2019: Bola Tinubu calls for ‘impactful reforms’

Tinubu said this at the Daily Trust Annual Lecture Series on Thursday, where he spoke on: “Nigeria and challenges of 2019: This is not a game”

The National Leader of the All Progressives Congress, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, has called for impactful reforms for the ruling party to fulfil its pledge to the Nigerian people.
Tinubu said this at the Daily Trust Annual Lecture Series on Thursday, where he spoke on: “Nigeria and challenges of 2019: This is not a game.”
Tinubu said a lot of people see elections as the end of a process but that the fulfilment of electoral promises is the next phase after attaining any office.
In this wise, the former Governor of Lagos State called for impactful reforms in order to transform the nation.
Some of the areas in which he clamoured for reforms include job creation, provision of social policy initiatives and building infrastructure befitting a leading nation.
He said: “As a progressive, I believe we must transform the nation by embarking on deep and impactful reforms, by creating more jobs, providing social policy initiatives and building an infrastructure befitting a leading nation. Social services must become a reality close at hand and not a vague dream lying in the distance.”
Tinubu equally called for the reform of the fuel subsidy regime.
He said: “For example, we must reform the current fuel subsidy regime. At this stage it causes more problems than it cures. Bottlenecks of long fuel queues, erratic supply, resultant economic dislocations for consumers from lack of fuel and the corrupt practices of trade insiders undermine the good intentions upon which the subsidy is based.
“Currently, the subsidy does not benefit the average person. It sweetly profits the elites who manipulate the program to their own advantage. We need to allow market forces to more directly determine price. We need to open the now closed market to more suppliers. In this way, we may better harmonise supply and demand, where they do the most sustainable economic good.
“In addition, we must repair our social safety net. Old people who have given so much to the nation are being shortchanged and forced to live in penury when they should be living in the dignity due their advanced years and their former labours.
“Mr. President won the 2015 election on a platform that included economic recovery, job creation and improved welfare for workers. In keeping with his promise, one of his first executive actions was to arrange federal funding of nearly N800 billion for states to pay salary arrears; also, the subsequent refund of over N800 billion of Paris Club excess payment came with a similar guidance to State Governors to prioritise salary arrears and payments.
“These laudable initiatives notwithstanding, clearing of salary arrears is still not fully achieved although it has clearly taken on an importance not seen in prior governments. Meanwhile, the issue of longstanding mounting arrears of pension payments and retirement benefits to public sector workers remains outstanding. The total figure is estimated in trillions. This not only results in untold hardship for pensioners and their families, it denies the economy of needed stimulus and growth from the increased purchasing power resulting from payment of pensions.
“In short, the progressive governance we seek will open the door to affordable housing for the average family, consumer credit for those with steady employment and the provision of basic welfare to our most vulnerable citizens.”