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Tinubu Hits the Ground Running

The new president of Africa’s largest democracy, Nigeria, has used his inaugural address to make a major policy announcement to ease pressure on government finances. Bola Tinubu said the decades-long subsidy on petroleum products was being scrapped. It is not clear when the new policy will kick in, but ending the subsidy will lead to a rise in the price of petrol and could have a knock on effect on other prices. Previous Nigerian governments have tried and failed to end the subsidy that was first introduced in the 1970s. 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. Mr Tinubu, 71, takes over from Muhammadu Buhari, who has stepped down at the end of his two terms. He is under pressure to tackle the economic crisis. Inflation is running at its highest rate for nearly 18 years, one in three people are unemployed and the output of the vital oil industry is shrinking. Mr Tinubu acknowledged these challenges in his speech, saying his team would release its economic roadmap in the coming weeks but pointed out that interest rates were too high.