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(An extract from the Presidential Address of the 1st Session of the 9th Synod of the Diocese of Lagos West by the Rt Revd Dr. James Olusola Odedeji)

 James Clear, the Author of the New York Times best-seller, ‘Atomic Habits’ once wrote in one of his books “Feeling Uncertain Doesn’t Make You Weak, Weird, or Unqualified:” that “Change is hard, but oftentimes the hardest part isn’t knowing what steps to take or figuring out what is important to you. The hard part is handling your psychology, getting over your fears, and finding the grit to make something happen.”


People of God, our experience in the last year under a new Government in this country has been that of uncertainty in virtually all spheres of governance. When we consider some major policy decisions that formed part of President Bola Ahmed Tinubu s inaugural speech on 29th May 2023, no one would have developed the confidence that the Government would stand the test of time. The removal of subsidy on petroleum products, particularly Premium Motor Spirit (PMS), gasoline (diesel) as well as aviation fuel almost rocked the boat of the new Government. While some saw the policy statement as ill-timed, others, particularly the Entrepreneurial-minded professionals, believed that there was no better time to do it. As if that was not enough, the local currency, the Naira, was seen to have been overvalued, and so another policy statement was to cancel Government-regulated pricing of the Naira against the United States Dollar and other foreign currencies. This was saying that the new Government, through the Central Bank of Nigeria, will not dictate what the value of the Naira should be against the Dollar. Rather the market forces of supply and demand would henceforth determine the value. This policy also affected, in no small measure, the business owners whose businesses were dependent on foreign currencies to procure raw materials for their production.


The immediate reactions to these two major policy statements paved the way for hyperinflation in virtually all sectors of the economy. The reasons were not far-fetched; ours is a nation that depends heavily on imported goods. Our major product for export is crude oil, and the pricing for this product is seriously under the regulation of global forces of demand and supply.


With all the above, therefore, the last two quarters of the year 2023 were indeed hell on earth for the citizens, who were faced with a hike in the cost of transportation, and food items, inflation, and a serious slide in the real income of workers. No wonder, there was serious unrest by some groups of people, to the point of calling for the military to take over the government.






However, with the assemblage of eminent citizens of the nation, mostly technocrats, as Ministers of various Government ministries as well as Heads of key policy arms of Government, such as the Central Bank of Nigeria, the tide is changing fast. In March 2024 for instance, a major economic forecast body, Goldman Sachs, indicated that the Nigerian Naira was about the most performing currency in the world. Moreover, all eyes are still on the fiscal Policy Managers to be able to complement the Monetary Policy handlers’ efforts to stabilize the economy. Time will tell.


Having given the preamble above, it is necessary to examine various impacts of the new policies on major aspects and or sectors of the Nation s economy.



At every election cycle in any nation, Nigeria inclusive, expectations are usually high, especially where the standard of living of the people was becoming a disaster under the outgoing Government. This was the picture before the Nigerian 2023 General Elections. There were public outcries regarding the state of the economy, to the extent that even those without the knowledge of Economics knew that things were not going well. Inflation was rising at a very fast pace (21.02% in January 2023; and 22.01 in March 2023). The local currency was scarce due to a colour change by the previous Central Bank s leadership. There was also a noticeable scarcity of petroleum products, such as Premium Motor Spirit (PMS), gasoline, and aviation fuel. This negatively affected the welfare of the citizens.


All of these made the 2023 General elections a special one for all stakeholders, particularly the youth, to effect a change and create a paradigm shift from the old system of organizing elections. There was a high mobilization through various slogans, to make the kind of change being expected a possibility. The youth deployed their knowledge of Information Technology to curb, as much as possible, the antics of politicians to rig elections in their favour. It was indeed an election not to be forgotten in a hurry.


After the seriously contested elections, a winner emerged through the proclamation of the Nigerian electoral body, the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC). The results were seriously opposed and the battle shifted to the Nation s Law Courts. But while the cases were being handled by various Courts and Tribunals, winners were sworn in at various levels of Governance on the appointed date. This was in obedience to the dictates of the Nation s Constitution. And so the new leaders took over in serious economic uncertainties. At the national level, the new President and Commander in Chief of the Nigerian Armed Forces, Senator Bola Ahmed Tinubu, took the Oath of Office, and the same happened in various states of the federation, where State Governors, also took their oaths of office.


