President Bola Ahmed Tinubu

As Nigeria commemorated June 12 Democracy Day, it is imperative to reflect on the nation’s democratic journey and critically evaluate its current state under President Bola Ahmed Tinubu’s administration. This date, symbolizing the triumph of democratic ideals over authoritarian rule, compels us to assess how far Nigeria has come in realizing the promises of democracy—freedom, justice, and equitable development. Unfortunately, the political landscape remains marred by significant challenges that undermine these very ideals.

Despite being recently inaugurated, the Tinubu government has already fallen short of the enormous expectations placed upon it by the Nigerian populace. Instead of taking decisive steps to address the nation’s pressing issues, the administration appears increasingly out of touch with the realities faced by ordinary Nigerians. The initial optimism that greeted Tinubu’s ascent to power has quickly dissipated, replaced by a growing sense of disillusionment and frustration among the masses.

One of the most glaring failures of the current administration is its inability to provide effective governance. The signs of maladministration are evident in almost every sector. From the economy to security, from healthcare to education, the government’s approach has been marked by inefficiency, corruption, and a lack of coherent strategy. This has not only hampered development but also exacerbated the suffering of millions of Nigerians who had hoped for positive change.

Economically, Nigeria is on a precarious path. The Tinubu administration’s policies have led to increased economic hardship, characterized by soaring inflation, rampant unemployment, and a devalued currency. Rather than implementing measures to stimulate growth and alleviate poverty, the government has resorted to multiple taxation schemes that further burden struggling citizens. The rising cost of living, combined with stagnant wages, has plunged countless families into deeper poverty, stripping them of their dignity and hope.

Furthermore, the administration’s handling of security issues has been woefully inadequate. Insecurity continues to plague various regions of the country, with incidents of terrorism, banditry, kidnappings, and communal violence showing no signs of abating. The government’s response has been reactive rather than proactive, often failing to address the root causes of these problems. This has left communities vulnerable and has eroded trust in the government’s ability to protect its citizens.

The Tinubu government’s disregard for human rights and civil liberties is another area of concern. Reports of police brutality, unlawful detentions, and suppression of dissenting voices have become alarmingly frequent. Instead of fostering an environment where citizens can freely express their opinions and hold their leaders accountable, the government has adopted a heavy-handed approach, stifling democratic expression and infringing on fundamental rights.

In addition to these issues, the administration’s failure to invest in critical infrastructure and social services has stymied progress in vital areas such as healthcare and education. Hospitals remain underfunded and ill-equipped, unable to meet the healthcare needs of the population. Schools suffer from a lack of resources, and teachers are demoralized by poor working conditions and inadequate pay. This neglect has long-term implications for Nigeria’s development, as a healthy and educated populace is essential for sustainable growth and prosperity.

Moreover, the pervasive corruption that has characterized previous administrations continues unabated under Tinubu. Transparency and accountability are sorely lacking, with numerous reports of public funds being misappropriated by government officials. This culture of impunity not only wastes valuable resources but also undermines public trust in government institutions.

As we reflect on Nigeria’s democratic journey on this June 12 Democracy Day, it is clear that the nation-state is at a critical juncture. The failures of the Tinubu administration have deepened the crisis of governance, leaving Nigerians disillusioned and despondent. The promise of democracy—freedom, justice, and equitable development—remains unfulfilled for many. The path forward requires a radical shift in leadership and governance, one that prioritizes the welfare of the people, upholds the principles of democracy, and addresses the myriad challenges facing the nation with vision, competence, and integrity. Without such a shift, the future of Nigeria’s democracy remains perilously uncertain.

Read also: Release Nnamdi Kanu Now: A Must For Tinubu’s Administration

Nigeria stands at a crossroads, facing multifaceted economic and social challenges that require urgent and strategic interventions. The Tinubu administration has a unique opportunity to enact comprehensive reforms that can transform the nation’s prospects, fostering a more prosperous and equitable future. Here are some key areas with data-driven solutions to address these pressing issues.


Combating Corruption

Corruption remains a significant impediment to Nigeria’s development. Transparency International ranks Nigeria 147th out of 180 countries in the 2023 Corruption Perception Index, highlighting the pervasive nature of this issue. To effectively combat corruption, strengthening anti-corruption agencies like the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) and the Independent Corrupt Practices Commission (ICPC) is crucial. Allocating a larger share of the 2024 budget, currently at N28.7 trillion, to these agencies will equip them with the necessary resources for thorough investigations and prosecutions.

Implementing e-governance systems can also play a major role in reducing corruption. A World Bank study estimates that e-governance can reduce procurement corruption by up to 20%, making it a vital tool in the fight against corruption. By digitizing government processes, transparency is enhanced, and opportunities for corrupt practices are minimized.


Enhancing Security


Insecurity is a major challenge that hampers economic growth and societal stability. The unemployment rate in Nigeria stood at 33.3% in 2023, according to the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS). Addressing youth unemployment through targeted job creation programs can help reduce the number of young people who may turn to criminal activities out of desperation.

Increasing funding for the military and police is essential for improving security. The 2024 defense budget allocation of N5.02 trillion should be strategically reviewed to ensure optimal resource allocation. Additionally, prioritizing community policing initiatives can build trust between citizens and law enforcement. A 2022 report by the CLEEN Foundation suggests that community policing can significantly enhance public safety and cooperation.


Economic Reforms

Nigeria’s heavy reliance on oil revenue, which contributes about 80% of government income, underscores the need for economic diversification. Investing in sectors such as agriculture, which currently accounts for 26% of GDP, can create jobs and reduce dependency on oil. Developing other industries will also make the economy more resilient to global oil price fluctuations.

Addressing inflation is another critical aspect of economic reform. As of February 2024, Nigeria’s inflation rate reached a 24-year high of 31.7%. The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) should implement targeted monetary policies to control inflation and stabilize the economy. Expanding social safety nets is equally important. Currently, the National Social Investment Program covers less than 10% of the population. Allocating a larger portion of the budget to social safety nets will help reach more vulnerable Nigerians and alleviate poverty.


Investing in the Future

Nigeria’s youth population, with over 60% under 35 years old, represents both a challenge and an opportunity. Creating platforms for youth engagement in policy making is essential for harnessing their potential. Allocating a specific budget for youth development programs within relevant ministries can empower young Nigerians and foster innovation.

Education is a critical investment for the future. Currently, only 7.9% of the 2024 budget is allocated to education. Increasing funding and improving teacher training programs will enhance the quality of education and better prepare the youth for the job market. Education reform should focus on both access and quality, ensuring that all Nigerian children receive a solid foundation for their future.

In conclusion, the Tinubu administration can implement these reforms and drive significant progress in Nigeria. By focusing on data-driven solutions and setting clear targets with robust monitoring mechanisms, the government can address corruption, enhance security, drive economic growth, and invest in the nation’s future. These strategic reforms will not only improve the current state of Nigeria but also pave the way for a more secure, prosperous, and just future for all Nigerians.

Africa Today News, New York 

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