President Tinubu And Nigeria’s Rising Global Profile – By Fredrick Nwabufo

NIGERIA’s rising global profile is not the conjuring of luck or the divination and contrivance of some dissociated variables. It is the result of purposeful, diligent, and experienced leadership. The workings of President Bola Tinubu’s leadership.

Nigeria has always mattered in the chat rooms and chopping tables of global discourse — as pertaining Africa. It has always been significant as the largest democracy in Africa, and as the most populous nation and one of the biggest economies on the continent.

But the world is paying more attention to Nigeria. It is taking more interest in the nation for good reasons. Effective domestic leadership, reinforced with a deliberate and well-designed foreign policy, reflects critically on global perception. A broad-minded and enlightened leadership at home will, by a good shot, colour the grey canvas of global disinterestedness.

The past one year has not been without some challenges, but there has been a driven and efficient leadership with clear direction to help the nation navigate through any vortex. Reports from credible rating agencies and global financial platforms betoken stability and the return of vibrancy to critical sectors of the economy.

Early this month, the International Air Transport Association (IATA) commended the government of Nigeria for clearing 98 percent of airlines’ trapped funds, which the carriers had previously been unable to repatriate.

The Director-General of IATA, Mr. Willie Walsh said ‘’as of April 2024, 98 percent of these funds have been cleared. The remaining 19 million dollars is due to the Central Bank of Nigeria’s ongoing verification of outstanding forward claims filed by the commercial banks.’’

And months before, in March precisely, the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) announced that it had settled valid outstanding foreign exchange obligations. On October 23, 2023, at the 29th Nigerian Economic Summit (NES) in Abuja, the President pledged that his administration would honour legitimate foreign exchange obligations and restore market confidence. This pledge he is following through ever so dutifully.

There is a strong, focused, disciplined, and patriotic leadership at home, and this is influencing global perception of Nigeria on governance.

President Tinubu, Nigeria’s chief promoter, has brought a fine hue of respect, command, and dignity to the brand Nigeria by his audacious, candid, cerebral, and deep declarations on seminal matters as regards Nigeria, Africa, and the world around them, on important global platforms.

Just about two months ago at the World Economic Forum Special Meeting in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, President Tinubu stirred interest and applause with his profound asseveration on the imperativeness of collaboration and inclusiveness to achieving global food security, addressing collective challenges, and driving innovation across a chain of interests for a more stable and prosperous world.

“The capital formation that is necessary to drive the economy, agriculture, ensure food security, innovation, and technological advancement must be an inclusive programme of the entire world. No one should be left behind. I am glad the world is recognizing the need for (cooperation), and that with the type of population growth that Africa is experiencing; the diversity of its resources must be married with economic opportunity. We must collaborate to do that,” the President said.

On June 6, at a meeting with a delegation from the International Finance Corporation (IFC), a member of the World Bank Group, led by its Managing Director, Mr. Makhtar Diop, President Tinubu spoke not only as the leader of the largest black nation, but as an African patriot. He beseeched international development financiers to see Africa as a destination for growth and prosperity, and not as an axis of eternal misery and chaos.

“The IFC and the World Bank need to see Africa differently. I am glad an African is at the helm of affairs at IFC, and as an African, understands that the potential for growth, peace, stability, and prosperity is here. The world has to see us as a continent that can help the rest of the world, and not perceive us as backwards, unstable, and with leadership problems. The expectations of the rest of the world on Africa have to change. By looking at Africa as a potential opportunity and not a danger to the rest of the free world, we can stimulate growth and propel inclusiveness.

“I am an African and proud to be and will maintain the strong position to collaborate with the rest of the world to see Africa as a destination for growth and prosperity,” the President said.

Effective leadership is appetizing. It is like a honey-badger to honey. Inclusive of the tactile substance of development and growth, it attracts goodwill and bolsters the nation’s global stature. With President Tinubu’s effective leadership, Nigeria’s global profile will stay on the rise.

– Nwabufo is Senior Special Assistant to the President on Public Engagement.

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