Suffice it to say that full governance could not be achieved until the final declaration of the true winner by the apex court of the land, the Supreme Court. On 26th October 2023, the Supreme Court gave a verdict in favour of the All Progressive Congress and its candidate. Therefore, 71-year-old President Bola Ahmed Tinubu was given a clear mandate to govern Africa s most populous nation, which was already grappling with double-digit inflation, foreign currency shortages, a weakening Naira, widespread insecurity, and crude oil theft among others. It was at this point, therefore, that serious governance commenced with the appointment of Ministers and other Government aides. Although there are still many indicators suggesting more to be done, the new Government at the center could be adjudged to have been trying to reshape the economy, and giving a new hope that Nigeria can still be better.



It is no longer news to state that the economy of any nation can only be evaluated through the instrumentality of both fiscal and monetary policies. Formulating and managing fiscal policies are handled by the Executive arm of Government. This, the Government does through various forms of taxes, budget planning and implementation, mineral resources control, border policing, and management, provision of various infrastructures e.g. roads, rails, waterways, and air transportation, to mention just a few.  And whereas, the monetary policy is solely handled by the apex bank of every country, in Nigeria, the Central Bank. The Central Bank controls the issuance and control of local currency, and supervises the commercial, depositors, and other specialized banks, to ensure they comply with the necessary banking laws and acts of parliaments. It is also the function of the Central Bank, to regulate interest rates on bank loans, manage the Nation s debt profile; monitor the position of the Nation s foreign reserves, and oftentimes, manage the foreign exchange markets. It is also known as Bankers’ Bank.

Considering the impacts of both policies, handlers will make the performance of our economy to be articulately spelled out, particularly in the last year of the new Government.


  • Monetary Policy:

            It is indeed good news that some of the impacts of the policy are being felt by all and sundry. In the last quarter of the year 2023, the value of the Naira against the US dollar rose above One thousand eight hundred Naira to a Dollar. It went further up to the first quarter of the year 2024. But today, the Naira has greatly appreciated and is fluctuating around One thousand, three hundred Naira to a Dollar as of the time of compiling this. While the former Governor of CBN still faces multi-trials that had to do with financial recklessness, that had discouraged Investors from considering Nigeria as an investment destination, the story has changed considerably. Great sanity has been introduced to the extent that some backlogs of foreign debts are being repaid thereby creating confidence in would-be Investors. The Nigerian Stock Exchange has become highly active. There has been indication of an inflow of foreign currencies, especially the US Dollar. The citizens in the diaspora are willing to send foreign monies home to further encourage forex stabilization. However, there was this warning from another financial body, Bloomberg, asking Nigeria to watch the rate at which our foreign reserve has depleted recently, a pointer to the fact that all is not well. This is saying that not until we can build up our foreign reserves, our economy may still not be stable.


  • Fiscal Policy:

            Although the rate at which the impact of the fiscal policy of this Government is being felt is still very low, there have been many efforts by the handlers, led by the Minister of Finance. Attention is being shifted from only crude oil exportation to other mineral resources, as well as all forms of internally generated revenue structures that have also been put in place. Taxation is now becoming a very good means of revenue generation for the Government, as the unit is now headed by a technocrat and a professional in the field of taxation. A new Ministry by the name, “Marine and Blue Economy” has also been floated by this Government, coordinating the seaports and all the related businesses. The Federal Inland Revenue Service leadership was also changed for better performance. The Ministry of Internal Affairs, under new leadership, has digitalized the operations under it, e.g. Immigration, Customs, and Correctional Services. All of these had been packaged to shore up revenue for use by the government, to address all infrastructural deficiencies in the country. However, policies that touch on the welfare of citizens such as curbing inflation, addressing transportation, dealing with insecurity, and addressing Herder/Farmers incessant confrontations, which had hampered the production of food, the building of silos to help farmers store excesses of their production for future sales, addressing consumer protection and probably floating of marketing Boards to deal with product pricing and regulation, have not received the expected attention of the government. From the look of things, it seems there is indeed the “will” in this Government to address many things that other preceding Governments had not been able to consider for attention. However, the earlier some decisions are taken based on the perceived willpower of the Government, things might continue to be business as usual. On a general note though, there have been some noticeable changes since governance under the new administration came on board. May God help our Nation, Nigeria.



