administration that was almost comatose.”
Despite the fuel subsidy removal and liberalisation of the naira bringing a sharp increase in the costs of living, Governor Abiodun, who is also of the All Progressives Congress (APC), just like Tinubu, is confident a turnaround is close.
“You know our President, besides being a former governor and a senator, he is also an accountant,” he said on the current affairs show.
“So, he is someone who is very spot on and all hands are on deck to turn this economy around. We are very hopeful and we can see the light at the end of the tunnel.”
In the wake of the subsidy removal and the hike in the cost of living, the Tinubu government offered a package, including a 35,000 naira ($45) a month pay increase for six months for federal employees, a temporary suspension of VAT on diesel and social security cash transfers to the poorest Nigerians among others.
All of these were to persuade labour unions – who have continually threatened strike – from downing tools.