That President Muhammadu Buhari rode to power in the 2015 general elections on the then popular mantra of change is to say the obvious. He was seen to possess the requisite leadership qualities, integrity, credibility and uprightness to turn around the dwindling fortune of the most populous black nation on earth. When he was elected
That President Muhammadu Buhari rode to power in the 2015 general elections on the then popular mantra of change is to say the obvious. He was seen to possess the requisite leadership qualities, integrity, credibility and uprightness to turn around the dwindling fortune of the most populous black nation on earth.
When he was elected into office, as the President and Commander-In-Chief of the armed forces of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, the country was plagued on all fronts with nauseating problems, such as the Boko Haram insurgency in the North-East, widespread corruption, abject poverty, alarming unemployment, bad governance, socio-economic inequalities, weak institutions, dearth of infrastructure, injustice and a corrupt judiciary, poor value system, an inept and poorly-equipped police, high maternal and infant mortality rate, high number of out of -school children, low life expectancy and the centrifugal forces of ethnicity, tribalism, nepotism and religious bigotry.
His numerous fans and supporters (both at home and in the diaspora) believed that he would nip in the bud, most if not all of the country’s challenges and difficulties within few years in office.
However, the domestic macroeconomic variables, security and geo-political outlook, in addition to the perturbing reports been reeled out by various multilateral institutions and rating agencies about the country’s human development index still leaves much to be desired. The president can still win the hearts of many, before he leaves office, if he can adopt a holistic and pragmatic approach in tackling the countries many seemingly insurmountable and chronic problems.
Firstly, the perennial insecurity menace such as Boko Haram insurgency, Banditry, Kidnapping- for -ransom and Armed Robbery should be tackled relentlessly. The country can achieve this by seeking a better and a more transparent collaboration with her immediate neighbors and foreign strategic partners. The Police should be better renumerated, well-equipped and funded. There should be synergy and a better inter-agency cooperation among them the country’s security forces.
Also, the nation’s many porous borders especially in the North should be well secured and safeguarded. To further expediate action in the area of security, there should be a comprehensive efforts and programs to actively and positively engage the army of unemployed youths scattered across the country. Particularly, in Northern Nigeria, the decades-old culture of Almajiri should be abolished without any further delay. This is necessary because many of the out-of -school children involved in this practice constitute a ready and willing personnel for recruitment into banditry, kidnapping , terrorism and Islamic extremism.
In terms of the economy, the government needs to work very hard to reverse all the current negative macroeconomic indicators and realities such as increasing inflation, high unemployment rate, inadequate infrastructures, epileptic power supply, high interest rates, and low manufacturing activities.
Other areas of the economy the government should look into, include high external debt profile, over reliance on oil, lack of credit and/or access to credit by micro, small and medium sized enterprises, tariffs and non-tariffs barriers to trade, obstacles to investment, limited foreign exchange capacity and the weak value of the naira.
This administration should also consider taking action in the following areas: increase the allocation of pre-paid electricity meters; bring back the petrol subsidy programme; stop the plan increase in fuel pump price and electricity tariffs; halts the astronomical increase in the price of food stuffs and other basic commodities; provision of infrastructures; provision of an enabling environment for job creation and inclusive growth and initiating and executing reforms that will strengthens national institutions.
The remaining fifteen months before the end next general elections, presents a golden opportunity for the President Muhammadu Buhari’s led government to write it’s name in the indelible sands of time for the ability to comeback from failure, lethargy and underperformance into last minutes achievements and accolades. What it does with this opportunity, remains a guess by the government’s critics and supporters as well.