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One year anniversary: Some gains despite economic hardship

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President Bola Tinubu

As President Bola Tinubu marks one year in office on 29 May, 2024, Nigeria also celebrates 25 years of unbroken democratic process. State governors also mark various years as chief executives with majority being their first-year anniversary in office, apart from states with off-election circle.

Despite the turbulences faced in this journey, it is indeed a beacon in the annals of Nigeria’s political history coming thus far.

Just minutes after he was sworn-in at the Eagles’ Square in Abuja, President Tinubu’s pronouncement of removing fuel subsidy caught Nigerians by surprise being the threshold upon which the country’s economy stands. It actually jolted even the same All Progressives Congress (APC) administration that was handing over.

One year on, Nigerians have been on the edge of the fuel subsidy removal as the economy has continued to face many hiccups even though the government pledged a “calm after the storm” but the people are yet to feel any relief.

That notwithstanding, a lot have been achieved even though the biting economy has eclipsed the brighter light. For instance, there is general reduction of insecurity across the country, the introduction of Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) as an alternative to fuel, focus on mining sector as a huge revenue earner and provision of job opportunities and establishment of the Nigerian Education Loan Fund (NELFUND) to provide succour for students to mention but a few.

In terms of infrastructure, the government is constructing and rehabilitating several roads across the country. These include the Abuja-Kano Road, Kano Eastern bye-pass, the 700-kilometer Lagos-Calabar Coastal Road and 3,500 units of Renewed Hope Housing Cities among others. The cordiality between the executive, legislature is worthy of note as a feuding relationship will stiffen governance.

Commendation also goes to the Minister of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Barrister Nyesom Wike for giving the nation’s capital some new lease of life with the completion of some projects across the territory. This is unprecedented. Also, kudos to the Minister of Solid Minerals Development, Dr. Dele Alake for providing a blueprint to turnaround the sector.

In the states, some first-time Governors should be applauded for modest achievements. Plateau State Governor, Barrister Caleb Mutfwang should be commended for introducing the Tin City Metro Urban Transportation Initiative to subsidize rates to massively move commuters within Greater Jos introduction of transport from Jos to Bukuru to reduce hardship. This singular act will surely go a long way at helping residents to move around. Katsina State Governor is passionate about healthcare especially with the upgrade of General Amadi Rimi Orthopedic Hospital, checkmating insecurity and revamping agriculture among others.

In Benue State, Governor Hyacinth Alia has ensured among others, payment of pension, introduced 100 vehicles into the fleet of Benue Links transport company and total overhaul and landscaping of its park, construction of High-Level underpass, renovation of State Secretariat, renovation and refurbishing of State Assembly Complex and restructuring of Benue State University Teaching Hospital, Makurdi.

Governor Umo Eno of Akwa Ibom State is trying in the circumstances. He provided N400million to 800 entrepreneurs as business grants expected to have a spiral effect, intervened at the collapsed Afia Nsit Road in Eket Local Government Area and donation of vehicles to security agencies for better performance. Enugu State Governor Peter Mbah constructed the Enugu Golf Estate Road, revamped the Enugu water supply facility and established Enugu Smart Schools. Kebbi Governor Comrade Nasir Idris dusted up the files to continue construction of the state secretariat project abandoned many years ago, released N309.5million for payment of scholarship to foreign students apart from improving on education infrastructure and construction of roads across the state among others. Governor Agbu Kefas of Taraba State introduced free education at both primary and secondary levels, cleared a chunk of money owed pensioners, revived the Nwonyo Fishing and Cultural Festival and renovated many health facilities across the state.

This is not to say other chief executives have not done well given their peculiarities and challenges.

On a scale, despite the challenges and coming from 25 years of democratic rule, while some successes have been achieved, more ought to have been gained. It can be better.

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