Nigeria, Africa’s largest economy, is undergoing significant economic reforms under the leadership of President Bola Tinubu.
With the aim of revitalizing the nation’s economy and creating a prosperous future, these reforms have brought about both opportunities and challenges for ordinary Nigerians.
One of the key reforms implemented by the government was the removal of fuel subsidies, aimed at reducing inefficiencies and redirecting funds towards critical sectors, which has led to a surge in the cost of living for many Nigerians.
The prices of essential commodities, transportation, and utilities have skyrocketed, placing an enormous burden on individuals and households already grappling with economic hardships, particularly low-income workers.
To worsen the situation, the harmonization of foreign exchange aimed at stabilising the currency and attracting foreign investments, resulted in higher prices of imported commodities.
About a week ago, President Tinubu signed four Executive Orders that curb arbitrary taxation policies in Nigeria, in a bid to mitigate these economic hardships and create a more business-friendly environment.
The President is also securing an $800 million credit facility from the World Bank to cushion the effect of the subsidy removal and has rolled out plans to distribute N8, 000 to 12 million households over the next six months, with a projected multiplier effect on about 60 million individuals.
TheNewsGuru.com (TNG) recalls that the President’s campaign manifesto, dubbed “Renewed Hope,” outlined ambitious goals for industrial activity, youth empowerment, and overall economic development.
With a focus on industrial activity, job creation, fiscal responsibility, and infrastructure development, the Tinubu’s vision seeks to drive sustainable economic growth and improve the standard of living for all Nigerians.
Tinubu pointed out the correlation between infrastructure capacity and economic growth, promising that his administration would bring the National Infrastructure Policy to life, aligning it with the National Industrial Policy to maximize sector development and accelerate GDP growth.
He outlined a prudent approach to foreign currency debt, stressing that his administration would prioritize naira-denominated expenditures and debt obligations, limiting foreign currency debts to essential expenditures that cannot be adequately addressed otherwise.
“Under our government, our cities and towns will witness a level of industrial activity unprecedented in our nation’s history. In this, our youth shall become a leading catalyst driving the economic resurgence.
“We will improve existing industries and sectors. We will be brave and innovative enough to see how new economic vistas powered by today’s technology can create jobs and provide goods and services that will propel us toward greater prosperity and development.
“We will build an economy that produces more of the everyday items, both agricultural and manufactured goods, that define an individual’s and a nation’s standard of living.
“Our economic policies shall be guided by our desire for a stronger, more stable Naira founded upon a vibrant and productive real economy. Our administration will engage in extraordinary prudence in contracting debt in foreign currency. Our policy will be such that new foreign currency debt obligations will be linked to projects that generate cash flows from which the debt can be repaid.
“Where possible, we shall limit such foreign currency-denominated debts to essential expenditures that cannot be adequately addressed by either naira-denominated expenditures or debt obligations,” President Tinubu’s manifesto stated.
However, despite promises of youth empowerment and support for new businesses, access to credit and finance remains a significant hurdle for aspiring entrepreneurs and small business owners.
Limited access to capital, stringent loan requirements, and high interest rates make it difficult for individuals to start or expand their ventures, hindering economic progress and stifling job creation.
Nigeria’s infrastructure deficit also continues to pose challenges to its citizens. Poor road conditions, inadequate electricity supply, and insufficient healthcare facilities adversely affect the quality of life for many Nigerians.
Notwithstanding, Nigerians retain hope for a brighter future and anticipate improved access to basic services and enhanced living standards.