Insecurity has become a recurring nightmare that every successive Government has not been able to tackle. This was because the insecurity in Nigeria has both religious and political colorations. For instance, Boko Haram and ISWAP (Islamic State of West African Province) are both religious. Their major aim is to stop or discourage the Western education system and to regard all other religious practitioners as infidels (Pagans). And whereas other groups of insurgents are out to earn their living through banditry and kidnapping activities. Their sponsors are fingered to be mostly politicians. The third group is those clamoring for regional self-independence such as the Independent People of Biafra (IPOB) and Yoruba Nation agitators.


While this third group of the units of insurgency has been on for years, due to what they expressed as not having their fair share of dividends of democracy from various Governments in the past, the first two have constituted themselves into a serious menace, killing, maiming, raping and collecting ransoms from their victims and their families. It has even gotten to a point that notable religious leaders from a section of the country are willing to negotiate with these criminals on behalf of both Federal and State governments. These unsolicited Negotiators are, no doubt, used to the bandits and even know their areas of abode in the various forest reserves within the Nigerian State and even across the Nation s borders. We believe that the Government of the day should display the will to stamp out insecurity in the country. There should be no sacred cows when it comes to dealing with these criminal elements and their sponsors. As for the agitators for countries of their own, that is, the Independent People of Biafra (IPOB) and the Yoruba Nation, the Government can effectively neutralize these agitations by revisiting the report of the 2014 Nigerian National Conference, since it touched on the yearning and aspirations of various regions and ethnic groupings of the country. Also, the arrest and prosecution of the leader of IPOB may be discontinued to pave the way for a round table discussion, particularly as the agitations are fast snowballing into a full-blown civil conflict, the end of which may be disastrous. The said 2014 National Conference report had about 500 delegates, drawn from all the ethnic groupings of the country. About 600 resolutions were passed and a 10,335-page Report was generated. The Team Lead of the said Conference, now late, Chief Justice Idris Kutigi, was a competent Justice of the Supreme of Nigeria, before his retirement. It is worth emphasizing that some of the recommendations if implemented, could have reduced the tension among various regions and ethnic groupings. What are these recommendations?


(a)              Scrapping the current system where the Federal Government controls the 774 local authorities in the country. They recommended the States to determine the number of local governments they can take care of and fund appropriately.


(b)              They proposed the creation of an additional 18 states to make up 54 states in the country. The creation could have put paid to the notion of neglect from some of these ethnic groups.


(c)              They also proposed reducing the percentage of resources going to the Federal Government and increasing that of the various States instead.


(d)             Also suggested for implementation is a modified Presidential system of government that combines the presidential and parliamentary systems of government.  While the President is elected, the Vice President should emerge among the legislators.


(e)              Another recommendation that would have worked well for us is power rotation among the various regions of the country. Firstly, from North to the South making sure that all the six geopolitical zones have their turns. It is our opinion that these recommendations would have addressed most of the problems among our various Geo-political zones. After the Conference, both the Northern Leader, a retired Inspector General of the Police (and now late) Alhaji Ibrahim Coomassie, as well as his Southern counterpart, a revered Minister of Information in the First Republic, Chief Edwin Clark had these to say about the Conference: ‘Whatever we did, we did so for one Nigeria’ - Alhaji Ibrahim Coomassie “We came in, we came out and we conquered” - Chief Edwin Clerk.  This is to say that all had been done to foster an enduring unity among the citizens of Nigeria. The question now is why it has taken so long a time to implement these recommendations. We want to humbly submit that if the Report is not dusted to have the recommendations implemented, we might just be postponing the evil day. Solutions to our regional as well as ethnic challenges might remain unsolvable. For instance, the Yoruba Nation agitation that started some two years ago without an iota of violence has taken a new turn with some new kinds of agitators. In April 2024, they armed themselves to the teeth, and invaded the Oyo State Secretariat and the State House of Assembly, with a declaration of the Federal Republic of Yoruba Nation. This violent group, led by one of the widows of a late Politician, was overpowered and many of them were arrested. Our question now is: how long can we continue to manage all of these multi-dimensional insurgencies and still concentrate on developing our Nation s economy? A stitch in time saves nine.



