By Fidel Amakye Owusu

1. In Africa, the first hundred days of a new administration are often characterized by a great deal of triumphalism and whimsical lobbying. It’s often the time to award loyalty. 

2. Mostly, populist and expenditure-driven policies are implemented to appease the electorates at this stage.

3. In 2017, the new administration of Ghana had done that. In the early months, it had made some decisions that could only be seen as populist and unsustainable. It formed the largest government Ghana has ever had. About 120 ministers were appointed. For a country of its size, that was superfluous. It’s currently facing the consequences.

4. And so what?

5. The decision by the new leader of Nigeria to remove fuel subsidy, while unpopular, is a bold move that could help him address other critical and economy-boosting sectors of the system. By avoiding early appeasement, the new occupier of Aso Rock could do a lot with time.

6. Fuel subsidy in the largest economy in Africa has been expensive and limited the fiscal space for successive governments. However, for a country with so many poor people, its removal has been a herculean task for many leaders. Regardless, if the right decisions and other factors are well handled this could be helpful to the people.

7. How ?

8. Despite its enviable position as the largest economy in Africa, Nigeria lacks adequate physical infrastructure to keep it at the top. The necessary infrastructure that should connect the various regions and provide critical services to the people is often non-existent in some places.

9.This has meant that some areas lack state presence and social services. The building of roads, critical communication infrastructure, hospitals, schools security posts among others across the country is essential.

10. Closing the infrastructure gap could have positive effect on the various sectors of the economy. Employment, human development, trade and other indicators have been known to accompany infrastructural development.

11. Apart from these, the fiscal space created by the removal of subsidies could sponsor a public-private industrial drive that should have a major objective of creating employment for the millions of unemployed youths.

12. These and other benefits notwithstanding, Nigeria has been known for pervasive corruption and waste. Hundreds of millions of dollars are lost through corruption every year. Mismanagement and waste at the national and state levels have been a challenge for the country. 

13.If these are not kept at bay or controlled, it could derail any benefits the removal of the fuel subsidy could bring to the people of Nigeria.

14.Anti-corruption measures and effective audit services could be of immense benefit.

By Fidel Amakye Owusu – International Relations and Security Analyst and Writer

Article Reproduced with Permission from Fidel Amakye Owusu

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