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Nigeria’s President Tinubu promises economic reboot

by Haruna Gimba
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By Haruna Gimba with agency report

Nigeria’s new President Bola Ahmed Tinubu vowed at his swearing-in on Monday to expand the economy by at least 6% a year, lift barriers to investment, create jobs and unify the exchange rate, while also tackling rampant insecurity.

Tinubu inherits a struggling economy with record debt, shortages of foreign exchange and fuel, a weak naira currency, nearly two-decades-high inflation, skeletal power supplies and falling oil production due to crude theft and underinvestment.

Protectionist policies and foreign currency interventions under predecessor Muhammadu Buhari spooked investors.

“On the economy, we target a higher GDP growth and to significantly reduce unemployment,” he said, adding that this would be achieved through budgetary reform, boosting power generation and improving food security.

“I have a message for our investors, local and foreign: our government shall review all their complaints about multiple taxation and various anti-investment inhibitions.”

Tinubu took his oath in an open-air ceremony in the capital’s Eagle’s Square.

Former President Buhari departed to his rural home, Daura in northern Katsina state afterwards.

The former Lagos state governor and member of Buhari’s party said a popular but costly fuel subsidy would be gone in line with this year’s budget that set its removal from June.

He also promised “thorough house cleaning” of monetary policy, adding that the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) should work towards a unified exchange rate.

“This will direct funds away from arbitrage into meaningful investment in the plants, equipment and jobs that power the real economy,” he said.

My supporters, I thank you. To those who voted otherwise, I extend my hand across the political divide. I ask you to grasp it in national affinity and brotherhood,” he said.

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