Suffice it to say that this is about the time that a round peg was considered for a round hole in the appointment of the Minister of Education. We also noticed that some of these appointments spread beyond a particular political party. Some of them are thoroughbred professionals and technocrats.  No wonder new policies are being generated to raise the standard of education in the country. The issue of constant agitations from the Academic and Non-Academic Staff Unions that nearly collapsed our educational system during the previous administration had been laid to rest. This may probably be a result of the interest the President, Senator Bola Ahmed Tinubu, has in their welfare, coupled with the appointment of one of these union members as Minister of Education. For the first time, the indigent students who may not be able to finish their education, particularly in the tertiary institutions because of finance, can now heave a sigh of relief, as the current Government has set aside part of the budget for the current year to commence a National Loan Scheme for students.


The said loan shall cover their tuition, repayable two years after graduation and a year after the compulsory National Youth Service Scheme. Another step taken recently and which we see as the right step in the right direction, is waging total war on sub-standard Degree certificates being issued and obtained from some glorious secondary schools, and tagged Universities, across the border of our Nation. Some people in Government services in Nigeria today were said to have bought their certificates across the border. We want to submit that proper screening be carried out by both the Federal and state civil Service to flush out these unscrupulous workers. There should be a strict law to regulate foreign studies to avoid placing the destiny of our upcoming generation in the hands of incompetent and unqualified leaders at work. Proper scrutiny should always be done at the point of appointment of the “fix it quick” foreign graduates. It was highly rampant among Doctor of Philosophy Degree graduates, and they work in our Research institutions. What a pity!





Despite the Government s high subsidy on power, Nigerians are yet to enjoy a constant supply of electricity. There has always been buck-passing between the power generating companies, GENCOS, and the power distributing companies, the DISCOs. While the GENCOS would come out to say it has generated more than 13,000 megawatts of electricity, the DISCOs on the other hand keep saying that what is available for distribution is around 3,000 MW. Moreover, many entrepreneurs and professionals in the field of power generation and distribution have voiced out that subsidy must also be removed from power so that appropriate payment will henceforth be made by consumers for electricity consumed. It seems therefore that the recent step taken by the Government to group consumers into different Bands of payments may be a subtle move to commence the removal of subsidy and make consumers pay appropriately for electricity consumed by various categories of users/consumers. It has been discovered that despite the privatization of the power sector of the economy, all indications still point to the fact that successive governments still subsidize the cost of electricity. The current administration is not exclusive, the sector can be better handled when it is privatized. Private Entrepreneurs will handle power from the perspective of making a profit from the businesses.


They will give their all to improve the sector and block out all forms of bureaucratic and other sharp practices to ensure optimal performance.

      With all the resources on GENCOS for instance, Nigeria s installed             generating capacity is at 10,396MW, and installed available capacity is     6,056MW, with thermal-based generation at 4,996MW and hydro         generation stands at 1,938.4MW. However actual generation ranges            around 3,000MW. Their complaints usually revolve around the following:


      (a)        Lack of Gas.

Although Nigeria has about five means of generating electric power today, it only generates electricity through gas and hydropower. And the inconsistent gas supply across the nation becomes a real problem. It is even worsened by the constant vandalization of gas pipelines in the Niger Delta region of the country, where gas is generated. Another problem is that of the cost of gas which skyrocketed recently due to the unfavorable exchange rate. But one may ask, should gas generation be a problem since gas is a natural resource in Nigeria? Why flare gas as waste when there is an obvious need for it in such an important sector in the country? But it is cheaper for the stakeholders to flare natural gas and pay the small fine attached than to harvest and transport this gas for use.


(b)        Lack of Fund:

            The GENCOS need a lot of funds to improve their infrastructure. This is where the government comes in, releasing huge government-generated funds to assist. But where does the fund end up? And so for obvious reasons, the GENCOS are forced to work below their capacity which in turn leads to minimal power generation.


            We, therefore, suggest a total privatization of power to real private sector operators whose job is to find value for every Naira input to determine what consumers pay for electricity. It might be hard to bear in the short term and even medium term, but in the long term, it will bring a total solution to Nigeria s incessant power problems. Only recently there was a power cut to the University Teaching Hospital, Ibadan, where it was discovered that the Hospital owed Ibadan Distributing Company over N495 million in accumulated electricity debt. Could this happen under a privately owned company?



