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X-raying President Tinubu’s first 100 days in office

X-raying President Tinubu’s first 100 days in office

By Matthew Atungwu

Describe leadership. Or, more accurately, what factors influence leadership? Is the effectiveness of a leader assessed by their day-to-day deeds or by the accumulation of their long-term plans for a delayed but fruitful future? Is it more desirable to have leadership that aspires to create bakeries and produce enough bakers to satisfy our future bakery demands than one that simply puts store-bought cookies on the table today?

Please excuse my constant questions, dear reader. Despite how obvious the answers may appear, those are not questions that necessarily need to be answered right away. However, they are important questions that we must consider while choosing the scoring system for any political leadership.

But while you’re thinking about it, allow me to call your attention to an incident that happened in Lagos at the beginning of the week. You may have read about it or seen the intriguing images that were circulated in the media. The Blue Light Rail Line’s commercial operation was officially opened by the Lagos State Government on Monday. Mr. Babajide Sanwo-Olu, the governor, was beaming as he boarded the shiny buses for the inaugural trip from Marina to Mile 2. While Governor Sanwo-Olu takes delight and credit for overseeing the rail line’s opening to passengers, the Monday event has a history that dates back as far as the railway coaches.

Last year, when the Blue Line was scheduled for commissioning, Governor Sanwo-Olu himself delivered a thorough account of the individuals and events that helped to make the Lagos light rail system possible. It didn’t take place during the course of a single administration or overnight. In fact, more than 24 years ago, a visionary governor and reformer-leader was elected into office, which was the beginning of the tale of what is now a beautiful infrastructure.

The foundation for the light rail system wasn’t established by Governor Bola Ahmed Tinubu (as he was at the time). He didn’t even give out the contract. He took on a lot more than that. Long before the engineers put the first bricks for the rail project, his judgment that Lagos, Nigeria’s commercial hub and former capital city, deserved to be more than the jungle it was, was the most crucial one.

Over 15 years after he left office, the former governor Tinubu provided Lagos with visionary leadership, the full advantages of which are still being realized. The train line was Tinubu’s idea, as Governor Sanwo-Olu officially acknowledged, and it benefited from suggestions made by previous governors and technocrats before being implemented. The history of the Lagos light rail is similar to the history of numerous other visible and invisible projects that turned Lagos into an inspiration for all of Nigeria’s states and the envy of its peers worldwide.

This example is crucial, especially now, when a portion of the public seems to be in a frenzy to judge a 1,460-day term by the first 100 days after the media almost canonized a borrowed American concept of “100 days in office.” Yes, there is a phrase in Hausa that says you may predict a nice Friday by looking at the previous Wednesday. And the Tinubu administration has already shown promising signals of a bright future in this area. President Bola Ahmed Tinubu’s strategic leadership aims to establish Nigeria on a solid foundation for long-term success and development.

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Many leaders are prone to rush into laying bricks and asphalts to satisfy the mediocre need of “something to show,” even if those things to show are fleeting pleasantries that would not translate into any long-term gain. This is because they are aware of the typical judgment that comes at the end of the first 100 days. Others would choose politically correct adventures solely to satisfy popular demands. For instance, we once had a leader who, in order to win popular support, reversed several important decisions made by his predecessor within the first 100 days. More than 15 years later, however, we are still suffering as a result of those ill-advised choices.

President Tinubu is not looking for instant acclaim because, like all great leaders throughout history, he thinks that leadership is a combination of difficult choices and audacious actions that can have a long-term positive impact on society. Quick solutions and populist measures could get instant applause, but for what purpose? Perceptive leaders view leadership as a marathon in which one’s ability to persevere, stay focused, and employ strategy to cross the finish line determines how successful one is. This is not a relay race when all the speed and little tact are required.

According to President Tinubu, the quantity of qualitative actions and decisions, rather than the quantity, is the best indicator of effective leadership. What are the enduring principles and practices that one leaves the next generation? What character attributes and personal examples can you provide, and what system adjustments have been made to increase efficiency? Looking at these criteria, President Tinubu has proven over the past 100 days that he is a leader of the highest caliber.

First of all, he has shown that he possesses the key characteristics of many great leaders throughout history: vision and the bravery to act. The visionary is the one who recognizes the necessity of halting a risky trend of borrowing to finance bogus fuel subsidies in order to rescue the future of our children. Only a bold leader would dare to go against the subsidy cabal’s wishes and give the harsh medicine of ending the fuel subsidy to the greater populace. There are plenty of such instances.

Some government employees believed they were the only government. In fact, some of them had created fiefdoms within the administration and believed they could sabotage the President while duping Nigerians. President Tinubu has shown this.

President Tinubu is still a very compassionate leader despite making some gutsy moves that unintentionally affect the average Nigerian. Every time he talks about the suffering caused by the loss of fuel subsidies, I have seen him frown. Because he keeps his ears on the ground, he is aware. He kept nagging the authorities and state governors who are in charge of implementing government interventions to lessen the impact for this reason. But more crucially, he is continuously considering and developing ideas for ways that the government’s savings from the subsidy withdrawal would be invested in worthwhile ventures. The key industries are those that can propel growth, particularly the energy and transportation infrastructure sectors.

President Tinubu’s top priorities are laying the groundwork for overcoming Nigeria’s infamous concerns with a dysfunctional public sector, a weak tax base, inefficient use of the resources at hand, and infrastructure deficiencies. He has also focused the majority of his attention and energy on them during the past 100 days. All development experts agree that solving these problems is the only way to turn around Nigeria’s situation. Although these are not things that can be accomplished in 100 days, the measures to do so are firmly on track.

X-raying President Tinubu’s first 100 days in office

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