By Lexan Ali

The Tinubu regime, on assuming power on May 29th, 2023, despite its slogan of  “Renewed Hope Agenda” with which it had campaigned for votes in the 2023 election, had in no little time dash the hopes of millions of Nigerians and as well as also shown the rottenness of capitalist system. Upon its inauguration, the government announced its commitment to continuing with neoliberal policies, including the removal of fuel subsidies and the floating of the naira to unify its exchange rate with the dollar. Since then, fuel prices have skyrocketed from N165 per litre to over N610, while the value of the naira has depreciated rapidly, initially exchanging at about N650 to a dollar but escalating to N1,850.

Consequently, Nigerians have endured widespread suffering, prompting popular outcry and mass protests against the government’s inaction. In response, the government was compelled to address the illegal activities of currency speculators and Bureau De Change operators, resorting to reactionary measures such as borrowing $3 million to stabilize the naira. While these efforts have temporarily mitigated the situation, with the naira now exchanging between N1,276 to N1,300 to a dollar, the relief is expected to be short-lived, indicative of deeper structural issues within the economy as the country does not engage in any meaningful economic production.

Ever since the regime announced these twin evils and policy framework, the Nigerian economy and living conditions of the working masses and the poor have plunged. Society has further degenerated to the Hobbesian state of nature, where life is described as short, nasty, and brutish. The result has been a spike in the general state of insecurity across the country, from food to job insecurity and the general insecurity of lives and properties that now stalks the country.

From inception the MSA condemns and strongly opposed these neo-liberal policies by the Tinubu APC regime and the PDP regime before it, which have only further subjected the Nigeria’s economy and its currency to become more dependent on foreign capital and as well subjugate the Naira as a weaker bargaining instrument for its import dependent economy, and as well as the dictates of international market forces at the expense of development of the country’s productive forces.


For a country whose economy is heavily dependent on importation and with an unstable currency, these neo-liberal policies have only negatively impacted food prices and production across the country. At no time in the history of the country has inflation impacted so heavily on food items, so much so that the prices of basic food items, such as Garri, Beans Rice, etc, are priced above the means of an average Nigerian worker, in a country where millions of young people are unemployed. For instance, the price of a bag of rice has increased from N45,000 before Tinubu was sworn in, to N80,000; the same also goes for the prices of Garri and beans, both of which have gone up by over 100% from N50,000 + to N75,000 and from N70,000 to a N100,000 naira respectively. At the same time, the cost of transportation, health care and, education and electricity have also gone up by more than 300%. 

Yet despite the sufferings and hardship occasioned by more than 300% rise in overall inflation of goods and commodities, the N30, 000 naira minimum wage passed into law 5 years ago and the general wage level of Nigerian workers have remained the same. But members of the National Assembly, judges in the judiciary and top brass of the military have all got an upward review of their salaries and allowances, while a paltry, so-called wage award of N35, 000 naira was approved by the Federal Government for federal workers alone, leaving out workers in the private sectors, and those of the State and Local government to bargain for anything from their employers.

The same also applies to the implementation of the government’s palliative programme meant to cushion the harsh effects of the fuel subsidy removal on poor and vulnerable Nigerians, whose implementation has been rocked by corruption and diversion of the funds to personal accounts involving the minister of Humanitarian affairs.


Though there are other factors in the mix, like banditry, kidnappings, the Boko Haram insurgency and the herders and farmers crisis that have affected farming activities, the Russian/Ukraine war and war in the Middle East are factors contributing to rising food prices and worsening state of insecurity in the country. The rise in insurgency in the north is itself a result of the government’s failed anti-poor policies of education underfunding, privatisation and deregulation, with the consequent increase in youth unemployment that has become fertile ground for recruitment into insurgency and terrorism. 

Consequently, the cost of transportation of food crops and safety have worsen, as farmers fear of being killed or kidnapped, as witnessed in nearly all parts of the country, thereby leading to fewer goods reaching the market.  Linked to the crisis, is the growing unemployment rate as most investors and practitioners are closing down due to unfavorable return on investment in the sector, with government not interested in making the agricultural sector the power hub of economic production and diversification in revamping the economy.


The continuous underfunding of the agricultural sector, side by side with the collapse of infrastructural facilities; (irrigation, storage facilities, road network) climate change, herders and farmers clashes, inefficient agricultural practice, research and adoption of advance mechanized farming that will boost food production, has led to a situation where 26.5 million Nigerians now face acute hunger this year, according to world food program. In the 1960’s and 70’s the mainstay of the Nigerian economy was agriculture, while food production and subsistent farming was predominant. The policies of structural adjustment program and other neo-liberal policies gave rise to importing at the expense of boosting local food production, all this has further worsen food insecurity, where one out of every ten Nigerians is now living in extreme poverty and hunger according to UNESCO.

Technology and industrial agriculture if applied with democratic management and control by the rank and file of farmers, can prevent food insecurity but the neglect of research works and infrastructural projects like the Kadawa irrigation project in Kano that have been abandoned for over four decades by the federal government are major issues that have crippled the development of agriculture and impeded food production in Nigeria. This was the unanimous verdict by scientists and agronomists who blamed the federal government for the current food insecurity in Nigeria. The need for a socialist transformation of the country, with the nationalisation of key sectors of the economy, inclusive of the agricultural sector with massive government funding to improve research and increase food production to feed the population, providing jobs and improving the living condition of the masses is a task that must be fulfilled, but this will not be achieved on the basis of capitalism but would only take the organising and mobilization of the rank and file of farmers in Nigeria, working people and trade unions, the NLC and TUC leaderships   to resist these relentless attacks that have made life more precarious and insecure for the masses.