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5 of Tinubu's ministers who have failed to impress

Nigerians expected that Tinubu would hit the ground running, but his ministers' performances have left much to be desired.

5 Tinubu's ministers who have failed to impress

After Tinubu was declared winner of the election, he had promised to hit the ground running on his first day in office, continue running on the second day, and never stop running on the third day and the days after.

With this assuring statement, many citizens’ hopes were high that the then-incoming administration would move swiftly to address the many challenges bedevilling the country.

Tinubu inherited a country on the precipice from his predecessor, Muhammadu Buhari, with the economic and security situations in particular assuming alarming proportions.

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Hence, Nigerians were hopeful that his ministerial appointments would hit the ground running to implement his Renewed Hope agenda.

One year down the line and nine months after the ministers were sworn in, only a handful out of the 45-man list have managed to make an impression on Nigerians.

From power to defence, agriculture, and science, these ministers have barely made any significant impact considering the crucial ties between their ministries and the economic and social prosperity of the nation.

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If the Nigerian electricity situation was a mess before Adelabu took over, you may struggle to find a word to describe the problem at hand.

In fairness, the minister inherited several legacy problems, including constant grid collapse, metering challenges, debt to gas suppliers, overbilling, and so on. Regardless, his approach to solving these issues has been ineffectual at best.

Since the turn of the year, Nigerians have experienced the worst power supply in recent history. While the minister has repeatedly blamed the lack of funds to offset debts to gas suppliers as the major cause, this explanation didn't resonate with many Nigerians, especially those who still have to pay for the power they didn't consume.

The Tinubu government promised to increase Nigeria's power generation from 4,000 to 10,000 megawatts by 2028, this means an average of 1,200 megawatts every year.

However, Adelabu announced a couple of weeks ago that Nigeria's power capacity increased to 5,000 megawatts in May, but this hasn't been reflected in supply to homes, offices, and industries.

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Also, the metering problem remains unsolved as most Nigerians continue to contend with estimated billing that's fraught with opaqueness and extortion.

The national grid has also suffered five collapses this year alone, and at this rate, it may equal the 2023 record of 12 collapses, which showed that no improvement has been achieved in that aspect.

Lastly, the introduction of increased tariffs for Band A customers has also had its fair share of criticisms, including an alleged lack of consultation with stakeholders.

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Without prejudice to the efforts of the Nigerian military and the socio-economic dynamic and complex nature of the Nigerian security situation, Badaru's performance has question marks written all over it.

According to data from ACLED, over 4,000 Nigerians have been victims of killings while 7,000 others were kidnapped between May 29 last year to May 22, 2024. School abductions are still prevalent with the scourge now spreading across the country.

Under his watch, the Nigerian Army lost 17 personnel in an unfortunate incident in a Delta community, and five soldiers were also killed in Abia State last week by yet-to-be-identified gunmen.

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Nigeria is in a food crisis. With the fuel subsidy removal and the plummeting value of the naira, food prices have continued to soar as the masses struggle to feed themselves.

According to the latest report from the Nigerian Bureau of Statistics (NBS), the average annual food inflation has increased to 32.74% for the twelve-month ending April 2024, representing a 9.52% points increase from the average annual rate of change in April 2023.

The above scenario calls for swift intervention but the minister seems to be moving at a snail speed.

During the ministerial briefing last week, Kyari reeled out the efforts of his ministry to ensure food and nutrition security, which include the distribution of improved seeds, fertilisers, agrochemicals, and equipment to farmers.

He also mentioned the launch of 2023-2024 dry-season farming across 15 states, which supported 107,429 wheat farmers with produce of 474,628 metric tonnes.

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While these are good interventions, it's barely scratching the surface in a sector with the potential to create job opportunities across the value chain for millions of Nigerians.

Nigerians expect more energy and pace in the implementation of programmes and concrete steps to transition to mechanised agriculture.

Though new, the ministry is strategically positioned to harness Nigeria's marine resources and catalyse economic development outside the oil sector.

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With key agencies like NIMASA, Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA); National Inland Waterways Authority (NIWA); and Maritime Academy of Nigeria (MAN) among others under its watch, expectations are high about what the ministry will contribute to the economy.

Considering the urgent need to recalibrate Nigeria from a mono-economy that's largely reliant on oil proceeds to a more diverse and sustainable model, the ministry appears to be taking too much time to get off the ground.

And having a former governor with many years of experience in the insurance sector at the helm, one would imagine that programmes and policies would move at a faster pace.

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For a ministry saddled with the responsibility to guide Nigeria into a knowledge-based new world economy, deploying innovation, science, and technology, Nnaji needs to step up his game.

Nigeria is lagging among its peers in terms of scientific innovation and technological advancements and this isn't due to any dearth of talents or capability but a major lack of required strategic inputs expected of the government.

With efficient policy around the implementation of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM), the ministry can unlock a lot of potential and solve many challenges including job creation.

  1. Minister of Women Affairs, Uju Kennedy
  2. Minister of Police Affairs, Ibrahim Geidam
  3. Minister of Tourism, Lola Ade-John
  4. Minister of Youths - Dr. Jamila Bio Ibrahim
  5. Minister of State for Labour and Employment, Nkeiruka Onyejeocha

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