Between Tinubu’s blame game and governance (Part 1)

President Bola Ahmed Tinubu revels in ‘strategic ambiguity’. According to organisational communication expert Eric Eisenberg, strategic ambiguity enables an executive, individual, or organisation to express itself—its mission and goals—in a way that allows “the freedom to alter operations that have become maladaptive over time<<<READ FULL ARTICLE>>

It helps operatives understand the need to find a balance between being highly specific or overly vague in what they stand for and how they want to be perceived. But since his assumption of office, specific policy enunciations and curious summersaults rather represent a poor clone of strategic ambiguity as enunciated by Eisenberg.

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A politician forged in the furnace of extreme intrigue, President Tinubu is expected to know the difference between being ambiguous and being strategic about his ambiguity. This quirky concept has not been mirrored by his peculiar preference for blaming others for his questionable development vision.

By nimbly snatching and running’ with the presidency, unfortunately a bitterly disputed project, Tinubu has apparently moved to part two of his sophisticated script’, and that is an unseemly blame game.

From blaming former President Muhammadu Buhari, for whom he largely choreographed his instalment, to impugning banks, ex-CBN governor Godwin Emefiele, political opposition, and more, this jaded mantra by his key officials has clearly reached an underwhelming crescendo.

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But between rosy policy proclamations and actualisation lies a critical gulf in the power of deep thought. And this appears to be the bane of the Tinubu administration, especially coming after eight years of Buhari’s extremely ruinous regime.

President Tinubu’s debatable proposition that his administration’s economic reforms will lead to $1 trillion in national GDP growth in eight years flies in the face of a ruinous economic policy trajectory.

Just two months ago, the Chief Executive Officer of Financial Derivatives Company Limited and Non-executive Director of Parthians Partners, Bismarck Rewane, wrote off the Tinubu administration’s target of achieving a $1 trillion economy in the next eight years as a pipe dream. Rewane said this at the Parthians Partners 2024 Outlook breakfast session held in Lagos.

“The emerging consensus is that he must deliver and discontinue his blame game.”

For instance, Tinubu’s recent proposed implementation of the Oronsaye Report is akin to putting the cart before the horse. The implementation should have started with the reduction and not the expansion of the federal ministries. Some of the newly created and even old ministries would have been better off as departments or directorates.

This was perhaps why Ebun-Olu Adegboruwa, a Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN), advised the president to go one better by reducing the size of his cabinet, which he described as “too unwieldy,” insisting there is too much wastage within the bureaucracy, which requires urgent curtailing.

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His words: “There is a lot that can be achieved through such harmonisation. But the president must start the implementation in his cabinet. Charity should begin at home.

“The size of the present cabinet is unwieldy. For him to embark on the implementation of the Oronsaye report concerning other agencies and leave the presidency in the bloated manner it will not achieve the desired purpose. The president should set a good example by merging all those ministries that have no impact.

“The president should also cut the number of aides that follow him on official trips. That is the right message to send to the people of Nigeria.” A current example is the needless insertion of President Tinubu’s two sons in the list of the nation’s delegation to Doha, Qatar.

The essence of a regime change is to bring in new vision and leadership. Tinubu currently represents these. The emerging consensus is that he must deliver and discontinue his blame game. For some reasons, the current administration is also blaming the financial services sector—banks—as being responsible for the economic woes of the country, especially with regards to the forex crisis. But they conveniently ignore the dynamics that sustain strong national currencies.

Just recently, the Presidency also blamed what it called “economic saboteurs” for the raging food crisis in the country. It accused “unscrupulous Nigerians” of working to undermine the President Tinubu administration’s efforts at revamping the Nigerian economy.

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For good measure, it condemned what it saw as decades of mismanagement and underutilization of the country’s assets within and outside the borders, leading to revenue losses that have hindered economic growth.

Vice President Kashim Shettima made the assertions at the recent Public Wealth Management Conference in Abuja. His words: “Just three nights ago, 45 trucks of maize were caught being transported to neighbouring countries. Just on that Ilela axis, there are 32 illegal smuggling routes. And the moment those foodstuffs were intercepted, the price of maize came down by N10,000. It came down from N60,000 to N50,000.

“So, there are forces that are hell-bent on undermining our nation, but this is the time for us to coalesce into a singular entity. We have to make this country work. We have to move beyond politics. We are now in the face of governance.

“Sadly, some of our countrymen are still in political mode. They are the practitioners of violence, advocating that Nigeria should go the Lebanon way. But Nigeria is greater than any of us here. Nigeria will weather the storm<<<READ FULL ARTICLE>>