In the memorable first week of 2024, President Tinubu made significant decisions that garnered widespread applause.
Critic-turned-admirer Reno Omokri highlighted these pivotal moves in a recent tweet. Notable among them were the suspension of the Minister of Humanitarian Affairs and Poverty Alleviation, Dr. Beta Edu, and the Coordinator of the National Social Investment Programme Agency, Hajiya Halimotu Shehu, over alleged financial transgressions. The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission is actively investigating these allegations.
President Tinubu also summoned another minister allegedly involved in a controversial contract, reduced the size of his entourage for domestic and international travels by more than 60%, banned money-for-degree universities in Benin Republic, Togo, and other countries, and cleared the outstanding N12 billion allowances for the Super Eagles participating in the African Cup of Nations tournament.
During the same week, the Tinubu administration initiated wage support benefits for civil servants, disbursed N105.5 billion for emergency road repairs across the country, launched an automated passport portal, and unveiled plans for a new Chinese-funded steel plant in Nigeria.
The swift suspension of Betta Edu, a prominent minister, pending a full investigation into alleged financial misconduct, demonstrates the administration’s commitment to an anti-graft crusade, dispelling the notion of any sacred cows.
Notably, President Tinubu’s decision to drastically reduce the cost of governance by cutting down entourage numbers on trips, both locally and internationally, is particularly exciting. This move, aimed at easing the financial burden on the country and aligning with the challenges of the times, underscores his leadership by example.
Reducing the presidential entourage not only lowers the overall trip expenses but also demonstrates a deep understanding of the citizens’ challenges in a period of economic strain. President Tinubu has signaled that he shares in their temporary pains, as highlighted in his New Year Day speech.
With Nigeria grappling with high governance costs, President Tinubu’s commitment to minimizing expenses becomes crucial. The country’s budget has traditionally allocated over 75% to recurrent expenditure, leaving a limited portion for capital projects. The current administration’s focus on recalibrating this balance, as evident in the 2024 budget, sets the stage for a positive shift in goverance dynamics.