      We thank God, who has kept us safe from all forms of epidemics. Since the year 2020, when the coronavirus epidemic, otherwise known as COVID-19 19 broke out, Nigeria has not been faced with any major or general health challenges. However, being proactive to combat any unexpected epidemic must be a priority for our health sector. A lot of foreign exchange is being yearly expended by various political leaders as well as Government functionaries, who must travel abroad for medical checkups. But now that we are not facing any major health challenges as a Nation, this should be the right time to address shortfalls in our Hospitals’ infrastructural developments. All our Teaching Hospitals, Federal Medical Centers, Cancer, and all other specialized hospitals must be fully equipped to combat future occurrences of epidemics. Although the percentage may not be fully captured here, there is still a high occurrence of vascular and cancer-related deaths in Nigeria. We still battle with various forms of fever e.g. Lassa fever, Malaria, and Chronic Typhoid, among others, and those infected should have faith in our hospital s competence to address their problems.


      Now that epidemics are absent, we should stock our hospitals with various immunization vaccines for children, youth, and even adults. Our Health Researchers must be assisted to work on or research into new areas of disease prevention and control, if it occurs. The government should look into the level of brain drain in our health sector to retain the best hands in our various hospitals. The various forms of remuneration must be considered for improvement as well as other allowances that can serve as incentives to reduce their rush to foreign countries in search of greener pastures. These incentives must be put in place not only to encourage our university graduates to work in our hospitals but to also woo foreign-trained personnel to make Nigeria their destination to work.


      For our Leaders who have chosen always to travel abroad for health purposes, very strict rules must be put in place to put the ugly trend in check. Our President, Governors as well as top Parliamentarians must lead by example, by patronizing our Nation s hospitals for all manners of checkups and medical treatments. By so doing, a lot will be saved in the form of foreign exchange. May God touch the hearts of our leaders.



      It is high time we began to cut down, very seriously the high cost of governance in Nigeria. When we consider the cost of running the Government at all levels, the Federal, the State, and even the Local Governments, in our nation today, there are leakages in virtually all areas to the extent that the outcome has been so devastating on our very fragile economy. Of the three arms of government, only the Judiciary may be absolved of the allegation of increasing the cost of governance. Suffice it to say that enough savings could be quoted from what Nigeria incurs yearly on governance, to address deficiencies in infrastructural development. Let us take, for instance, the executive arm of Government. There are lots of Ministries and Agencies with various names but when we consider what they do, there are clear duplications of duty. The assignment meant for only one Ministry is today being shared between two to three Ministries. As we speak, the Federal Government has appointed more than forty Ministers, either as full Ministers or Ministers of State. As if that was not enough, there are several heads of Agencies, which if we check properly, what they do are very similar but submit for approval, different budget headings yearly.


      Let us take for instance, the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC), the Code of Conduct Bureau (CCB), and the Code of Conduct Tribunal (CCT), etc. they all have similar goals – curbing corruption in government and elsewhere. This could be reduced to only one, or at most two and they will still be effective and achieve the objective of their creation.


      To address internal security, we have the Police Force, the Department of State Service (DSS), the Nigerian Security and Civil Defense Corps, the Federal Road Safety Commission (FRSC), etc. Aligning some of these outfits will not only reduce the cost of governance but enhance the effective discharge of their mandate. What about the appointment of Special Assistants, Special Advisers, and Senior Special Advisers, aside from other personal aids to our elected politicians? The legislative arm of government is no exemption. Aside from the regular staff of their chambers, many Committees of the House are in place, which oftentimes perform the same functions but under different Committee names. They also set up Constituency offices with retinue of Assistants and Staff and all these people are being remunerated from the public tax revenue, even though they do not contribute significantly to the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of the nation. We cannot determine with accuracy, the resources being wasted year in and year out. Why not block all of these leakages to allow our economy to breathe and probably heave a sigh of relief?  No wonder a Government in the past set up a Committee to look at these various leakages and to recommend solutions. The Report of that Committee is what is now known as Oronsaye s Report. Although the current Government is considering the implementation of the Report, only time will tell. But we are of a very strong opinion that a lot of resources could be saved and more infrastructural development addressed if only leakages of this magnitude could be blocked.




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