When President Tinubu ascended Nigeria’s iron throne in May 2023, his position was somewhat clear. He’d make urgent reforms to “better” the lives of Nigerians in the long run. 

The fuel subsidy removal is still showing us shege, but our president told us, “E go better”.

The problem is this same government has made some interestingly extravagant decisions since inauguration. This makes one wonder, “Aren’t we all supposed to be tightening our proverbial belts?”

1,411 delegates to the COP28 Climate Summit

This one broke the internet over the weekend, and rightly so. Nigeria had the 4th largest number of delegates, after China, Brazil and the host country, UAE, at the climate change conference, which runs from November 30, 2023 to December 12, 2023.

But is this everybody?

It should be a good thing Nigeria shows such interest in matters pertaining to the environment, but the guest list seemed to contain more celebrities and family members than actual environmentalists. To top it all, the government refused to outrightly confirm how many of the delegates they actually sponsored after social media users dragged them for wasteful spending.

The curious case of the presidential yacht 

When the president’s 2023 supplementary budget leaked in November, everyone clutched their gele in shock. Why was there a ₦5 billion allocation for a presidential yacht? In this Tinubu economy?!

The presidency later came to say it was actually an “Operational naval boat”. It’s alright, but don’t be surprised when our number one citizen posts yacht selfies.

The government likes to cruise in style

In the same supplementary budget, Tinubu allocated ₦6.9 billion to vehicles — including ₦1.5 billion for the office of the First Lady (an office not recognised by the constitution). 

The presidency didn’t forget air travel either, with ₦12.5 billion allocated to the presidential air fleet. In October 2023, not to be outdone by the presidency, the National Assembly said they had to buy 360 Land Cruiser SUVs at ₦160m each because of the “bad roads in Nigeria”. Isn’t that wonderful?

₦390 million on a trip to the United Nations General Assembly

From September 17 – 23, 2023, President Tinubu attended the 78th United Nations General Assembly in New York, and spent $507,000 (₦390 million) on hotel accommodation. Hotel rooms fit for a president, am I right?

The serial borrowing

Tinubu borrowed $1.95bn from the World Bank for power and women’s empowerment within three months of becoming president. Borrowing might not be a problem if we didn’t already owe ₦87.4 trillion. Plus, I thought they said we saved ₦1.45 trillion in just two months from fuel subsidy removal. Where is the money going to, and why are we still borrowing?

So many special assistants

Tinubu has been appointing aides and assistants since July 2023. A new one was announced as recently as November 2023.

Of course, we want the best minds around Mr President. But when you have four different senior special assistants on media, and yet another special assistant for social media, one starts to wonder. Or am I overthinking it?

NEXT READ: This Week in “Nigerian Government”


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