ASO ROCK WATCH: On Tinubu’s promise to Niger Delta. Two other talking points

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Last week, President Bola Tinubu promised to address the many issues troubling the Niger Delta region.

We tracked two other stories from the seat of power, Aso Rock villa.

1. Tinubu’s promise to Niger Delta

Tinubu, on January 23, reassured that his administration would address environmental degradation, including other concerns in the Niger Delta region.

The President gave the assurance during a meeting with the South-South Monarchs’ Forum led by the Chairman of the Delta State Council of Traditional Rulers, Maj.–Gen Felix Mujakperuo (retd) at the State House, Abuja.

He told the monarchs that his administration was working towards environmental restoration, infrastructure development, and security and stability in the region.

“I will take on all of your concerns, and I will address each of them one by one.” he said.

Tinubu’s promise is symptomatic of the years of failure by past administrations to tackle the everyday concern of the Niger Delta region, but, once again, serves as a healing balm to the suffering people of the region.

On the flip side, it points to the paradox of development where a region so blessed is in the throes of economic and social dilemma, both foisted on them by visionless leadership.

Though his words may not be soothing owing to the continuous failure of past administrations to solve the presented issues, it behoves the President to explore more innovative ways of assuaging the concerns of the Niger Delta region, and to strengthen his political capital.

Two other talking points

2. As Tinubu defends his large cabinet

On January 22, Tinubu defended his appointment of a 47-member cabinet, emphasising that the entire scope of national challenges demand different ministerial roles.

Tinubu made the defence when he received a delegation of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN), led by its President, Daniel Okoh, in Abuja.

“If you combine too many ministries because you want to save money, you will have a future of non-performance and no results,” Tinubu said
“I have had a number of criticisms, including the rationale behind the size of my cabinet. If you want efficient, mobile, and resourceful people, we have to give people a load they can carry.”

READ ALSO:ASO ROCK WATCH: As Tinubu extols Buhari for non-interference. Two other talking points

The President’s unapologetic defence may have put to an end the expectations of trimming down the size of government in the face of current economic realities.

Perhaps, the development queries the fate of the much-hiped Oronsanye report which seeks to make government leaner, and impact the cost of governance.

It looks interesting times ahead as the country battles its economic woes, with a daring bloated government structure.

3. On alleged plans to move seat of government

The Presidency, on January 24, explained that Tinubu had no intention of moving the federal capital from Abuja to Lagos.

This was sequel to the controversy trailing the relocation of some departments of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), and Federal Airport Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) from Abuja to Lagos.

The President’s Special Adviser on Information and Strategy, Bayo Onanuga, made the clarification in a post on his X handle.

“The movement of FAAN, a department of the Aviation Ministry to Lagos where it was based before former minister, Hadi Sirika, moved it to Abuja during the last administration, does not amount to moving the FCT to Lagos.
“The administrative move should have attracted scant attention as Lagos is the commercial capital and the hub of aviation business in Nigeria. FAAN should be nowhere else but near the industry it regulates. FAAN will still maintain some presence in Abuja, as it is not a wholesale movement,” he posted.

The controversy, and noise that was generated due to the relocation of the departments highlights the never-ending mistrust among Nigerians from different sections of the country, and politicisation of every government move.

The Presidency’s explanation, however, aims to calm, frayed nerves, and avert moves that may cause chaos in the country.

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