Nigerians must believe in President Tinubu in order to see his efforts – Rep Victor Abang

Elizabeth AtimeMay 29, 20247 min

President Tinubu is doing all he can to convince the people that he means well, for the people. That is the greatest challenge because you need to get the people to believe in what you’re doing.

The renewed hope government of President Bola Ahmed Tinubu came on board on May 29 2023. The President, delivering his inaugural speech, during his swearing-in ceremony courageously declared the removal of fuel subsidies as earlier touted during his presidential campaign promises.

The fuel subsidy removal is one of President Tinubu’s policies that has sparked massive reactions from Nigerians because it is believed that adequate measures were not thoroughly put in place to cushion the effect and has greatly caused unbearable hardship to Nigerians especially the downtrodden.

Although many people have said President Tinubu’s administration is characterized by policies that when fully implemented will possibly ameliorate and better the lives of Nigerians.

Rep. Victor Abang, member representing Boki/IKom Federal constituency, Cross River State on the platform of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), in this exclusive interview with OrderPaper presents a scorecard of Tinubu’s administration in the last year.

Q: As President Tinubu’s first year in office concludes, what do you believe have been the most significant accomplishments of his administration?

Response: First of all, we need to congratulate the president for attaining one year in office. It is no mean feat, the landmark decisions the President has taken especially the tough decisions. But the decisions he has taken may not be very palatable. But they are meant to provide gains for the future. Decisions that affect all of us in the economy, top decisions, and it’s good that he’s taking those top decisions early. So in the course of his administration, anyone with a negative impact on Nigerians will be corrected.

So, we have had several legislative interventions. We have had several motions intended to correct one form of government action or inaction. We have tried to take up those issues to various motions. We have passed the student loan bill. And of course, we’re very supportive, making sure that we passed the appropriation bills, we passed the supplementary appropriation and everything that we need to give support to the executive, and we have done so.

Q: All right. So what can you say about unemployment and inflation? 

Response: Well, the President inherited a government and the priorities of this government may be different from the priorities of the last government. So with every new change in a system, there is bound to be a time lag, where things will begin to look up. We believe whatever the President has done with the economy, we believe that for many things, I mean suddenly because of the policies that were tinkering we started seeing that the value of the Naria started shoring up in the in the market. So, we believe that in the long run, these economic policies will give birth to gains for Nigerians.

Q: President Tinubu, what more needs to be done in this administration?

Response: The government has been very, very practical. We have seen presidents who refuse to act when there is one infraction or the other. But this President, we have seen him take action against some ministers who were alleged to have committed an infraction or the other, some leave them in office, but he has suspended them and is carrying out the investigation. So that is a clear demonstration. You will even see members of his political party being haunted by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), and the President has not interfered in their work. So we thank him in that regard for not interfering and for taking very positive actions when his aides are accused of infractions. 

Q: Critics have raised concerns about the government’s approach to security issues, particularly the ongoing insurgency in the northeast and rising insecurity in other regions. How do you respond to these concerns, and what is being done to address them?

Thank you very much. So,  security is not a one-day job. You have to recalibrate the security architecture and when you achieve that recalibration you will give it some time. I believe that the incidence of banditry has gone down. Even though the miscreants have been going for soft targets. I mean, children in school, obviously are soft targets, you go to their schools and carry them. Before now, you heard they had come to bomb the Force headquarters, they ended up burning the UN (United Nations) building so all those institutions are better protected now.

So now the criminals have turned their attention to soft targets. So even that, in the long run, will fail because as the government is planning, the criminals are also planning theirs. So the government is doing everything here in the FCT, of course, there have been so many kidnappings. I mean, there have also been so many arrests of kidnappers, which were not seen before. But today, there’s better equipment, there’s better infrastructure, and they use that to apprehend these criminals.

Q: President Tinubu’s administration has emphasized the importance of diversifying Nigeria’s economy away from oil dependency. What steps has the government taken to promote economic diversification, and what are the prospects for success?

Response: If you follow the global trend on the usefulness of energy, I’m sure, in about 15 or 20 years from now, fossil fuels will not be as useful as they are today. So there is a need to diversify the economy, particularly to agriculture, and other ventures. And I think the President is tackling it because one of the ways to improve our yield in agriculture is to tackle the security problems. And since it’s been tackled positively, we believe that something good will come out from there. We have made a lot of provisions in the budget concerning food security. We have done that. And even for the first time, the speaker created the Committee on Food Security in the parliament and then there have been several motions, several interventions on how to strengthen the hand of the executive in diversifying the economy.

Question: Finally, one year into President Tinubu’s tenure how best do you think he can address Nigerians in the coming months or years? 

Response: Number one, of course, there’s always a trust deficit between the people and the government. The President is doing all he can to convince the people that he means well, for the people. That is the greatest challenge because you need to get the people to believe in what you’re doing. Once they believe in what you’re doing they’re likely to support government policies, they’re likely to be patient. Then, the policies you have set out to do will have a positive impact on their lives but if you don’t convince them to support the government it will not be very good.

So, number one, our trust deficits. The electorate must believe in their elected officials and once they believe in elected officials they are likely to support their policies and of course the sky will be our limit.

STAR Check: Nigerians, particularly, constituents of Cross River state, can keep tabs on the legislative performance of Rep. Abang throughout the 10th House here.

Elizabeth Atime

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