President Bola Ahmed Tinubu delivered a ground-breaking speech at the 78th session of the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) in New York on September 20, 2023.
His address not only resonated globally but also carried profound implications for Nigeria’s economy, foreign relations, and trade, directly impacting the lives of ordinary Nigerians.
The speech outlined five crucial points:
- Strengthened International Collaboration and Partnerships: President Tinubu emphasised the imperative of heightened collaboration between African nations and the international community to achieve the 2030 Agenda and Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). This commitment holds far-reaching implications for everyday Nigerians. Enhanced international cooperation can attract foreign aid and investment, resulting in improved infrastructure, healthcare, and education. It opens doors for Nigerian entrepreneurs to engage in global trade and gain from technology transfer and capacity-building initiatives.
- Crackdown on Illicit Activities: The call for a crackdown on terror financing, economic sabotage, and illicit mineral and arms smuggling directly benefits ordinary Nigerians. Such actions can enhance national security, making communities safer and more conducive to economic activities. Additionally, curbing these illicit activities can lead to increased government revenue, which can be reinvested in public services.
- Fair and Equitable Treatment in Global Trade: President Tinubu’s demand for fair and equitable treatment of African countries in the global trade system has implications for Nigeria’s trade and, consequently, the livelihoods of ordinary citizens. A more balanced trade system can lead to increased exports, job creation, and economic growth. Nigerians can expect greater access to international markets for products like agriculture, textiles, and services, potentially leading to increased income and employment opportunities.
- Recognition of Africa’s Potential: Acknowledging Africa as a source of innovation, creativity, and human capital is a source of pride for Nigerians. It reinforces the idea that Nigeria’s human resources are a valuable asset on the global stage. This recognition can boost morale, inspire entrepreneurship, and attract foreign investors looking to tap into Nigeria’s talented workforce.
- Commitment to Democracy and Good Governance: President Tinubu’s commitment to democracy, good governance, human rights, peace, and security directly impacts the daily lives of ordinary Nigerians. These values are the foundation of a stable and prosperous society. When upheld, they lead to greater political stability, improved public services, and a conducive environment for businesses to thrive.
These key points have several implications for ordinary Nigerians:
Economy: The diversification of Nigeria’s economy away from heavy reliance on oil exports is a positive development for ordinary Nigerians. As the government promotes non-oil sectors like agriculture, manufacturing, and services, job opportunities will increase, benefiting the ordinary citizen. Additionally, foreign direct investment (FDI) in infrastructure and industrialization can lead to improved living standards and access to essential services.
Foreign Relations: Nigeria’s commitment to African solidarity and multilateralism aligns with the interests of many Nigerians. Stronger diplomatic ties can result in more opportunities for Nigerian students to study abroad, cultural exchanges, and cooperation in areas like healthcare and education. Collaboration with other countries can lead to knowledge sharing and technology transfer that benefit various sectors of society.
Trade: Fairer global trade practises can positively impact Nigerian consumers. Increased access to international markets means a broader range of affordable goods and services. Additionally, improved trade relations can boost the nation’s export capacity, creating jobs and increasing income for ordinary Nigerians involved in agriculture and manufacturing.
Translating these aspirations into concrete actions
While the speech garnered praise and generated optimism, the real challenge lies in translating these aspirations into concrete actions.
Nigerians can expect to see progress in their daily lives through improved infrastructure, job opportunities, and access to essential services. However, the government must follow up on its commitments to accountability and transparency to ensure that the positive impact reaches every corner of the country.
This represents a significant step toward a brighter future for ordinary Nigerians.
It underscores Nigeria’s commitment to global cooperation, economic diversification, and good governance, all of which have the potential to uplift the lives of millions of Nigerians and position the nation as a leader on the international stage.
The key now is to turn these commitments into tangible improvements in the lives of ordinary citizens, ensuring that the positive impact is felt throughout Nigeria.
Writing by By Hemen Dyako; Editing by Saadatu Albashir and Adeniyi Bakare