Kogi residents express mixed feelings over President Tinubu’s first year in office

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Some residents of Lokoja, Kogi State, have expressed mixed reactions over the achievements and lapses of President Bola Tinubu’s first year in office.

The respondents, who spoke in separate interviews with the News of Nigeria (NAN) on Tuesday, commended Tinubu’s performances in the areas of security, health and education.

They, however, expressed dissatisfaction on most of the president’s policies on the economy, especially without the perceived due consultation with the relevant stakeholders.

Mr Opaluwa Eleojo, the Vice Chairman, Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), Kogi council, commended Tinubu for the massive road projects going on across the country.

Eleojo noted that there had been a relative improvement in security all over the country, compared to what was obtainable in the past.

“There was also an increase in revenue to states to cushion the effect of fuel subsidy removal.

“Unfortunately, most state governors diverted it from the purpose intended.

“The signing of the 2023 Electricity Bill, which removed electricity generation, transmission and distribution from the Exclusive List to the Concurrent List thereby empowering states to carry out these functions, is also a good thing,” he said.

Eleojo, also a member of the National Union of Electricity Employees (NUEE), however expressed his dissatisfaction with the incessant power grid collapse.

According to him, the country has not recorded the number of grid collapses as witnessed in the last one year.

He decried Tinubu’s administration’s non consultation with major stakeholders before implementing most of his policies which he said later became counterproductive.

“We have seen that in the removal of fuel subsidy, increase in electricity tariff, floating of the Naira, among others,” he said.

Eleojo urged the present administration to engage the relevant stakeholders in all sectors before implementing certain policies going forward.

“We expect to see positive results of the reforms introduced by this administration in the next two to four years.

“We hope to see all the local refineries working at optimal capacity, thereby crashing the price of PMS, AGO, Kerosine and Cooking Gas

“We also expect improvement in electricity generation, stability in the Naira, increase in wages for workers, reduction in inflation level and drastic fall in prices of food.

“We want to see a better living condition for the citizens, affordable housing and health care; improvement in security and reduction in crime rates, among others,” Eleojo said.

He advised the Opposition Political parties to start providing the right kind of opposition that would put the government of the day on its toes.

Another respondent, Dr Kabiru Zubair, a Medical practitioner, said President Tinubu, had admirably steered the nation toward unity and progress, in spite of the daunting challenges experienced in his first year in office.

Zubair, a former Chairman of Nigerian Medical Association (NMA) Kogi chapter, commended the president for his handling of the daunting challenges inherited from the previous administrations.

“I must say that Nigeria is a very difficult country to govern because of religious extremism, ethnocentricity, massive corruption driven economy and numerous vested internal and external interests.

“Hence, it is difficult to observe the impact of any meaningful changes within one year of any administration, especially one that inherited a faulty administrative system,”Zubair said.

He said that the country’s monthly revenue generation had remarkably increased from an average of N600 billion to nearly N2 trillion, over the past one year.

“While insecurity persisted as a pressing concern, Tinubu’s administration had undertaken concerted measures to mitigate widespread violence, terrorism, banditry, kidnapping, cattle rustling, secessionists’ agitations, and armed robbery.

“Tinubu’s tenure has witnessed a notable stability in the health sector, marked by a reduction in the frequency of industrial disputes that marred previous administration’s operations,” he said.

On security, Zubair said that in spite of Tinubu’s strides in curbing terrorism and secessionist movements, incidents of kidnapping and banditry remained prevalent.

He however identified policy inconsistencies, stringent economic measures and a perceived laxity in combating high-level corruption, within government ranks as some of the notable shortcomings of the present administration..

He advised the president to prioritise improving the livelihoods of Nigerians, tackling inflation and currency devaluation, to bolster workers’ wages.

This, he said, would also stem the brain drain of skilled professionals.

On his part, Mr Olukaiyeja Dare, a retired State Director, Federal Ministry of Agriculture, said Tinubu’s regime was a rebirth and rejigning of the country.

According to him, the economic and financial policies so far reflected the reality in the global world.

Dare advised the president against what he termed wasteful spending on unproductive government interventions such as religious pilgrimages and duplicating of appointments in MDAs.

Also speaking, Dr Simeon Oyiguh, a former NMA Chairman in Kogi, commended Tinubu for appointing a proactive minister of health.

He said there was also a balanced appointment of Security Chiefs from the different sections of the country that gave citizens the feeling that the government did not have a hidden agenda.

Oyiguh, however, decried what he called the ‘Knee jerk’ policy and policy summersaults of the president’s administration, saying “it shows that there is need to think through before pronouncements.”

The medical practitioner advised Tinubu’s government to create opportunities that would mitigate brain drain of medical and health personnel.

He also wants him to fill the vacancies created by the exit of medical and health personnel.

“We want improved production of drugs within the country to stabilize cost and availability, improve access to emergency healthcare services by improving access to funds by private medical facilities,” he said.

Oyiguh, also the Chairman, Central Coordinating Committee, Kogi East Neighborhood Watch (KENW), advised governors to be more dedicated to resolving security issues in their domains.

He called for improvement of security presence in areas of continued conflict, and recruitment of more security personnel.


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