Nigerians will remember President Muhammadu Buhari’s Naira redesign, which caused physical and emotional pain to people of all ages and socioeconomic backgrounds, for months. During the policy’s implementation, President Bola Ahmed Tinubu was the presidential candidate of the All Progressives Congress, and he promised that if elected, he would reverse the policy.
However, in an effort to address fundamental issues obscuring the Naira’s strength against foreign currencies, President Tinubu announced Naira floating as a new policy. Since the policy’s inception, Nigerians, particularly experts and public affairs analysts, have been identifying potential positive and negative consequences of the policy through various lenses.
In this piece, after monitoring people’s views on Twitter for more than five days, our analyst reports that the discussion about the policy so far has been embedded with various kudos and knocks, with the majority of the knocks primarily connected with the trust deficit in governance and political leaders.
There is a discussion about the potential economic impact of floating the Naira. Some individuals question whether floating the currency in Nigeria’s current economic situation will increase the value of the dollar in the supply side. Others mention the expectation that floating the Naira could improve trade and bring various benefits to Nigeria’s economy.
Some individuals express skepticism and criticize the government’s policies, suggesting that previous announcements or actions were deemed fake news. They mention instances such as the Nigeria Air project, subsidy removal, and the initial dismissal of the idea of floating the Naira.
There is a mention of a change in terminology, where individuals argue that the government may have renamed certain policies to present them in a more favourable light. Specifically, the tweets suggest that the term “floating” was used instead of “devaluation” to describe the change in the Naira’s exchange rate.
Some individuals draw comparisons to previous instances where policies or proposals were initially dismissed as fake news before being implemented. Examples mentioned include the Muslim-Muslim ticket. The tweets imply that dismissing something as fake news does not necessarily mean it won’t be implemented eventually.
Government Duties to Citizens
Citizens express frustration and skepticism regarding the implementation of various government policies. They expect the government to fulfill its duty of effectively implementing policies that benefit the citizens. Some tweets highlight the importance of transparency and truthfulness in government actions. Individuals criticize the government for initially dismissing certain policies as fake news and later implementing them. This suggests that citizens expect the government to be honest and transparent about its intentions and decisions.
Civic Responsibilities of Citizens to Government
The tweets suggest that citizens have a responsibility to hold the government accountable for its actions. They question the credibility of government announcements, policies, and changes in terminologies, indicating a need for citizens to be vigilant and critical in evaluating the government’s actions.
Our analyst notes that by sharing their opinions on social media, citizens demonstrate their engagement with political matters and exercise their right to free expression. This highlights the civic responsibility of citizens to actively participate in public discourse and contribute to the shaping of policies and decisions.