H.E Bola Tinubu was on Monday 29th May 2023 sworn in as the 16th President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria at the Eagle Square in Abuja.
Tinubu took the oath of office alongside Kashim Shettima, who was sworn in as Nigeria’s 15th Vice President in a colorful ceremony presided over by Nigeria’s chief justice Olukayode Ariwoola.
World leaders and dignitaries attended the ceremony that saw Tinubu succeed H.E Muhammud Buhari in becoming the fifth president of Nigeria since the return of democracy in 1999. Kenya was represented at the inauguration by former President Uhuru Kenyatta and Prime Cabinet Secretary Musalia Mudavadi
Tinubu won the election in February with 37% of the vote. His main rival Atiku Abubakar polled 29%, and Labour’s Peter Obi 25%. Mr Tinubu’s victory is being challenged in court by the two opposition candidates.
In his inaugural speech, Tinubu said the day was the proudest day of his life. “But this day does not belong to me. It belongs to you, the people of Nigeria.”
“We have endured hardships that would have made other societies crumble. Yet, we have shouldered the heavy burden to arrive at this sublime moment where the prospect of a better future merges with our improved capacity to create that future.” he added used his inauguration address to discard oil subsidies saying that it could no longer be justified and that the funds would instead be spent on public infrastructure and to improve the lives of people.
Despite its oil wealth, Nigeria is unable to refine enough crude to meet local demands so it imports petroleum products, which are then sold at a government-set price. But the subsidy is a huge drain on public finances. Last year it gulped 4.3trn naira ($9.3bn; £7.5bn) and for the first half of this year, 3.36trn naira was budgeted for it.
Despite criticisms of his election, Tinubu said he was “spreading his hand across the political divide”, and described the election as hard-fought and of a better quality than previous ones. He added that women and young people would feature prominently in his administration and hinted at employing more security personnel to tackle the security crisis, which includes kidnappings for ransom.
As governor of Lagos, Tinubu revitalised Nigeria’s commercial hub and his allies say he will take the same technocratic and thoughtful approach to running the vast country of more than 200 million people. But critics say the he has lost the vitality he used to forcefully modernise Lagos.